If you read my Top 2016 Albums, you should know I love the music from this German band called Wight. And as I missed them at Freak Valley Festival in 2014 because they played too early, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to move my ass in front of them atthe DesertFest Berlin.
So thanks to Mr. Black Kraken who was supposed to do a shooting for the band during the festival, he offered me to interview the Wight guys if I wanted to. I said a big YES, and here is below the great talk I had with the guys in their van, just before they jumped on stage, as the last band to play for that first DesertFest Berlin day.
Now that both the gig and the interview are things from the past, I can tell you I not only love Wight’s music, and even more during a concert, but I also had a very great time with these nice dudes and I hope to meet them again soon
Hope you fuzzers will enjoy the interview !
Hey guys, so psyched to see you play tonight, I've been waiting for this gig since a long time ! So is it your first time in Berlin at DesertFest?
No, we played five years ago at the first DesertFest in the Foyer Stage.
So it was different back then?
Yes only two stages, only the Astra venue. And also only Peter and I were in the band, with Michael, he was our former drummer. And shortly after that, we released our second album.
Okay, I see. Your last album is funkier than your previous releases right? So how and where does come the love for the funk? Why is it funkier now?
Two things. These two guys (pointing Thomas & Steffen). Who weren't in the band before. They are our new drummer and our new percussionist. And the other thing is I think Rene and I discovered funk and jazz at around the same time.
Yeah, we started listening Weather Report together. I mean Peter showed me Weather Report !
It’s a fusion jazz band from like 70's and he showed it to me and then we invented a lot of stuff. Also we discovered Herby Hancock and Stevie Wonder and a lot of jazz things from that area and it's all... it's kinda pre-prog, so it's very virtuous, but it's not as virtuous as Joe Satriani or Steve Vai.
It's really, really groovy, so it's funk and jazz mixture, and like I said quite virtuous, so it's very interesting for a musician. That's thanks to these bands I started learning the guitar even more. Wight is the first band where I play guitar, I was formerly only a singer.
And I think it makes a lot of fun to make this kind of music, you know, we are four musicians and we are all doing rhythm and this is so much funnier than playing slow and loud. I mean it's also fun, what really kicks us is when you have different rhythms and you match altogether to this one groove. This is the greatest thing, much better than playing loud or heavy.
People have to shake their asses too.
Yeah, yeah, sure. It makes your body move immediately.
You can either have a lot of ugly guys shaking their heads or you can have everybody shaking their asses.
Hahaha 🙂 so will you always try to sound different on each album, do you think you will still evolve?
I think this is a natural thing.
We don't aim for doing something different we just do what we do and see what happen.
We also get bored really easily. So with the first doom album we did we couldn't have done that a second time because we just wanted to do something different and so you cant... we can't force it, we just play what comes out of us, because all four of us, I think, get bored really easily it will always be changing. There will always be a progression.
And if I may say something. It's not like someone is writing all the songs alone. So it won't always be the same style of a solo-composer that will be represented in all the records, but it's just jamming together, so what each of us has in his head will just influence the new songs in the album.
So Rene you're a producer right ? And you have your own studio ? How did this influence the recording of your last album "Love Is Not Only What You Know" ?
Yes indeed I'm a producer and I do have my own studio.
I’m a guy who loves to try out a lot of things. I'm an experimental guy and if musicians don't want to make the experiments I want to do I do it with my own band. So for example Thomas he got this Tascam Midi Studio 484 and it's like the size of a cooking plate and it's an 8 track cassette recorder, you put normal cassettes inside and I was like 'This is so cool', I never tried something like this before and then we were together, only Thomas and I, we were in the rehearsal room and I said 'We got to try it out'.
Yeah ! We did a Nirvana cover !
We did a Nirvana track. So it was like five days before the 20th death day of Kurt Cobain or something, so I was checking out the shortest song of Nirvana, it was on "In Utero", Very Ape.
So we played it together and then I overdubbed on the cassette, I overdubbed the bass and the vocals, and I really, really enjoyed the sound, so I said 'Ah, fuck it! Let's just record our album it on cassette'.
Nearly everyone is saying something about the sound of the new album, they are like : 'This sounds so great' or they say 'It's not so heavy, it doesn't have a lot of pressure'
and then I say to them 'Yeah, there is not so much space on this little tiny tape'.
'So what kind of tape?'
'You recorded on cassette?!'
And then everybody likes it somehow just because of that fact we did it on this small cassette recorder.
For me it was also always important to record live, to represent the band, the performance of a sound...
As I said I'm an experimental guy and I think that there are so many ways to record, like how you did it in the 60's, how you did it in the 70's, how you did it in the 80's and even the 90's, like doing it very perfect and cut the drums and all that stuff, and nothing is wrong. Nothing is wrong. Everything has its aesthetics and I think that every sound in every song needs to get the right aesthetic to it in the production.
I'm very open minded to do anything. I'm also open to sample a song with the drums for example. Though I'd have to convince Thomas a little bit, but you know, I'm very open.
Wow on cassette indeed ! Cool that's really interesting. Now I have another question for you guys, do you feel part of this thriving stoner scene?
I grew with that scene. So when I was sixteen years old I... that was fifteen years ago.
[whisper] Black Sabbath.
No, it was not Black Sabbath. Fifteen years ago I saw Queens of the Stone Age one night on the television and I was like 'This is so great' and I... we just had the modem at home and I could check out a little bit on the internet, but didn't download anything.
So I went to the record store and was looking for CDs. So I asked the guy for Queens of the Stone Age. He said 'No I don't have it, but I have second hand LPs', I had a combi stereo turntable, but I didn't have any LP, so I bought like Nirvana and Kyuss on vinyl, because this guy from the record store he gave it to me: 'I don't have Queens of the Stone Age, but I have Kyuss'
'What is Kyuss?'
'Yah, it is before the Queens, from the Desert, blabla...'
Then I listened to Kyuss and he gave me Masters of Reality Live and he gave me something else.
So I just copied that on tape and went to see my school mate. We listened to Kyuss and we discovered it together, back then everyone was just listening to Korn and Slipknot and stuff like that. Then my friend's brother came in and said 'Who's listening to that?', and I was like 'Me'. So he burnt us CDs within one hour and it was Fu Manchu, Nebula, Crowbar, Corrosion of Conformity, Down and other stuff, and it was the first time I heard about this whole "Stoner Scene".
Yes indeed that's a good set of basics you got here !
And then yeah I dunno, like many years later I wanted to have a band. I found Peter here. He had nothing to do with that music.
Absolutely not, but the thing is I'm a metal guy, but I also played in blues band before, so I think that was the connection. I lived in Texas for a year and got to know ZZ Top, then I got into Stevie Ray Vaughn, that kind of stuff, I knew I wasn't really good at playing bass at the time, but I knew how to play the blues and that's how i think we connected.
Because in the end Stoner Rock is nothing but the blues, like a lot of overdrive, lot of heavy down tuning, but in the end the blues is always there.
So I think the Stoner Rock thing really played a very big role in the formation of this band and the first two album. I think we're kinda evolving from it now, which is kinda a cliché thing to say, but it's where we came from and now it's going into a different direction, but we still of course... we're playing at fucking DesertFest Festival right now, so... whether we want it or not we're still part of that scene, so if people in this scene are open minded enough to like it, great.
I think even in our funky songs you have some parts where you recognize that Stoner vibe.
Yeah, as long as you can smoke weed on it it’s okay.
And so have you seen this scene evolve since you started?
I don't know, somehow, our band exists since nine years already. We played five years ago in the first DesertFest, we played Stoned from the Underground, stuff like that, but we never kicked the people so much, because maybe we are one step behind or we are one step further, somewhere else, I don't know, I don't care.
Because in the end when we meet altogether and we have fun with the music we are doing, that's the reason why we are doing that. If I want to get a better position on the DesertFest or whatever, then I could decide to do music for this scene that it would fit better. But that's not the reason why we're making music and then we wouldn't make Stoner Rock, we would make German Pop, because we could earn some money with it, but we don't want to do it, you know, we're just doing this for ourselves.
Back when we released the first album we could have done something in the very same style for three times and we would have probably been bigger than we are now. But we just didn't. A lot of people still like the first album a lot, from the Stoner scene and we could have just stuck with this style, but we didn't because we just want to do something else.
Sometimes at our gigs there are people saying like 'Oh, I love your first album so much, I don't really like that funky stuff' and then there are people who really say 'Wow! You're new stuff is so great'. So... You can't satisfy everyone, but it should not be our aim to satisfy everyone, we just do what we do. We like it when people like it.
Sure, if we get the Stoner Rock people to be interested in jazz and funk, that's also cool !
Yes ! We should have more bands like you, including funky vibes in their music. I mean Funk and groovy stuff is soooo good, everybody needs Funk ! Last few questions. If there's one band you would like to jam with all night long, which one would it be?
For me it would be the funk band Lettuce.
Good choice I love them too ! And you guys ?
I would love to jam with a band, which does not exist anymore, from our hometown, they are called Fuckmop. We all know them personally and but they are not playing together anymore sadly...
For me it would be Ray Charles ! He had great musicians too, but if it could be Ray Charles alone. I would really enjoy that.
I like to jam, but I can't really tell you who I'd like to jam with, but there's a lot of people that I really admire that I'd love to contribute something to their music, as a bass player, but I can’t tell you anything off the top of my head what I would do, because my feeling is that I could contribute something to a lot of types of music and so that is... I'd rather, if I had the choice, I'd probably rather like think up shit for some studio, even though I'm not really a big fan of studio work, for different people, so I can't really tell you what band or what band I'd jam with.
Maybe the Bitches Brew era of Miles Davis ?
Yes indeed, That's actually something I could have said myself.
One question for Rene. What fuzz pedal are you using? Do you use one?
I don't have a fuzz pedal.
Ah shit. Then you don't deserve to be on More Fuzz I'm afraid...
Wait, wait, wait, I use a Rat. Is it a fuzz pedal? It's okay as a fuzz pedal. I mean I have a 20 watt amp and I crank it up completely, so it sounds really fuzzy.
Well yeah, it's a distorsion, but I'll accept it 🙂
I will have a fuzz in two weeks, because Steffen is building pedals.
Oh yeah? cool. What's the name of your business ?
No name, I'm just doing it. I search the internet for all the layouts I want and then I try to build them, but my biggest success were with, like, ready to solder kits or something... I'm doing my own layouts now too, but it's... it's difficult.
I want him to build a Woolly Mammoth because I tried it in the studio a lot of times and yeah, you will hear it on the next album definitely. I have already some things in my head. My head is like a lot of... I wouldn't play a fuzz all the time, but I have different parts where it would stick out really well.
Last question guys. What's your plan for the rest of 2017?
A new album.
A couple of gigs and a very short tour in October I think. We'll certainly come to France by the way.
So there is a new album coming ?
We have no time limit, but we have a lot of plans. There is a hemp field an hour away from us and we bought a generator, so we want to play outside this year, in summer. So there's a hemp field where we want to play. I rented a garden where we wanted to play. I just grew some mushrooms that we want to eat and then play.
Sounds like a good plan.
You forgot we already have one recording session in July.
Yeah, in July we have a recording session. Recording session in a theatre. A nice theatre.
We have a lot of new material in our rehearsal room and we just want to record something. Maybe it will not be a new album, but maybe some pre-production. Let's see what happens.
I think it would be a good idea to have a new album next year, but we have to work on it a bit.
I think it's a good idea to have some mushrooms.
Haha alright guys ! Thanks a lot for your time and have fun during your gig in a few minutes, I know I will !