Artist To Artist: Jaakko Eino Kalevi And Kasper Bjorke
We like Jaakko Eino Kalevi, we also like Mr Kasper Bjørke. You may have noticed these facts whilst perusing the pages of our little ode to good stuff.
Kasper has a new album 'After Forever' out. On said album there's a collaboration with the recent Domino Records and Beats in Space signing Jaakko entitled 'TNR' which features his austere vocals… here it is:
You know how it goes down round these parts… when two artists have a connect, we get to chat to each. Here then is Kasper and Jaakko's conversation… check it:
Kasper: Hey man! Jetlagged still?
K: Yeah nothing like a trip to the Big Apple to screw up your sleep pattern! But lets do this, I think you have to leave soon, right?
J: I'm not in a hurry, let's do it!
Ok cool – I will just start by asking you a question and then we'll take it from there.
Goodmorning Mr. Jetlag! I had a lot of fun doing the ”TNR” track with you for my album. It sort of came out pretty natural – I hope you feel the same. I only had one request, remember? If you would write a second verse part and you immediately wrote back to me: "Words Dont Come Easy" Which I thought was hilarious! Besides being a great classic song – that is by far the best answer I have ever had in a situation like that. Others would have said "sure I will give it a try" or "I don't feel like it". Anyway, you seemed determined that the lyrics were done at that point. Is that how you also work with your solo material? Do you work quite fast on music and get to a point and then the song closes itself so you cannot really work on it more than you already did?(I've got to admit, a second verse part was not really needed in the end)
I think I'm pretty good in putting the end to a song. I know its a typical thing to just pollsh and polish but i think It can easily kill the song. I really like this quote from "Naked lunch": "See, you can't rewrite, 'cause to rewrite is to deceive and lie, and you betray your own thoughts. To rethink the flow and the rhythm, the tumbling out of the words, is a betrayal, and it's a sin, Martin, it's a sin." But I have to admit. I rewrite and edit sometimes.
That's a great quote! Actually never read the book but saw the film… Was it Cronenberg who adapted it for the screen? Seem to remember a drunken Peter Weller in front of a bug-typewriter?
Yes – I haven't read the book either – it's a great movie.
Funny that you didn't read it either. Surely a great movie. All Cronenberg movies are pretty cool – and very disturbing… Anyway, I heard you played TNR at Roskilde Festival live. How did people respond to it?
Oh yeah! I meant to ask you about it but then I forgot. Sorry about that. It was a very good gig in general I think. I can't remember how it was with this specific song. Maybe they put some more smoke into the audience? The lights were very impressive there!
The Apollo stage is a really nice stage, I actually helped develop the idea for it a few years ago and also played there the first two years of its life. Totally fine that you played the song! And please continue to do it in your shows, I think that's cool! Had a similar experience a few years ago where I found out that Nicolas Jaar had incorporated his remix version of a track he did of mine into his liveshow (his remix of my cover version of Rolling Stones "Heaven"). I think he toured with it for quite a while. So anyway, about the animated music video. How did you feel about being animated as all naked playing a keytar in the video for TNR ?
I didn't really know if it was me but good to know 🙂 Now when I think about it, Its obvious! heheheh. I like my body and I have no problems to show it in an animated music video. Though my friend gave me an advice for my music career that "Don't take your clothes off before the third album", but this time I didn't really have to do any decisions on that. And technically my next album is going to be my 4th so its ok!
Hahaha! Well I'm happy that you discovered that it is you now! And that dude lurking as you rise out of the water naked, that's me!
You do also realise that it's you on the bed in the last scene wearing fluorescent underwear while two girls are being all Robert Palmer-like next to you? I think that might be my favorite scene actually.
Hahaha – it is good! – a scene from my everyday life, kind of.
Exactly. Just another day in the studio. Anyway, speaking about your next record: being signed to Domino's sub-label for your next release seems like a dream, it's one of my favorite labels. How did you get signed?
Yes it's great! It really feels like a dream come true but a dream I never dreamed. When I heard that Domino was interested I didn't even know them. I had to Google them and then I was like "Yeah, why not". I would say that the process started when my friend Juho from Villa Nah played my music to Piers who is my manager now. Piers liked it and and started to help me in London. Then I was offered a publishing deal from Beggars and after that, when I had my EP ready, I heard that Domino was interested to put it out.
Thats great! Definitely one of my favourite all time labels. So, you have just been in NYC finishing the upcoming album. What can people expect from that? Do you see it as a natural progression of the vibe on your latest EP for Beats In Space – or is it something competely different? It's pretty good that you are taking your time in replying because then I can play with my understimulated cat in between, he's running around like crazy, jumping on chairs and moving them and then being all parkour like on the walls (that lame ass sport where you jump onto walls and stuff).
The Beats In Space EP was more like a dancy thing and a compilation of some random old songs. This new album is completely new stuff and I'm very happy how the mixing went. I did it with Nicolas Vernhes at Rare Book Room studios in Green Point. I'm very bad at describing it. Sometimes it sounds very easy and chilled and sometimes pretty aggressive. Sometimes slow and sometimes fast. I would say it's something completely different but still similar because of me. Mostly "ballads" I would say. I understood that you made many of the songs to your next album with guest singers? If so, why don't you sing on there?
I love ballads and I can't wait to hear it man. I'm way too shy to sing. And also I sing like crap.
You can use autotune and vocoder, the new technology.
I've heard about it, yeah. No, it's simply because I think it's very inspiring to work with others on my music – It also adds to it, I think. It's not all just ”me me me”. I seem to recall you also have guest vocals on "No End" – a track which I totally love – actually it's the first song I heard with you. Funnily enough, I thought it WAS you singing on it, it wasn't until I heard other stuff with you that I realised, Ok he doesn't sound that much like a girl after all…
I understand. I'm getting there too. I also never thought I was a singer but just somehow ended up adding my human voice there. With "No End" I wanted a girl singer and that's something I can't do unfortunately. Not even with the new technology.
You can try cutting off your balls and taking some female hormones but I don't recommend that, obviously. Man, this interview is officially getting out of hand, sorry about that…
By the way, did you know that according to the recent studies, half of the Viking warriors were women?
Seriously? That's great! The feminists will surely love this piece of news!
Yea I think it's interesting. Anywhoo, what is the name of the album?
It's called After Forever and is released on Sept 22nd. Just around the corner (another great song). When is your album released?
It's going to happen in January, at least these are what the talks say for now. I heard that my name is spelled in 2 different way on the cover of your record. Jaakko seems to be a difficult name to spell for people outside of Finland. Its usually Jakko or Jaako. I think people can't believe that it's correct to have 2 As and 2 Ks. Can it be corrected anymore? 🙂
Damn, really? I gotta check that. The vinyl is done and so is the CD. Let me double check that, I always tried to check your name specifically because of the two As and two Ks
I heard that somewhere it's Jaako.
Yeah, just found it. On the backside credits of the vinyl there is only one K, sorry man!
Hehehe, I'm used to that.
But it's only in the writer/publishing credits, so most people won't see it. It's the small print on the back. Sorry…
I will comfort myself that it's a tribute to the Jamaican music industry where this sometimes happens.
I'm sure it does! If we ever do another track together for your project, you are officially allowed to spell my name wrong – which also happens quite a lot actually.
Well it is what it is. I'm happy that it is correct in some parts. What does the cover look like otherwise? Can't wait to see it physically!
You didn't see the cover?
The label should have sent it to you by now. I will push Ze Germanz.
Oh, they don't have my address I think
I told them to email you or Piers and gave them your email addresses to get your real addresses. Will get on it now. I've just gotta go play more with my cat before he destroys a piece of furniture. That is unless you have more questions?
I don't really have anything that relevant.
I think this interview might be the most relevant ever. We got vikings, Burroughs, pets and male castrations in there!
Hehe true. Many subjects touched.
Ok, got to go – hope to see you soon. If not before, then at Iceland Airwaves Festival in November, where we are both playing actually! I will also be in London on 20th September doing a DJ gig at DeepShit at the Basement club of the London Edition together with Jack from Friendly Fires and Edwin from Foals and Rory Philips!
Yeah, would be fun!
You have fun at Berlin Music Week!
Man, it's so busy. 5 shows in 3 days…
Rock on! CIAO!
‘TNR’ is a poignant post-disco beauty, and comes accompanied with a trio of remixes including a double reworking by Kompakt records resident dandy, Superpitcher.
You should get your ears round it. Buy album here