Click Interview with Blackbook: ‘It’s A Mood Piece That Covers A Part Of Our Lives’
Blackbook is a mysterious Swiss duo which last year released their official debut album “Confessions Of The Innocent” on DarkTunes Music Group. They were introduced as having been part of famous bands and having composed hits. Hidden behind masks and keeping their identities secret we can only but focus on the music. An impressive number of singles were already released before the album. So “Confessions Of The Innocent” is a kind of compilation from all these singles. The work reveals an impressive maturity in writing and production and is one of the best Electro/Wave-Pop albums from the last months. I talked to both protagonists who revealed their first names.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: You clearly don’t want to reveal your identities, preferring to hide behind masks and mystery. Is it a kind of marketing strategy or what is it really all about? And are there details you want to reveal?
Matthias: When we started Blackbook, we had already played in several other Swiss and German acts. We didn’t want the public or the media to focus on that. That way we had a fresh beginning and we could create a little mystery. But it’s okay now, we usually say our first names. You can’t hide for long in the era of the internet.
Albert: Not revealing your identity and even wearing masks is also a great way of saying: just listen to the music!
Q: What you for sure can reveal is how Blackbook saw the daylight and what brought you to work together? Was there a kind of guiding line and specific sources of inspiration in the writing of the songs?
Albert: Years ago we were playing in a band together and decided that at some point we would start a duo project. We had no idea what it was going to be but we liked the idea of planning something that would involve just the two of us. It’s very efficient, working as a duo.
Matthias: If you listen to our album I think it’s clear that we are inspired by 80s and 90s music. It’s the music we grew up with. But our inspiration for specific songs can come from anywhere: books, TV series, songs, anything we come across. When we began, we didn’t know yet what our sound would be but as soon as we had “Love Is A Crime”, which later became our first single, we knew what Blackbook would sound and look like.
Q: You already mentioned to have been involved with other projects so how do you see yourselves as musicians and what does Blackbook mean in addition to your other projects?
Albert: At the moment it’s the only really serious musical project I’m working on, so I reserve a lot of time to work and reflect on it. I am basically a songwriter and a singer, so that’s my thing.
Matthias: I am not a car-person, but if I where, Blackbook would be my favorite car that I polish every weekend and drive to work every day, although I told myself to only drive it on special occasions and use my shitty car instead.
Q: Your debut album “Confessions Of The Innocent” was preceded by an impressive number of singles. So how did the album finally take shape and how do you look back at the writing and production of the songs and album?
Matthias: Actually, it did start out as just a series of singles, starting with “Love Is A Crime”. At some point we said, let’s just pack them all on an album, add a few songs and that’s it. But I think the reason it works so well as an album is the fact that our songs have a red thread in terms of thematic content and production style.
Albert: When it comes to the lyrics, I like to think of an album as being a reflection of what I or we have been through in a certain period of time. It’s a mood piece that covers a part of our lives.
Q: Your songs are clearly into Synth-Pop music but what does this genre of music mean to you? And what are the elements you need to speak about a great Synth-Pop song?
Albert: To be honest, I don’t even care that much about genres. It’s obvious that you can label our music as Synth-Pop and that’s fine, but what I care about more is to make something that’s consistent, recognizable and true to our inner bearings as a musician.
Matthias: I grew up in the 80’s, so synthesizers, gated reverbs and drum machines from that era still make me feel good, in a nostalgic but also rejuvenating way.
Q: I noticed you’re planning your first live shows this year. What might the audience expect from Blackbook on stage and will you try to keep your identities secret -which I think is nearly impossible?
Matthias: We’re preparing these shows at the moment and we’re totally freaking out.
Albert: I really can’t sleep anymore.
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