Germany's latest 'cool kids' are F*ck Art, Let's Dance!. However, these guys haven't risen from the arty clubs of Berlin's music scene but rather Hamburg. They're currently signed to Hamburg based label Audiolith and have just released their debut album 'Atlas'. The album draws influences from early Foals and Friendly Fires but their more cerebral approach to the electro indie genre is what is capturing fans' attention. F*ck Art, Let's Dance! are more than just another silly band name and it's not a commandment either, it's a way of life as the band explains...
Contactmusic: We have to ask about the name - was it for effect?
F*ck Art, Let's Dance!: F*ck Art, Let's Dance! isn't just a plain name for a band. It also isn't for effect. It describes our personal state of mind and the lifestyle we have accepted over the years. F*ck Art, Let's Dance! is an outcry against the predominant society clinging to their morals and fake attitudes. We want people to burst from their chains of submission. We want people to forget about this mundane, repetitive, normal life. We want them to feel and embrace who they really are with this motto.
CM: You're famed for having quite energetic live shows - can you describe to us what a FALD live show is like?
FALD: The best way to describe it is this: People are gasping for whatever arid air is left in this overcrowded venue. Hands are being thrown insanely towards the ceiling as if everyone was eagerly awaiting a prophetic entity. Most of the people I can glance at are closing their eyes. The strobe lights are illuminating this attractive, insatiate young lot which become a symbiotic unity while listening to the hypnotic sounds of F*ck Art, Let's Dance!. Each second lets me embrace this eclectic trance. Each touch with another person lets me feel their passion and desires. Sweat is pouring from everyone's bodies. This band has earned the sweet nectar of success. I turn around and I stare directly into the band's frontman's eyes. He yells at me and simultaneously I do it too. There are no words left. It's ecstasy.
CM: You guys are from Hamburg, what's the city like in terms of music?
FALD: We have three types of music in our hometown. First, there is a genre called "Hamburger Schule" which roughly translates to "School of Hamburg". You could say it's indie rock music, but there's a certain charm to it that makes it unique. The sound is very sophisticated and all bands share a common trait. They sing in German and also have a strong lyrical and emotional connection to their town.
Second, "Heavy Metal". There's a webpage where people around Hamburg can get together to form bands and almost every entry is about doing heavy metal. There's so much heavy metal around here.
There's a festival called "Wacken" held here and always messes up the traffic! I personally don't really like that genre but the people listening to it are very attentive and polite. I like these folks.
Last but not least, there's "Electronic Music". There are many clubs which can provide you with repetitive technoid beats for hours to come. There are DJs, but there's no one more famous than Digitalism. They've combined electronic, fast-paced music with elements from a typical band. We wanted to go in this direction ourselves. Electronic synth heavy music but played by a band.
CM: Can you recommend to us some cool Hamburg based bands/labels?
FALD: If you want to know what "Hamburger Schule" might be, then you should check out Tomte. They're one of our favourite bands of our youth. Dreams and tears have been shed while listening to them.
Vierkanttretlager. We're sharing our rehearsal room with these guys and have become very good friends in the last couple of years. They have some heavy hanseatic folk tunes up their sleeves.
Findus. A really good German punk band. They've just recently released their new album which is available for streaming on Spotify.
Audiolith Records is not just a label, they are our home and family. Great friendships have been woven and we're spreading the love as well. They've helped us tour the world and bring our music to you. We're very thankful for everything they've done for us, especially founders Lars and Artur.
If you're looking for German techno you should check out Diynamic Music or Jeudi Records.
CM: What were your biggest musical influences when making the record?
FALD: The biggest influence of them all was the situation that we've left our home and moved to another city to record our first album. We didn't have any money and had to stay at the places of people we'd just met recently almost constantly. Sometimes we had to stay in the same room for weeks. It had the atmosphere of a den full of hungry and mad lions. We've been struggling but we have emerged from the ashes of our former selves just like the mythical phoenix. This has become a grand part of our debut album's musical interpretation.
CM: How did you guys get together in the first place?
FALD: Our friendship is getting close to 20 years now. We first met in primary school. I was in the same class with my guitarist and bassist. Our drummer joined us later when we attended different schools in 5th grade. When I look at the picture of our 6-year-old selves I always have to laugh at how goofy we were back then. We've evolved so much since then, and being a musician has certainly left its positive mark on us. We still believe that our journey is some kind of destiny.
At times we've lost contact, but always returned to the same places and celebrated these reunions. One day, we decided to form a band because we wanted to stir up the local music scene. We weren't content with going to concerts just to stand in the middle of a crowd that puts their hands in their pockets, being all reserved. We wanted to concerts to be lunatic. So we started F*ck Art, Let's Dance! with this goal in mind.
CM: How are UK audiences compared to those in Germany?
FALD: We recently played at Proud Gallery in London. It was an amazing experience for us, returning to the UK 11 years later after my first visit as a young 14-year-old; as part of a band it was a completely different experience. The audience was having fun even before we started playing, while sound-checking our songs. They were thrilled from the very beginning. I was amazed by their warm-hearted welcome. We had a blast playing our songs and getting these people to get their groove on. The most distinctive difference is that a UK audience is more open to listen to you and letting themselves dive into it.
CM: Do you have any plans to come back to the UK?
FALD: We definitely have plans to come back to the UK. We're really looking forward to come back and visit all the people we've met during our trip to London. We're working together with the folks from "A Badge of Friendship" at the moment. We've really locked Claire, Paul and Ed into our hearts. We are set to play some dates in June in Inverness, Aberdeen, London and Glasgow - all the details should be on our Facebook page - www.facebook.com/faldmusic.
CM: How would you describe yourselves as 'personalities' in the band? Eg. who's the 'ladies man', the 'geek' and so on?
FALD: Our personalities are embodied in the depiction of animals.
The Brown Bear (Drummer) - He's very impulsive. He will not wait around to tell you what great idea he has in mind right now. Creativity is very important. Also tends to be more aggressive than others at times. Comes in handy on stage, when he needs to play like an epileptic mad man.
The Koala Bear (Vocalist) - He's able to entertain anyone who will ever meet him but this can also turn around 180 degrees. He then appears to be distant. This does not mean he is at all. Can be very emotional and sensitive but empathetic and caring too. Also likes to sleep ideally 20 hours a day.
The Lion (Bassist) - Has a mane on top of his head. He will be running around the stage every single second slamming on his bass feeling the groove going. He's very athletic, agile, quirky though a bit jumpy. He can also be very lazy.
The Owl (Guitarist) - Looks very majestic. He knows exactly what he's going for and plans his moves even before going on stage. He will analyse everything that crosses his path while carefully thinking about how to solve a situation logically and rationally. Is not good with guiding to a specific destination though.
CM: If we only had time for one track on the album, what would you recommend we listen to and why?
FALD: You should take the time to listen to the whole album - it's the first album we've ever made thus every track has a special meaning to us. "Atlas" has become a great part of our life, both personally and musically. We've encountered many ups and downs while working on it and it has changed the way we think. It has guided us on our journey to become better persons ourselves.
But if you really only have time for one track you should listen to "Hemisphere". This track got us pumped up so hard, that we instantly forgot about any fears and sorrows. I remember when I hit the play button and showcased the demo inside our van we went mental. Our drummer was holding his head out the window, while the rest was shouting and laughing. I remember the van rolling down an empty street. The orange glow of the city at night shining bright. And us. A couple of crazy, young and ambitious bandmates celebrating life. In this moment we realised that we've become a union, a family.
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