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Germany's Glowing Glisses - I Think Of Myself As a European

Author: Jonty Adderley
Monday, May 26, 2003
"I don't feel like I'm a German, I hopefully think of myself as a European but I don't think these terms are useful for music."

Speaking down the line from Greifswald (on Germany's Northern coast of the Baltic Sea), Glowing Glisses Florian Schirmacher takes his music, and indeed his life seriously. Collaborating with Guido Schneider as Glowing Glisses, the duo recently released a new album Silver Surfer, which fuses Guido's love of electronica with the jazz style leanings of Florian. Critically acclaimed by both experimental types and electro DJs, the record is likely to stimulate as much creative feedback from its creators as it does from its listeners, a point Florian's well aware of.

"It's very interesting to find out what aspects other people hear in the music," he told Skrufff's Jonty Adderley in a recent chat.

"It's also interesting to discover what the DJs pick up on. When we're in clubs and hear DJs playing our songs, it's very interesting to hear which tracks the DJs play before and after our music. That shows us what kind of direction they've understood from our songs."

Skrufff: Dance music is dominated by singles, given that fact, did you take a notably different approach in making an album-

Glowing Glisses: "There are many different styles on the album and every track is linked to the others, it's not like a mix CD where you have a structure that's like one painting. Here it's more particular. What I mean by that is that it has an aesthetic vision of how music should be and music should act. That's the answer to your question and every song has its own answer to this question. Also in England I hope people take the same approach of aiming for something new rather than revitalising some old 80s stuff, for example. Any revival is a step backwards, I think."

Skrufff: Your album does, however, remind me a little of Depeche Mode, are you big fans-

Glowing Glisses (chuckling): "I do like Depeche Mode. Firstly, the 80s had its own musical phenomena and I loved lots of Depeche Mode songs from that era. I also love Larry Heard's music from the 80s and I also love Sting's lyrics but they're also very much of that time. The 80s was Sting's time and I'm sure if he had to say those things today, he'd say something different."

Skrufff: Your lyrics are also quite unusual…-

Skrufff: "In what way are they unusual….-

Glowing Glisses: "Well, taking Sting's 80s lyrics as an example, his are very direct with an obvious narrative running through them, whereas your lyrics seem more oblique…

Glowing Glisses: "Haven't you found any clear sense in them- (Pausing). The phrase 'in between' is a central aspect of the lyrics;' in between', 'besides' and 'now'. These are key words for me. Music itself is also a language and we're trying to have a very clear conversation between the music and the lyrics. So there are different levels within the lyrics. It's not a big philosophy."

Skrufff: Do you spend a lot of time writing them or do you do them quickly-

Glowing Glisses: "I write lots of lyrics. Firstly the text runs parallel with the music. Also, we have conversations about tracks and write lyrics as we develop the music. Then we'll find new chords which will develop the song further in a different direction which then means you need to change your text. You go with the direction of the music in a parallel direction, which means there's lots of waste because the songs change a lot. We worked on one song for two months for example and it was complete at one stage though after one night of Guido's work it became a completely different song. He changed it entirely."

Skrufff: Shaked Ladies is the one that jumped out at me, yet you haven't included the lyrics and to me it sounds either like Naked Ladies, or Czech Ladies,..

Glowing Glisses: "It's both, you're listening properly."

Skrufff: I understand you and Guido used to go jogging together, do you still ru