Ödland, interview After Hours in Tokyo. June 2014
It’s difficult to define you with one kind of music or style, how describe yourself Ödland?
We produce mainly french-classical-folk-pop songs, something like that.
Ödland has a fantastic music universe. What influences do you have at the moment of creating your own art?
European musics and travels are our best inspirations. We love our main instruments, the piano and the violin, but we like to experiment new instruments all the time.
We traveled trough all Europe and we created song inspired by traditional music, tales, landscapes and cities. We recently had a big crush on eastern sounds when we dedicated our album Galaktoboureko to Greece and Turkish styles.
Sometimes we like to go deep in the instrument possibilities like the bouzouki, the musical saw, the mandola, the cello or the flute.
You do the production, distribution and organize your own tours without being a part of a record company, how do you survived in the musical industry working in a totally independent way?
We decided to create unique sounds and we don’t have a regular music style. In these conditions the music companies are waiting for a big success before being interested working with us.
So we have no choice but gather more and more fans on our own, create innovative stuff, build and improve our own home-studio, think marketing, crowd-funding and album schedule, produce curious videos and find nice venues.
You may think it has nothing to do with the music writing process, but we spend more time on this than to compose songs.
And you know what? This is exciting, because we have to define Ödland this way, always asking to ourselves who we are and where we are going. We are always thinking to the next move, it’s positive. We are close to our audience and fans, because we have to, which is nice! And thanks to the internet and new tools, all of this had become easy.
Your videos are not classic, are auto-managed, own creations done across the manual work with a visual exquisite aesthetics. How is the process of creation and where do you look for inspiration?
This is Lorenzo’s work who is a film director. In video or in stop-motion, the music clips became an important part of Ödland project. Our albums are both musical and visual creations. The clips are the perfect place for dreamy universe, good occasions for shooting travels in beautiful places. And sometimes, the video itself leads the music composition.
For instance, we recently worked on a trailer for the Orsay Paris museum, to announce the Gustave Doré’s great exhibition: L’imaginaire au pouvoir. The illustrations of the artist inspired the film, and the music should fit to the script. This was an exciting work and a way for creating new sounds.
Your lyrics are atypical enough, it’s full of history, of geography, what leads you to writing on these things?
Love, dream, humour, hope and sadness are the main ingredients of our lyrics. But it becomes interesting and weird when it is mixed with Science. We like to pick ideas, rules and vocabulary from Biology, Astronomy, Physics or Mathematics. May be it is bind to our 19th century influences, new inventions effervescence, or just personal tastes. Things become bewitching when it video time. We use science graphics, imaginary diagrams.
We like innovative film methods like anaglyph-3D-stop-motion or infrared music video with an hacked camera. Geography may be the most inspiring science because it is related with travels, places, landscapes, cities and their stories ; and maps are such beautiful pictures!
We could know that you’re working on a new EP. What waits for us in the new material of Ödland?
With the next EP, Ödland is getting out of the train and entering a space rocket! We are now searching inspiration into ex-SSSR soviet republics, and we will work for the first time with electronic instruments. We want to experiment in the same way we did with Orsay’s golden mountain, mixing electro tones with classical instruments. We feel we are ready for this great move after working for years in an acoustic-only sound design.
We bought nice synth and a theremin and we have much fun with all this stuff. Expect a new music video from the outer space before the summer, and we plan to release the EP in september 2014, so stay tuned!
There is any possibility of a visit for South America in some moment?
We would love to tour in all South America. We know we have many fans in Mexico because we ship discs to this country, and that would be an amazing tour to visit the whole continent. Don’t expect it for soon, but be sure this is on our to-do-list (with North America and Japan).
IN FILLES SOURIRES
Ödland is a German word for Wasteland, but the realm this band comes from is ruled by Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat. Actually, Ödland are from southern France, featuring Lyon-based pianist Lorenzo Papace and singer Alizée Bingöllü, an actress and fille sourire for sure, though quite a special one, sounding like a cross between Vanessa (you guess which one) and the ghost of a well-educated little girl from the 19th century.
Ödland’s music is labeled as folktronica on the net, whatever that may mean, but it’s surely much more, interweaving highly alluring chamber music with the spirit of British bonbon artpop babes Lollipop Train, amalgamating ragtime splinters, animals’ voices and innocent whispers into something half chaste, half supersexy, playful and beguiling all the way.
Just the right path to dreamland on some of these nights – but do not download without a surrealistic pillow.