"The last two albums were a good lesson"
The German post-rockers are a constant value in the genre. Their record return coincides not only with their turn to pure instrumental forms, but also with a return to powerful releases. Grabbing the chance of "Boundless" release we talked with Jan Hoffman about the new album, the turn of the band, but also about who they would like to have behind the mic, if they had the chance to choose.
I recall that while recording/writing "TRIPS", you were isolated from the outside world somewhere in the woods, if i am correct. Did you follow the same procedure for "Boundless" (a.k.a the best of the last three albums) or did you do something else this time?
We also started writing somewhere else but then we felt it would be better to return to our homebase so I would say 80% of the album was written in our rehearsal space, in a well known environment.
“Boundless”, the title of the album might refer to Long Distance Calling’s music. To my mind, the vocals were kind of putting it into boundaries. Do you see the difference now and the recent past?
Hehe, I think you might be right. “Boundless” refers to freedom and to make us free from expectations, this was very important to us for this album. We need some space to evolve the atmosphere.
This time you went the other way, no vocals at all, no guests, nothing. Tried it and didn’t fit or maybe in the future you’ll rethink about it? I prefer you like this to be honest, or perhaps with a guest on one or two songs and that’s it.
We wanted to totally focus on the four of us. We don't think too much about the future yet, we don't know what will happen next but for “Boundless” this was an important approach. This is the core of the band and we wanted to go back a bit and visit the core of Long Distance Calling.
The new album is going towards a heavier sound. But there are also other new elements in there. As far as influences are concerned what is different now?
I don't think there are much other influence than before. The “heaviness” just happened, this wasn't planned at all and as the title is “Boundless” we didn't want to put any limitations to artistic or stylistic aspects. I think that's why the album is both heavy and diverse at the same time. And a lot of time has passed since the last instrumental albums so of course we had some other influences in the meantime and we are also better musicians now than we were before. I think it was important to make the last two albums to return to this point now. It was a good lesson in songwriting and we collected a lot of new experiences.
You’ve grown as a band in '00s, but now more than ever you need to tour to stay alive, am I right? How do you cope with that? Are you more of a studio guys? What about families you leave behind?
Yes, totally. A band needs to go on the road and sell tickets and merch to make it. It works for us and we are a live band. You need to go to the studio every now and then but we definitely prefer the live environment as you get feedback from the people and that’s just great. Some of us have families but it's ok because they understand that we love doing this and we are not playing that much, so over the course of a year it's really ok but of course you miss your family while being on the road.
If you could choose one of your favorite artists to guest sing on one of your song who would be and on which song?
Well, everyone in the band would say something different but for me personally it's definitely Maynard James Keenan.
It’s been a while since you visited Greece. Are you planning to return anytime soon?
We would love to come back. Hey promoters: if you want us in Greece, give us a shout.
In order to keep it short, please end the interview by sending a message to your fans in Greece.
Hey boys and girls, check out our new album and spread the word. Hopefully we will return to your beautiful country sometime soon!