Black Tar chats to Die Jungen

It’s easy to be cynical about new bands and artists trying to sound like Elvis or 60’s surf. Hopelessley retro, and  ‘cool’ , is this music really anything but style?  For some, Die Jungen, aka Klaus Von Barrel, would fall into this category. Conjuring up images of soft-pack cigarettes, sunglasses, 50’s Chevy’s and the Sunset Strip, Jungen’s music is certainly stylish, and certainly plays on the power of nostalgia. However, Jungen does approach this style like a Hip-Hop producer, using distorted and manipulated samples to create a haze of lo-fi pop that is innovative , but also embracing of his clear musical influences. In a short interview Black Tar talked to the man himself:

For our readers  out there unaware of  your work could you introduce yourself

I am Die Jungen, aka Klaus Von Barrel aka ….

What’s the story behind the name?

 There’s not really much of a story. I had recorded a few songs one weekend and decided to post them up on soundcloud for my friends to listen to and needed a name for the profile. I had recently been to Berlin before then too, so i think that had some influence over choosing it as the name of the project.

I thought it’d be a lot more interesting to keep it in German rather than translate it into English (‘The Young’)

If you had to describe your music in one short sentence what would that be?

 ‘Lo-Fi, appropriation, surf, Psychedelic, pop music’

What’s the processes you go  through in writing the Die Jungen material?

 I basically find the samples i want to use and loop them, sometimes changing the speed/pitch and then experiment with vocal melodies and guitar/keyboard riffs over the loop until i have a ‘song’.

I think it’s interesting the way you use manipulated samples in your records. Is this your way of embracing influences you might have?

 Yeah, the original samples are all taken from songs i already love and in order to help put my own twist on the samples, i sometimes manipulate the tempo, pitch etc.

Which artists/ bands/producers/films etc would you say have particularly influenced the sounds of Die Jungen?

 Well obviously there are the musical influences you can hear already in the samples (Phil Spector, Joe Meek etc) and also others from around that era like; The Beach Boys, Scott Walker, Lee Hazlewood, Dion, The Shangi La’s etc.

Film wise; the films of the French New Wave have been an influence, as has Alfred Hitchcock, Aki Kaurismaki, David Lynch and many others.

When I listen to your records, and the scenes from the ‘Every Day’ video,  your music paints me this picture of the endless summer and times spent chilling outdoors. Being based in the not-so-sunny  Southampton was this deliberate?

 Strangely enough I think pretty much every song i’ve done has been recorded on a wet & miserable day. So I guess i see Die Jungen as being somewhat of an escape to a time and place i’ve never been (and don’t think ever really existed either). A place with more sun!

How  important is  the internet to your music?

 Oh, its been very important in helping to spread the word about Die Jungen and get people from all over the world listening to my music.

What can we expect from you in 2012?

 The debut full length album; ‘At Breath’s End’ is out on LebensStrasse Records on February 27th and then hopefully some live dates

Alex Hall

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