Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep: immanu el

Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep

Thursday, August 03, 2006

immanu el

Scandinavia is a continent that has been producing top quality musicians at an alarming rate. There could be a number of reasons for it, but one thing is for certain, the music scene is rich and vibrant. Obvious Scandinavian artists include Sigur Ros (Iceland), Jose Gonzalez (Sweden) and Mew (Denmark), but there are a plethora of underground bands in Sweden ,in particular, that are continually evolving and making some of the best sounds out there. Canada was recently hailed as music's epicentre, maybe we will have to rethink that suggestion.

One such band is immanu el from Jönköping, Sweden. Immanu el have five members and create soaring and majestic post-rock music reminiscent of their peers Sigur Ros. However, if you delve deeper there is a lot more to their sound. Listen to "Panda" (easily one of the songs of the year), the low key sound is complimented by the gorgeous melodies and half-whispered vocals. Their influences are diverse and are mixed together to create melancholic and captivating music.

The bands frontman, Claes, has been kind enough to grant me some time for an interview. Here are the results.

Scandinavia is producing great bands at a prolific rate, what are you guys drinking over there!?

Scandinavia is great in exporting music abroad in most music styles, thats pretty well known I guess. I really dont know exactly why it is like that. Maybe it's because of the the nordic lights and clear air?. No, seriously I can't say really why it is like that generally. Popular music has been a part of our culture ever since the beginning, thats one fact. Another thing is that musicians and bands get supported and its very easy to form a band with lots and lots of music interested people...

How would you describe Immanu El to a new listener?

immanu el (we nowdays only use small letters...hehe) is a small electrified orchestra that create beautiful, bittersweet soundscapes. In low key, captive singing and somewhat of a nothern melanchol. immanu el express Hope from beginning to the bitter end...

What are your main influences when writing music?
Life inspires us to make our music. It's an expression of what we feel and what we think as usual people, and since we're surrounded by great music in all kinds of different styles we can get influenced by classical music as well as modern pop/rock music. We're basically influenced by postrock and experimental/alternative rock music in general, and we mix those influences with whatever we feel like doing.

You are said to be recording a new album, how is the recording process going and what direction are Immanu El going in?

Well, we are on our way making all of our material finished for the recording that will take place within a couple of months, it's planned. We're making great progress in our work and we have some new tracks as well as some re-written old ones that we'd like to have on our upcoming album. I think we're much more confident about the sound in our songs since the "Killerwhale" ep we made last year (...that summerized our first year of work). We are more pointed into a direction of our own and we got a feeling of flow in our songs i think we missed on our earlier work. We're still very young and evolve a lot, even though we still use the same kind of tonality in our new songs... - but - better and more worked thorugh i think. It feels right to say we're more directed than before.

Are the band planning to tour in the UK anytime soon?

We would love to tour in UK. We will make it happen sooner or later, thats one thing im sure of. We are communicating with a label that's interested in releasing us soon, and they would like to plan tours with us. I know they plan tours in the UK so let's hope everything will workout alright and maybe well come over someday not too far away...

Have the reactions from the UK been positive so far?

Well, we're very fresh as a band and don't got that much contact with the UK music industry. Listeners email us now and then, and we send records to customers from the UK, and so far everything seems great. I think we had some contact with an indie label from london some months ago,they were interested of us too but I guess things ran out in the sand...We would love to get more involved in the UK, maybe you can give us a hand...? I love Britain even though I've never been there myself. The people seem nice and are very interested in our kind of sound... Thats nice too. I also plan a vacation in Scotland in a couple of weeks, to seek my roots and explore the soul of Scotsmen.

Are Immanu El planning anything else?

Well, right now we are focusing on our songs and the recording / label work we're into for some months ahead. Except for that we're pretty locked in at our rehearsal place in a barn outside civilization to evolve our music and live set. Most of us just graduated from high school so it feels that we just got started in doing what we love to do.

What would you regard as Immanu El signature tune?

Ive never thought of that actually. I guess that's up to anyone to decide for themselves. For me it's definitely our newest and longest song we've ever made. It's not titled yet and it's not recorded, but i am very happy with the sound and think that's the best song we've ever made.... for the older songs i think "Panda", "Radical Radical", "Morgan's Song" and "Kina" are signature songs for us, but they shift from day to day...

What is the best and worst thing about being a member of Immanu El?

Hehe, never thought of that either. I think I have to answer something boring and general like it's a lot of logistic issues that has to be solved and that it's very expensive to play in a band, to get more and more professional with equpiment and instruments and everything...The best thing is that we have so much fun together. The feeling of making a good concert is also worth everything. Another thing that's great is that you get the opportunity to visit and play at so many new places and meet new people... it's fun when people contact us from all over the world and when people tell us they like our music or get touched by our sound... I feel like I can go on forever so i think ill stop it here...

What records could you not live without?

That's different for everyone in the band. If I answered for them all and they saw it, I think they would kill me. We have a different kinds of taste. For me its a lot of records... I know you want me to give examples so I think I better. I''ll give you three. "Kid A" and later Radiohead albums, "Pink Moon" by Nick Drake and "Laughingstock" by Talk Talk.

Are there any bands from Sweden, us un-informed Brits should know about?

I think you should discover Loney, Dear. He's (they're) absolutely brilliant. We played with them once and i got stuck to the music like glue. Indiepop with loads and loads of beauty and joy.

What is the best gig you have ever attended?

Hard to say, I think one of the best was when we played with Logh last year. That or the Hultsfred Rookie Festival.... but i don't really think we played a perfect show either...

You have been working with Scotland's Engine7, what is your level of involvement on his album?

Yes, I'm about to help him out with some vocal tracks we've talked about. I hope and think it will work out great... Alan is a great guy!

Will Engine7 be performing on Immanu El's new album?

Yes, he made a sample/introduction for our newest song. It's beautiful, just beautiful.


To listen to immanu el to their myspace or go to their website. Below is an mp3 of "Radicalradical".


At 07 August, 2006, Anonymous Kyra said...

great immanu el interview!!

very cool .. think im gonna keep an eye on your blog :D


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