A Sit Down With DJ Blank&Jones
The chart success of Blank & Jones is partially based on their club-gigs, radio shows and other live-performances including events such as Love-Parade, StreetParade and Mayday. The success is further boosted by their activeness as moderators on Eins Live-TV and by being the Co-host on Viva-Clubrotation.
When asked about the key to their success, their response is:
"We do everything digitally, on the basis of Final Scratch, which allows us to use our own edits and mixes, nothing comes straight from tape. Every set we play is unique, not only sound-wise but also in terms of what we play and how we play it. Roughly 60% of our set consists of our own repertoire, as where better to present our own material than via the DJ decks".
Piet Blank is also the host of the Club Mix that is aired on international flights by Lufthansa, where he hosts a two-hour radio show that shows different artists such as Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Fritz Kalkbrenner. The show is hosted in German as well as in English.Blank & Jones perform at major festivals and raves in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Russia. They also travel further afield on a regular basis, to Canada, Mexico, South America and Australia. They released their latest single entitled "Miracle Cure" on May 30, 2008, off their new studio album The Logic of Pleasure which is a collaboration with New Order's frontman Bernard Sumner. This collaboration was realised with the help of renowned Berlin based record producer Mark Reeder who is a long term friend of Sumner's. Blank & Jones invited Reeder to remix "Miracle Cure" and this in turn, brought about their collaboration with him and a new project was conceived. This resulted in Reeder completely reworking most of the Blank & Jones vocal tracks for the successful and highly acclaimed 2009 album "Reordered".
How do you guys, feell about the direction the music is headed?
We're really excited about the fusion of styles that's becoming more prevalent. We think becoming too entrenched in one style is what can bring about the downfall and in order to be moving forward you have to always be on the lookout for the next big thing.
Did the performance in the cathedral make you more famous?
We are not frozen in awe, but there is a respect. Even before the acoustic events, for electronic music is the acoustics not so optimal. But this challenge was rather inspiring. And it was fun to add new elements like choral singing to our music. It is about experiencing this whole art work on the spot: the light installation, the sound, is supposed to spread a certain magic. We want to make the cathedral appear in a new interpretation.
You are also an expert on the musical decade of the 80s. What had this decade what the others did not have?
The 80s were a very exciting decade where musically much experimentation was made and a number of very good bands and singers were produced. Since we were able to spend our youth in this decade, it has naturally shaped us strongly. Since we were already very busy with music, we have a profound knowledge of the music of the time.
What is the recipe of this success ?
We can not judge that so well. Maybe it is because we are the same generation as the other "die-hard" 80s fans. We were teenagers in the 80s and have changed that quite differently and that was simply the defining decade for us.
Surely the fans notice this. We have the plates really all on the shelf, partially bought then bought, partly later on flea markets, exchanges, etc. The main motivation was always synonymous selfish: We just wanted to have a chic 80s product on the table and there is not much else to this day.
How has advanced digitalization changed your profession?
One can speak of a revolution, on the production of music, as well as on marketing and distribution as a label. Here too, there are always two sides of the coin: it has never been easier to publish music, but it is much harder to make a voice heard.
What is digital music for you?
It's just a contemporary interpretation. This music is indeed the classic of tomorrow. The Cathedral has inspired us very much to this music. We have dealt with church music and tried to transfer parts into modern, contemporary music.
You've worked with many heroes of your youth like Robert Smith, Anne Clark, Bernard Sumner, or Boy George in the past and for your "so8os" series. Who has impressed you the most?
To be able to work with our heroes of the 80s is of course a very special honor as we are also fans (laugh). Basically one can say that all artists from this time were very relaxed and gave us creatively completely free hand. But Robert Smith of The Cure was the coolest of all, as he has a very fine English sense of humor. We are still in contact today.
Are there any bands or songs that you want to have on your compilation since the beginning but have not worked so far yet?
Of course DEPECHE MODE . This has so half-folded. There was the great mash-up mix of "Route 66" and "Behind the Wheel" on the digital version of so8os 2 or "Strangelove" in the maxi mix on the so8os 1 . This was because they were released at EMI, which in 2009 was the homebase of Mute Records. There were unfortunately no rights for our CD version on Soundcolours. The same was then unfortunately in 2012 again the case: For Sony compilations like "Formula One" there were the titles, for us not (at the time the Depeche Mode catalog had just changed to Sony). But we do not give up and stay tuned.
Where is your favorite place to play?
We love playing Poland, it's such a young country. The general population there is so young and fun. They work really hard but they know how to play really hard as well.
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