Yuksek : Jägermeister WHT Interview

PHOTOS: Christoph Paul

It’s a nice contrast that opens itself to our eyes, a clash of the clichés: Across the table sits a young, well dressed Frenchman with a glass of red wine, but in front of him a huge plate full of German sauerkraut and Kassler (a kind of smoked pork chop) wants to be his dinner. Yuksek, our second interview partner at the Jägermeister Wirtshaustour’s opening night in the rustic heart of Berlin-Friedrichshain, is a widely travelled man and with his often thoughtful propensity for minimalism and simple pop culture a rather outstanding mind in the France’ current electro scene.

Not knowing that he would keep the party alive beyond 5 am on a Thursday winter night only a few hours later, we sat down with Pierre-Alexandre Busson for a glass and a quick chat on what The Cure have to do with his upcoming new album and his ambitions as a little kid.

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Tonight it should be getting quite crowded, because the Jägerklause a rather tiny venue. How do you feel about that?
It depends. Sometimes it’s fun to play a small place, that’s really busy, even who you already got a name. The people often go more crazy there. In a way I sometimes prefer that to clubs. I’m not too much into clubs, it’s often a bit posh there. So usually, I’m always bored there, so I drink very much and quite early and get drunken very fast.

So the decline of the French club scene might not all be bad for you. How does the response vary when you’re touring through Germany or other parts of the world?
France is not crazy for that kind of music anyway. For me it depends on some countries, where the album had the best impact. For example I played a lot in Asia last year and that was really great, even in places like Korea, where you don’t expect the people to be knowing every track. That was really fun. But the night is the night anywhere.

You recently released We’re Ready When You Are (ft. Ebony Bones) with your buddy Brodinski as The Krays and toured under that moniker. Is it true that you actually don’t like playing and recording alone?
There’s also Girlfriend, a really not dancefloor but rock-like project with my studio mate from ALB. But right now I’m finishing my new record and there are really more songs that, I think, I can’t defend alone on stage. So there will be a kind of band with me. Not a classic one, but something special.

How will this new record sound and what will it be focussed on? More storytelling and classic song structures?
Yes and more vocals.

What was your special need behind this re-orientation?
I always loved pop and indie rock and was listening to it much more than electro. Personally I do make music for DJs and clubs, but that’s not the only thing I like to do. On this album I experiment more with my voice. I sing everything myself, all untuned. There won’t be a single feature on the record.

What kind of subjects do you sing about?
It’s quite a personal record and a bit melancholic one, too. I sing about certain feelings I experienced. Also I had the first album of The Cure, the Three Imaginary Boys, in mind during that. The new album won’t be the same thing, but it still best describes a kind of music people can dance to, but which’s not the techno way. It makes you move, but at the same time there’s something different you meet the lyrics with and think about them. It’s not hedonistic for instance.

So the songs will probably not fit into a normal disco set, will they?
No, they are not really made for that.

Is music for you the best catalyst for any personal emotion?
Yes, I think so. Naturally, it’s my only way of communication, the only one to express or put out different things with. It’s a bit of as being with a psychologist: You talk and talk and he’s just listening. In the studio I’m working on things, not thinking too much about how to do them or not, even the lyrics. I just write, record, work and a after a week a tracks turns about to be itself without me planning it to be like that.

Music then becomes a medium of your inner you.
Yes, it’s the ultimate writing. Something’s just going through you, from the deeper grounds of your brain directly to the mouse in your hands and not through your conscious parts.

But this stream can sometimes stop all of the sudden. How do you fight these periods?
Oh, I got many things to do. Last year I produced the album Birds & Drums by The Bewitched Hands and other things. I have always work to do and am always late for all things, because I’m working on my own sets for two weeks. So when I feel that I’m empty, I take my works – even if you actually can’t call it work, because it’s a thing a really like to do.

You got a classical musical education from your childhood on, but what would your life be like today, if you would have not become a producer and musician?
I always practised music since being a little kid, so I can’t picture my life without it. Even back then I already saw myself as a future musician or maybe as a plane pilot. I love being up in the clouds, it’s very natural.

Yuksek Away From The Sea was released by Barclay.

Find more photos of the event and another interview with We Have Band here. Watch a video with some moving live impressions made by our friends of i-ref.de below. The Jägermeister Wirthaustour now moves on to Cologne, where The Subs and Proxy will play at the Dom im Stapelhaus at March 17 – see das-wirtshaus.de/gaesteliste or Facebook for more details and the next ticket competition.

i-ref : Jägermeister Wirtshaus Tour Berlin: Interview WE HAVE BAND & YUKSEK (LONG VERSION)

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