EoIpso: Musical influences: any particular likes or dislikes?
Daniel: Well, the first bands I heard that really had a big effect and made me want to write songs were bands like The Cure and The Smiths, also stuff from Einstuerzende Neubauten. I was into Hip Hop for a while when I was 10, but only because I liked the weird noises, I didn't really feel any affinity to it other than weird scratchy noises! At the moment, I've been listening to various things, including Sigur Ros. I think they're a fantastic band, I love the fact that I can't understand what they are singing: it helps to make the music transcend the barriers of familiar language and gives more weight to the music itself.
Going back to earlier, other significant influences have been Joy Division, Wire, Public Image Limited (P.I.L), The Pop Group, a lot of groups from that era where there seemed to be an explosion of experimentation. Early Industrial groups like Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire, composers like Arvo Paert, Varèse, John Cage and just anything that is interesting or has a quality that is indescribable which stirs you up in a moving way. Other things that interested me relatively recently include Echoboy's two albums, Food (and some of the other Rune Grammofon stuff) and Mogwai: they are wonderful, especially live. I also love Cranes, they are one of my favourite bands, as are Swans, in fact, most of Michael Gira's work. I could go on but I'd be here all week.
EoIpso: Most of today's popular music is designed to be consumed and then thrown away. It's become a marketing concept: tune in, play back, throw away. Plus, with the current omnipresence of information and communication you could listen to music all the time, but has life become any easier for unconventional artists? What do you make of that?
Daniel: I don't think there is enough information, not enough useful information anyway. The information that we do get is usually of very low quality. It is kind of annoying that there's an abundance of music that is purely for marketing purposes, but at the same time, there will always be independently minded artists who will push against all that, so I don't think that unconventional music can ever really be killed off.
I don't worry about mainstream pop music much really because it always has been purely disposable and that will never change. As far as life getting easier for unconventional artists, I think it has always been difficult if you create things which are true to your own intentions. The biggest problem though is that major record companies now only want to release things which are already a finished product, rather than helping artists create and develop, which is something that labels always used to do in the past and don't do anymore. However, if you are a genuine artist with a genuine creative need, then you will find a way to fulfil that.
EoIpso: Would you think of Leisur::hive as a fixed group of musicians or is it rather "Maria, Daniel plus session musicians"?
Daniel: I would say it's a case of Maria, Daniel plus collaborators really. We try not to dictate too strictly to the people we are working with exactly what they should play. We give Bob and Mark (Drums and Bass) a rough guide of how the songs sound and then they put their own interpretation and character into the way they are played. Usually when we record it's just me and Maria and we play everything, but of course, when we play live, it's a totally different way of working.
It's more exciting and interesting
to have a couple of other people there that we can bounce ideas off whilst
playing the songs. It often adds an essence to them that we couldn't capture
on our own. So yes, it is Maria and I plus collaborators. This will probably
extend to recording too. In fact we have been recording some songs with
Mark at the moment, and again, Mark is putting his own spin on how the
production should sound. The core of Leisur::hive though, aesthetically
and conceptually, is myself and Maria.