German jazz-lounge sensation De-Phazz will perform in Tallinn's Factory club on Monday, April 6. ERR interviewed the band's singer Pat Appleton to find out about the ongoing tour and what they think of Estonia.
What do you remember from the last time you visited Tallinn (Jazzkaar festival, 2007), did you have time to look around, had some fun?
We really loved Tallinn, spent a lot of time roaming the streets of the old city and actually visited a “Depeche Mode” themed bar there. We enjoy walks through the city the most because you can see and feel history everywhere.
You were just touring Ukraine and Russia. How was it? People were probably extra happy because many artist have recently canceled their concerts due to the political and economic situation.
We played a sold out concert in front of 2,000 people in Kyiv. People there are desperate for some cultural distraction and tired of war. Our concert in Kyiv was on the anniversary of the massacre of a hundred people on the Maidan. It was a very moving experience and one we didn’t know to expect. With all the terrible things going on, people still managed to forget their sorrows for 2 hours and we were very honoured to be able to perform and bring a little joy into their hearts. We are not a political band, but we are humans and we feel very sad that our leaders are choosing this difficult path of antagonizing each other. We have made a lot of friends in Russia as well as in the Ukraine and will always return there gladly to bring some distraction amid the havoc of politics.
Your “Private” tour presents a more traditional jazz side of De-Phazz, more traditional instruments and so on. Yet, there is no standard jazz, no covers, only your own original score. Is it just a certain phase, a way to experiment or reinvente yourselves, or something else completely?
The De-Phazz setup had not changed since the band began. We always relied heavily on computers and visual art in our live presentations and we wanted to explore a new path to rearrange our own music and see what our music would sound like without all the electronics that we usually use. It was a very exciting new way to arrange our songs and breathe new life into them. We are not interested in covering old standards, but we are interested in working out new arrangements for our own compositions.
What would you tell the folks who really adore your modern sound, the mix of old and new, who love your electronic side. How would you encourage them to attend the show on Monday night?
De-Phazz is a band of many facets, there are ways of emulating electronics with simple human tricks, like using delays for instance. I think it's interesting to see the band stripped of all the effects – many people who have seen the new concept loved it very much. The music is alive and the vocalist has much more space to show his talent. And working together with live musicians opens new doors to live interaction on stage.
You've been in the music business for 20 years now, what's the secret of your success, or the secret of survival?
There is no secret really, we have made a job of our hobby and now I guess we just have to stick to it. Success will come and go, we try to stay true to our style and be creative and hope that our fans will continue following us.
You are working on the new album. What is it going to sound like?
We are indeed working on a new album and I am very happy with the songs we have made until now. They are quite melodic and nice to listen to. That is a good sign because I really don’t like to listen much to the sound of my voice. We hope our fans will like it, we are putting a lot of effort in it.
Editor: M. Oll