Welcome to Nickos Saturdaycouch, where I interview poets (mostly from Sweden or Finland), authors and musicians about poetry and lyrics. One of my goals with this project is to make interviews with local muscians and musicians who makes music that has meant alot to me.
Earlier guests in my saturdaycouch are for example Wayne Hussey from The Mission / Sisters of Mercy and Justin Sullivan (New model army). Interviews can be found on here:
Today´s guest is Sascha Mario Klein, the founder of Neuroticfish. Neuroticfish is an electronic music project that Sascha created in the early 1990s in his home town Bochum in Germany. This is Sascha´s own words about his music:
– First it was a naive experiment in how to blend darker musical genres like EBM, and Industrial with more lighter ones like Trance and Synthpop. Later it became more and more conceptual work for me, a form of artistic expression in which the lyrical part with it’s darker connotation is in a kind of disarray with the upliftig and danceble musical themes.
Welcome to my saturdaycouch Sascha! What is your relation to poetry?
– I just have begun discovering poetry as an independent artform for myself. I know that it has always been out there, but for me it was connected to music via lyrics. I had poetry in school and know about the great poets, but I never felt the need to dig deeper into their works. That has changed since I am getting older. I also have constant need to improve my writing, as I decided never to write in german (only a few lines so far).
You have written alot of lyrics for your band Neuroticfish. Synthmusic in general has a kind of dark and dystopic structure in both music and lyrics…What can you and what can you not write lyrics about in your music? Have you ever felt limitied with your lyrics in your genre?
– It’s not what I can’t write about, it is more about what I don’t want to write about. Basicially lighter themes like ”love”, ”boy meets girl” etc. don’t interest me. The cliche themes of the dark electronic songs of our scene, like ”Ghosts”, ”Vampires” and ”Angels” really put me off. Over last decade or so it has become so obvoius and self assuring, that it feels like mainstream pop music to me.
What would you say is the main focus is the songs you write. The main message in general if you would put together all your lyrics?
– When I look back on all the lyrics I wrote for Neuroticfish, it feels like the there is an overall theme that I write about. Fear and Anxiety. What causes it? How one reacts to it and what are the consequences. My lyrics have always a kind of personal approach. Not that I have experienced everything that I write about myself. But I write in first-person or dialogue form. Most importantly I only describe, or maybe accuse someone or ask for or about something – I don’t present answers.
Music or lyrics. Which comes often first for you and what are the biggest challanges to put them togheter to a song? And can you tell me about some of your songs that you felt that you have really have succeed with.
– There is often a phrase or a fragment or a single word that comes to me and triggers my writing process. I would play around with it, check the rhythm of it and it develops itself from that point. If there’s already a beat, that would help me, this would work even faster.
”Hysteria” from my last album ”Antidoron” is a song about depression and suicide, matters that are very close to my heart. I wrote this song a long time ago and have put it away for quite a long time. I was insecure about it – I did not want to impose or describe this very serious thing in a wrong way.
After we made a video of ”Hysteria” and put it up on Youtube I received some letters from people who told me that they suffer from depression and anxiety and have suicidal thoughts. They wrote that they connected to the song and that it helped them to express themselfes and they feel better now. That had really struck me – I had never expected someting like this.
If we go back to poetry again. Have you felt inspirered to write a poetrybook some day? Would it be hard to let the words be alive without the music in the background, for you as a musician?
– I never thought about it. I never saw my lyrics without the music and I think I would be afraid that they are not good enough to stand on their own without the music.
Poets and musicians that has inspired your lyrics and music and you as a person?
– Well there are few – Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy inspired me to write music and lyrics in the first place. Most recent artist would be Tom Smith of the Editors and Matt Berninger of the National.
Photography: Judith Klein