German folktronica duo Milky Chance are taking the charts by storm with the success of their song Stolen Dance, and with the effortless fusing of genres displayed on their debut album Sadnecessary, we don’t think the well deserved hype will stop any time soon. To discuss the success of the record, blending genres, and old jazz bands, we gave Milky Chance’s Clemens Rehbein a call — enjoy!
AMBY: Thanks for speaking with us today, Clemens.
Milky Chance: You’re welcome. Thanks for the interview.
AMBY: It’s our pleasure. I have to start off by saying congratulations on the success of your debut Sadnecessary. Did you ever feel like the record would be as big of a hit as it has become, or did the success come to you as a surprise?
Milky Chance: It’s a very big surprise. It’s still hard to realize [laughs]. Even though our album is going abroad now, it’s very exciting but I’m still very surprised because I never had an expectations. It’s very cool.
AMBY: Congrats once again on everything. You and Philipp have known each other since the eleventh grade, but only released the album last year. Why release something now? Was there anything special about 2013 for you two, or the timing just worked out this way?
Milky Chance: When we met in school, we had a band for three years with three other guys. Phillip played guitar and I played bass. We played a lot of jazz and old soul tunes. I always wrote songs for my own, and when we finished school the band broke up because the guys went abroad and were doing some other things. Phillip and I decided to record the album then because it all just came along. There wasn’t even a plan. After we finished school, we recorded an album because we wanted to travel around Europe. That was our first plan. We recorded the album for fun, just to see how people react to it. It wasn’t the plan of releasing the album.
AMBY: Now you get to play the music and travel Europe.
Milky Chance: Yea! [laughs].
AMBY: After listening to the album, I really got a feel for how the band flawlessly fuses rock, folk, and electronic to create a distinguished sound. While recording, was it a conscious decision to blend all of these different genres?
Milky Chance: No. We recorded all of the songs in my parents’ old room, in the room we used to practice with the band before. We recorded all of the songs in that room for two weeks. We went back to the first floor of my childhood room [laughs] and started mixing songs together. We tried things out and it was our first time recording songs this way.
AMBY: As you mentioned, you were also in the jazz quartet known as Flown Tones. Did you ever feel like carrying over jazz nuances into Milky Chance’s sound?
Milky Chance: In a way; everything that I did before influenced me and I guess there’s something reggae or jazzy in it.
AMBY: In support of the album, you’ve been confirmed for a few festivals and headline shows. What’s the first thing you do when the band arrives in a new town while on tour?
Milky Chance: Looking out of the window of the car.
AMBY and Milky Chance: [laughs]
Milky Chance: We’re not the guys who have any rituals. It’s a new situation to travel that much, so we try to keep our experiences in our minds.
AMBY: In other interviews, you’ve mentioned how the scene in Germany is pretty diverse. Which artists should our readers give a listen to?
Milky Chance: There are a lot of great artists in Germany with different styles from jazz to electronic music… but I can’t give you a name though right now [laughs].
AMBY: Okay. Lastly, what’s something about Milky Chance that most people don’t know yet?
Milky Chance: There aren’t any special things, but we’re just two guys enjoying making music and having fun. Trying hard not to think about everything.
Thank you Milky Chance, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout