German trio, Aloa Input, is said to be from New Weird Bavaria, a place that, from the sound of things, is not only full of oddly fantastic flaura + fauna, but also strangely enticing music that spans genres and pulls them together in new and fascinating ways.
As Morr Music, the band’s label, puts it:
“Always on point when it comes to picking the best bits and pieces of so much input, Anysome, the band’s debut full-length, essentially resembles a huge map that covers most of the musical worlds and sonic landscapes we know. Make no mistake: Borges might claim a map of that size is useless, it’s nevertheless a hell of a ride.”
We took a few minutes to sit down with the band to talk about fighting the forces of monotony in popular music, the concept of bricolage, and how three guys decided to start one of the most quirkily enjoyable bands we’ve heard in quite a while. Read our interview, listen to a track from their debut album, and check out their spell-binding video for their song “Someday Morning” below.
raven + crow : So, your write-up on Morr’s site reads that you all “are on a musical mission to fight the ever-advancing forces of entropy and monotony”. You do have a unique sound. Is it something that developed naturally/organically?
Aloa Input: Before we even started to record, we talked about music over a couple of months. We were really convinced about what we didn’t want to do. But in retrospect, we really didn’t have any idea that it would end up sounding like this. So I guess, it’s pretty much a mixture. Maybe something like natorganically??
Nice. We support any such coining of new words. Speaking of though, do you have any super powers to help fight those ever-advancing forces?
Since we all have different musical backrounds, we kind of learned to put these influences together. The French ethnologist Claude Levi-Strauss came up with the term of “bricolage”. In certain cultural studies, this term was adopted to descripe the technique to put certain things—items or whatever—in a new context. So, if you like, you can call “bircolage” one of our so called “powers” to avoid entropy and monotony in pop-music.
I like it. Can you talk a little about how the band first formed? Were you all in bands previously?
We’ve all played in different bands in Munich before and still do. Munich is not that big of a city. So when you do certain music, it’s pretty obvious and you get to know each other quickly. But the point where we decided to form what is now called Aloa Input was at a festival in Munich, where all of our former bands performed. The three of us where standing next to the stage and we were talking a little bit about music and what bands we dig. Right at that moment it was pretty clear that we had to do music together.
Do you all have any strong influences or bands that you think feed into your music creatively? I feel like Stereolab + American Analog Set came to mind a little for me…but more glitched out with awesome electronics + rhythms.
When we first came together we were all really into Animal Collective. We still really like the band a lot, but it’s not and has never been that big of a influence at all. I think we all really appriciate older music like Can, NEU!, The Beatles, Moondog Jr, and Calypso sounds. And there have been really great new bands as well. I think we’re all just really into music and open to interesting stuff.
I always feel the need to ask non-native-English-speaking bands why they chose to sing in English. I mean, I’m glad you do—it’s great to be able to understand a song, after all—but is it in hopes of just being more accessible to more people?
I think it’s more about what music you grow up with. We all had the most contact with music written in English. There is no doubt that there are great lyricists in German music, but for us, it seems more natural to sing in English. We actually haven’t even really thought about it, writing the lyrics in German.
Wow, that’s really surprising but, yeah, it makes sense. So, I feel like Bavaria is an area that has continued to identify itself separate or distinct from Germany…but I feel like I personally don’t really know much about the region beyond your food. What makes you proud to be Bavarians, not just Germans? What do you like about it there?
Puhhh…that’s a tough one. I know what you mean, but that’s not how we see it. Of course there are lot of livable aspects in Bavaria, like the landscape with the mountains and lakes and all, but there are also a lot of things which we don’t support. The city we live in raises its rents to unaffordable levels, the politcal majority hasn’t changed for ages, and the executive can be a pain in the ass a lot of times.
Yeah, sounds like most large American cities, actually. Slightly off-topis, can you explain what “New Weird Bavaria” is?
It’s pretty much just a joke. We see ourselves akin to bands which are labled as “New Weird America”. So we thought we’d come up with somthing ironically new. It’s better than being labeled as just another Indie/Electro/Psychedelic/Experimantal-Pop Band.
That’s true. Any recommendations for anyone who visits Germany? I mean, besides seeing you guys play a show.
There are beautiful cities like Regensburg which didn’t get destroyed in the 2nd world war. If you want to experience how Germany would look like if there hadnt been this terrible mess, you should most definitely check those few cities out.
Will do. Speaking of shows, any plans to play any stateside? I know it’s ridiculously expensive for foreign artists to play the US these days, but we’d love to see you nonetheless.
Of course, that would be a great thing for us. Travelling around with your own music is one of the best parts of doing it. But only a few German bands have had the chance so far to go overseas for a tour. We have to wait and see what happens.
Well we’re rooting for you. We have to ask though—what’s with the name? Does it mean anything?
We thought about it as “hello input” without being to close to the hawaiian phrase. It’s a matter of how it sounds, since it’s a beautiful word. But also we think of it as not having any barriers around certain forms of music.
Ah, well that’s nice. And the name of the album, Anysome?
It’s a neologism. We’re all in a certain stage of our lifes where we can’t really tell where it will all lead us. A lot of the lyrics on the album concentrate on that. We have all these possibilities and chances—through the internet the world is just a nutshell to a lot of people from our generation. And I think, you can also hear it in the music. There are a lot of different styles combined into one. Bricolage, if you want.
Bricolage! Can you talk a little about the video you did with Bryn Chainey for your track, “Someday Morning”? It’s so fucking cool. Is it real? Like, are those people really sleepwalking?
Bryn came up with the idea of a mockumentary. So it’s all fake! He’s a great director with highly creative ideas, which left us all stunned. We like that he starts his work with very innocent ideas, which kind of blow your mind if you think a little bit about it. We really hope to work with Bryn again.
Ah, well cool video. I seriously couldn’t tell if it was real or fake, so job well-done. Can you break down a line or lyric you like a lot off the album in terms of meaning and/or origin?
There are two lines of two different songs which say, maybe, a lot about the album: “A steady mind is always on the run” and “I had this thought, the best one that I ever forgot”.
Nice. Then, I ask totally in a professional curiosity sense as someone who designs Web sites, but I notice you guys don’t have a non-bandcamp, non-Facebook, non-label site—do you feel like it’s kinda unnecessary with so many other outlets online these days?
Well, we’re actually planning on constructing a web-site. But until then, FB and BC are fine.
Totally. Finally, and most importantly, favorite bizarre corner of the internet you’d like to share with our readers?
The bizarre thing is, this song was our neverending earworm 2013. One of us even has it as his ring tone on his cell phone:
Whoa. That guy’s talented.
Top photo by Ela Grieshaber