I Get Intrigued by Emotions and Black Magic
“What would be your perfect setting to write music or lyrics?” NIKLAS: “I mean, Anttoni does all the lyrics. So the lyrics came later on. I would like to try. I never have been in the position where I have the lyrics and then write the music later on.” – I ask: “Well and how about the composing? Where and how does that work best?” Once more everybody’s thoughts force out in the same moment. ANTTONI wins this competition: “I get intrigued by emotions that I feel and usually they’re there because of something – I don’t wanna generalize too much – but it’s something negative that I need to process. And that is giving me the urge to put it on paper or into lyrics. So the perfect setting would be something horrible, basically to get the inspiration to have the need to vomit out what you need to do. So it’s a tough one.” NIKLAS: “It what you can’t really plan it. Sometimes I go into the studio and like ‘today, I write music’ and I get nothing done. And sometimes I just sit there by accident and play around with something and then ‘hell, this is great’. And then I end up like …” ANTTONI: “If you picture a perfect day, you’re not doing music. I mean it’s like having a perfect day, you enjoy the day, right”, looking at NIKLAS who says: “Well there was this one song that gotta get out while I was like in the middle of the night last autumn walking the dog in the rain and it was cold as fuck. And the rain was like this [he waves his hands towards his face] and suddenly I had this thing Linde had played on the demo on my mind, and it repeated in my mind. And I didn’t get it off. And I brought the dog back home and then I headed to the studio and then like in the morning: ‘now it’s good!” He sips from his drink and putting the glass back on the table he adds: “And it still is!” ANTTONI: “So getting back to your question, there is no perfect setting. It’s imperfect. It always needs to be imperfect to be able to …”
I am reminded to an earlier interview with a band having all the fun friends can have but their music is always sad. “Is it the same with you that good stuff doesn’t need this kind of processing?” ANTTONI: “Yeah, yeah, that stuff that makes you mad.” – I wonder: “And good stuff can’t make that mad?” ANTTONI: “No the good things are for each other.” – “They make you happy”, NIKLAS says and ANTTONI continues: “You don’t have to process the good stuff.” NIKLAS: “I mean, if you’re happy, it’s very hard to make anything.” ANTTONI: “Of course not! I can’t really see the point of shouting out that I am so fucking happy.” He laughs. We laugh. “I can’t see the point of that. Nor do I see the point of four grownups doing it together …’We’re so happy … and lucky … and skilful”, ANTTONI sings in a pitchy voice. In the meantime, it takes NIKLAS three attempts to point out “We’re still a positive band!” – “Of course, of course we are”, ANTTONI replies. “That’s the light in the end of the tunnel. That’s it. But everybody can grasp this idea of …” NIKLAS wins over: “The thing with Flat Earth is, because I think, the tone of the planet, of the Earth is Hertz, I think, is resonating in 432 Hz. All the time.” I really love to go on with my questions but I can’t fight my laughing any longer. ANTTONI says: “We’re nothing but vessels” in an excited voice. NIKLAS: “I think 7 Hz but it’s flat, it’s flat fucking system.” ANTTONI: “The system is flat?” NIKLAS: “Yeah and also the Earth’s resonance tone is flat.” ANTTONI laughs with me. “Just to keep it shallow”, he sums up ironically and NIKLAS hms supporting. It’s quiet for about two seconds, and I am back to normal, I think: “I feel like being back at school in a physics lesson.” But this only starts over the vocal chaos. “I am intimidated so much right now”, ANTTONI says overexcited, laughing again. NIKLAS: “My physics teacher back at school and she always threw me out of class, so I didn’t learn anything and that is why I come always up with this stuff. Have read it somewhere.” ANTTONI and me laugh out loud again. I mumble somehow that Niklas must have learned still a lot more on this topic than I have. “Think of the big amount of black magic that this guy has done to be able to be this vessel”, ANTTONI explains forcing his laughter down. “Scary”, he adds. I agree. Somehow.
Stay Grounded or Get Grounded!
I take a deep breath and Niklas another sip from his glass. “Is there a lesson you guys have learned from your time as a band already?” ANTTONI slowly: “Many. Many. I would say, I learned the most.” And NIKLAS says very dryly: “Don’t steal my beer!” And ANTTONI goes on with very much momentum in his voice: “Yeah! Don’t touch another man’s beer. And one of the things that hit me the most was with these guys that they told me not to elevate too much.” NIKLAS laughs as ANTTONIS says: “They told me to stay grounded. And I respect that so much. Because that has a lot from their past that they don’t wanna be a part of a nonsense kind of a circus, I mean people-wise. And I’ve been trying to learn that. But obviously for me it’s a bit tough because I am experiencing many things for the first time. And I try my best to make the guys feel like they can be proud of me. And then they would actually see that I am not only listening but learning at the same time.” NIKLAS add a very dry: “Yeah! Stay grounded or get grounded!” In this moment all quietness and tension bursts out in form of another heavy laughter from ANTTONI. “Yeah”, he mumbles in between and it somehow includes the message: Learned that already perhaps not the smoothest way. “Some sort of pretty much”, ANTTONI says and NIKLAS continues: “I mean”, in a serious voice, “we’re not brutal but we can be.” Weird images pop up in my mind and I better not speak of them in detail. ANTTONI, however, points out: “I haven’t witnessed that brutal side yet! But if I just stick to behaving well, maybe I won’t.” NIKLAS mumbles half loud: “We’re doing a good job.” On this, the guys need to toast. “Maybe cheers?” – “Yeah, !” NIKLAS says quietly: “It would be awful to be grounded on a tour bus.” And I had just regained my countenance. Damn. Lost again. “Yeah, yeah”, agrees ANTTONI while NIKLAS extends the thread: “… in the bay!” ANTTONI: “And for me it is wonderful ‘cause I get to become a band with these guys that have so many miles on them – too many miles. And I get to be the clown of the pack. I get to do that like … you like that? You like hugging?” It is hard to describe what’s going on here. Surely we are amidst a very serious and most important interview and perhaps at one of the most critical points when ANTTONI shows how this hugging could work. “I love hugging! Let’s try it out. So I get to take the shit out of everybody. Nobody’s telling me anything. So I get to irritate the shit out of everybody and no one’s telling me anything ‚cause they enjoy the energy that I have.“ NIKLAS has a perfect idea to attract perhaps mostly female fans: „In our concerts in the merch stands maybe you get free hugs?“ Well, it will work with me and ANTTONI is laughing, of course. „Free hugs, licks, everything! So I love the idea of giving these grownups some shallow love.“ NIKLAS: „Yeah, yeah, he has energy. Yeah, I mean, my batteries were almost dead when I started and now they’re recharged.“ ANTTONI is still laughing. Me too.
„Anyway after show, will guys come to meet the fans at the merch?“ NIKLAS: „If it’s not too far away.“ ANTTONI: „I’ll be there, of course. I’m trying to make the battle to come, it doesn’t matter …“ NIKLAS: „It always depends. Well now, we might have more time to do that because most likely we are the support band. But if you’re the headliner, sometimes they close the venue so fast that they’re all gone.“ – „Yeah, definitely“, I agree. NIKLAS: „So then, there is no point. I did it in Switzerland.“ – I ask: „In Pratteln?“ – „Yeah. Helped at the merch.“ ANTTONI: „How did it go?“ NIKLAS: „We sold more stuff.“ – Supporting I say: „Definitely you will but then of course, it has to come from the heart and fit the personality.“ NIKLAS: „No, like it is fun. I know, every day, you can’t do it, I mean. If you’re not too tired than you can make it. It is fun. You meet the people, you get feedback from them, it’s nice. Because you see the guys of the band and you’re locked with them in some vehicle for the other time. So at least you meet new faces.“ ANTTONI: „And it’s about balance. And with these guys I can trust that they know their balance. They know what they can do and when not to do stuff.“
„I mean on the other hand it might every demanding to meet so many people, process all the information and that on the end of a long day full of other work?“ NIKLAS: „Yeah it is.“ – „So I think it can be both fun and demanding.“ ANTTONI: „And the way I see it it’s not like that“ NIKLAS: „But if you’re not in the mood you should not do it. Because you go there and might give out the bad mood.“ – „Yeah, although not necessarily the bad mood“, I explain. NIKLAS: “Yeah if you don’t feel like you better not go at all. You don’t force yourself. You need to be enjoying it. And I used to think it’s fun and then I go and used to help our merch guy. I see it as fun. He is my friend. We had a good time and talk to people. No problem.“
My next question is actaully basically the matching the band members with … thing. I thought the superhero topic had become a bit boring and went for something different. How about the „League of Extraordinary Gentlemen“, especially as the band fits the title in my perspective. But then … „and you are familiar with the movie or the comics?“ NIKLAS: „Äh thank you.“ ANTTONI laughs yet again „Well, thank you?!“ he repeats laughing, „a good day to you as well.“ NIKLAS: „Actually I have seen the movie but I can’t remember it.“ ANTTONI: „Yeah, I know the movie. I only remember Sean Connery.“ – „That would be Allan Quatermain“, I explain. NIKLAS to ANTTONI: „You are Sean Connery.“ – „Are you?“ I ask surprised. ANTTONI: „Probably not.“ NIKLAS: „He has a nice accent.“ ANTTONI: „You would be the Sean Connery of our league“, ANTTONI says to NIKLAS: “I have to practice my Scottish!”
I try to safe my idea by extending the frame to supervillains and characters from other movies or books they might choose. ANTTONI: „Oh fuck. That’s so farfetched.“ NIKLAS: „I don’t know but Gas is Buddha.“ ANTTONI, yes, he laughs, of course. „Gas is Buddha?“ NIKLAS speaks on but as ANTTONI is too loud I can’t really get what he says. „And Niklas and Linde, they’re both angles“, ANTTONI determines. “ …. and there are many Buddhas“, NIKLAS explains ignoring ANTTONI’s: „… Angels.“ – „I was on an Island in Japan and there were some 700 Buddhas. So there is one for everyone. I think, Buddhas, we are. We are Buddhas!“ – „All of us???“ ANTTONI’s voice exceeds the highest level of overexcitement shown earlier today now. Easily. NIKLAS: “There are different ones.“ But ANTTONI highlights: „I’m not ready for being Buddha.“ No problem for NIKLAS: „You are young Buddha! Apprentice!“ – „Yeah?!“ I am laughing. No one could sit here now and remain really serious. „I’m apprentice“, ANTTONI replies not exactly happy with his new role in the universe. He laughs and says: „No it’s such a weird question.“ NIKLAS: „No, it’s hard to figure out. Superheroes – of course, everybody wants to be Superman. But…“ – A very surprised „Really???“ bursts out of me because no one ever has wanted to be Superman before when I asked, not even related another band member with him. „Yes. Don’t you?“ NIKLAS asks ANTTONI who sums up their super powers „Niklas is super in walking the dog. I’m super in cooking. And Linde is super in taking care of cats.“ NIKLAS: „Still Buddha is one I will hire.“ ANTTONI: „Buddha is the only superhero that we have!“ NIKLAS: „They make them out of gold somewhere.“ ANTTONI: „Yeah, crazy.“ NIKLAS: „Imagine a Buddha statue of all of us made of gold!“ ANTTONI: „I try not to! Or not too often“, he smiles. What will they make with my actual odd question, strikes my mind.