‘You’d better hurry up if you want to catch the train!’
Downstairs, damn, I forgot the umbrella! Upstairs again, catching the umbrella, running downstairs, out of the door: It starts to rain! To be clear it’s raining cats and dogs, I’m having a hangover and I need to be at the train station in 20 minutes. Oh my, why does it always rain on me?
That would have been a fitting soundtrack. But the clouds finally disappeared and the sun eventually came out. Good for us! Our field trip to Dollern became successfull and the pictures I took of Deep Dyed turned out very well! So the band from Hamburg is in a good mood as we sit down in a restaurant to talk about their upcoming EP and other stuff! I’m in the company of a cocktail and oh fuck it, oh here I go again …
Let’s Start a Band
Help me understand, is there anything romantic about coming together as a band these days, or did you just put up an ad online? Where do you know each other from? And how did you come together?
John: I think it was quite romantic how we came together. We have known each other for a while, in different constellations. And we made music together for a while then. We came together through Aylin’s sister. We jammed together for a little bit and yeah, that’s how it came together. We began writing songs, we began playing songs that we wrote prior to joining together as a band… So, Hauke joined Aylin and me, then Lukas joined the group and we became a band and started doing our thing
To start a band in times of Covid-19, it couldn’t have been any worse, can it? Now things have settled slowly. How is the band now? Do you have a daily routine as a band? Is that even possible?
Aylin: We still do meet regularly to practice. Therefore I would say there is still a daily routine. It is cool that we are going to play this livestream gig next week.
Where can interested readers see this?
Aylin: It is on YouTube and we are doing this in cooperation with the Kulturpalast Hamburg. (Obviously not live anymore, but still ready to check out here.)
And it is cool in that sense, that we are having something to work towards. That we’re playing the set again and coming together to play music. That’s really cool! But even before we knew we where playing this gig we started meeting again to practice, when it was allowed again. I needed that a lot.
John: I think, all of us needed that.
What do you miss the most right now?
John and Lukas: Playing live!
John adds: Playing for people, the instant reactions from the people – the cheering!
Everyone agrees and laughs, before Lukas continues: The thing is: We finished these songs quite a while ago, that was last year in November. We haven’t really had the chance to play them live and get proper feedback from the people. Because we do have our own opinions about the music we made. We’ve heard them many times during the process and now we want to know what other people think about it.
So how many shows did you already play?
Lukas: Three or four?
John: Four or five?
We are getting closer!
John: Uebel & Gefährlich, Sommersalon, at Bambi Galore, WoZi. We did four shows, three in Hamburg and one in Lüneburg.
Aylin: And now it was supposed to really start! With the release and all that but that’s the way it goes. Now the only thing to do is wait.
Back to music! Your EP is coming out on 24th July digitally and on cassette – an unusual medium! Aylin, when we talked about it you said that it fits in with the whole recording process because you recorded on tape. Please expand on that!
Hauke: I bought myself a tape recorder last year in a little music store in East Frisia. I always wanted to have one. There was one that fitted the purpose so the only thing standing in the way was to repair it.
Lukas: That was a funny undertaking, to come back to the recording process.
Hauke: We bought a tape together that you can record 30 minutes on. That meant we could only do one take per song. It was that limited. So we recorded the four tracks together and made overdubs and the vocals afterwards. But everything was recorded on tape.
For the music geeks:
How does this process differ from an usual approach on recording?Hauke: Not very much. But it sounds a little warmer and softer and has a little runtime fluctuation. It varies just a hint in terms of the tone frequencies, which creates a more organic sound.
Lukas: Somehow it is a little special, too. Because you only got one take and not a thousand. That made us say at some point, okay we have a couple of takes now, let’s listen to them now. And then we agreed on some of them and they did have some mistakes in them. Which does not make it perfect recordings but that’s the beauty of it.
John: That’s what it is about.
Aylin: That the feeling we had in that exact moment is conveyed. And sometimes this is much more important than playing it perfectly.
It’s simply dope to have your own tape!
Lukas from Deep Dyed, July 2020.
When you (Aylin) told me about the band last year I thought you were making music and then you would put it on some streaming service. And then a big surprise – signed at La Pochette Surprise Records! How did that happen?
John: Velvet from La Pochette Surprise Records was a keys point in the process. I did play with a band signed to this label before we created Deep Dyed. The name of the band was Strato. That’s when I got to meet Velvet. So we stayed in contact here and there through Social Media and all. We always checked on the others stuff that was going on.
Aylin: And Martin …
John: Exactly, Martin played drums for Strato. He’s playing for Swutscher now and he came to one of our shows and was like: ‘You have to show your stuff to Velvet.’ And up until that point we thought we would release it ourselves. So, we never thought about signing with a label because we wanted to do our own thing. But Velvet liked it and came to a rehearsal to hear the music live. He was excited about it and we agreed on releasing the EP through the label.
That’s romantic as well!
John and Aylin agree: Yes, super romantic!
You didn’t push it, it just happened!
John: Yeah, and Velvet somehow started this label by recording bands on tape. So it went full circle, with us recording on tape. And the label does release on vinyl too, but we wanted to start with a tape and see how it goes.
Friends and more
Let’s talk about the cassette for a minute.
Desert Muse Vintage is responsible for the cover art of your singles – Blue Levitate Hours and Trapped Inside A Maze. But she is from Tucson, Arizona.
How did this thrilling connection come together?
John: Right, that’s Carolina. She is my girlfriend. Long story… (chuckling) She does these art projects for many years now but mainly for herself. But all of us liked it so much and she decided to create these covers for us. It all fitted the music seamlessly.
Speaking of the singles, there is even a music video for Blue Levitate Hours.
Why didn’t you pick Orion as a single?
That’s such a good song and it is just left there, at the beginning of the tape.
Aylin: I don’t really know. Sure, Orion, I appreciate that you think it is a strong song! We do to, I would say. But somehow Blue Levitate Hours has …
Hauke: More energy in a way.
John: I think, that we wanted to bring attention to our music with a heavier song. And Orion is our first song on the cassette. Which makes Orion stand out a little more. Maybe we want to save that song for that moment.
We talked about that before, the video shoot, you guys drove outside the city for that.
Like today. Do you want to talk about that a little bit?
Lukas: We went to the Fischbeker Heide. That is a place a little bit outside of Hamburg. It is already a familiar place for us, we are actually there quite often. Because it is really cool when you can get out of the city from time to time. And regarding the story to the video – we never made any real plan for it. We just filmed a bunch of stuff and created a little motive out of that. And played around with it using material from one of our shows. I thought that had a good contrast, on the one hand you had the nature and on the other hand the band formation on stage.
John: Just like Lukas said, the video is a complete contrast to our song covers and EP cover for example. It’s just black and white. It’s just a bit reduced.
Who shot the video?
Aylin: Jonas filmed that! It was really great that we had him with us. Because we all know him and it was kind of nice because it was super familiar during the filming.
Lukas: It’s always cool to have friends who just do things like that. Not much was planned, we just were up for it, Jonas was up for it.
John: Actually we just drove off.
Aylin: It might have just been a relaxed day together.
John: Simply do it yourself.
Lukas: Actually we did the things without much pressure. I really think that this always results in good things.
Aylin: It is much more authentic when you put yourself into it a lot.
How does the band work and what happens with 2020?
We have already talked about the beginning of the band.
How can I picture that, four people have different ideas, are coming from different projects, they have some old stuff with them – how did you find your sound?
Hauke: Well, most of the time it’s either John or Aylin who delivers a song idea. Sometimes they already have in mind how it should sound like. But then we all put our own style, our own parts, into it. And that’s how it starts.
Aylin: And that is what I love about it. Having an idea and developing it into something that I could never have done alone. It’ s totally beautiful. The fact that such a thing can result out of it. That’s what makes it so special for me.
So does that mean that the whole band structure also runs in a totally democratic way?
John: So when I write a song I usually have a certain idea of what I want to do. But we all try to be quite open-minded. If someone is absolutely not okay with something, then we won’t go for it.
Aylin: Yeah and sometimes it depends on the song. When there is something that you want to get across as it is in your head! When you say, I imagined that this is exactly the feeling that came up when it was created. And then you say that it is important to you. Then that’s okay. So I would say that it really depends on the songs.
Lukas: About the sound again – how did we find our sound? Well I wouldn’t say that we found our sound. It is just like this: There is an idea and it is filtered by four different heads with different musical backgrounds, although we all listen to relatively similar music. But everybody has their own style, everybody has their own influences. And it’s just a mixture of our things and that’s where the sound comes from. It’s not like we were thinking: ‘Okay, we want to sound like that now.’ It’s just that it has developed because everyone has contributed.
Corona, Black Lives Matter, Trump is doing whatever he wants anyway, now even Kanye West wants to run for president.
So what do you think, will 2020 still end peacefully?
John: Well, actually it will, right? Actually you are supposed to think positive. I think we all learn a lot out of this year. I can say this for myself though.
Lukas: That America stuff, I think it will take some time until everybody is going to come to an agreement. Maybe the question is if people will ever agree on that. Corona, let’s just hope it doesn’t get any worse. Also with regard to concerts and so on, generally events in the cultural scene. We can only hope that there will be less and less restrictions.
Aylin: Well, saying: ‘My god, 2020 won’t end well!’ is kind of useless for me. Because it is not motivating. And that’s why I think that it will turn out fine. I hope so.
Hauke: We’ll try to make the best out of it either way!
If you’d like to lick a tape as well, yeah, here you go:
You can buy the cassette right here and thank you for checking out the interview!
Thanks to Deep Dyed for this wonderful Sunday, hope to see you soon! Also thanks for the translation and take care!
Text, interview & Polaroid pictures: René Biernath
Instant Film: Colour, For Use With 600