Click Interview with Rohn-Lederman: ‘Commitment To The Art’
Jean-Marc Lederman (The Weathermen, Ghost & Writer, Lederman/ De Meyer ao) and Emileigh Rohn (Chiasm) got in touch for Jean-Marc’s conceptual album “Letters To Gods And Fallen Angels” (2019). It became a praised album and a successful collaboration inciting the Belgian-American duo to move on working together. Rohn-Lederman was born and a first album “Venus Chariot” was released in 2021. One year later the duo strikes back unleashing “Rage!”. Both albums released by COP International reveal a very own approach in sound, mixing different styles resulting in an atypical Electro-Pop production. “Rage!” sounds darker and harsher than its predecessor but also is a sophisticated piece of music. This is what both artists have to say about their common project.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: What motivated you to work together on a full length album and what makes the chemistry between both of you?
Jean-Marc: We kinda hooked up really from the beginning. I had provided Emileigh a song but ended up having to recreate the entire instrumental part beyond her voice. And she loved it. And I was so surprised as usually singers hate that, they’ll often get very self-conscious when the music changes too much. And I think Emileigh liked that I went as far as redoing a whole new music backing behind her. So we kind of got impressed by how each other was ready to alter course for making the end song shine through: commitment to the art.
Emileigh: We began in 2019 with a song featured at Jean-Marc’s album “Letters To Gods And Fallen Angels” and realized the potential of continuing to try more. So, we created an EP which eventually became an album and really haven’t stopped since. I think at last count, we have over 50 tracks released together at this point. It’s been an incredibly dynamic partnership.
Q: Was there something like a consensus about the music, lyrical themes and global approach when setting up the project?
Jean-Marc: We just went straight in and got to discover things happening when they did and follow the rabbit down the music hole…
Emileigh:I recall, when we first began, having a discussion around Tom Waits quote regarding beautiful music saying terrible things. I think that intense emotional edge, especially with our recent “Rage!”-album, has only continued to sharpen. We knew well from our individual projects that our mindsets were similar and wanted to create music that continues to move and hold interest. I think we both have a fiery opposition to stagnancy.
Q: Jean-Marc, you already worked with numerous singers and artists so what makes the experience with Emileigh Rohn maybe different or that particular? What did she brought you never experienced before and in which way did she stimulates your artistic creativity and –skills in the production of this work?
Jean-Marc: I have been lucky enough to share a great music experience with amazing singers like Bruce Geduldig with The Weathermen and Frank Spinath with Ghost & Writer. Here, Emileigh brings in her amazing lyrical talent, her great voice, her ability to embrace changes and a genuine curiosity for bold and new things. The differences are multiples but I think it is also her natural attitude towards musical experiments.
Q: I often get the feeling Jean-Marc is one of the very few artists active at this scene who’s able to write the right music for the singers he’s working with… the singers becoming his muse? Do you recognize it or is it totally different? What’s your experience about it?
Emileigh: I write from my own interpretations, but there’s no question that we inspire each other. Our tracks begin with a skeleton composed by Jean-Marc, and I create my songs around that. Then he arranges the sounds around what I’ve provided, so there is indeed a chance for each of us to adjust what we’ve created. It’s been an incredibly creative experience overall.
Q: Sound-wise Rohn-Lederman sounds driven by Electro-Pop influences and yet it sounds to me as an antidote to ‘classical’ Electro-Pop standards which are only but repeating themselves. What makes the inspiration for Rohn-Lederman and what’s your perception of Electro-Pop productions who nearly all sound the same?
Jean-Marc: We are both very open to many different music styles and we aren’t afraid of trying mixing things we’ve heard, be it in a Top Ten hit or an obscure sound in a song penned by an unknown Moldavian band from the seventies (lol). So, no real influences but many of them. Luckily enough, they get draft in and mix themselves with all the others and it makes up for something rather different. Electro-pop productions are most often amazing sound wise and terrible inspiration and novelty wise.
Q: I guess you didn’t record the album together in studio but did everything over the net. Don’t you think working together in the same room/studio would result in a different production? What’s your opinion about it? And what’s the next step now for this project?
Jean-Marc: Sure it would sound different: what we get today is the result of that studio isolation and geographical distance. Being together in the studio would allow us to refine certain parts for sure but still we would go in the same area: putting together elements that aren’t supposed to be seen together.
It would be amazing to record in the same studio and very probably would lead to even more research and musical melting pot.
Next step? We have already kinda define where we want Rohn-Lederman 3 to go and lazily get going lol. But first Emileigh gets to work on her own Chiasm album and then we’ll regroup for our next one.
Emileigh: I’ve always preferred to work alone in my studio because it allows me to experiment with different sounds and techniques without the fear of judgement, the opportunity to self-edit in my own space. I think although we are comfortable sharing with each other mid-progress, we’re still giving ourselves this chance to branch out and create content that’s extra memorable for the listeners. As far as what’s next, yes, I’m constructing my new Chiasm-album and I’m sure that will have some influence on how we approach our next ROHN-LEDERMAN-album together. It’s going to be wild!! 🙂
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