There’s nothing wrong about a good groove. But as simple as some might find it to create one, it is actually quite a challenge. We’re not sure if German band PTTRNS see it the same way but they faced the challenged and succeeded in form of their recently released sophomore album Body Pressure. A longplayer that clearly presents the joyfulness of the group. They sound like a strict band structure more than ever before, every instrument has its slot and additionally the several vocal parts ease these complex soundscapes. Time for NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION to catch up with these guys and talk about the recording process of the new output.
You all live in Cologne, how are the musical circumstances there? Are you part of a scene?
Well, our friends and practise room mates URBAN HOMES of course represent point of reference to us, also because we share personnel reasons in both bands. Further the band VON SPAR whose drummer Jan Philipp Janzen produced our new record, and also their guitarist Philip Tielsch who joined the recording process. At least those nice young people of XUL ZOLAR, that’s our home base in Cologne.
Name a reason why cologne is your hometown and in which way PTTRNS are located in this city?
I’ve studied in Cologne and our band was founded here, besides this I would not see ourselves as the typical Cologne people. Even if we enjoy the musical environment around us.
Your first album “Science Piñata” had a more minimalistic sound set up while your new LP “Body Pressure” comes with a multifaceted sound, from Electronica to Pop Music. If you compare these two records, the advancement looks quite logical, but please tell us a bit more about this in your own words.
Between our two albums we released the Love Quest Series in 2011. A package of two EPs, each with one new track and one remix of a song from Science Piñata. If you listen to those as a kind of a development stage you easily can see how we understand our music and its way of change. But there was no decision of getting into a new way of sound. We rather had searched for a more subtle way dance music and tried to strip of this rock set up which existed since the beginning of PTTRNS, furthermore we had listened to much other music styles what really opened up our mind and influenced the process of making this record.
How long did it take to produce the album?
We started recording in the late summer of 2012, the first song that we wrote after the Love Quest EPs actually isn’t on the album now. All in all we spent half a year of work on these songs. Compared to our first album which took a lot of time, this writing process of Body Pressure was really focused. We didn’t play a lot of concerts those days but discussed often how the record should sound. And we tried to write an album, which works as long player and not as a collection of songs like Science Piñata.
Was there a demo version of every song anyway or did you just started recording?
We chose some songs to play them live, I would say this were maybe the demo versions we’ve needed. So we tested those songs on how they work in a concert situation, but sometimes we also recorded some jams, because an editing afterwards could be useful or necessary. Even if a song is recorded and pressed, it’s possible to modify it, there isn’t a stagnation. Therefore a performance of a song is always connected to the aim of adapting it for the room or the audience where it’s played.
What about your song writing? Do you write all your songs together in the practice room or is there a – maybe laptop based – pre-production?
No, actually we try to develop songs together while jamming. This also means to keep the preparation as few as possible so we can work out our ideas collectively.
What do you think about music as a full time job?
We aren’t a band that meets once a week to play some songs and have some beers. We have jobs and do stuff that influences our music, furthermore you often can’t divide life into serious aspects and fun aspects. It’s important to us to run this band the way we currently do and to retain a personal life next to financial needs and a commercial pressure. Otherwise you will loose your freedom in music.
What mean hope and passion to you?
Hope only works if you act in a passionate way, there isn’t hope that you easily can consume for free. Much things out there are just hopeless, so you have to build your own intensive and passionate moments to get a hopeful point of view.