H as in Records is a Berlin-based label for music and fine arts. Originally founded as a consolidating platform for a group of artists who were already closely connected through their aesthetics and themes as well as close personal relationships, it organically evolved into a record label as well. We interviewed label founder Felix Müller aka Yule FM as well as Portland based Cole Baby and Lonely Boys as they came together in Berlin to put on two pretty rad label nights at Antje Öklesund and Madame Claude’s.
Tell me about the concept of H as in Records…
Originally there was no real concept. I just wanted to gather some people who in my opinion are doing really good stuff and where I felt they in the furthest sense had something ideological in common. I also thought that if we stick together we would probably have more attention than if we stayed solo. So the basic idea was the gathering. I call it a label although it is really noncommercial so far. Everybody who does something does it on his own and I am just trying to help as far as I can but mostly not financially. I don’t know where this will go. If it goes well I’m happy about it and if not, it was fun.
How would you describe your own music?
When I record I mostly start playing something or hit some buttons on the computer first and do everything else according to that. Eventually it’s a lot of tidying. So, I guess I’m rarely aware of what I’m doing or what the eventual music will sound like. I’m kinda having issues with genres and/or verbal descriptions of music in general so I can’t really say a lot about that.
But if I asked you for inspirations?
There are many musicians that I find very inspiring but if I’d name them now that would spoil the idea of not belonging to a genre. But I think I always have periods where I’m kind of manic about stuff astrology for instance or really cheesy tv series like Friends or The Cosby Show and somehow I feel that since I’m spending a lot of time with those things, that must be an influence.
Musical or non musical biggest inspirations?
Give me 4 seconds to think about it. My favorite bands are Otis Redding, Bruce Springsteen and ODB. I really just wish that I could be a Soul singer but I can’t because I don’t have the voice for it so I have to make up for that with theatrics… Also I go to the tanning Salon and there is a very specific type of person that goes there. It’s very trashy and I really like that and the sort really tacky glam type of vibe, so that’s a big inspiration as well I guess – what’s the word – Campy. I like that a lot. John Waters big fan.
How do you figure performance in relation to your music? Does it have to be a part of it or can they exist separately?
I sort of consider it to be two pieces. When I record things its just me in my room and a lot of accidents happen to create the sounds. But the performance is sort of… I really like karaoke – it’s literally my favorite thing to do. My favorite way to spend my time, so the performance is sort of how I wish Karaoke could be every time I did it but still trying to adapt the things that I record in my very personal space.
Plans for the future?
Near future is the American tour with Felix and after that I don’t know. Right before I left to Europe I lost my job, so probably when I get back I’m going to look for a job or try to get my old one back. I would like to tour again in the fall and maybe then come back to Europe. And I also would like to tour with my other band. I’m a drummer in a punk band called the Skavenger Cunt and so i would like to tour with them as well..
Any specific story behind the “I don’t want to go to college again” song?
I feel like none of my goals can be reached through college although I am very happy that other people’s goals can be. Uhm. You don’t go to college to be a pop star and that’s what I want to be.
What inspires Lonely Boys?
R. Musically it’s hard to tell, as we both listen to a lot of different music and are always trying to find new stuff. Recently we fell in love with some vocaloid productions, but i don’t think that it found its way into our music.
F. Non-musical is easier to say. I watch a lot of tv series and often take quotes out them for the lyrics but it´s always connected to simple general observations I´m making or topics I’m dealing with at the moment… Such as girls.
And what does your creative process look like?
F. Our production process is very fluid. Since we don’t live in the same city one might think its not easy but to us it appears very easy.
R. When we are stuck we just send each other the stuff we are working on and the other one is completing it or taking it further. That works in both directions and makes it possible to still have a pretty integrated sound I guess.
What is your take on performance?
R. Weird, I don’t know. I think we’re just taking it easy and do what we can and try not to put on stuff or postures we don’t feel comfortable with.
F. I don’t wanna go down easy for my audience. I especially enjoy concerts set in non music specific locations. Like one of our first gigs we ever played was sitting on a leather sofa as stage. Also I still enjoy the secretary style, sitting on a desk.
How would you describe your music?
R. I actually think one main focus in our music lies in the vocals. Even though our lyrics are often taken from somewhere else, in the end our music is something really personal, which translates especially through the vocals. Often we just repeat one sentence over the whole song and hence create a very emphasised and emotional mood through that, which can become pretty intense.
F. I’ve been thinking a lot about songwriting, the message of a song and how it transmits something. To me the words of a song are really more like vessels for the music. So it might as well be just one sentence like a tag line that travels with the music and thus gets multifaceted. I think the idea is pretty accessible in our song ‘Heat‘. Its a kind of rework of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ but not music-wise, more feeling-wise, like a translation of the song into our emotional and musical spectrum.