Caspar & Peter Brötzmann - July 2k3 - Iles du Frioul, Marseille (F)

 

- Caspar, can you tell us a bit about your collaboration with F.M. Einheit? In 1994 you put out the album Merry Christmas and you toured in July of that same year. You had recently played again with him at the Dour festival in Belgium. How did this tour differ from the 1994 tour and why 10 years in between?

-We've been friends for fifteen years. We spend time in the theater. Sometimes he invites me to play guitar in his theater music. We're still friends. I don't really want to talk too much about the past but we've put a new band together. We'll be getting together in September. Dour was just an invitation from Alan Ball. He said, Caspar would you like to play here and I said: yes but I'm bringing Mufti with me.

-Can we expect a new release then?

-Yes, we're putting the band together. You can forget Einstürzende Neubauten and my group Massaker is finished. I want to do something new. I don't want to repeat myself at this point, we're working on it.

-You've also collaborated with Page Hamiton in 1996, can we expect anything new with him?

-We had an a few American tours and a European one. The CD was recorded in the three hours, in a rush recording time, the Zulutime CD. It was too quick. It was too rushed. It was a good experience to make a record in three hours. But, do you know where he is right now? I have no more contact with him, I can't find him.

-No, has he disappeared?

-Well, I don't know where he is.

-Tonight you will be collaborating with your father Peter. What can we expect tonight ? Did you rehearse ? Do you plan to make an album together?

-Well, two friends on stage, playing the first time together in Marseille. It's improvised, we don't know what we will do tonight. We like it here but it's quite hot. Now we're just happy that it's evening.

-Do you have any input Peter?

-What can I say? We see each other from time to time. Sometimes we have a chance to work together and this is the first time since four years that we are on stage together. So, we will surprise each other and maybe the audience too. We will see, I really have no idea.

-Caspar, how did the work of your father influence your career as a musician, if it did at any point?

-To go your own way. Not to play for an hour, make it simple. The biggest inspiration was not the music but to go and follow your own way, to have a touch of the kind of freedom that working as a musician can bring, experience music in improvisation with all its risks. Good inspiration.

-Peter, how do think you've influenced your son?

-We leave the father/son shit really behind when we are on stage. We just play. I think he is a good musician as others are too. He's a good colleague, it's good to be on the road with him and that's enough.

-Peter, how does it feel to be called a "reference" when you are a self-tought musician?

-I don't think about it. I am trying to play the horns the way I like to play them. I've always tried to find something new for me and I'm still curious as to what is possible to do on the horns. Of course, there are a couple of younger, especially saxophone players that have learned a bit from my way of playing but I don't take that so seriously. It's alright if you're that old and people have been listening to you for many years. I think what Caspar said is right. It's not the way of playing, it's not the way of handling saxophones. I think what I've learned from the great figures in the field of Jazz music, like Monk or Davis is that you have to be honest with yourself, you have to follow your own path and you always have to be curious enough to learn. I mean, I'm 62 but I'm still learning here and there.

-Will you be staying at the festival tomorrow?

-(Peter) Yes, we'll be around.

-Tomorrow, Terry Ex will be playing, he has played with Han Bennink, someone you've collaborated with, are you familiar with the Ex at all?

-I've heard them a couple of times, they've been touring around the same round of festivals over the last few years.

-Can you tell us a bit about your collaboration with Bill Laswell?

-The Last Exit. We were together for eight years. It's a long time for such a band. It was a good time, I think we had a lot of fun. We had good concerts and bad concerts. Of course when Sonny Sharrock died the band was over. I still see Bill from time to time, but that band's over.

-Have you ever heard of Mick Harris?

-No, I'm very bad with names.

-Have you ever worked with John Zorn?

-John, Johnny was a member of a bigger group I had put together for the Berlin Jazz Festival. In the very early years, we saw each other more often, of course. We still see each other in festivals but I don't see a necessity to work with him at the moment.

-You've performed at the FIMA (Festival International de Music Actuelle) in Victoriaville (Canada). Any souvenirs from that?

-Souvenirs from Victoriaville (laughter). The organiser, Michel Levasseur, always has funny ideas and this time he had the funny idea of putting two trios together, mine and Evan Parker's. Evan's trio usually features Barry Guy, but Barry couldn't make it so Alex Schlippenbach was replacing him, along with my trio. So we had a little cooperation. Evan and I did a quick breakfast composition and we played it. It was quite fun. There might be a CD of that concert coming out.

-Ok, back to you Caspar, earlier you've mentioned that Massaker was over.

-Yeah, Eduardo, the bass player has three kids now and it has changed his life. He spends his time differently now and isn't playing that much. Anyway, for me Massaker is over. I don't want to do Massaker without Eduardo, I can't do it. I don't want to replace him.

-So Mute Massaker was your legacy, the last album, the title was descriptive then?

-Yes.

-You do your own album covers, what is the importance you give to your image?

-It's a personal feeling. When you make music you always have images in your head. In the past it was easier to make a cover for a record because of its bigger format. The CDs are more difficult. I like to make it personal. I can't imagine some guy making a cover for me, no way! (laughter)

-Ever thought about creating your own website?

-No, there is a lot of stuff on the internet, but not my own site. I'm not interested in doing it for the moment, maybe in the future.

-So to recap, we can expect a new release from you Caspar with F.M. Einheit, and for you Peter?

-I have a new LP out with an old Chicago drummer, Walter Perkins, on my own label Bro. There will be a couple of new things from the Chicago Tentet. The important thing for me is the beginning of my label again. There are many plans and possibilities. Anyways, I think there are too many CDs out on the market so I try to keep it small.

interview by Albérick © [walnut + locust] 07/2k3 - transcription by Yaël (back to interviews)