Enjoy next part of “short talks” series with with Franz Treichler – well known musician, songwriter and singer of alternative band The Young Gods…about music recording, feelings, plans and current world.
How do you feel during this crucial world times (I mean politics turbulence, Brexit, fast changing technologies…)?
I keep positive. It is my only way. II don’t want the situation to alienate me.
But most of the time I stay away from the daily news. If I don’t, I get sad.
When possible, I take the time to analyse a special topic and try to make my opinion about it.
I have a feeling that we should come to a time where presidents should not exist anymore.
The concept of having one person ruling a nation is becoming obsolete.
We (beings living on earth) can not give power to only one person to take decisions for us.
Power is corrupting peoples ego, whoever they are.
Creating music or be part of music– what does it mean for you? Is it a long-term process with inspiration coming gradually or it can be spontaneously done – due to modern technology – in a few days?
Being part of music means more freedom that having a regular job.
Our manager used to say that R’n’R is the only adventure left in our modern world.
Inspiration comes with work but can also appears spontaneously, whether you are using computers or guitars.
Looking at it from a distance, how do you perceive the changing nature of recording technology?
It is much more easy to record today than it was 30 years ago, a t least it cost less money and you can easiliy built yourself a home studio..
I like both the analog and the digital world, and both can combine.
What would you keep/restore from music hardware history, if you could – what type of recording? Favourite drumm kit/brand?
In the band, we would love to have a few old synthetisers like the EMS, VCS3, Moog III or Serge modulars.
They still exist but are expensive.
It seems that an album could be actually recorded on just one notebook with a smart software. Still I feel that it somehow sounds pretty much the same (take s works with all types of I-gadgets).
It sounds the same because people use the same sounds or the same plug-ins, same apps, same effects…, not because of the notebook itself. If you are inventive, you can do a lot with a notebook or even cheaper equipment .
Do you see any connection between recording in the 70s and today, technology left aside?
You cannot leave the technology aside. Things have changed a lot because of the technology, starting with the click track. Sound has evolved a lot since the 70’s and our ears as well. We have become more and more aware of sound. But anyway, if you play bad it will still be difficult to make it sound good.
Although you can fix things better because of the technology But a bad performance stay a bad performance.
How do you approach marketing/promotion of your music?
You have to include todays tools, like social networks and streaming platforms to what you already do.
It´s possible promote and sell albums without major labels? Any frustration for Digital download?
Yes it is possible. It is a changing world and you have to adapt. You can work with smaller labels or do it yourself.
It is just more work for the musician who does it himself. It is more a question of philosophy: in what hands you want to be.
My only frustration is that the digital world does its best to make the young generation believe that music is for free. All the big internet operators make profit on the back of music and musicians, more than ever.
Vinyl, CD or MP3?:)
Do you still believe in a concept of album? My younger friends or kids listen 60 sec from song and skip to next…or select only individual songs.
I believe that there are still some people who are not totally alienated and away from just consuming
Can full album alive?
What about The Young Gods in a next 10 years?
Hard to say, let’s go on little by little: first this year….
Mojo Lieskovský/DOUBLE LOUD
January 10, 2019
The Young Gods
The Young Gods have been pushing the limits of sound for more than thirty years. They began as pioneers of industrial punk who flirted with surreal cabaret, and as sonic
wizards they moved on to shamanize electro/techno music, all the while forging their own
unique sound. In the process they became legends of the European scene.
During the winter of 1984-85, Franz Treichler and Cesare Pizzi redefined the grammar of
rock using rudimentary machines. They were inhabited by an uncompromising, raw and
poetic vision. Joined by drummer Frank Bagnoud, they fine-tuned the formula of the
Young Gods. Their first concerts were like electroshocks. They featured voice, drums and
sampler… and walls of guitar sounds, but without guitars: their music was unheard of.
When the first eponymous album appeared in 1987, the British press heralded the
phenomenon: “The Young Gods are the New Thing, they are what happens next …” In the
early 1990s, with Al Comet replacing Cesare Pizzi on samplers, the trio surfed the wave
of alternative rock. The album “T.V. Sky”, with its single “Skinflowers” rotating on MTV,
opened the doors of the United States. David Bowie, U2 and Nine Inch Nails began citing
them as inspirations. Things accelerated at a frantic pace. So much so that it all became
too much. In the early 2000s, the trio regrouped in Geneva, redefined its priorities, and
moved closer to the effervescent electro / techno scene. Bernard Trontin replaced Üse
Hiestand on drums.
… Fast forward!
The Young Gods celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2005 at the Montreux Jazz Festival,
with the Sinfonietta orchestra of Lausanne and the singer Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr
Bungle, Fantômas). They also spearheaded a myriad of multidisciplinary creations, for
Swiss Expo.02, for the Geneva Science Museum, with anthropologist Jeremy Narby for
“Amazonia Ambient Project”, or reinterpreting the legendary Woodstock concert of
1969… They also collaborated with alternative hip-hop group Dälek, with the trio of
improvisers Koch, Schütz & Studer, and with the band Nação Zumbi for a Brazilian tour
and another Montreux performance.
Unplug & replug
After releasing an acoustic album (“Knock on Wood”, 2008), which they took on tour, the
trio turned their machines back on and recorded the fiery “Everybody Knows” (2010),
with the support of a fourth member, flesh-and-blood guitarist Vincent Hänni. Then they
performed their first two albums on stage, “The Young Gods” and “L’Eau rouge”, with
Cesare Pizzi returning to his original place on samplers.
So what does the musical future of The Young Gods look like now? It started to take shape
around Treichler, Pizzi and Trontin doing a public residence at the Cully Jazz Festival in
2015. Three years after, the 12th album of the band is ready. It was mixed in London by
Alan Moulder. The release is planned for February 2019 and it will be followed by a
European Tour in March and April and a subsequent World tour.