Lucy had a long chat with Lars and Drazen of Perfidious Words about their new release DVD/CD package "Feel like me".
Hello Lars, hello Drazen.
Thanks that we have the opportunity to ask you some of our questions. You have started in 1991 as Perfidous Words. You have been a trio for some time, now you are a duo. What happened during the years?
D: I have started with a mate to do my first musical steps. We have spent nights to cover songs and to get around with synthesizers at all. It had been a very interesting and exciting time, since we had no clue about sequencers, synthesizers, MIDI etc. We had to learn all from the scratch. At one point, Lars joined in and the time came to take the next step, away from cover-versions to original songs. Lars and me soon had a very good collaboration going, while my mate tended to prefer other musical directions. So we decided to persue separate ways.
L: Basically, Perfidious Words came into life in 1996. I have started in a similar way like Drzen. Ich have started in 1993 with Joe, our photographer and graphic artists, to cover Oasis, Cranberries and Depeche-Mode Songs. But we only played acoustic guitar. We have finished three songs and had been ready to perform them live on our highschool graduation event. But we had no equipment. So we got introduced to Drazen by a friend who had used Drazen’s equipment as well. So we came into contact. We soon realized that we fit together perfectly in musical respects and started our own studio. In that period we decided to name the band „Perfidious Words“. About one year later, our first EP „Ruined“ has been released. All records of our band history have been released as a duo. The line-up has not changed until today. Joe has specialised onto the visual aspects of Perfidious Words.
Who is doing what inside of the band?
D: There is no strict separation of tasks. Due to my technical skills i mainly sit in front of the computer and take care of the programming. Besides piano we both play guitars. So we both are able to record demo-tracks that we can continue to work on in the studio then. It is very different when it comes to the lyrics. Most of the time, one of us has already put down some notes or line. We put them into the songs. It is quite rare the lyrics are writing directly to the song itself at the same time.
L: Right, we have never talked about that a lot. In the studios Drazen creates a beat and programmes our ideas. He is very fast in doing that and is very skilled in putting down harmonies, sounds and rhythms to make them fit all of a sudden. It has simply developed over the years that I take care more of the vocals and lyrics. But there are also songs that base on Drazens lyrics. Composing songs we either do separately on our own or together in the studio. E.g. „Stay“ has been written in teamwork. It just came onto us. We had been in the studio and wanted to record some piano-lines for the album. Drazen simply played some lines on the piano and i have been to the vocal booth and let it flow. By that, we ended up with the basic version of „Stay“ within 10 minutes. After two weekends of work, we have finished the song.
Perfidious Words is a quite negative bandname. What is the meaning of it for you?
L: Back in 1996 we had several names to choose from, but we thought „Perfidious Words“ to fit best. In our songs, there are many situations of protagonist in critical points of their lifes. E.g. the lost of a beloved person, betray, sin or decay, but also faith, love, trust or dreams play a major role. I have learned in my life, that many things seem to be different from what they initially appear. The difference between fact and fake is fascinating me a lot. Perfidious Words enables us to highlight things that we think of a lot. That’s why we could not have choosen a better name. He is not so easy to remember, but you will never forget it once it caught on you.
Your first release „Ruined“ has been released in 1997. Why did it take such a long time from the first songs to the first release? Did you wait for a label to support you?
D: We have recorded a lot ot demo materai in the mid-90s and sent them out to many labels. At some point, Johnnie Clapper of None Records (that became Trisol later on) came up to us and had been interesting in a cooperation. He was the trigger to get all going, as we did not have the proper equipment and know-how to finish our first album. We have met and rerecorded all the tracks with him and thus, finished the debut album. It had been a great time, as we locked ourselves for several days in the studio and only got out of it when we had finished the album. Without him, nothing would have been finished. We are very thankful for that.
L: From the foundation of the band (1996) to the first release „Ruined“ it took only 18 months.
In 1998, you have released your first fulltime-album „hydrogen skies“. What differences do you see between „Feel Like me“ and the first?
D: When you carefully compare the two albums, you can outline the entire development of Perfidious Words. Hydogen Skies is some sort still naive, but never cheesy. Besides this, the result has been the limit of our technical possibilities in that time. Before „Feel like me“ we have finished our studio, made a lot of experience in recording and reached another level of skills. Furthermore, our compositions became more mature and deeper. For the debut, we put every effort into finishing it. This time we have recorded a lot of demo tracks first, from which we selected the songs that would appear on the album. So the time span of production has been totally different between the two albums.
L: But also our vocals have improved a lot I have to say..
What do you think is the difference between vinyl and CD? As you have released your last release „Veil of Secrecy 8Tom Wax Remixes) in 2003 as vinyl edition.
D: We also have released a limited vinyl-edition of „Welt“ on blue vinyl. A real collectors item with one exclusive track. Years ago, the feeling of buying a vinyl with that giant cover and ist characteristic smell was just great. But to be honest, I was always sad about scratches and the noise of it. In that respect, CD is miles better. If we take the burden to record, mix and fine-tune our music for such a long time – over months or years – it would be a sacrilege to make it worse by putting it onto a bad medium. But for collectors it is certainly interesting!
Tom Wax is a well-known producer, remixer and DJ. He has worked with Marusha, Dr. Motte or van Djik. How did you make him to remix the whole record?
L: Of course we knew Tom Wax’ work and reputation. It was just good luck. A friend of mine told me that he oftens hangs out with Tom in clubs and that they are close friends. I asked my friend to do me a favour and put us into contact. Tom was interested in working with us, and so it happened that there are the Tom Wax Remixes.
What did you feel when you listened to the remixes for the first time?
D: Very interesting. Sometimes you are very proud because you feel that you did a good job with the song and the remix is bad. Sometimes you feel jealous because the remixers had better ideas that ourselves..haha
Are there any more persons that did remixes for you?
L: L’Ame Immortelle, Yendri, Endraum, Dust of basement, Sero.Overdose, Infekktion, B!Machine, DJ Ram to name a few…
How can you describe your music with tree words
D: melancholic, harmonisc, Pop.
L: melodic, sensual, diverse.
Who do you want to entertain with your music?
D: I write music out of very egoistic reasons. I listen to music a lot, basically the whole time. And I love to write music in which I try to merge all my inspirations. First of all, I do it for myself, because this is a passion. When you can share this with a bandmember and whenever the sum of the influences becomes more than just the sum of ist parts, it is phantastic. The absolute highlight is the possibilty we have to release it in a way we can reach a lot of people that like our stuff.
The new record „Feel like me“ comes with a DVD of 80 mins playing time. What can we see on it?
L: On DVD you can experience a complete Perfidious Words concert, filmed in Germany (Universal Dog, Lahr, October 8, 2005) and two excerpts from a performance in Rome (Circolo degli Artisti, May 15 2004). Furthermore, there is the video of „Spreading Silence“ and some exclusive studio performances of the songs ‘another day’, ‘halt mich fest’ and ‘swallowing my body’ plus an unplugged performance of ‘another day’.
On CD there are 11 tracks of music. Alltogether this is a huge amount of material. Compliments! How long did you guys work on it?
L: I reckon it to be five years of work on that release. Especially the DVD took a lot of time and work..
D: On our last CD „Spreading Silence“ we only had nine tracks. Back then, we just wanted to finish the album. From the today’s point of view, this was a mistake. People spend a lot of money, so they deserve more value for it. OK, „Violator“ came only with 9 tracks as well, but Depeche Mode can do that, esp. because they had a very outstanding quality back then. We have been really sorry and wanted to do it much better with „Feel like me“. On the other hand there are many good examples of releases with just too much material – like „Supposed former infatuation junkie“ of Alanis Morrissette. I think there are 17 tracks on the album and in the end it just got onto my nerves.
What topics to you deal with on the new record?
L: The spectrum of topics in our songs has changed a lot over time. As perviously said, there are songs of longing, lust, passion, trust, belief, lost, death and fears. Basically quite often we talk about fears.
Do you think the songs come together to a common concept on the album or is there something like a red thread in them?
L: „Feel like me“ is not a typical concept album. I am always a bit afraid of that. Sure,there is always a connection between the individual songs and the album title, and also the songs always fit together perfectly by their very personal and intimate content. But we do not plan that beforehand. Five years ago, we did not where we would end up today and how many and what kind of songs we will write for the album. Not even, if there will be a new album for Perfidious Words, basically. We did not plan it, it grew on us.
Lyrics are mostly english, but there is one German song „Halt mich fest“. How do you decide which language you choose?
D: Bascially I reckon English to be better for our music. On the other hand I guess German is much more precise. In that respect I think it is much more difficult to write good german lyrics.
L: Besides ‚Welt’ (1997) and ‚Zwischen Zeitrausch und Leben’ (1999), ‚Halt mich fest’ is our third German song. I listened to Drazens harmonies on the headphone and was looking for a vocal hookline. While trying some stuff, I simply did the chorus of „Halt mich fest“ in German. With that song, the lyrics evolved parallel to the music. It was obvious that the rest of the song had to be in German as well.
Your lyrics on „Feel like me“ appear to be very intervertive and thoughtful. What can you disclose about the inspirations for the lyrics of the album?
L: I think, the majority of our lyrics are autobiographical and one part of reflexion with the past. We would lie to say it is all just fiction. All our personal experiences, like the death of a beloved person, doubt, changes of any kind on terms of relations to other persons have influence on our lyrics.
And who do you want to make holding what in the song „Halt mich fest“?
L: ‚Halt mich fest’ is simply the feeling of despair, maybe even a situation where you risk to suffocate. You are longing for help and reach out of any..
What are your personal „My Body’s Needs“ – what do you reckon to be important in your lifes?
L: We want to keep some secret...But when you listen carefully to our songs or read the lyrics, you will get a deeper insight in our needs, though ;-)
When I was listening to your music for the first time, I was reminded of bands like DEPECHE MODE, DE/VISION or AND ONE. Do you hear that comparison a lot? How do you deal with it?
D: Musically we are of the same style, so this is totally normal to be compare with them. But we both are very proud of having a very wide range of musical taste. Thus, on „Feel like me“ there is a hugh variety of influences coming from different genres. I have listened to Guy Sigsworth a lot during the past years. The bassline of Mirror is inspired by a Frou Frou track. And over all the time, Björk had a great influence on our programming. I guess it is hard to recognize, but Questions is based on an idea from a Feeder-Track. And there is Another Day, that reminds me a bit of Coldplay-type instrumentation.
What are your plans for live shows? Anything confirmed yet?
L: We will play our very first gig in Moscow on September 25. We will play with T.O.Y. and De/Vision at the Tochka. But there will be also dates in Germany, but they are not yet confirmed.
What can you tell us about your future?
L: At the moment we are simply happy about the new release „Feel like me“. And we want to enjoy the forthcoming gigs. Then we will see what the future may bring.
Many thanks for the answers and we wish you much success with „Feel like me“!
L: Thanks and take care!
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