We met last week with David Frings (bass, vocals ), Chris Hell (electric guitar, vocals) and Frank Schophaus (drums) of FJØRT, one of the biggest and most exciting German post-hardcore bands, and had an interesting conversation with the three sympathetic gentlemen, who were especially interested in their new, already third panel “Couleur” turned. In the second part of our extensive interview, the trio told us one or the other detail about the recording process of the work.
artquery.info: You recorded “Couleur” together with Philipp Koch von Heisskalt, who in the past was too had already produced the Blackout Problems debut and the Van Holzen record. Why did you decide for him and how did the cooperation work in the end?
David: That was the result of drinking talks with Heisskalt and Phil [Philipp Koch]. At some point, Phil expressed a desire to produce a record from us. Of course we were very flattered – for me, Heisskalt is currently the best band in Germany. Phil is always the mastermind of the trappings to me. Not so the ripped creative, but rather very structured, which does not mean that he is not creative. We then decided that someday you could really do that. But the sound that really took us to the wall was the production he made with Van Holzen – together with Simon Jäger. That was so raw and brutal. When we were in pre-production demos, we decided that we did not want to sound that smooth and pearly again.
Chris: We just wanted to cut a slice off that sound.
David: Exactly. That sounded very honest to Van Holzen. We wanted to go into such a kind of sound. We then met and talked to him [Philipp Koch]. He was super happy about that, which in turn made us happy. I also just want to work with people who also like it. If you go to a top producer and you do not mind work and you prefer Fern, that will not get you anywhere. There was really fire in his eyes. In the whole process with him, it was very nice that we plunged into a musical landscape and spent hours turning around on any effects. Since Chris and I are completely freaked out. He then put every last bit of force into this plate. These were two very intense weeks. It was a lot of fun for us all and it was a different approach to the record, which was very important to us. Otherwise we have always written, pre-produced, then we have the engineeren and let record. That was another process for him now, which we liked a lot.
artquery.info: The next albums are now also being recorded by him!
David: We still have some never set. You have to keep everything clear in the whole area. Sometimes it also needs change. I mean, Clueso threw out his whole band because he said he needed a new thing, new air. There were certainly many friendships and acquaintances behind. I think that depends on what we are after. We have a very good team around us right now. We love to work with the people we know very well, but you do not know what the air is like at some point. Maybe we want to record the next record in the Scottish Outback on our own or take a Schlager producer with us. No idea!
artquery.info: I imagine the latter to be adventurous.
David: Yes! What is the air for us? This time it was that we thought we could do well with Phil and that will be a good time. Phil also has an incredible hunch of melody about the genre. Another opinion to hear from someone who is also in the field is cool. If that still has this technical know-how, that’s cool too.
artquery.info: For the first time, you really worked with a producer.
David: Exactly, before that was that’s always an engineer. We went to the studio and just recorded the record. Now this was the first time that you ever discussed in detail about songs again. The one we recorded this before mixed the record this time.
artquery.info: That was for your first two albums and the EP then always Phil Hillen from the Su2 studios near Saarbrücken. You have now recorded the new album in the Toolhouse Studios in Rothenburg an der Fulda. That was new again for you. Why do you have as recorded and how were the shots in the end?
David: We had looked to the “contact” schonmal the Toolhouse. But you have to say that this is already such a Nashville [Note: known for its antique studios] of Germany, because of this incredible equipment, what is in there. You do not just pay for it from your home savings. In the “contact” we could have done that, but we could not afford it financially and did not necessarily need a change of scenery.
This time we wanted to record, because the drum sound is awesome. (Frank nods in the background) You go there mainly because of the drums. Then we said that we do the drums and the rest elsewhere. For us as a band, however, the sense of community is always very important. For us, it was important that we are all in one place for 14 days and spent every minute with music. That was great.
That’s not just the studio there – there’s a small football pitch, then it was summer, it was warm – we had a very good time there. That’s just how it has grown. I say yes, maybe we record the next [album] in Scotland. I think we like to retire. If you told us that we would get some money and just go to Scandinavia or something to record a record, we would all say yes directly. That would be right for us. I think I could not record a record here well in Cologne.
Unfortunately this is always financially dependent. This is very nice, that at the moment a lot of people are interested in our music and many people buy such a record. This of course gives you the opportunity to be in a studio where you can capture your sound in the best possible way. That is always a spiral, which one then goes on. We will always do it like that. If you put down another 17 euros for a vinyl, I owe it to myself that I am working intensively on my songs in a great studio.
artquery.info: Musically you are already venturing some experiments on “Couleur”, such as for example, the synth, which is placed over the reef at “Eden”. Is it hard for you to get out of your comfort zone?
Chris: Actually, that’s not hard at all. Trying out such things is a lot of fun. We also always have the urge to try things out. You just sometimes have the feeling that this does not fit into a song. In “Kontakt” we also have two or three places where a piano is played. That was perfect and the idea to install a piano was already longer. That was already the case with the new elements. We are very open to such ideas. In “Eden” we heard this chorus and David had that melody in his head.
David: We always record the demos in the rehearsal room and then take it home. I heard this tune permanently when the reef was running. Even when it was not even there. Then I told Chris how cool I think he plays this tune on guitar. Chris reacted a little confused and just said he was playing chords. But I’ve always heard that tune in my head. That ran with me. Then I programmed it at some point as I heard it and the two understood what I meant. (laughs)
In the studio we tried a lot of replicas for a long time. At home we do not have the greatest opportunities to work with synths. At some point we had that in the studio so far that we thought it was ok, but that sounded stupid in the mix. Then we just took the demo sample, which is now on the record too.
artquery.info: I think that if you have something cool, then it’s just as good or even better to reproduce also very difficult.
David: Was so at Madsen too! They also recorded a record as demos in the rehearsal room, which they then wanted to recorrect in the studio. That was not what they wanted it to be, so they took the rough version out of the rehearsal room. Sometimes you have the feeling in there a lot more.
Maybe the next FJØRT album will be pure hit if t
he band really is not afraid to try something new. We are curious. If the trio continues to work at their pace, we should be able to hold the band’s fourth album in early 2019. But first there is the third part of our interview with the guys, where bass player David is allowed to talk about so called “worried citizens” in rage.
The first part of the interview is here.
“Couleur” will be released on 17.11 at Grand Hotel Van Cleef and can be found here & here *
And that sounds like this:
Website / Facebook / Instagram
FJØRT live 2018:
18.01.18 – Münster, track 22 (additional show!)
19.01.18 – Münster, track 22 (sold out!)
01/20/18 – Hannover, Musikzentrum
21.01.18 – Berlin, Lido
22.01.18 – Dresden, Beatpol
23.01.18 – Leipzig, Werk 2
24.01.18 – AT – Vienna, Chelsea
25.01.18 – Munich, electricity
26.01.18 – Stuttgart , Universam
01/27/18 – Saabrücken, JUZ Försterstraße
01/28/18 – Wiesbaden, Schlachthof
01/29/18 – Cologne, building 9
1/30/18 – Hamburg, Knust
Photo by Andreas Hornoff.
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