Home > Interviews > Interview met Tim Kasher – 13/02/2011

Interview met Tim Kasher – 13/02/2011

De ruwe, Engelse versie van het interview met Tim Kasher in de Botanique over zijn nieuwe plaat, zijn plannen en nog veel meer. Wie toch liever de Nederlandse versie leest, kan hier terecht.

Was this too personal an album for it to be a Good Life or Cursive record?

No, I wouldn’t think so, but I did notice upon writing that I felt even more freedom to write personally, knowing that the other band members probably weren’t going to be held responsible. I didn’t expect that to be different, but it kind of is. But I didn’t set out for that reason.

Is this as you say in one of your songs “a new chapter” for you?

The Good Life was also a solo project of mine but it became a band and now I have two bands and I do like to have a project with more flexibility. And I wanted to start with something new. I’ve been writing albums long enough now that I needed to do something new to get myself excited again.

So why a concept album? And why now?

I think that most of my albums end up being concept albums because I write them as a whole. Doing a solo album was something that I always thought I would do eventually, once I’d gotten a little older and now I’ve gotten a little older. There’s no specific reason. I got asked to open for Azure Ray a few years ago, but not as The Good Life or as Cursive. I was in town. And I thought “Yeah, I should do that.” And I also thought I’d need some songs and that’s how I thought that maybe I should start a new chapter and start writing albums under my own name.

You say this is not an autobiographical album, yet you went through a divorce yourself. That didn’t have anything to do with this album?

Not necessarily, I think that every relationship I’ve had – and I’ve had a handful of them – they all become this patchwork of experiences and you learn from all of them. Then you turn around and write about what you’ve discovered.

Why is it that irony and cynicism are very present in your lyrics?

I consider myself a very passionate person and I think that actually makes me pretty cynical. I have such passion to know the truth and that’s the religion that I follow. It’s based on rapeism, but it’s also based on needing to know the truth. For me that breeds cynicism because the way our society is set up is based on actual religions and some kind of false romantic ideals of love. And I have a tendency to attack that a little bit.

Does that mean that you don’t believe in romantic love? Not anymore?

When I was younger there was this exciting feeling that would somehow be defined as love. It’s the way that humans have degraded the concept of love. There’s a part of me that misses that and that wishes that I could have that again. But it’s not about love specifically. It’s like I wish I had everything, that I had youth again, … It’s all capsulated in the same thing. It’s the feeling that I had when I first fell in love whit a woman, the feeling I had when I first left my city, when I got on an airplane for the first time, …I was taking everything in so quickly, the way a child does, the way a young person does. And you can only experience these feelings once.

I find it hard to imagine you writing an optimistic, positive album.

I’d like to write a positive album. I just don’t get around to it. Mike Leigh is one of my favourite directors and he tends to be terribly gloomy.I don’t write positive albums because I don’t see the challenge in that. Then again, the challenge would be to write one, but there’s no challenge in happiness. I guess I’d just be confused about what to explore, what to discover. For me writing is about discovery, about trying to unfold ideas. I don’t think cynicism just for the sake of cynicism would add up to something either. I just don’t know anything about deconstructing happiness so I’ll probably just write another gloomy record.

A Grown Man doesn’t seem like you want to be one.

I guess that every adult male is a child essentially. That goes for me too (laughs).

You mention religion in your songs a couple of times.  Is that just a means to an end or is there something more to it?

It has to do with me being passionate again. I grew up catholic and the community around me went to church every Sunday, but nobody really believed in anything, they didn’t really follow it. Now I’ve always been a bullheaded person, so I set out to be religious for a while when I was young. That had to do with exploring the truth, with what really is the closest thing to the truth. Later I became very passionate about NOT being religious. So I consider myself a very religious person, but I’m an atheist. So many people don’t care about the concept of god, they just blindly believe it. For catholics it’s a huge thing. They believe that there’s a heaven after this.

There’s a bit of both yur bands in this album. Some parts are aggressive, others more laidback. Was that how you intended it to be?

I didn’t set out for this album to be  neatly different from Cursive or The Good Life. I guess it’s a compliment that you can hear both bands in this album. It means I’ve been honest with my music.

Are there going to be other solo albums?

Yeah, I ‘d like this to be the first of many. This doesn’t mean the end of either Cursive or The Good Life. We’re going to start recording a new Cursive album in about a month. I’ve been working pretty hard on that. As for The Good Life, I’m letting that one rest for a while. It’s a good time for that because the band members are living in different cities and Steph has two young children right now. So she’s focusing on other things right now.

There’s classical music in all your albums. Do you write the arrangements yourself?

I do, but for this album I asked a good friend of mine to help me with that. We wrote them together and then he was able to construct the string arrangements, that I’m not familiar with.

How different is that from writing a pop song?

What I try to do, and more with Cursive than with The Good Life or in this album, I love the concept of things that are truly composed, a true composition, which is what classical music tends to be, avoiding what rock-‘n roll has become: all loops, being done over and over again. I love rnr and I do that as well, but I love the idea of a true composition that starts in one place and takes you on a journey to somewhere else. I got into making a more classical sounding record on this one because I was given the opportunity to write the score of a film a couple of years ago and that really expanded how I thought about music a lot. Scoring to scenes and working with whatever instruments were appropriate for any given piece of music. That was also one of the reasons why I felt ready to do this record, because I wanted to keep doing that.

Which movie was that?

It was called ‘My Suicide’. It won all sorts of awards and was really successful in the festivals circuit. There are no plans to release the soundtrack, although there were a lot of great bands in the film.

How do you decide whether a song is going to be a Cursive, Good Life or solo song?

I don’t think about it too much. I’ll spend that year working on a specific record. For Cursive the songs will be more heavy jagged rock songs, whereas for The Good Life songs are more melodic. I try to bring that into the songs. I just write specifically for whatever the album needs.

How did you end up with a German backing band?

This album came out on a German label, Affairs Of The Heart, and I wanted to come over here. That was an idea we came up with just to save some money. The expense of flying a US band over here I’m putting that into paying these guys.

There’s something that’s been bothering me: what did you show people in the Big Bang video?

(laughs) It wasn’t anything that was shown, it was a really really loud airhorn, used for boats. So they brought people in – it was a little harder for us because we knew what was going on. We had to sneak up on each other. We had to wait for minutes and minutes. You knew it was going to happen, just not when it was going to happen.

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