We continue our search for new young talent along the streets of Vienna and this time caught up with Heart Formed Brain, a two-piece consisting of cousins Astrid and Martin Meixner. The band make downbeat pop electronica with a lot of feeling and emotion, creating a sound which is reminiscent to Massive Attack’s Blue Lines era. We chatted to them about their music, the love-influenced songwriting and their plans for 2014.
Heart Formed Brain will be playing in Wirr on 10.04.2014 – Event info here
More information on Heart Formed Brain :
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Heart formed brain is a rather interesting name, where does it come from?
Astrid: Martin came up with the idea and I liked it immediately because for me there are always interdependences between our feelings and rationality…
Martin: I can’t really remember how I came up with it, a lot of ideas stuck suddenly in my head, without really reflecting on it.
How did the band come about? What made you want to start making music?
Astrid: I always wanted to make music, but I guess I never had the courage – I was really, really afraid of it. So I started a few projects, but it took a little bit of time to find out that making music is really the thing I wanted to do. Martin, my cousin, has already been in a band for a few years. One day he decided to send me a song via email (he lived in upper Austria back then) …I made some vocals, we both liked it in the end and so Heart formed Brain was born.
Martin: When I was a child my father made me listen to Led Zeppelin. After that experience I wanted to play the guitar and to start a band! Finally, at the age of 10 I got my first acoustic guitar and at the age of 13 my first electrical guitar, so my best friends and I started a band called Moltn Universe. We played pretty heavy music, but my musical preferences enhanced a lot over the years! I needed to make the next musical step and so we founded Heart formed Brain.
A lot of your songs seem to deal with love and heartbreak, why is that?
Astrid: Martin would say “Take a look at her ex-lovers.” Just kidding. But love – with all its aspects – is a very big issue in most people’s lives. I heard/saw a lot of stories and also made a lot of (painful) experiences for myself. Sometimes it just helps to write all this “shit” down. I could tell you a story behind almost every song on the album.
Martin: But take a look at her exes….
Your first video for “No ordinary Bond” came out recently, what does the song and the video deal with?
Astrid: I think there are many couples like the one in the song – it’s a little bit like “we can’t live with each other” vs. “we can’t live without each other” –these people know that their relationship is destructive but they don’t terminate it….even when they don’t know why…..and maybe they enjoy this sort of play…hot, cold, hot, cold….
Martin: As for me, it describes the modern option of paralysis, which we have to deal with every day, even in relationships. Making ultimate decisions can be very hard these days…
4 albums you couldn’t live without….
Astrid: That’s a really hard question. Amanda Palmer “Who killed Amanda Palmer”, Muse “Absolution”, Ernst Molden “Es Lem”, I can’t choose a 4thone… It’s really hard to make decisions.
Martin: Telefon Tel Aviv “Map of what is Effortless”, Refused “The Shape of Punk to Come”, Led Zeppelin “Houses of the Holy”, Vijay Iyer Trio “Accelerando”.
You have recorded your debut album Expulsion but haven’t released it yet, when are you hoping to get it out on the market?
Martin: The production has been finished since the end of January, but the Artwork hasn’t been finished yet and we still don’t really know how to release it yet, but we are working on it….
What would you say are your musical influences? How would you describe your music?
Astrid: I don’t know, but I am very impressed by charismatic women like Eva Cassidy (unfortunately she died almost two decades ago), Amanda Palmer, Dorretta Carter or G. Rizo…it’s just like you see them on stage and you really know that they have fun, that they love what they do….and that’s maybe the most important fact…
Martin: I have a lot of musical influences! I listen to everything and I’m able to gain something from every musical genre. I would describe our own music as a mixture between electronica, trip hop, jazz and classical elements, a little bit of post-rock-melancholia and modern pop and R&B production, but I’m pretty bad at describing our own music 🙂
What is currently on your mp3 player/cd player/ record player?
Astrid: The whole “Only lovers left alive” Soundtrack, MS MR, Ernst Molden, Daughter, 65daysofstatic….and never forget: Haddaway with “What is love”!
Martin: Most recently, Justin Timberlake “20/20 Experience” part 1 and 2, Mogwai and Raein are always on, the new Animals as Leaders, NAS “Hip Hop is Dead”, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Hiatus Kaiyote, Fka Twigs, a lot of HECQ/Ben Lukas Boysen’s stuff, recently I rediscovered And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Jon Hopkins, Colour Haze and Yawning Man are always on when the summer comes, oh and there’s a Guy on Soundcloud called Phaze Project he remixes songs to sound like late 90’s disco à la Daft Punk’s “Discovery” but with an even more groovy bass!
What is in store for Heart Formed Brain over the next few months? Any gigs coming up that we should look out for?
Astrid: We hope to release our first album soon. We are planning some more gigs and working on new stuff. Next gig is on the 10th April at WIRR – we are supporting our friend “StadtLandMC” who releases his new EP.
How would you sum up the Austrian music scene at the moment? Are there any local bands which we should be checking out or should be getting more praise than they are at the moment?
Martin: There are a lot of great artists in Austria! I’m gonna name a few and I hope my list will suit any taste: BulBul, Mile me Deaf, Broken Heart Collector, Dawa, Maur Due & Lichter, Johannes Thomas Club Duo, Polirac, Stadtland MC, Cari Cari, Phenomen, Loxodrome, Tavantales, Harri Stojka & Band, Novaks Kapelle,…there is so much going on, we can’t name them all.
Heart Formed Brain are currently unsigned and looking to release their debut album Expulsion in 2014.
More information on Heart Formed Brain, booking etc :
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