first attracted you in music ? Which musics first attracted you ?
Espèce de Rémy Bricka mélomane qui aurait oublié
ses colombes, Ben Jacobs, alias Max Tundra est un multi-instrumentisme
prolixe qui produit une pop radieuse et outrageusement maximaliste.
Semblant obsédé par l'esthétique du "trop",
Jacobs semble incapable de composer un morceau à base d'une
idée unique, et se délecte des multiples rebondissements
et tours inattendus qu'il peut faire prendre à ses arcs-en-ciel
mélodiques. Autant inspiré par Yes et les Destiny's
Child que par Emerson, Lake & Palmer, ce boulimique rigolard
a récemment sorti un second album sur Domino. Cette courte
interview nous éclaire sur son passé musical, ses
influences et les secrets de sa singulière virtuosité.
I was a child, I was lucky enough to grow up in a house with a large
record collection. This included a bag of 7" singles which I
regularly tipped out on the floor of our lounge and slapped on the
record player. I used to regularly boogie to these discs of my parents'
youth, which included songs by the Beatles, the Platters and Gustav
Holst. I guess I first started making music during my boring progressive
house phase (everyone has a phase of musical upbringing that they're
not proud of), when I used to regularly buy all those 4/4 12"s
which polluted record shops in the early nineties. The sounds of these
were easy to synthesise on my Amiga 500 (which I still use today for
all my sequencing requirements) and I just went from there, injecting
more ideas over the years, until my music was peculiar enough to release.
is your musical training ? Are you a multi-instrumentist ?
forced by my parents to have piano lessons from a very early age.
I used to hate going along to these and quit them shortly afterwards.
Eventually I found a small toy guitar in a dustbin at school. I put
some strings on it and taught myself to play. Since then I have taught
myself the drums, trumpet, bass guitar, banjo, violin, cello and various
other odds and ends. I can play some of these things quite well -
others will require more practice.
first issued a record on Warp and then moved to Domino ... Which
of these two "schools" do you feel closer ? If ever you
believe in the idea of "school" ? Or maybe you feel better
in the vague musical terrains of Lo Recordings or Tigerbeat6 ?
I am happiest recording music for nice people. I try not to
fit into any particular scene. People tend to follow labels obsessively,
particularly something like Warp, which is why Children at Play,
which is why that single sold so well. All the labels I have ever
recorded for feature a couple of things I like, but a lot of the
time I am fairly unimpressed by what other people consider worth
releasing. Inevitably, I shall start my own record label one day,
so that I can inflict my tastes on the public. At the moment I mainly
listen to Steely Dan, so I'm quite out of the electronic loop!
new album sounds like a revisited catalogue of a whole series of
musical styles (from Piano Bar moods to R'n'B). Do you feel close
to Kid 606 (& friends) critical recycling of Soul and R'n'B
"classics" or ... ?
I will always try and produce music which sounds like nobody
else, but it's very difficult not to be influenced by the music
you love. Obviously I am a big fan of stuff like Brandy, Kelis and
Destiny's Child, but I also really enjoy Ben Folds Five, My Bloody
Valentine, Yes, Gentle Giant, Ruins and Emerson Lake & Palmer.
These artistes will often hint themselves in my music, no matter
how hard I try to be original...
... " might be your most "pop" work to date. At the
same time it contains pervert (!) and unpop programmings. How do
you build your songs ?
It's a secret! Let me tell you that I NEVER use laptops though.
And I try and play as many real instruments as possible.
new release to come ?
Cabasa will be the second single from the album, which is coming
out early next year. There are a couple of remixes I did, of The
Strokes and Turin Brakes, so look out for these. Eventually I'll
start recording my third album.
réalisée par e-mail en octobre 2002.
Tundra Children At Play Ep (Warp)
Max Tundra Some Best Friend You Turned Out To Be (Domino)
Max Tundra Mastered By Guy At The Exchange (Domino)