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Algiers: “Be hopeful because things will get better”

photo: Joe Dilworth

To our great satisfaction, we talked with the band Algiers, one of the most inspiring musicians. We will be able to hear them on 1. February in Dom Omladine in Belgrade. Guitarist Lee Tesche said soo many great stuff, that you can read here. Find out what is the most important thing for them, what they think about the future and how the emotions affect on their music.

BR: Hi! How did you get to idea to combine different kind of music? In private, what you like listen the most?

Lee: We just play what we know, and we listen to all different sorts of things. We are coming from many different places musically and where that overlaps creates our sound. Sometimes it takes different paths, but it always sounds like us.

BR: Where did you get the inspiration and who is your favorite artist off all the time?

Lee: A lot of places. We don’t all like the same things. We do all like Nina Simone and that’s a good reference point. We also all like Fugazi. I can’t choose a favourite artists of all time, but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Alice Coltrane and Brian Eno.

BR: You know each other for so long time. What is the most important for you as a team and as some kind of one family?

Lee: Yes, we have. Ryan, Franklin, and myself go back many many years. The most important thing I think is communication and having trust in one another. We have our disagreements, but they are generally solved in a healthy and productive manner.

BR: Lots of famous magazines like NY times, Pitchfork, The Quietus, write about you and they wrote lots of great stuffs about you and your album “The Underside of power”. Did you expect that much success and how hard it was to make that progress and be today here where you are, as one of the most greatest hopes in music platform?

photo: Dustin Condren

Lee: Haha, not all of them wrote nice things. The music business these days is a difficult thing to navigate, and being a touring band can be a grind and puts a lot of wear and pressure on your life outside of touring. We do feel extremely fortunate and lucky to have a lot of the opportunities that we do and we try not to take it for granted. That is partially why it is so important for our songs to have some sort of substance and sociopolitical connection, not be just purely vapid entertainment.

BR: Lots of people say that bright future is in front of you and waits… are you prepare for it, and with who would you like to corporate with or share a stage?

Lee: That’s flattering, but we just take things one day at a time. We’re excited to be touring this region, we’ve had a lot of requests since our first record came out. We aren’t young anymore, so when we go out and perform, it’s important to try to do things the proper way, otherwise you can get burnt out very quickly. We spent some time this past year working on music with Massive Attack and hope that it sees the light of day.

BR: You put your personal reflection and emotions in melodies. Did you find your inspiration on personal level and from personal life, or they are just reflection of world’s biggest problems?

Lee: This is a very good question. I think the two are very intertwined and Franklin would agree. The personal is political. We all engage in the world differently and it’s through music that we are able to deal with it and express our ideas.

BR: Tell us three thing that are most important for you…

Lee: Franklin, Matt, and Ryan

BR: Your song “Blood” is great and have that strong lyrics and causes strong emotions in people. But for me, interesting one is song “In parallax”. Can you explain that song little bit better?

Lee: Thank you. That song does come up now and then in conversation with people. We haven’t really publicized it much, but that was one of the songs that Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode adored before they reached out to us to go on tour with them.

BR: Name of the group symbolize stuffs you share with people trough words and lyrics, and in that way you try to make people think about social problems and different problems all around the world. Did you have some strong reaction from the people?

Lee: We have people writing us from all over. And it’s really wonderful that our music can appeal to so many different people on many different levels. I think the people who find something in it, really connect with it, and that’s something that we try to tap into during our concerts. We are all in the room together, like the DIY punk shows that I went to as a teenager in Atlanta. Where there is no difference between the band and the audience, we are all working towards the same goals.

BR: Choose one of reaction that has left strong impression on you?

Lee: That’s a difficult question. I think back to our first show in London. We had all played in various bands before, but hadn’t performed as a group together and weren’t sure how it was going to be. From the first note it felt really really natural and great. I remember after about 10 seconds we all looked at each other and at the crowd and though “On stage is where we need to be, we are a live band for sure.”

photo: Joe Dilworth

BR: Serbia and also lot of states around Serbia had problems during the past… somehow this is great thing that people from here connect with you. Do you think that we all can make better future and how soon it will come in your opinion?

Lee: As difficult as it may seem, it is important to always be looking ahead, always be hopeful for improvement and change, otherwise it’s just nihilism. This is one of the important mentalities that we think about in regards to the ideas of Gospel music, the melancholy in the sound and the suggestion that one must be hopeful because things will get better, whether it’s in this lifetime or the next.

BR: Are you excited before the concert in Belgrade? Would you like to share something with your fans in Serbia?

Lee: I’ve heard many great things about Belgrade from Serbian friends and we really can’t wait to play there. I hope it is somewhere that we can continue to return to.

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