ANDERES HOLZ (represented by Kunde Waldzither) is a different entity than I am used to. This is a very organic band that needs to be heard to be understood. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Every band has to introduce their music to new people. What is it that you want people to get from listening to you guys?
-By exploring the oeuvre, you gain insights into the work of ANDERES HOLZ and initiate personal development on an artistic, intellectual and emotional level. For that, I need an active listener, but above all, someone who is willing to immerse themselves in sound, music, text, art, and performance, get packed and then deal with it on a cognitive, perhaps even intellectual level. You will receive a work of art of immense depth on almost all artistic levels. The fire will be passed on to you. Tradition is pulled out into the modern age, craftsmanship is broken in an avant-garde. ANDERES HOLZ is a Renaissance Band.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-The title ANDERES HOLZ (meaning different or other wood) is a poem of two words. A hermetic poem written in the tradition of Hermeticism (Paul Celan). That’s why you can find access to the band’s work here. For example, ANDERES HOLZ refers to a traditional German proverb that gives an indication of the intention of the band, but through the personification (We are not carved from other wood, but we are different wood) there is a slight shift in the meaning instead. This opens the view to a deeper level under the first superficial saying.
And then there’s the Waldzither, she is the nearly forgotten instrument of the German Scout Movement ‘Wandervogelbewegung’ outlawed in World War II, a venerable lady of 100 years, rescued for the present tense. She obviously is ‘different wood’, in contrast to the usual guitar. Very simple. Then maybe just another hint – the band title, of course, is a commitment to nature and an alternative lifestyle resonates.
Everybody is influenced by certain things. What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
-Bands, poets, artists, theatre – all this is in ANDERES HOLZ. On the musical level, above all, the combination of tradition and modernity can be named: from Liedermacherei and Volksmusik (Hannes Wader, Zupfgeigenhansel) to Ton Steine Scherben, Einstürzende Neubauten, Hans Unstern and Meret Becker, classical music influences of course and then the source: Progressive Rock/Metal, NeoProg, Art Rock, Post Rock, Punk Rock, Folk Rock, World Music, Gothic Rock, Motorik, Minimal, Krautrock, Djent, Experimental, Zeuhl, Avant-Garde (and so on and so forth, countless …).
Art inspires me when she leads me to the rabbithole or breaks with something familiar. Overcoming the craft – of course.
My insights into nature and into new knowledge or perception that turn everything that I thought I knew so far upside down and cause me to completely rethink my previous approach, that’s something.
When you formed did you do so with the intent of knowing what to play or did you do so from the point of having a band name and then picking a sound? How did you settle on the name/sound combo?
-ANDERES HOLZ is the bundling of various independent creative approaches that I have pursued throughout my life. Very cognitive. All this is pure intention, I want it that way, and it’s the attempt to formulate an own approach in the musical-literary world; a clear: Here I stand. I can not help it.
I believe that digital is killing the album format. People’s changing habit of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
-I think the opposite is the case. The disembodiment of the album as a medium and the loneliness of the song in the web now leads to the fact that the vinyl is recovering and with it a strong aesthetic approach and a turn to value and quality. The fan wants more than just the song. Songs, we had the topic yesterday in a group talk, these playlists and radio numbers – these hits are for people who are not interested in music, but in mood enhancers – like drugs you can use them in different ways. These people do not interest me on an artistic level. Interestingly, ANDERES HOLZ quite often cracks just this clientele, because we are in some ways sensational. Like a car accident. Like a mindfuck movie. That often works.
What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
-In ANDERES HOLZ music, poetry, artwork and performance stand side by side on an equal footing.
Our work is conceptual, so we stay with Anton Semenow (picture of the debut album) and the main theme of this series of pictures for the next two albums. The first one is ANDERES HOLZ – FERMATE to be released on 14.9.18.
This strategy creates a recognition value on the one hand and on the other hand a completed trilogy in terms of content. Anton Semenow created the flesh to our nerval system.
Attracting attention is certainly part of our approach: performance (Japanese Buto, European Avant-Garde), visual language (Russian Avant-Garde), music (see above), poetry (hermetic poetry, Symbolism, Dada and even prose) and the antistream sound of our producer Matt Korr, who also brings his own vision into the cosmos of ANDERES HOLZ. Matt Korr is kind of a band member, his sound is muscles and bones. We do not make it easy for the potential fan – but difficult. That’s intentional.
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
-Social media fundamentally changes the promotional projection and thus parts of the artistic approach. Positive: Direct communication among all, artists and fans makes the fan a part of the artwork. He can exert influence on different levels. Through communication and funding he forces directions. How the artistic approach manifests itself on a superficial level. Promo becomes art at different levels. Video trailer/teaser, movies, text messages, artwork, sound clips. A lot of virtuality – but nothing tangible, that’s clear.
When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
-ANDERES HOLZ obviously bridges the gap between different genres: folk rock and folk music on one side, progressive and metal on another, avant-garde/experimental on one and gothic and punk and agit pop in general. The Waldzither connects the band to a traditional movement of Wandervögel, instrument makers, historians, watchmen of time. People who cherish the tradition of folk and pass the fire on to a new and younger generation. This also includes ANDERES HOLZ.
The general movement is that of the freak and counter culture: dropouts, Fahrende, travelers, pilgrims, alternative living ecos, anarchists, pacifists, spiritual power people, thinkers, nature freaks, communes and Wagenburgen and squatters, peacekeepers. People who live a creative ecology. There is no room for ignorance and competition, no room for Darwinism and not one inch for Volkstümelei, Xenophobia! No room for waste of resources and no room for largescale industry.
And yet my artistic approach is darker – touched by misanthropy – and not so enthusiastic hopeful.
Images of emptiness, desolation and forsakenness, but also images based on a humorous view of reality. Provocation and pain as aspects of love.
The motive of transience is my pure drive.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-Touring/Gigging is the essence of my musicianship. I live for the gigs and they are the main channel to deliver the messages, all the messages. I am and the others have been built for that, too.
For example, Tine is not just a bassist but also an actress (and much more, she’s such an artistic all-rounder). Our life is the stage. And the stage is our life.
What will the future bring?
-There is a 3-5 year plan for this band. In the first instance. A level of ambition. This includes enhancements on an artistic and commercial level, that’s easy. Two more albums are on the schedule and ongoing tours, thereby linking musical scenes. That goes well with festival appearances. ANDERES HOLZ is a festival band baptized in festival mud and festivals are the opportunity to bring people together not just on a virtual level. This creates connections and the world changes.
BUT: Tine and I have been homeless buskers living in an old van traveling across Europe and North Africa for the past four years. That is to say, our life is constantly evolving and often surprises ourselves.
I am an absolute person: musician and artist, everything I live, my whole life serves only this one purpose, flows only into this one cosmos and thus is of course absolutely without any value.