The indie pop-rock band 1000 GRAM has just released their second studio album Dances.
1000 GRAM came to be because the singer Moritz Lieberkühn had forgotten his acoustic guitar home.
In indieberlin interview the German-Swedish band talks about how to make a record in a long distance band relationship, the 90’s alternative scene vibe that they try to nail down in their own music, what happens when they get mad at gig and their favourite venues in Berlin.
ib: How did 1000 GRAM first start?
Moritz: I was living in Gothenburg with my wife. I was planning to do a record by myself, more like folk based, but I didn’t have my acoustic guitar with me for some reason. And then it just came to me that I wanted to do more like loud music, which I hadn’t been doing since I was 16.
I met our old drummer and we listened to some songs and he was really touched by them. He knew those two guys (points at Alexander and Jacob), and I saw them at a concert and was really blown away. I thought that if I want to have another guitarist and bass player it would have to be those two guys. So we started to play together, I wrote a couple of songs and we played some shows and then we decided to record here in Berlin.
Alexander: And that became our first album in Cher Cherie studio.
File sending and a few days in the studio
ib: Was the writing and producing processes different with your new album compared to the previous record?
Moritz: Writing was the same, but the producing was definitely different. With the first album we had a lot of time to play the songs together until we really nailed them down but this time we spent probably only four or five days together in the studio.
Alexander: We sent files to each other and prepared stuff afterwards since half of the band lives in Sweden and half in Germany. But it worked.
ib: Which artists have influenced this album the most?
Moritz: What influenced me was a band named Real Estate, which I happened to get to know only after our first album. It’s not like we wanted to sound like them but I like their guitar work and the sound.
Alexander: And the vibe.
Moritz: Yeah. But in the end I think I had the same influences as on the first album, the 90’s indie rock and alternative scene. The intention wasn’t to do something completely new but something that feels good to us and that we enjoy playing.
ib: So how do you write songs?
Moritz: Most of the time it starts with the guitar and some melodies. Basically what I do is write demos, and then we discuss them with the band and cut out the things that don’t fit in. And only in the end come the vocals. The idea is that the voice is just one instrument, and not like the main “Hey look at me I’m the singer” -kind of thing. I wait until the very end to make the melody line and the words just come by.
Alexander: It’s more like writing structures, chords, riffs.
Moritz: Second album we did only with overdubs and sending each others files.
Since it’s pretty hard to get everyone in the studio, the next step for us working together is more through sending files. And then I probably go to Sweden and we play together, and then we’ll record the drums in a studio.
Room for things to happen
ib: You’ve been touring Germany during the last weeks. How has it been?
Moritz: Playing is always fun, it’s one of the reasons why you’re in a band. We enjoy playing together and the music that we make. There are ups and downs, but in general it’s been really heart warming.
Volker: We played in Stuttgart two days a go and had a great show there, great vibe.
ib: What should people expect when they come to your concert?
Alexander: I think they can expect a good live rock show. We just love playing and we’re having a great time rocking out.
Moritz: People will see that we really enjoy playing.
Volker: That’s what I also think. The way we play together on stage is that we’re really into it and not just doing it.
ib: Is everything planned ahead when you play?
Moritz: The general forms are pretty much there but we have different guitar things and lines. There’s room for different things, so it will never be exactly the same thing. I will not improvise on the voice melodies so much that you won’t recognise the songs. I’m not going to do it like Bob Dylan who always sings different versions. Not yet anyway.
Alexander: When we play live we like to have room for things to happen. And the more we play the more comfortable we get and it becomes more natural to try out new things. It’s based on the mood. If we have really good vibe it’s probably going to be a bit crazier.
Jacob: Also if we’re having bad time, it can become crazy. Like in Darmstadt. It was really nice stage, but it just didn’t work out. My bass was going in and out and I got really mad on stage.
Moritz: The audience actually really liked it.
Leave everything on the dance floor
ib: What would your dream gig be like?
Moritz: I always enjoy when the kids come and leave everything on the dance floor. I’d love to see people stage diving. Not that we play so hard music. I try to write harder music but everything that comes out is some dim indie (laughs).
Alexander: In general we love playing clubs. Small places.
ib: Do you have a favourite venue in Berlin?
Moritz: Yeah, Fluxbau is one. And Lido is also great, it has very good sound and the size is nice. The staff is also very nice.
Though there are many good places. As long as the sound is okay and there are people coming, we’d play in your living room basically.
Jacob: O2 Arena (laughs).
Moritz: Also something like an old theatre with seats. And maybe you’d make people stand and tear off the seat (laughs). That would be a dream gig.
Who are 1000 GRAM?
- Moritz Lieberkühn (vocals and guitar), Alexander Simm (guitar), Jacob Öhrvall (bass),Volker Wendisch (drums)
- From Berlin and Gothenburg
- Just released their second studio album ‘Dances’