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Interview: Milky Chance


German trio Milky Chance have come a long way since their 2013 hit Stolen Dance and earned themselves a host of Australian fans in the years since. Last month they dropped Cocoon, the first single from their second album, and followed it up with a snazzy music video, so naturally we jumped at the chance to ask them a few questions about their new track, their German origins, and The Hunger Games.

We’re loving Cocoon, what’s the story behind the track? 

Thanks so much! Basically it’s about longing for that place of serenity. A place where you can go to and find yourself in a better, cleaner state of mind… a place to get away from all that distraction in daily life to find a way back to your middle, your roots, your own natural being, at least to yourself…this is how I feel like speaking of that certain cocoon.

So many of your songs start out with, or are based around, an acoustic guitar line. What’s the process for you when you’re working out the instrumentation of your tracks?

Most of the time we start recording the guitar line as a foundation and then start building the instrumental around that line. But on the new album for some songs the process changed a little and we felt like first we had to jam with it and then started recording.

The music video is very cool as well! Where did the idea come from?

Well, the idea basically came from the video director named Davis Silis. We liked his interpretation of the song which offers a very different perspective on it. We felt like it perfectly fit to show there’s a deeper meaning behind the idea of the song.

It has a bit of a Hunger Games vibe, did you take any influence from movies or TV when you were designing it? 

The director was also influenced by movies, though I’m not sure if it was particularly The Hunger Games. We just wanted to have a look that was kind of rough and moody to picture the actual feeling where this song originates.

Obviously you’re from Germany and you sing in English. What was it like experiencing music in a foreign language when you were younger, and how did that lead to you producing songs in English?

I always listened a lot to English music rather then German just because the people around me did so. When I was about 12, I started listening to all the old vinyls from my parents, so it was mostly about artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan… all those old classics.

A lot of blues, some funky disco music like Boney M, just a good mixture. It was really fun for me and loved it to discover all that kind of stuff. Based on the reason that it was 12, and it was all in English, I think I became a listener paying a lot of attention to the instruments, the beat, the bassline, the guitars, the harmonies and melodies, and then after a while, to the lyrics.

It’s still the same for me nowadays. Whether it’s about creating music or listening to it, the music always comes first, then the lyrics.

There aren’t many Australians who would have access to a large portion of European music, are there any German artists that we should know about that mightn’t be on the radar here?

There’s a really cool German band called AnnenMayKantereit. They just blew up in the last two years. They’re really chilled guys and they make good music. Once we made a cover of Police’s Roxanne with them… you can watch it on YouTube!

What can fans expect in the upcoming material from Milky Chance? 

I think it’s basically the same style of songwriting and producing, but a little more evolved. We used a lot more real instruments in recording the new album because that’s where we come from. We tried out some new things, just played around a little bit in producing the songs…

When can fans expect to see you back in the land Down Under?

We’ll be back sooner than you think…

Written by Max Higgins