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Electro-pop duo Pathos Legal from Frankfurt are playing a stripped down set on Saturday to promote their new album Du, mein wilder Geist. I had a chat with band members Alexandra and Berkant.
How did Pathos Legal come about?
Alexandra: “We met over 10 years ago, fell in love and started the band. It really came natural to us: I debuted on stage as a poet on poetry slams in Frankfurt, where I performed my poems without singing or music. That went pretty well, I got invitations to perform at several stages across Germany and abroad. Moreover, I was asked to publish some poems in anthologies, however, in my mind there was always something missing: music. Fortunately Berkant is a guitar player, he had played in bands before and so it all started…”
Alexandra, can you tell us a bit more about your writing process and how you get inspired?
A: “As a teenager I started writing poems, short stories and later song lyrics. I feel like a writer rather than a singer, even though I love to sing! Writing is the best way to express myself; paper is my canvas. Just looking and walking around can already inspire me, but most inspiring is visiting concerts – it’s like I’m in a bubble, surrounded by ideas.”
It’s about escaping your daily routine, rediscovering your inner wildness and following wild ideas.
Pathos Legal has a clean electro sound. Was it easy to find the right sound to go with the poetic lyrics?
Berkant: “Yes, most of the songs start with a musical idea on the guitar or a rough sketch of a song on my computer. If we like what we hear we start to think about the lyrics. Alexandra has a clear idea of themes she wants to write about. Since we have an common understanding of how our music should sound, we simply get together and go through the music and lyrics to see which ones fit together. But it’s a non-structured process and somehow this way of working fits us well. Perhaps because we’ve been making music together for many years now.”
How would you describe your sound?
A: “I think it’s always a bit difficult for musicians to explain their sound in their own words. Maybe ‘a mixture of electronic driven beats and synths, combined with airy clean guitars, strings and other traditional instruments, creating dense and lush atmospheric music’.”
All the songs are in German – do you feel German fits the feel of the lyrics and sound best? And are you planning to record material in English now you’re touring more and more outside the borders of your home country?
A: “At the moment there’s no need for me to write lyrics in English. I like sophisticated lyrics so I think it’s a good idea to write in the language that I speak best. We’re really excited about how our lyrics work abroad and the songs can tell their stories even without being understood word by word.”
Your new single is dropping May 27th. What is the inspiration behind the song?
A: “It’s about escaping your daily routine, rediscovering your inner wildness and following crazy ideas. This is exactly what we’re doing with our own music: we let go of our regular routine and do everything ourselves. We made the album and its cover independently, organized the tour and we do the marketing and distribution without help.”
Your dog Mayo Rakete is the cover star of the new album. How did he become a third member of the band and and is he joining the band everywhere they go?
A: “Mayo became part of the family five years ago. He’s a special character and we try to take him with us whenever we can. He’ll be coming with us to Amsterdam, but while we’re playing our concert he will stay at the hotel with a sitter. We wanted to translate the album title Du, mein wilder Geist in a more artsy way, hence the idea to transform Mayo into a little ghost dog.”
Which artists inspire you? Anyone on repeat at the moment?
B: “I have a few albums which are/were on repeat, to name a few: Susanne Sundfor’s The Silicone Veil or 10,000 Days by Tool. Though I often only like one or two songs on an album, which I then listen to on repeat. What also really inspires me is a good film score – I love the House of Cards theme!”
A: “Róisín Murphy!”
What’s your biggest dream for the band?
A: “We would love to play a big festival! Playing clubs and intimate acoustic sets is great, but we feel our new material would fit perfectly on a bigger stage.”
Be sure to check them out at Skek, this Saturday!
PATHOS LEGAL AT SKEK
When: May 21, 20:00
Where: Skek, Zeedijk 4
More info: Facebook event
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