Del Osei-Owusu interviews Project CONCUBINE…
What’s the story behind Project CONCUBINE?
JERA: I was asked “What are you doing at the moment?” and I said spontaneously “I am involved in a music project called Project CONCUBINE.” Without the project having existed in advance or maybe it did. And that was it. I became a member of Project CONCUBINE. It was like a call. The state of mind, the Ivory Tower. Alright what next? Songs… Videos…Stage…..
HANJA: We fell from the sky to the earth. And here we are.
Describe your sound in three words?
HANJA: Electric, Energetic,
You are on a very short list of bands to be arrested at your first gig. Quite a label. On a scale of 1-10 how rock’n’roll did you feel after that?
HANJA: No comment.
JERA: I wasn’t aware of it. That’s funny. Is this something to be proud of? Okay, it is somehow really cool. I don’t know. Something in between, multiplied with two…minus…I am innocent. Plus rckNrll 4 life.
Your sound is unique in that it has no rules, how does a writing session begin for you?
JERA: Thank you. “No rules” — never heard that before about our songs. I like that. First rule… I have to get rid of myself… getting rid of myself means… just doing it. The head is full of ideas… thoughts impressions whatever… forget it… just do it. With that comes the easiness and the joy to listen to the song, to do what the song wants… and not what I want. Surrender.
Fuck Daddy is dark, both in music and lyrics how was it written?
JERA: The story behind Fuck Daddy was written before the song, or the idea for it existed. The song itself, honestly, just happened. Lyrics, structures were immediately clear. The drive behind it, explained itself. I just had to follow it. This was one of the surrender moments. It was just the question do we start the second chorus… with the ‘dropped queen’, or with the ‘gilt frame’? And I knew this song needs a female voice as well. The roots of it are dark and that shines still through. At the end it’s a dance song. “Give me my shiny shoes.” Shiny darkness. Here we go.
It’s different in sound to I’m Addictive, but dark nonetheless. What were the challenges that you faced in recording these songs?
HANJA: I mean we had no studio. And we were moving between three different places, during this time. Collecting video material, collecting sound ideas, meeting people.
JERA: When we recorded I’m Addictive, we were living in a kind of artist house. Painters, writers, musicians, film makers, and some freaks and lost souls. Name it. And it was a kind of squat. Or let’s put it this way. It was a squat. And there was this really crazy person, a painter, living in that house as well. And on regular occasions she was freaking out. You never knew when, you never knew why. 6 am. Midnight? Tea-time. It could’ve been everything. The sun. The rain. Paranoia. Hysteria. Anger. Joy. I don’t want to go into too many details. She was a really pretty girl and basically a nice person, an absolute magnet for lost male souls who were addicted to her. The song was written before we meet her. Ironically, if you are listening to the lyrics there are some similarities although I’m Addictive is about something different. It’s maybe a bit more romantic. The challenge was to keep the focus.
Jera you are also involved in the fashion world, how did you get started with that?
JERA: Somehow it was just a spontaneous idea. As a teenager, I was hanging around with some friends in this bar, Sandbox Booze, and there were these two women and a dude, came to us and asked me if I am a fashion model. So my friends were mocking me like “Damn… he is not a model…”, made some jokes out of it and so on. One of the women gave me their business card… which I lost, but this idea stuck in my mind “Yeah, why not? I’ll be a part of the fashion world. Basically I am already there. They just don’t know yet.” A few months later I found myself with an army of wild boys in Paris during the fashion weeks. A teenage idea, which became reality.
What are you listening to at the moment?
JERA: I’m absolutely in love with Mock & Toof’s Farewell To Wendo, a bit to Puscifer’s Condition Of My Parole, a bit to Soap & Skin. Vacant Lots, White Hills…
HANJA: TDA from Montreal….
JERA: Swing and Jazz as background music sometimes. There’s no particular artist, song or album I am listening to constantly at the moment.
HANJA: Like we did with Condition Of My Parole or David Lynch’s The Big Dream. These two albums are fantastic, but what makes them really great is the entire artwork of the artists behind of it. Especially David Lynch’s. You can listen to a song and think “Great. I love this” But for this “Wow” Moment, it needs more than “just” a good song for me.
JERA: I think Hyper Pop has got a lot of potential. And sometimes the biggest sound can be no sound at all.
What are you looking forward to next?
JERA: Continuing recording. Visiting gigs. Being back on stage.
HANJA: Space-control to mind-set. We love to turn things up and down. So be at our show.