Interview: Milky Chance
Fri, 20 Feb 2015 10:11:05
“I'm in Germany hanging out in my hometown and chilling at home. I had never been to America until we went last October,” smiles Clemens Rehbein of Milky Chance.
Clemens and his cohort Philipp Dausch will undoubtedly be spending a lot of time over in the States now that “Stolen Dance” has become such a monumental hit. The track introduced the world to the group’s shimmering, soulful, and striking sound—a juxtaposition between stark acoustics and delicate electronics. However, their full-length debut Sadnecessary evinces just how powerful this pair really is. It’s one of the best albums of 2014, and it’s going to be spun by countless fans for years to come.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Clemens Rehbein of Milky Chance talks “Stolen Dance” and so much more.
What ties the album together for you?
We took the songs I had, recorded them, and put them out. It was a simple idea.
What's the story behind "Fairy Tale?"
There are two kinds of songs on the record. There are songs that describe a feeling you had back in the day and a special moment. There are also songs with stories behind them. "Fairy Tale" is about being with a person you like and hiding away from all the other people and spending some time together. It's a childlike way to experience things—just wandering around. It's a bit naïve. Basically, it's about being in love.
Where did "Stolen Dance" come from for you?
Well, it's sort of the same thing. I think the basic theme is that you want to spend time with a person but you can't because of some bad circumstances. It describes a feeling you have and expressing the aching for that person and perhaps the hope to see her again. You're hoping for good things.
What artists shaped you?
I started playing guitar when I was 12-years-old. A year-and-a-half later, I started listening to Bob Marley and a lot of reggae music. I was very into reggae for two or three years. I played all of the songs and everything. I had a time where I was listening to a lot of blues rock and guitar music such as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and others. I was also listening to Django Reinhardt. He plays Gypsy jazz. I played a lot of that. I also played in a jazz band as the guitarist. I was really into jazz, old music, soul music, and rock. I have many styles I like to play.
What was your first guitar?
I still have it! It's from Hohner. It's a German band. It's a basic acoustic classic guitar for starters. I still have it. It's on my wall in my room. I painted it totally. I colored it from the top to the bottom. Now, it's very colorful.
What else inspires your outside of music?
I really should read more books. I should spend more time reading. I try to, but it's not very much. I like to go outside and escape into the landscape and nature. Music is my main thing to do. When I was 12, it was the main thing I loved to do. I like to make music. I like to go outside and make some barbecue too [Laughs].
What’s your favorite Milky Chance song?