Interview with Blueneck


Blueneck tour started on 6-th of October. A few days before the tour AZH had met with the band leader Duncan Attwood. 
AZH: How did you begin working with Denovali? Is there any difference between this label and British labels? 
We met the guys at Denovali a few years ago when they asked to release a vinyl version of Scars of the Midwest and also appear at the first Denovali Swingfest festival. We immediately became friends and we then released The Fallen Host jointly with EMI and Denovali... after that I decided that I loved the passion and the way that Denovali treat their bands and just felt that now was the right time to start releasing records exclusively through Denovali.
They have become our friends, family almost, and for that reason alone I am happy to be working solely with them. Im sure there are other like minded English labels that are similar to Denovali...but ive not found one yet....i have a lot of respect for what Timo and Thomas at the label do .....they work VERY hard for their bands.
AZH: How the Repetitions' idea development goes, and tell us about the conceptual difference between Blueneck albums? 
I think its best to answer this very simply...otherwise you might need 100 pages for me to explain the exact thought process of each album. Theres a lot of depth to the concept of each album we have released and the feel and concept behind each one is very similar... However, i think Scars of the Midwest was a very desperate, melancholic overall sense of being lost and confused, The Fallen Host was once again melancholic but also had a lot of aggression and anger. With Repetitions though, i think the overall sense of the record is that there is an acceptance of feeling hopeless and sad  - its like there is no way out of this situation... but that feeling has been embraced... and in some ways its almost as if you are enjoying the pain. Does that make any sense at all? Its perhaps a little like being on morphine.
AZH: Tell us a little about album's artwork. How the idea of the picture came up and who was working on it? If  listen songs on ipod, artwork changes it's tone from song to song. 
The illustrator was a girl called Emily Golden, she also does artwork for a band called the Pirate Ship Quintet - a few years ago i asked her to do some illustrations for us....we never used them...but then i remembered the design and thought it would be perfect for Repetitions....we then adapted her illustration slightly...adding wear and age to the design and also added in the 3 'dots' - this then makes a link to the track 'ellipsis' really pleased with it...its my favourite cover out of the 3 albums...and also looks great as a tee shirt!
With regards to the artwork changing on the ipod - yes...we did that for a reason...but i'll leave it for you to decide why we did that! :) 
AZH: Why did you choose Bristol to record your last album? 
We didnt neccessarily choose Bristol....we chose the producer and the studio - which happened to be in Bristol. Ive worked with Mat Sampson before...and i was aware that he and his studio were very much capable of producing a warm and deep sound. We had a lot of vintage analogue gear at our disposal and the whole recording proces was just very pleasant. 
AZH: If your music could get physical realisation, what could it be? (how can you describe it?) 
I  personally feel that Repetitions is the sensation of being in incredible pain... but so much so that you start to enjoy it to an extent... a very strange sensation...almost like you cannot feel anything anymore... you are numb... but you still know that the pain is there...  its hard to explain but hopefully you kind of know what i am talking about?
AZH: How the surrounding affects your music? 
The surroundings i think are an important aspect of makign music. With the first 2 albums we were recording in the middle of nowhere - it was very cold and bleak... and i think that reflects on the recording... for Repetitions we were locked up in a basement of a town house with no windows and just fairy lights as lighting... so we were once again isolated and trapped... but this time there was a warmth to our isolation. 
AZH: Are you planning to make any visualisations for songs from new album? You only have video on Lilitu. Whether there will be something new? 
We have been in talks over the last few weeks about making videos for Ellipsis and Pneumothorax. The director we are going to work with has had some amazing ideas - im looking forward to work commencing on these. 
AZH: How did Blueneck participants come together? 
I think its a very similar story to other bands. It was just a bunch of friends  - and we just regularly got together to play around with little ideas... eventuially those little ideas became songs... and it was a natural progression to then make it an official band 
AZH: Did you notice some changes in your life, since Blueneck started to work as band? 
I've had dramatic changes in my life over the lifespan of blueneck... Those changes and events have influenced a lot of the songs that i have written for the band. I'm not going to go into any detail... but its fair to say that my life has been a rollercoaster ride full of major ups and downs 
AZH: What your expectations about this European tour? Any expectations about gigs in Ukraine? 
We've toured in Europe before...each tour and each show on that tour can be very theres nothing that i would neccessarily 'expect' from this tour...what i hope is that just like on the last tours, we visit some amazing places, see some old friends that we have made on previous tours and also make some more friends that will hopefully become lifelong friends. We're VERY lucky to be in the position to experience such amazing things such as visiting new countries and cities and exploring different cultures.
Regards to Ukraine - obviously we now just have the one show in Kiev - its sad that we were unable to do all three shows...but because of that it will make the Kiev show even more special... We've already made friends with some amazing Russians and Ukranians and im really lookign forward to meeting these people.
AZH: What stereotypes do you have about Ukraine?
H a h!!... Well all i have heard is that the drivers are really crazy, the roads are full of potholes, the border takes a ridiculous amount of time to cross and that the women are some of the most beautiful women in the should be interesting!!
AZH: Could you describe your perception of the audience in different countries? 
I will describe mainland and Eastern Europe from what i have experienced before... The main thing that always amazes me is just how respectful, knowledgable and passionate that the music fans in europe are...its almost as if they feel priveleged to be at the show... And in return that reflects back on us as a band and makes US feel amazingly priveleged to be playing our music to such wonderful people... Like i said before... We are VERY lucky people to be doing what we do. 
AZH: Tell us about the strangest place, you used to play ever? 
Hmmm... This is a tricky one. We've played in some 'different' places - for example in Katowice we played in a venue that had vintage american cars in the venue with smoke machiones and bubbles that covered us whilst we played!! that was weird!...there was also a time when a VERY big German man in Frankfurt threatened to kill us all if we ever came back to Germany...he was very drunk... and he didnt pay to see blueneck play...he just stumbled into the venue... and didn't really like the music!!  
AZH: Is there any place you want to play? 
I'd love to play in Tokyo... it would be a wonderful experience, that and the West coast of the USA. These places are far away though, and very expensive to get to... perhaps one day! 
Taras Khimchak and Margaryta Kulichova



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