Amistad Interview

Amistad Interview Reeperbahn Festival Special

Amistad im Interview Reeperbahn Festival - Fotocredit: Jeff Bassett

Amistad im Interview Reeperbahn Festival – Fotocredit: Jeff Bassett

Im Reeperbahn Festival Special habe ich die kanadische Indie Band Amistad im Interview für Euch.

Im Vergleich zu ihrem Release „Lee“, ihrem ersten Album, haben die kanadischen Jungs um Amistad einen riesen Sprung gemacht. Denn mit ihrer aktuellen EP „Talk Peace to a Wolf“ haben sie einen Turnaround zu einer Indie-Pop und Electro-Pop Band geschafft, die ihr für die nächsten Jahre definitiv noch auf dem Radar behalten solltet. Deswegen gibt es jetzt auch hier ein exklusives Interview mit der Band.


Please just introduce yourself in three sentences.

We are called //AMISTAD//. We are five friends from Vernon, BC, Canada. We cannot wait to play at Reeperbahn.

Canada is hosting the Reeperbahn Festival as a special country this year. In which way you feel honoured to come here to Hamburg and will burn down a Liveset?

It’s a pretty insane opportunity for us, as long as we’ve been playing music we’ve been wanting to fly for music. So to play our songs and our show on another continent, in another country, is pretty surreal.

You’ve released “Lee” about three years ago. On this album your sound is a little bit more rough than on your latest EP “Talk Peace to a Wolf”. Where do you see yourself with the biggest move you’ve make from your debut until your second release?

LEE was recorded in our basements and living rooms, we didn’t really know what we were doing or how to record an album, we just wanted to get those songs out to the world. Besides the production and general sound quality difference, I think the biggest change for us between LEE and TALK PEACE TO A WOLF is that we approached the songwriting in a more methodical and concise way. It felt as though we were saying everything that we didn’t get to on LEE, but in a much more compact way.

While listening to your newer songs like “Conquer” I got the impression that you have like 1000 ideas in your head and you can only realize 3 of them. How big is the risk not to break on your own inventiveness?

Good question. It’s a hard thing to decipher in our process, we usually go by feel and what fits in our minds at the time. Songwriting is an odd thing, in that there are basically infinite possibilities, you can go in any direction you want with a song, it’s just about finding which option fits the song the best.

If we compare “Conquer” with “Desolation Sound” it seems like a changing bath of emotions. Can you shortly explain why these two songs prepossessing and repulsive at the same time?

Both of those songs are (lyrically) pretty heavy, I find it interesting how much of an impact the instrumentation can have on how people interpret a song. Conquer being much more upbeat changes how people hear the words, whereas with Desolation Sound, the sound matches the mood of the words a bit more. Neither of those songs have particularly happy lyrics, yet one of them is interpreted as more desperate and sad and the other as happier. For us, that juxtaposition of emotions is super important. We always want to make sure that everybody can interpret the songs in their own way, because that makes it much more meaningful for them to have their own personal connection.

If you have to write something like a weekly report of this week in Germany, here in Hamburg. What are your milestones you want to reach and is there a progress you wish to feel you will make in these days?

Going into a show, whether that’s a festival slot or a showcase, we always try to approach it as if it were our last show. Our goal with Reeperbahn and our time in Hamburg is to play the best shows we’ve ever played, to connect and meet as many new people as possible, and to make sure that we are the band that no-one forgets.
Amistad im Interview Reeperbahn Festival - Fotocredit: Jeff Bassett

Amistad im Interview Reeperbahn Festival – Fotocredit: Jeff Bassett

To be honest: The new sound seems to be more high-quality then your older songs if we only concentrate on the production. Which improvement in getting better as musicians and better basic conditions (productions, mastering) did you get since your debut release?

Since our debut release we’ve managed to start to grasp how to be a band and how we can be more efficient overall. I think our songwriting has evolved, not only in sound but in method, we’re now more than ever striving to challenge ourselves and each other, whether that means writing harder rhythms, singing higher, or changing time signatures. We’ve also learned a lot with making our own videos and doing our own graphic design, it’s been a very cool and intensely busy few years.

To come and play your own songs on a different continent must be amazing. Is it a difficult goal not to have too high expectations?

It’s always a scary thought, that this is our chance to make an awesome first impression on a music scene on another continent. It can make you really nervous if you let it, but we’ve found that we can channel that into motivation and use it to make a better set, to play a better show, and to just have a really positive mindset around all of this. Because it’s daunting for sure, but we are close enough to know that we will hold ourselves and each other accountable and we won’t let either of those down.

If we Germans only have time to listen to 2 minutes of any of your songs. Which one should it be to get convinced if your sound?

That’s a tough question, we’re pretty proud of being able to say that our songs are very different from each other, and there are so many different elements that make up //AMISTAD// sonically, so that makes it a hard decision. I would have to go with our song RADIKAL, because it has a good grasp on most of the elements on TALK PEACE TO A WOLF.



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