Anders Rhedin, aka DINNER, will do whatever it takes to conjure up that spiritual entity found in his music. Now based in Los Angeles, Rhedin originally hails from Copenhagen, Denmark and is celebrating the release of his second EP Girl this weekend in Berlin.
Whether he is collaborating with others, discovering his singing voice, exploring the “weird little pathways” of L.A, DINNER is certainly bringing some to the table that we’ve never tried before.
NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION sat down Anders Rhedin on a beautiful spring afternoon on Wednesday in Berlin and talked about everything from being afraid of the desert, to the influence that Los Angeles, “girls, destruction, and the divine feminine” has had on this Danish crooner.
Before your latest EP you released You are like LA. When did you record it, and what was the process like?
So we just went into the studio, I had some rough sketches and we recorded 7 songs in two days. They hadn’t really heard anything in advance and we didn’t really know what would happen. For instance, it was their idea that I should sing. I wanted someone else to sing…so we just started like that and then finished it in the states.
You originally didn’t want to sing? Were you just looking to produce on this album?
I was looking more to write songs and create. I have these songs and I’m looking to have these songs translate as best as possible, but then I was stuck with it, and I asked Jannis to take over. I said, “you have to make the decisions, you have to produce”. So he took charge to bring in these people and said “you’re gonna sing”.
So how do you feel about singing now?
[Laughs] That’s a good question… I don’t think too much about it. To me it’s just about channeling, and at the risk of sounding pretentious… let me put it this way, it’s like a magic ritual, and you want to conjure up or manifest some spirit entity that’s out there, some daemon, some angel, some guiding force or whatever it is that you want to call it…so it’s out there in the cosmos.
You do this anyway you can, you draw a circle on the ground, you bang your drum…you do whatever you need to do. And then hopefully this spiritual entity will manifest and then show up. And then I think for me it is the same with music, so again you draw your circle, bang your drum…. light your black candles and do whatever it is that you need to do and then it manifests.
So when I sing, it’s just about that…it’s not important, if singing is what brings down this spirit then I’ll sing, you know, if it’s running around naked in the street, ok, or if producing is what it is then I’ll produce…whatever manifests this spiritual entity I’ll do it.
So your vocal style… since you mentioned this “spiritual entity”, I was thinking when I listened to your latest EP Girl that it was reminiscent of deep chanting, or a choir, was that purposeful?
Let me elaborate… the timbre of my voice, what it sounds like, that is actually because it’s the only way that I can really sing. I tried singing in different bands before and it didn’t turn out that well. I’ve been trying to find a way for me to sing, you know I am not a natural-born singer to say the least…I don’t have a singer’s voice.
So, every time I would try to tell other people how to sing my stuff, I would sing it to them and I would say: “you know, you just have to sound a bit like Nico, or sound like this”. Then I would try to do my best Nico imitation and then that’s how I thought, “oh this feels natural for me”. For most people singing in a higher pitch allows them to be more flexible, where as with me, it’s the opposite…so when my friend Jannis said I have to sing, this was the way it came out.
Now that you are the singer, do you feel that it connects you more to your project?
Yes, I guess you’re right. It is kind of a different approach.
So now to Girl. When you were conceptualizing this EP, was the quotation: “my songs are about girls, destruction and the divine feminine”, taken from one of your previous shows, a particular mantra for you? Or was it just something you went with, kind of like your first release…
Um, well…I was in a particular state of mind, I was in Berlin actually writing those songs for that EP, so it was a given that that would be the theme.
Is it a particular person?
I think if a song is a good song then it’s always about something particular and at the same time about something general…so I think the most accurate description would be the quote that you just mentioned…”girls, destruction and the divine feminine”
So what is the major difference between these two EPs?
The first one is about a woman, and the second one is about a girl [Laughs]. But both of them have things in common. Since we talked about the whole magic ritual thing before, I feel that’s a part of it too. I don’t know how to formulate it in a better way than that…not in English at least, but I could give you a long Danish discourse…
After having lived and created in Copenhagen, Berlin and LA, do you think that’s an essential part of your music?
I think if I listen to the stuff I did before moving to LA and the stuff I did after, it has obviously been a huge influence. And the city (LA) is very much present in what I do as well…it seems to always sneak in there. And my Euro vibe, or whatever, doesn’t have to sneak in, it’s already all over the place, so it’s a huge part of me and it’s always there. In regards to experiencing L.A …there is this weird undercurrent, it’s a strange city. It’s like this weird magical world that’s all a facade. It’s one big set in a sense, but then when you find these weird little pathways, all of a sudden you’re in a parallel world, a magical world…a world behind the world. That’s what the city is pretty much like to me.
So it has been a special influence in general, but how about musically?
I very much admire a lot of the local bands there. For example, a friend has a band called MUZZ, and he’s really a genius, along with the whole NOT NOT FUN thing and all of the affiliated bands. It’s very inspiring, although I also feel that I am looking at it as an observer, because it’s very Californian the way I experience it and I am not…as you can probably tell… I am not very Californian, not very LA. It’s been interesting to be a tourist in a sense.
Are you are a musical tourist?
[Laughs] maybe tourist is the wrong word; rather explorer is a better word…something in between a tourist and an explorer.
What do “hope” and “passion” mean to you?
I would answer that by quoting THE VELVET UNDERGROUND:
If you are one of the unfortunate ones not to be in Berlin, the albums single and title track “Girl” will be available to download on NOISEY starting today.