Communions are going to release their expected first album, ”Blue”. Even though they are nameless in Japan, their EP have sold out just with the reserved ones. As their music reminds of Britpop, we asked Martin, the vocalist how their mutational sound was made in Copenhagen.
Artist：Martin Rehof(Vo./Gt.) Interviewer：yabori Translation：Tomo Kinoshita
−How did you guys meet? Can you tell us in detail your story behind you forming the band?
Martin: We all became friends while we were still in high school. When we started Communions, a little later on, the rehearsal space Mayhem gave us a good place to start. Frederik and Jacob were already jamming there. I had some songs written at the time, and was eager to play them with someone. Mads had played a little bass before and so we recruited him. We have always been very close as brothers, so it felt like a very natural thing to do.
−Please tell us the origin of your group name, Communions and your experience or experiences when you decided the name.
When choosing a name, we had made a long list of words we liked, and Communions was one of them. The name was taken from a translation of a Rimbaud poem called, in English, ‘First Communions’. I think first and foremost, we thought the name looked good, aesthetically.
−What meaning and feeling are put into your album title “Blue” ?
The title is inspired by Kieślowski’s film, of the same name, from Three Colours trilogy. There are different things I associate with the title. Not only does the word reflect a mood, but more importantly, I think the word invokes the ethereal quality of the music. The word also connotes Blues music.
−If this album has any new concepts, please tell us about them.
Conceptually, there are a few main themes that run through the album, like freedom, ambivalence, and the passage of time. Dreams are also a prevalent motif that appear in many of the songs.
−Why did you decide to release this album with Fat Possum Records?
Fat Possum is a great record label who have released great music before us. So we were honored when they offered to release our record.
−We don’t understand what the photo is of the jacket – can you let us know the concept of the jacket?
The cover artwork is a picture of one of our friends, Halfdan, lying in a pool of water. Apart from the very obvious connection between the colors in the photo and the title of the album – “Blue” – I also think that the photo, much like the title, is rather ambiguous, in the sense that it bears different connotations. Amongst other things, I think the photo plays with the ambiguity of whether the body in the pool is dead, or whether its about to get up out of the water, thereby signalling a sort of rebirth. In that sense, I think the artwork resonates well with the themes of time and renewal that run through many of the songs.
−Each song is averagely compact, almost three-minutes long. Did you create music while being conscious of the length of your songs and this album?
No, not really. I mean, we are certainly conscious of the length of the songs and so on. But it wasn’t something we planned specifically, from song to song.
−We think all songs except for one which was released as a single are new. Why did you put this album together with mostly new songs and not any other released songs?
Well actually all of the songs are new, in the sense that none of them have been released before on the previous EP’s. The reason we put together the album with new songs, is mainly because we wanted to make an album that would work completely on its own terms, without drawing too much attention to things we’ve done before as Communions.
−Please tell us about something new that you tried when you created this album?
We experimented with some new instruments, that we hadn’t used before. One example is the woodblocks during the solo in ‘Midnight Child’.
−We heard you all like Oasis. What do you like about them? Please tell us what about them inspires you.
Their first two albums are great and are something we’ve sort of grown up listening to. Mostly, what is inspiring about Oasis is just that they have great songs, with great melodies.
−Your song writing is wonderful. Please tell us what you are particular about when you write songs.
Melody is very important, and is usually the springboard from which the lyrics manifest themselves. Another thing we usually keep in mind, when writing a song, is usually just that there has to be a special and unique element about that particular song, that makes you want to keep coming back to it.
−The intonation of your vocals is unique and very cool. Please tell us about your singing technique.
Personally I don’t think of it so much as a ‘technique’ as just the natural way for me to sing. I’m in no way a trained singer, so for me, the way I sing doesn’t feel very calculated at all. I guess I have a tendency to sing in a high register, which is probably why various people have described my voice as ‘androgynous’. But honestly, it’s not something I think about too much.
−We often hear the names of bands from Copenhagen like Iceage and Lust For Youth. What is current music scene in Copenhagen like?
Well there are certainly some great musicians coming out of Copenhagen, and the groups you mentioned are an example of that. Malthe Fischer from Lust For Youth also helped produce this new record. But as far as the status of the ‘scene’ at the moment, I really don’t have much insight. I think we feel like we are very much doing our own thing, and so we don’t concern ourselvs too much with what other bands or groups are doing in general.
−Post Punk was at the front when we listened to Cobblestones which was uploaded 3 years ago. However, we feel that with this album, BritPop is leading strongly. How did you create your current style?
For us, the change in sound has never been about going from one genre to another, but rather about coming into our own, and finding our own unique sound. And I think, certainly to a certain degree, we have found that sound on this new record. On the one hand, Communions sounds like a lot of different things, but at the same time, there is nothing that sounds like Communions.
−We know you want everyone listen to your new album. Is there a specific group of listeners you’d like to listen to this album?
No, to be honest there isn’t a specific group of listeners that I feel the album is directed towards. I find the songs to be very universal in their appeal. But apart from that, I also find the whole process of releasing music to be one giant experiment — where you get the chance to experiment with your surroundings, and see who and what reacts to what you’ve created and sent out into the world. That’s what it’s all about, seeing where everything goes and ends up.
Feb 26：Studio Coast, Tokyo, Japan
Mar 17：Vega, Copenhagen, Denmark
May 16：Rotonde, Brussels, Belgium
May 18：OT301, Amsterdam, Netherlands