One of the many highlights in the classy Altes Stadtbad in Leipzig was the performance of Henric de la Cour. A few hours before the sympathetic Swede kicked off his gig, VOLT had the chance to talk to him elaborately and tease some interesting facts of his musical past out of him.
Can you tell how many times you have played in Leipzig?
I would say this is maybe the fourth time as Henric de la Cour.
To some people, Leipzig is something like the ‘capital of the scene’, obviously because of the WGT and its long history. Can you identify with this? Does this city or the area mean something to you?
It’s a very familiar venue and city, we really like it here. I can understand what they say in terms of the ‘capital of this scene’, because I guess it is!
Sometimes we stay for two days and then we have the chance to explore it a little bit. Last time we ended up somewhere in a small street – I don’t know where – with a great bar and club and had a really good time. And often friends are playing here at the same festivals and then everybody of course goes to the Moritzbastei and is usually having great fun there.
Talking about friends, last night and tonight some other Swedish bands are playing the festival. What is it like when meeting these guys, is it a big hello or do you avoid each other?
We know the guys from Agent Side Grinder for sure and we hang out with them. Me and Johan [Lange], we talk a lot about KISS because that’s one of our favourite bands but that’s just the two of us [laughs].
The other bands, yes of course we know each other, everybody lives in Stockholm so we meet up at concerts in all the different venues and we run into each other every now and then. When we played the Amphi festival in Cologne last summer we were hanging out with a large group of Swedish bands in one of these typical Cologne Brauhaus restaurants, that was wild.
Yvonne was basically a couple of friends doing some music that we didn’t think anybody else was doing and that we liked, so we kind of went full-head on. Yvonne developed a lot with those four records we released but it was always like we didn’t find our niche because we fell between the chairs, so to speak.
We didn’t find our audience and that was almost the same thing with Strip Music. It wasn’t Synth, it wasn’t Pop, it wasn’t Rock, it was kind of a mix-up of everything. In Sweden, we were part of the Indie-Pop-Scene, we played Arvika Festivalen many times and we also played the other big festivals, but not outside of Sweden.
“There were like strict rules how to sound if you wanted to play in Germany.“ Henric de la Cour
Around then, mid-1990s to mid-2000, Synth bands sounded much alike, there were strict rules how to sound if you wanted to play in Germany, but we had the guitars and stuff and we were nowhere near that music or EBM. So nobody wanted to listen to us because there were these strict rules back then.
When we started with Henric de la Cour, it was clear that we wanted to be more electronic. Now, Richie [Rikard Lindh] and me, we try to keep it simpler, we often say “come on, cut that out!”. It was more based on that than “now let’s go to Germany”. We started as a small band again, but we had a great label and with their connections we could reach more people soon.
And Richie is a master producer, he often founds new landscapes and other sounds so it is often like “spot on, that’s not exactly where we started at but that’s our form of evolution.”. We are now doing this a few years and the crowd is getting bigger and bigger so obviously we are doing something right, I guess [laughs].
How would you describe the scene these days?
I am personally not so much involved. I don’t really listen to electronic music and I don’t follow the bands. Many sound much alike, the aesthetics and how they perform, it is very homogenous. You have the Depeche Mode bands and you have the DAF bands and you have the Nitzer Ebb bands. I am not saying that these are not all good bands, but this music does not do it very well for me, so I don’t follow them much. It is good that there are bands that found their sound and their audience and they keep on going in their lane and give the fans what they love to see in some variations. So there is an audience that is quite conservative in this scene and some bands that are like this too.
Maybe there are not enough new people in this scene, no new blood, no new hungry bands, because they get judged immediately by the old men [laughs]. It’s like in McDonald’s where you want the Big Mac to taste the same everywhere.
“We are too old to sleep in a basement somewhere.“ Henric de la Cour
Do you like being on tour?
I think we are now more popular here in Germany than we are in Sweden, but, honestly, we don’t play live that much. When we release an album, we play maybe three shows in Sweden, mostly because there are just three cities for us to play: Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo. The other cities are too small for us to play. We are also too old to tour in a bus and sleep in a basement somewhere, we want it a bit more accountable than this [laughs].
Live photo: Alexander Jung