Do you remember the Bundesvision Song Contest? No, that's not the huge media spectacle that…
Interview with Laing about “Fotogena” and the current tour
With “Fotogena” there is already album no. 3 of the Berlin band Laing in the starting blocks. For over five years, Laing is one of the only full-fledged bands – ok, except for the drummer on tour – and always for little indie pop hits (check out our critique on the last album HERE). We met Marisa, Nicola, Johanna and Josefine (in the photo from left to right) for you in Cologne before their last gig (HERE our report on the concert) in 2018 – in a small, very warm backstage room. Unpainted, slightly bruised from the day before, but still very cordial. In between many sandwiches and finger food and the following talk:
harena.info : 2013 only “Paradise Naive”, then 2014 “Change the lighting”, now “Fotogena” – what has happened Have you ever changed your sound? How did it develop?
Laing / Nicola: We just had a break that was longer than planned. But after seven, eight years of intense touring, studio and being on the road, I wanted to step back first of all, to make new music. The original plan was to question everything and think a little bit. And, funny enough, I’m almost lost in the Valley of Opportunity. The more people you ask, the more opinions you get. The problem then is: what some find impossible, the others will find just right! At some point I had so many opinions that I was virtually at zero and neither came forward nor back. But when the deadline for the album came, I had so much pressure on it that I looked at everything again and returned to the original idea and the original sound. It’s still a bit different in my eyes, but a logical continuation of where we came from and no break.
harena.info : What happened to you after the last one? Tour?
Laing / Marisa: We were at the Eurovision Song Contest preliminary round, which was quite a highlight. Plus two gigs in Brussels and New York that were fat. Everybody else has done a little bit of his own.
harena.info : ESC is a good keyword! Besides, you were already at the Bundesvision Song Contest by Stefan Raab! Are you finally out of the competition or are you in the mood for it?
Laing / Marisa: In general, a competition is not what really appeals to us. At the Bundesvision, we were previously a relatively small, unknown band and it was a good springboard to get more attention. And the ESC was something special, so you had the opportunity to compete for Germany in the best case. In retrospect, we are glad that we did not become the last. But it was fun, you can say that.
Laing / Nicola: I always find the ESC particularly interesting if you have the self-confidence to perform in the local language. There is English pop music all over the world, which is cool and awesome, but that last year a Portuguese won in his own language with his own music, I really loved it. It was just his thing and you could feel like Portugal and recognize the typical of the country. In general, however, such competitions are too double-edged for us. We were even asked again for both competitions if we would join again, but the situation is so charged – you can be catapulted totally on the one hand as the BuViSoCo. We were the 2nd place and it was like a classic breakthrough, suddenly we were there somehow. On the other hand, there are always the last – we stood on the triumphant side, but also saw the people who stood on the edge with a broken self-confidence and are ashamed. Even as a winner, it’s kind of uncomfortable. If we can do it, we want to avoid it as a band.
harena.info : There was something else new – you have a soundtrack to the German movie “Safari – Match Me If You Can “made! How did that happen?
Laing / Nicola: Actually through our last record! The director Rudi Gaul became aware of Laing by his wife and has always heard the last album of the script on which “Safari” is written. There are a lot of relationship constellations in the film, just as there are often relationship constellations in Laing songs and it has a bit of back and forth. Actually, it was all about the one song “Safari”, but then he offered that there should be a complete soundtrack. So I finally have all the music
harena.info : Would that be something you feel like doing again?
Laing / Nicola: Sure, definitely , It’s very nice to make music without having to think of a content. In a movie scene there is already the feeling, the dialogue and the story – you do not have to write the text.
harena.info : Josefine, you are new! How is the feeling for you and how did happiness come about?
Laing / Josefine: Nicola and I have mutual acquaintances and so I came to this post. We met, got to know each other and understood each other well. Then I went to the studio and we tried a bit, both old and new songs. Finally, I was allowed to get to know the other girls and I was already there. For me, this is definitely a totally nice, new challenge. I’ve already done music before, but not in this context. And a women’s band is also pretty cool. The other three have much more experience – but I can hold on to that. I’m the newbie and I need a little bit longer for the choreos and …
Laing / The Others: It exaggerates! (everyone laughs)
harena.info : But it seems like it’s fun! Was the concert in Berlin your first? (Editor’s note: first concert after the album release)
Laing / Josefine: Yes, the first long concert. We played smaller gigs before, the longest one being one hour ago. But that was the first major one now with our songs and our fans who were there just for us. That was very nice.
harena.info : You decided to play two concerts in small clubs – once Berlin, once Cologne. In January, then follow larger locations and the actual tour! Did that have a reason why it started in the small frame?
Laing / Nicola: We really felt like doing something this year. In addition, the experience says that it always takes a listener a while to dive into an album properly. It’s a lot of fun to play new songs, but when we play the old guys, all fans always think, “Yeah, I know the lyrics”. That’s why we have the right tour in January, so that since the release half a year in between. Nevertheless, we wanted to say “hello” with the two gigs and somehow get warm.
harena.info : At the end I have three short questions for you to fix on as possible may answer! # 1: If you had to play a new cover spontaneously tonight, what would you choose?
Laing (think long): What did we hear in the car today …? (think again).
Laing / Marisa: “Ok Cool” by Yung Hurn. We just think the hook is so cool.
Laing / Nicola: We used to say that before, so “Ok, cool”, but when we say that now, we always think ” Ok, we are in the song “.
harena.info : Very cool! # 2: Who should make a song with you or who would you like to perform?
Laing / Marisa: There was an idea that Stromae would be pretty cool.
harena.info : Can I imagine! Watch out! And last – at what concert were you last?
Laing / Marisa & Josefine: Here at Herbie Hancock in Berlin in the Admiral’s Palace.
Laing / Nicola: I’ve also been to the Admiral’s Palace, but to Burt Bacharach.
Laing / Johanna: I can not remember the name … (everyone laughs) … it’s awesome well-known band … (thinks about half a mi
nute) Massive Attack!
harena.info : You know them, you’re right! They are not so unknown! Thank you for your time & have a great tour in January!
Laing : We thank you!
You can buy the album “Fotogena” here. *
And that sounds like this:
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Laing Tour 2019:
17.1. Cologne, Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld
18.1. Magdeburg, Moritzhof
19.1. Leipzig, Dove Valley
20.1. Hamburg, Mojo
22.1. Munich, Ampere
23.1. Heidelberg, Hall02
25.1. Essen, Carl colliery
26.1. Bremen, Warehouse
27.1. Osnabrück, Warehouse
29.1. Frankfurt, Zoom
30.1. Hannover, Music Center
31.1. Berlin, Astra
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