We have covered lo-fi indie geniuses The BV’s on a number of occasions. They are on wunderbar German label Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten and we also featured their recent single “Every Story Is A Ghost Story” on Cloudberry Records. You can only imagine how delighted we were to get to interview Josh and Fred. They talk music, influences, brexit and, more importantly, what kind of vegetable they would be. They also point us in the direction of some fab tunes from the likes of ab repeat, We Make Noises, Hatchie and (of course) The Chills. Top.
How did your Anglo-German dynamic duo come together?
Fred moved to the UK for university and by chance we ended up living together in Penryn for six months, going to shows, making sushi, getting into decaf and drinking Perlenbacher.
Where did your musical journey begin?
In the pub in Falmouth, deciding that we would try to record something the next day after Fred bought a 12-string guitar with the last of his Erasmus grant money.
Why is the new single being released on Cloudberry Records?
Last year Roque wrote “Why haven’t they done a 7″ on Cloudberry? I ask myself the same question.” on his blog. Obviously, that was due to him not having asked us yet. He then did and we said: “Well, definitely YES”.
Where do you do your recording?
At Church Road Studios in Penryn and Rec. Street Studio Augsburg. (You could say these are also our living rooms/bedrooms). We recorded “Interpunktion” at Bear Cave Studio in Cologne though.
Can you elaborate on “please turn it off, it’s just too sad”?
If we do we’ll have to turn it off, because it’s too sad.
Would I be right in thinking that the Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten artists are like an extended family?
Yes, Ronny is our father and he takes very good care of us…
What are your thoughts on Brexit?
A complete farce. An indictment of what a sad, racist, bitter and delusional country England really is.
What was the first piece of music you loved, and why?
Fred: I remember being obsessed with The Crystal Ship by The Doors around the age of 8. I think because of its piano solo.
Josh: I don’t remember exactly — but the first CD single I ever owned was Cher – Do You Believe in Life After Love? which a family friend got me as a present…
What is your favourite song that you’ve written and why?
Josh: Mine is the first track from the new album that we’ve just finished recording
Fred: Probably always the most recent track that we’ve written.
What artist(s) has been your biggest influence and in what way?
Fred: One of the most major musical epiphanies for me was seeing a local band from Augsburg at a festival in 2011 I think. They were called ab repeat but split up soon after that performance. It was the first time I had consciously encountered that kind of repetition and the motorik beat, and it blew my mind. I have made/still make music with all of them in various formations since then. You can listen to the tune that changed my view of music completely here:
Josh: My friend Rob Heath — he is the master of the lo-fi pop song. He’s played in loads of bands and solo — this is one of my favourites:
And Dev Hynes — he’s managed to make critically acclaimed records in every genre he’s tried out over the last two decades, without ever compromising his vision or integrity.
What is the best new band/artist you’ve heard recently?
Josh: My favourite new artist is Hatchie, her new EP is brilliant.
What song by another artist do you wish you had written and why?
Fred: Probably Pink Frost by The Chills. I catch myself trying to nick parts from it twice a day.
There are also loads of 80s hits that I’d wish I had written but slightly or completely different. Like Always On My Mind or Moonlight Shadow.
Josh: Every song from Disintegration, Dreams Never End by New Order (the perfect sadboy dancefloor anthem) and Terry by Kirsty MacColl (except the guitar solo, which feels like a step too far).
What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you recently?
Josh: A little proboscis monkey called Antony.
Fred: Re-watching the third season of Twin Peaks.
What sound is October? What colour is December?
What’s the best phrase you’ve picked up in another language?
Josh: OIDA… gaaaaaaaaaaar nicht schlecht
Fred: Zwo Ochtsch.
What’s your idea of success?
Josh: A BIG ole pack of Knoppers!
Fred: The Météore lo-fi reverb.
Have your parents ever played golf?
Which of these activities are you most likely to be found doing: (a) making a soufflé, (b) tinkering with a motorbike, (c) doing the ironing, (d) putting up shelves?
Josh: I never do anything.
Fred: Tinkering with a soufflé.
What question would you like to be asked that you never are and what would your answer be?
Q: Do you want more habanero hot sauce on your *enter_food?
A: Right on my dude!
Does the path of excess lead to the palace of wisdom?
Excessive reverberation leads to the palace of wisdom. And sometimes leaves the sound guy crying.
Finally, what kind of vegetable are you?
Josh: I’m not sure what the English word for it is, but there’s a really big radish that I have whenever I’m Augsburg. Probably that.
Fred: Indeed Joshua – Rettich in German. I am fennel.
And here’s a brillo new work for our gallery, I think this is the scientific formula for the BV’s sound. Oh yeah man.