Tunes: Fenster

Fenster is a psychedelic pop band based in Berlin. The project started in 2010 when JJ Weihl (USA) and Jonathan Jarzyna (GER) discovered their mutual interest in bleak 50s Americana, post apocalyptic fiction, and pop music. Later joined by Lucas Ufo (FR) and Will Samson (UK), the band is currently on a spirit quest, exploring a broader spectrum of parallel universes and soundworlds — from soothing surfy tidal cliffs to analog synth dungeons, interstellar purple-funk disco-techs, wobbly organ’s in houses of worship, acid blues parades and delicate maiden’s picking daisies on the moon.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. So, we’re a band and we play music together. We’re from all different places — JJ’s from NYC, Johnny is from Berlin, Lucas is from Annecy, France and Will is from near London, UK. We like to tour. A lot.

We’ve put out two records on Morr Music (Bones 2012 and The Pink Caves 2014) and we’re currently working on a sci-fi action adventure music MOVIE shot mostly on VHS. We also made the original motion picture soundtrack which will also be coming out on Morr Music in September 2015. The movie and album are both called EMOCEAN. Very trippy experience making a ZERO budget movie. We’re kinda delirious at the moment, cuz we wrote, directed, starred in, shot a lot of and are now editing this thing! The plan is to tour with the Movie and screen it while playing the soundtrack live. The world Premiere is in Berlin August 26th 2015 at Berghain at Pop Kultur Festival so I guess we won’t sleep til then if you wan to have a virtual 4am tea party sometime.

How has living in Berlin affected your music? Well, there’s probably nowhere else in the world that we all would have met. So maybe in an alternate universe we’d all be doing our own things in different places, longing for something that never was to be… But aside from that I think that cities are living organisms that you’re interacting with everyday in infinite ways. It’s impossible to know really how much the place you’re in is affecting you and vice versa until you leave or have something to compare it to because reality is reality is not reality until you decide it is. But Berlin has definitely allowed us to create in a really relaxed and supportive environment — the scene is pretty cozy especially because we’re not making techno which is mostly all anyone listens to in Germany on a macro scale so we feel like very colorfully feathered dinosaurs at a black tie rave most of the time.

What kinds of things are influencing your music right now? Snow Crash, Second Life, Beyond the Mind’s Eye, Turkish psychedelia from the 1970s, and of course, Gameboy.

Where do you plan to travel next? We tour a lot around Europe but we’ve never played in Portugal before so hopefully we’ll be playing some shows there with the new record. We’ve also toured in the USA three times but can’t get enough. On our last US tour we played at Schubas in Chicago and it was probably one of the best shows we’ve ever played in the states. So yeah, Midwest and Westcoast tour would be sweeeeet too.

Favorite dessert? Mangos+coconuts in all forms.

What other musicians are you interested in right now? Homeshake, Connan Mockasin, Orchestra of Spheres, Easter, Aphex Twin, Kendrick, Black Sabbath and Can.

Who would you ideally like to collaborate with? Well, in an ideal world where no one dies or ghosts still chill around on earth and are friends with us, I guess Michael Jackson would be AMAZING, and maybe if Phil Spector wasn’t such a dangerous and morally reprehensible loon…but if you’re talkin’ “reality” and the living then we’re all pretty big fans of Sandro Perri on Constellation records — his production is outstanding. Connan Mockasin has been an ongoing musical crush as well. Also we played a festival once with Jaki Liebezeit, the drummer of Can, and we adore him and also Irmin Schmidt and Holger Czukay. Freaky geniuses — totally in awe. If you guys are reading this, please get in touch we are serious.

Do you have any guilty pleasures? Tell us about one.  Trying not to indulge in negative guilt mind loops at the moment — less guilt more pleasure :)

Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your music? I think to this day the most passionate and unique review came from this blog “Shut Your Fucking Face and Listen” about our first record, which started “Holy blood tinted piss” and continues “This jam drinks scotch, smokes cigarettes and walks around in panties that are a little too small but fit oh so right. This fucker is gonna linger.” Wherever and whoever you are Tim Baker, thank you.