Vin Blanc / White Wine

Interview – „I am in love with simplicity.“

Im Interview: Vin Blanc / Whit Wine; Credit: Vin Blanc/Whit Wine

Im Interview: Vin Blanc / Whit Wine; Credit: Vin Blanc/Whit Wine

Letzte Woche haben wir euch Spring King aus Manchester vorgestellt. Diese Woche wollen wir euch den Singer-Songwriter Vin Blanc / White Wine aus den Staaten vorstellen. Im Zuge unseres Reeperbahn Festival Specials hat sich das Soundkartell mit dem kreativen Kopf und Mulitinstrumentalisten Joe Haege unterhalten.

Vin Blanc / White Wine wird am 19. September im Rahmen des Reeperbahn Festivals eine seiner atemberaubenden Shows spielen. Ihm wird demnach eine ungemeine Bühnenpräsenz nachgesagt und das kommt wohl auch daher, weil er seine Gitarre in den Vordergrund stellt. Seit 2009 ist er nun mit seinem Projekt unterwegs und produziert dabei Songs, die einerseits so simpel und unfassbar eingängig klingen und andererseits sein unglaubliches Songwriting-Talent unter Beweis stellen.

Für uns ist er einer der Nachfolger von Andrew Bird und deshalb sind wir auch sehr froh, dass wir ihn für ein Interview gewinnen konnten. Dazu haben wir uns mit Joe Haege über so ziemlich alles unterhalten: Das Singer-Songwriter-Tum, die Einfachheit als geniales Mittel seiner Musik und seine Verbindung zu Deutschland. Diesen Act solltet beim Festival um keinen Musikprei der Welt verpassen.

Soundkartell: What is for you a typical american singer­songwriter from the US about?

Joe: “I’m not trying to avoid your question, but I have no idea what a typical singer songwriter is. I sing and I write songs, but in today’s world of technology that includes 20 tracks of heavily edited midi and playing rhythms and melodies that my brain can barely grasp. If I am that, then I am too dumb to try and picture what other „singer songwriters“ are about.”

Soundkartell: Are there specific differences between the US, Canada and Europe?

Joe: “I assume you mean with music and/or culture in general. Yes, for sure. In modern times I think the biggest difference is that, being America, the country where the rich rule all and everyone else gets scraps, you have to fight for what you want a little harder. I’m not saying that’s a good thing. It’s just a fact.
Canada is very similar. I would say Europe, though, you can literally be viewed as an artist by the government and get some kind of support. Even in Canada they do a little of that. The U.S. you are treated more or less like an entrepreneur peddling your product, and no one wants it until someone else wants it.
Overall, I think Europeans view music and bands as art more than people do in the U.S. There you have to be famous to be an actual „artist“. But these are VERY general statements.”

Soundkartell: People say that you have a really huge stage presence. How should we imagine that?

Joe: “Like the creepy guy on the bus was given a stage and a microphone, but you’re also pleasantly surprised because the creep can play guitar ok.”

Soundkartell: When we are listening to songs like “Losing Sweet Permission” we noticed that this a song with an easier “access” in comparison to songs like “Make Do” or “OK, We Get It”. Where is the significant difference in the songwriting for you in these songs?

Joe: “The significant difference to me is that I wrote them at different times. Seriously, I have probably had a much less successful career in all of my bands simply because I have chosen not to make things all sound the same, mainly with some stuff being way more complex than others. It’s just not how my mind works. Don’t get me wrong, I kind of hate this about myself. I wish I could write an album of easier access songs, but I have to be genuine or I’m waisting everyone’s time. Maybe someday writing an album of more accessible songs will be what comes out of me, but until then I just have to follow my inner compass.”

Soundkartell: Which importance does simplicity have in your songs?

Joe: “So much! More and more I am in love with simplicity. I used to be so determined to make everything be complex and have multiple layers and changes. Now I am finally starting to feel simplicity.”

Soundkartell: And how do you nevertheless manage it in your songwriting that this simplicity grows up to a complexity in your songs?

Joe: “Coffee? Late night ideas that seem great? I really don’t know. I think sometimes when I work on something simple for too long I get bored and I start to think it’s not good so I want to force myself to make something I haven’t heard before. I want to make new combinations of melodies and rhythms.”

Soundkartell: In which way do you think it is fair to compare you with Andrew Bird because for us the presence and the talent of being multiinstrumentalist is similar?

Joe: “That is your decision. I make the music I make. I try not to over think such things. It begins to poison the well.”

Soundkartell: Could you please explain the context of the name of your project “Vin Blanc / White Wine” and the music that you make since your record “In Every Way But One”?

Joe: “White Wine is not cool. It will never be as cool as red wine. That is the initial logic behind it. Also, when I started this project it was just me on my computer in the tour van with 31Knots. I liked how dumb it was. But then I loved the sound of it in English and French. So…there is no rule for band names. I named it in both!”

Soundkartell: In which way this is more than just a project of yours?

Joe: “It is now the project of Fritz Brückner and I. He was the soundman for Tu Fawning and Menomena while I was playing with them. We became good friends and always talked about doing a project together, like many other people he has worked with. I meant it!
He agreed to do a tour with me last February and learned how to play my songs from the recordings. We spent 55 days together and never had a weird moment but had a lot of fun. If that isn’t a reason to focus on the project I don’t know what is.”

Soundkartell: Which three things characterize your music the most?

Joe: “Sincerity, absurdity and uncertainty.”

Soundkartell: What can we expect from you at Reeperbahn Festival?

Joe: “You can expect for Fritz and I to be very excited to be there and to be privileged enough to be playing music in life. We are sincerely grateful for it. So, it’ll be a celebration of that fact, which we try to do with every live show.”

Soundkartell: Do you have a kind of special relationship to Hamburg and the Reeperbahn?

Joe: “To Hamburg, yes. I was playing there a long time ago, with 31knots. We were opening for QandnotU on our 2nd ever European tour. I somehow really fucked up my knee after the 2nd song. (How? I was standing up from changing a string!). My life Angel, Annette Kessen, brought me to a doctor at 1 in the morning. 1 hour later I, the American in a foreign country with no health insurance, walks out of the hospital with crutches and pain medication for 30 Euro. Amazing.”
Reeperbahn, I think it’s fun as hell. I’ve played there with a lot of my bands now and I’ve never had a bad time. Hamburg has a little bit more of it’s own pulse than some places, so for that I love it.”

Soundkartell: Your greatest desire for the future.

Joe: “I want to record a great record and I want the German government to give me few problems when applying for my visa! Oh, and maybe marry a smart, witty, beautiful german girl who speaks in a dialect I won’t learn bad habits from.“

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