Click Interview with Code 64:  ‘Honest Self-Expression’

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Originally set up in 2000 Swedish Code 64 became a renowned name at the wider fields of Electro-Pop. The band released successful productions on labels like Memento Materia and Progress Productions. After a few silent years, Code 64 strikes back with the self-released album “Broken Rhythm”. Christian Espeland and original singer Henrik Piehl achieved a fresh, mature, and somewhat atypical Electro-Pop formation. I talked about it with both members.

(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)

Q: Your new and fifth album “Broken Rhythm” is a bit special as Henrik Piehl, the original singer of the band, is back on board plus it’s also the first self-released album to date. Can you give us more details how it all happened?  

Henrik: Well, we had been writing music together on and off over the years. Just not as Code 64. I guess we felt it was time. We released the first single “Soundwave” together with a label. But we wanted more control of how, when and where we release our music. So we decided to start our own label Arrowland MG. 

Q: Does the writing and production of “Broken Rhythm” feel like a new beginning and how did it happen working back again as Code 64 like in the early days? 

Henrik: In some ways it feels like a fresh start, but at the same time kind of like business as usual. We work very well together. We both know what we want and when compromise is needed we are both pretty giving. 

Q: Christian, before this interview we got in touch and you said about the new work that it features the essence of “Storm” and “Departure” but that you aren´t kids any more. That’s quite interesting so I would like to ask you how both of you evolved as ‘artists’ and how do you look back at both debut  albums? What would you’ve done differently today?  

Christian: I believe in the true magic of the moment and I don´t think we would have done anything different with our first albums today. They are real time stamps on where we were at that time.  As artists I think we are a bit more confident in our work and of course we aren’t kids anymore, so we are much wiser (lol).

Q: What did you to try to express by the title “Broken Rhythm” and its lyrical content?  

Henrik: This originates from martial arts, but is something we feel is even more useful outside the dojo or the gym. The idea is that there are rhythms in fighting, as well as in life, and sometimes we need to disrupt this rhythm to create an opening to strike. In life, we all have our own habits and patterns, and sometimes we need to break that rhythm to progress. 

Q: I think you can label “Broken Rhythm” as an Electro-Pop album although it’s not exactly a typical  production in its genre. What kind of work and sound did you’d in mind when starting the writing? What have been the main challenges, difficulties and points of satisfaction?  

Henrik: We didn’t want to go into the writing of any of the songs on the album with limitations. The idea that it had to sound in a certain way or belong to a specific genre is something we wanted to avoid. Honest self-expression was something we strived for. And as mentioned before, we work very well together. So there’s not much in the way of drama to speak of. We both have small children, so I guess the most difficult thing has been finding the time. 

Christian: Maybe another difficulty was the mixing and having confidence in our ears. It’s been many years since we released something, and sound and production has changed a lot I feel. So, it was kind of inventing the wheel again. 

Q: What about new live shows and how do you transpose the songs from studio towards the stage? And what are the plans for 2023?  

Christian: We haven’t been on stage again yet. Last time we both shared a stage was in a festival in Stamford US in 2007. In 2023 we are booked for playing a festival in Gothenburg in January and another festival in Berlin in May. 

We will be bringing a miniature version of our studio out on stage and we will deliver our songs as they are meant to sound. 

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