Zu dritt marschieren sie auf. Also Oli Bayston, dessen Kopfgeburt Boxed In war, und zwei Begleiter. Die sagen zwar nicht viel, scheinen aber sympathisch. Wie Bayston auch. Der ist übrigens nicht nur sympathisch, sondern auch zierlich. Feingliedrig möchte man fast sagen. Lümmelt sich trotzdem auf die Lounge-Couch des Michelberger. Sehr gut. Ob ich ihn auf seine jüngst erfolgte Hochzeit anspreche? Oder ist das zu privat. Nein. Versuchen wir’s lieber auf die – oh Gott, dieses Wort – ulkige Tour.
JOINMUSIC: Maybe somebody already told you – but do you know about the TV Series called „Boxed In“?
OLI BAYSTON: I don’t think I do, actually. No.
JM: It’s about – and I’m quoting here – „daily dilemmas as gay-ish woman in L.A.„!
OB: Alright. That’s the theme of the second Boxed In album. Funny.
JM: When I first heard „Jist“ – I could not get the Depeche Mode „I just can’t get enough“ association out of my head. Is that accidental?
OB: Ehm – yes. No one ever said so before. That would be a good match-up though. (Hums it). Yes, now I can see that. Someone should mash those two together.
JM: Someone should. You’re the producer guy.
OB: Okay – I’ll do it. Let’s make it happen.
JM: „Open End“ pretty much sticks out. Not only because it’s the last song on your new record, it’s also the only song on „Melt“, that has a fade-out. Which kind of fits the title – „Open End“ – but is there more conceptualism to it?
OB: No, it’s not any concept behind this last tune, except for the lyrical theme. It’s about you getting so locked up in conversations with yourself, come out from behind it, it’s better for your health. A lot of the themes of the new record deal with matters of your psyche. Frustration and the feeling of not being able to work with or in the world around us. And how do we make it happen. The chorus of this song talks about cycles of seven and how this journey is open-ended doing cycles of seven.
JM: My oldest boy is six. I’m already in awe of his next cycles of seven – 14, 21. But back to your record. In comparison to your debut, „Melt“ is at least in my ears, dancier, more electronic sounding, less acoustic feeling – especially in terms of the drum sounds, it’s way more synth-heavy. Was that something that evolved while composing and producing the material or was it something you set out for, when you started to work on the songs in the first place?
OB: I think it’s something we set out for. In a way, the production style of Boxed In has come full circle. When we first started, the whole idea was to place it around 5 sounds: bass, synth, 2 drum sounds and specific vocals. So the entire album was basically made up off 5 sounds. And then we ripped it all up and I said I want to do the whole thing with live instruments. Emulating electronic music with live instruments is what’s mainly on the first album. And I thought the second album should be a development.
JM: Is your increased activism in the field of dance music with collaborations and remixes also responsible for the fact that almost all of the songs on „Melt“ are longer than on „Boxed In“?
OB: Ehm – yeah, we got a little carried away. Hehe. We were so excited – we just couldn’t stop. I mean, yeah, I’m still writing songs. It’s just that these songs are kind of closer to the dance music world.
JM: Are you a clubber?
OB: Very much so, yes.
JM: How is it to hear your song or your remix being played live in club setting.
OB: Oh – it’s amazing. I did some work with George Fitzgerald, and we flew to Ibiza and headlined Pacha. And then we played the song, „Full Circle“ about four weeks after we had made it, at around four in the morning. And it kicked of just like that. So good.
JM: Nice. I mean, do have any ambition to do so? You’re already remixing people.
OB: Yeah – I might DJ.
JM: By the way – when it says „Boxed In-Remix“ – is it you that did it?
JM: So the other three Boxed In-Members don’t have a say.
OB: Boxed In is… Well, when we’re live, Boxed In is a band. But apart from that Boxed In is all me. The concept is mine, I write the songs. Having said that, some of the songs on “melt” are co-written. Which is really a great development. Not only because they’re good musicians. It just feels like more of a band.
JM: Alright. What’s up with you fascination for sheets and textiles covering things?
OB: Ha-ha. Obviously I’m a very shy person. Well the original concept was to emulate the style of Francis Bacon. He is one of my favorite painters of all times. And he did „The Pope“ to which Gilles Deleuze said: „Bacon’s scream is the operation through which the entire body escapes through the mouth.“ And that kind of made sense to me. So I spoke to this really amazing animation director and said that this is my concept – can you interpret it in your own way? Forget about bacon, imagine the concept and just create it in you own style. So he did a 3-D digital image covered with a sheet to get that claustrophobic feeling and I just fell in love with it. It’s beautiful. And that was for the first album. So I said: Let’s develop a style. Let’s have a close up of the same person that was already on the first album. We also work with sheets live.
JM: So there is some kind of fetish.
OB: You got me.
JM: You’re someone who is running up and down in all sorts of musical streets: Producing Lianne La Havas, the remixes you do for others, your own music, work as engineer – is it hard to switch between all the formats or does it come naturally?
OB: The biggest switch I have to make is from being a performer to being a producer. Like producing a band during the day and then acting as a performer at night – a find that switch pretty hard. Cause you know the two are at odds with themselves. As a producer I’m trying to help to get the best out of and for an artist and his or her music. As a performer I‘m just trying to represent my side. As much as I like that, the two are totally different.
JM: With all the music stuff around you is there ever a time when you say „No – I can’t put up with any more music for now“?
OB: Yes, there is. Occasionally. When we go on holiday. And it works for about 5 days. And on the fifth day I’m already like: Okay, I want to go home now. And make some music.
JM: Is there anything you do to actively digress – like riding fast cars.
OB: Yeah right. I wish, Jesus. Yeah, I’ll just go home to my garage and choose my collection of fancy classic cars. Oh today is Wednesday, Ill take the Porsche. I wish. No, when I come straight from work, having worked late, I can’t go straight to bed, I need to watch some brain-dead TV thing. Actually I just watch the news. Something completely unrelated to creative work. Something very mundane.
JM: Thank you for the interview.