There can be no doubt that Daniela Moos’ (aka. JACK NOVEMBER) music is special. Special in different meanings – on the one hand it is music that couldn’t be more dark, on the other hand it couldn’t be more bewitching and captivating. In a certain sense her music feels like getting swallowed by the ocean late at night. In late November we visited her concert at Berlin’s 8mm Club – the club that is owned by 8mm Musik, the label JACK NOVEMBER is signed to. After the concert we talked to Daniela Moos about JACK NOVEMBER, dark music, being into the moment and why hope is not a positive thing for her.
The 8mm Bar was packed and when Daniela Moos entered the stage she casted a spell over every single guest within just a few seconds. A beautiful pale face young woman who was dressed in black and already with the first notes brought the atmosphere of a burial at the sea. Surely not music for every moment and not for everyone, but music that is fascinating and that will not leave anyone who listened to it unaffected; especially not when experienced live. It is the mix of shyness, mysteriousness and depression that flickers in JACK NOVEMBER‘s aura – a mix that makes it impossible to not drown into the soundspheres she creates. Music that forces to an acoustic travel through the inner self and the dark side of your own; music that forces you to think about who you are in this very moment. And the way Daniela Moos stares at the wall while perfoming her songs makes makes you shiver, since it shows that she is fully into the moment, the music and the atmosphere.
When we talked to her right after the concert, we found out that she is neither into darkness nor depressive atmospheres. We met a humble woman that doesn’t want to talk about personal things, but about the things that inspire her. But still, the fact that she doesn’t talk about personal things makes her – again – mysterious, which is perfect for JACK NOVEMBER.
Who is JACK NOVEMBER and how came the idea of creating music like this?
Well, it was kind of coinsidence. I always wanted to play music. Already as child the idea was in the back of my head, but I never got any musical support – and I’ve always been very modest and thought I had to be a limelight hog to be a musician and to go on stage. Later I got some possibilities and somehow found my way. But I never planned to play a certain kind of music. I’m not into certain genres – like drone or slowcore, to which my music often gets compared. My approach was way more “naive”, I just bought a harmonium and tried to find sounds I like. So somehow the music I play is the music that develops when I start playing the harmonium. There is no plan behind, so I often can’t really understand why people keep saying that my music is “dark” – I’m lost with these views, because I don’t feel like that personally.
You were on tour with BEACH HOUSE – how came that?
Yeah, these were my first concerts – today was my tenth concert by the way, so it is still the beginning. The tour with BEACH HOUSE came, because I played my first show with SOAP AND SKIN – 2010 in Paris. Her booker then got me in touch with BEACH HOUSE.
And how came that you played your first show in Paris?
Well, I don’t like to talk about personal things that much. We are friends and back in the days when MySpace still was present we were in contact there and I was invited to the concert.
Fragile voice and dark music. Although you don’t see your music as dark yourself, it is the music that comes out of you. Are you like that?
(laughs) Well, no…not really. It’s more concentrated. Certain elements are more concentrated, but of course nobody is just one thing.
And how about your lyrics? What are they about and how do you write them?
Lyrically…that’s different. Sometimes it starts with a sentence that takes me further and further. But it’s never the same. I never write full lyrics that I use like that – sometimes there even is just a melody that I use to go on for writing lyrics.
…and what is first? Melodies or lyrics?
Actually always the lyrics. I got a little book which I use to write down all the things that come to my mind. Partially I put together things that I think that fit to each other…sometimes things I wrote down months ago suddenly fit to newer things. And then a full image emerges. It’s hard to explain, but somehow I get possessed of it. There is an idea of a mood, an atmosphere or a certain image and I want to put it into a mould. The whole thing is on my mind and I keep thinking about how to convert it into a song.
Your song “Moonsorrow” got some drumming by the drummer of DIE EINSTÜRZENDEN NEUBAUTEN.
Yes. This always sounds so big, but to be honest: he is a friend. He was in the studio when I recorded my songs and said “I could play something…we could try it” and I was like “why not? let’s try it.” And in the end it just worked well.
When it comes to live shows: do you like playing in small bars or do you prefer bigger stages?
Both live situations have advantages and disadvantages. Smaller locations are much more intimate, while the sound in bigger ones is often much better. Sometimes it is good to have a bit more distance to the audience, because then it is easier for me to set myself into the moment. And that is the most important thing for me, being present in the very moment. I want my thoughts in the very moment and not somewhere else.
Last question: what do “hope” and “passion” mean to you?
That’s a hard one…I’m not that good in questions like that.
Hope – I don’t make something of hope anymore, because hope is wishfulness – what people would like to have someday or where they want to be someday. Meanwhile I am more like living the very moment as aware as possible. Many people are way too much in thoughts, just thinking about the past or the future and what could go well or wrong. I think we should keep in mind that we actually only have the time now. And it’s a real pity that a lot of people forget this. So hope is not a positive thing for me.
Passion – you should be passionate about all the things you do. If you aren’t, you shouldn’t do it.