Leipzig, Germany trio White Wine – comprised of Joe Haege, Fritz Brückner, and Christian “Kirmes” Kühr – is up to some big things. Having just signed with Altin Village & Mine, they also announced a new project titled Killer Brilliance that will be out this September. But that’s not all, as we have the exclusive video premiere of the title track’s music video right here.
Trippy, visually stunning, and insanely vibrant are just three descriptors of what you’ll be introduced to with “Killer Brilliance”. Written and directed by Joe Haege himself, filmed by Manuel Müller, and edited by David Hortmann, White Wine had a team of killer creatives on their side for the production of this art piece. Close up shots on a man, sweaty and stumbling around while visuals of people in chairs wearing face masks, slumped over in theatre seats layer over it are initially intriguing. There are, of course, moments where you find yourself disgusted by the visuals, but it’s all in the name of social commentary.
And it will really strike a chord.
We got a few minutes to speak with Joe about the band, the video, inspiration, and dogs.
What was the first song or album you remember listening to, and who introduced it to you?
Wow. Going way back into my brain. Though the fallibility of the human brain is probably preventing a correct answer, I’ll play along: I remember walking into my brothers room and he was listening to ACDC‘S “Big Balls”.
Does that song or album have any bearing on your sound now?
Jesus, I’ve thought of every other performer that might have had an
impact on me, but not Bon Scott. Yeah…he did. That song was sang in such a creepy way I remember wondering “why is my brother listening to this weird stuff?” Then some other day I would go into my other brother’s room and he would be playing “Why Don’t You like me”, the closer on Dinosaur Jr.’s Bug. Another creep gem.
Was there a defining moment when you realized you wanted to pursue music
in your life?
Over the course of my senior year in high school and then the next few years of college I just felt I was not in the right place. I wanted to
doing nothing but making music and touring. Of course, now I wish that maybe my anxiety would have simmered down enough to get some useful associate’s degree. C’est la vie!
You signed with Altin Village recently, admitting they’re a “perfect
match” to roll your new stuff out with. How’s that relationship been for you so far?
Great, and I don’t say that lightly. Since you and whatever readers
read this little blurb of words are probably familiar with bands writing about labels, you might have heard the cliche´line about a label being great because it’s in the town you live in, or that you are actually friends, or that they actually took the time to understand what you are doing…all of these are true for us. The label is such a pleasant mix of art, intellect and humanity that I couldn’t be happier.
In that same announcement, you announced Killer Brilliance, out this September. How does this collection of work compare to earlier projects?
If you are comparing to MY earlier projects, well, Menomena and Dodos I was merely a player and a low level adviser. 31Knots and Tu Fawning were the ones in which I did a lot of the writing So, in comparison to these 2 projects, White Wine and the new album is kind of brings different elements from each. It brings the weirdness and intensity of 31Knots but more the diversity of aesthetic that Tu Fawning have. Fun for the whole family! Seriously, though, it’s not very easy to compare.
The line up of myself, Fritz and Kirmes is just really solid. I’m more
confident in what direction I want / need a song to go and the 2 of them have constructive solid input and ideas. Half the time I’m just setting the stage to get them in a place where I can capture some great little moment they pulled out of thing air. They are really great players. That’s something that really matters to all of us. We want to take on modern electric / electronic music but with being players and humans.
Any fun anecdotes from the music video production for “Killer Brilliance”?
Depending on what your definition of “fun” is: Our drummer, Kirmes, was pouring fake blood over some gross meat product that I then cradled into the dip of an actor’s stomach. Once the camera’s were rolling, I was Adam steeling a rib from Eve…again. Then I had to go upstairs and address 10 extras, saying “thanks for coming!” All the while my face cover in meat chunks and fake blood. Not a proud moment.
When you write and produce a song, are you simultaneously dreaming up ways it could be portrayed in other mediums, like with the album art or music videos? We always wonder the way people conceptualize their material!
Yes, absolutely. For me, I actually think I can have no idea for a song
unless there is some visual somewhere in there. Any melody or beat that I write first starts with a color that I see. So, if I were to describe
a lo-fi drum beat recording that still has total hi-fi low frequencies
in it, I would say its “battleship grey with burgundy velvet curtains”.
I have NO idea where or when I started thinking this way. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t go to music school.
What do you think is the most important thing for aspiring musicians to
know about the process?
Make it yours. Don’t copy, incorporate. Don’t live in the past. Get
used to being poor while still content.
What are you most excited about this year, with all these big things
happening for you guys?
Touring. I love touring. I love putting on a good show. This one of the greatest things about this band now. All 3 of us are willing to do what it takes to put on a good show and blur that line between performance art and a good rock show. I’m hoping we pull it off.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Some day when I quit touring I want to have a beagle named Pencil.