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Port Royal - With Laptops As Sails And Wings


ImagePlastelin: Very often remixes are double-edged swords. Can you recall exactly any moments when you started talking about it and decided to put your songs in other people hands? And what is the reason to change the ambience of your songs?
Port Royal: - We started with the idea of a remix album just after "Flares" had been released back in spring 2005, when we first contacted bands as Russian duo Fizzarum together with other international artists we used to listen to in that period and earlier. We knew that remixes easily become something not memorable, but we were quite sure that our music could be a good one for other musicians to try and to work on it and to recreate it.. Through the years (also due to myspace) we found out that our first record had been appreciated by lot of artists: some of them knew us already before we wrote to them; some of them became friends of us: so, from this point of view, the project has been rewarding and stimulating. Last but not least, we are fond with the final result, "Flared Up", we definitely think it is a good piece of work indeed...


I always wondered what is the main criteria for choosing people when remix duties was in your mind, what was it in your case? Are you mainly fans of the producers in case, artists who adapted your songs or maybe it has larger and wider aspect(s), maybe someone in mind, not so close but someone capable of adding some dimensions not so visible on first glance? Also, what is the criteria for you, to accept offers to remix other artists?
- We selected artists for the remix project mostly by asking to the ones whose music we liked the most; not everyone answered positively, for several reasons, but that is quite obvious. Sometimes we chose them even if they were not doing exactly the genre we love and/or that is the closest to our one: sometimes, as you mentioned in the question, it's nice to be curious about what musicians, who come from a different background and who usually work with different styles, can do by reinterpretating your songs; you hope that possibily they'll find an unusual key of lecture of the song, giving it a new flavour, distant from the one of the original product but somehow still connected to it. Other times, it happened the artists, through myspace, asked directly to us if they could remix a song, because they loved our music. About accepting offers to remix other artists, we remixed not that much: Televise, Millimetrik, d_rradio, Absent Without Leave so far: they are friends and we exchanged the jobs...


Apart from those you have asked, one logical question... are you fans of anyone's music, what are your playlists at the moment? I was always addicted to such issues. Are there any songs you wish that you wrote yourself?
- Firstly, there are the bands, back in the nineties, that formed our taste in music, making us known of styles as ambient, post-rock, shoegaze and electronica: Mogwai (Young Team era) Arab Strap (Philophobia era), Autechre (early years), Third Eye Foundation, Labradford etc. Then, there are other bands/projects/artist we liked/like in the following years when we were already ourselves active musicians (like Magnétophone, Ulrich Schnauss, Sigur Ros et alia). Actually, since we are ourselves musicians, we are no more such good listeners; when you create your own music and you are working hard on an album it's natural to concentrate just on your stuff without looking too much at what there's around, also because after so much recording, music is the last thing we need (at least this is valid for us)!


Do you listen to classical music? Is there any influence at all, in structure, or is natural for you to weave such a texture in songs?
- No, honestly we don't listen to classical music (apart from some "classics" like Beethoven most famous pieces, for example) and we can't say we have been somehow influenced by it.


ImageThere is positive collision in your activity, music is fluent, uncatchable and titles are very often down to earth, sometime even romantic with names of gorgeous girls, sometimes about football clubs, mindless latent or even explicit weapon of ideology... how do you find a point where such a things make a truce?
- Yes, our music is surely kind of ethereal and dreamy perpetual fluid. We like (and have some fun in it) to choose titles that maybe can sound a bit surprising and have not a direct connection with the contest, but those titles have always somehow a connection to our lives and passions, so in the end they are very personal and we are happy to have been able to create our own style in titling the songs as well..


Kraken, Port Royal, are names connected with the sea, water. Is water your natural state? What is your favourite aggregate state in fact? It seems that in P-R aesthetics water is the most desirable place. Are you thinking about playing on water, on high sea... Or maybe I am wrong, maybe it is sand, desert or maybe some mountains, or something different, floating in air, space... Do you ever think in similar way? You once told me that you are between mountains and sea...
- Definitely yes! Water as fluid and life can only be our favourite aggregate state. It's nice to see that you understand and know us so well: you listened deeply to our works. Water is everywhere, also where we don't expect to find it, so our music can be everywhere and come from any place, feeling etc...


Port Royal...light or darkness... maybe some Port Royal mixture.
- Even though we like a lot to imagine our music listened late at night (also because very often we created it during that part of the day), we think it's a mixture of light and darkness as you rightly wrote. In the end isn't it great seeing the day beginning with port-royal music as well as letting it die with our music? It's like a new beginning and a soft and positive end!


ImageWhat are your next moves you have announced some things, collaborations, split items, there are even some vinyl items around, playing with some bands like Balmorrea? What is the schedule for P-R. Have recordings for the new album started?
- We are working hard on the new album (our third, title yet to be decided: the recording sessions have already started last year); probably it will feature ten songs (for about 70 minutes of music). They are near to be ready, we still have to work on final details as well as on some beats and song structure (this is that kind of job that can require lot of time, indeed..). In September, by the while, a split ep called "Magnitogorsk" with Absent Without Leave has been released by the Greek label Sound in Silence: this work features three new songs by us. We also remixed his song "blind", and he remixed back our "Zobione pt. 2". Currently we are not playing live that much because of the recordings and of work.


On Flared UP, Judith sang Jeka... it is not an ordinary thing today for people to think that instrumental music can sometimes have more power than songs with words. At the end of the day, meanings can be caught anyway, but, what are your thoughts today, is instrumental music your advantage or limitations?
- Well, this is a good question: in our new album there will be more sung parts: we asked to a japanese artist (Linda Bjalla) to sing and to whisper on some songs from the next album as HVA (Hauptverwaltung der Aufklärung - the secret service of the communist police - Stasi - of Eastern Germany) and "Trancey" and she did it in a beautiful way; we ourselves sing in some other songs in a way that is definetily more massive than in the past and last but not least 2 polish artists (name still secret because they are pretty well known in their home country which loves us particularly!) sang in a "pop way" in what we called our first " pop song.. Anyway, our music remains fundamentally instrumental, this is the territory where we still feel more at ease and can comunicate in the best way what we are and what we feel (and how do we do that). Yet, we think it's kind of narrowminded to fix strict boundaries in music and that the right thing to do is to experiment new things to be closer and closer to your personal mood of the moment and to your personality.


Port Royal play very often, most recently you told me that one day there may be one DVD with gigs and visuals, but is there any difference in your audience? You are obsessed with eastern Europe, is there any difference between fans and audience in East Europe and on West. Maybe fans on West are spoiled seeing so many bands everyday? What is your opinion. Constellation team told me few years ago that they enjoy Euro tours because people pay more attention to music than beer, and also there is difference in east and west parts of Europe...
- Yes, we totally agree. We toured a lot in the past months and played in countries as Russia and Poland and we can say, by comparing those audiences to the ones in West Europe (France, Belgium, Italy, UK, Austria etc), that people there are really much warmer: they dance and shout and let themself really go. We use to say in interviews that in East Europe there is some kind of emotive approach that is far different from the analytical one typical of western european countries: and likely this comes - as you rightly said - because people in western Europe are constantly bombarded by so much chances, possibilities and so much music that in the end they loose a bit their sensibility and they get used to that, bored and distant. This gives you really good vibrations and positive energies when you go and play over there (East Europe). In general, countries as Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Serbia etc., seem to have a huge need and will to listen to new experimental alternative stuff, developing fastly really interesting cultural issues...


What exactly inspired you in East Europe and how do you explain that?
- History, life there, its (of East Europe) being on the edge of the change, its being "not yet", its being not yet a betrayed possibility and desire, and girls there.


Port Royal are my companion for every occasion, through strolling in some Euro Cities. What are your fave cities? Which cities do you think your music is most suitable? Both are allowed, ones you have visited and ones you haven't?
- Here a list of the cities we prefer, we feel most at home and where we think our music fits perfectly: Bratislava, Tallinn, Kiev, Odessa, Gomel, Riga, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Esztergom, Sturovo, Budapest, Prague, Krakow, Poznan, Vienna, Murska Sobota, Berlin.


ImageInternet Love? Does the internet make good or bad things to you as band and as persons...
- Internet for itself is neutral, it depends on which use we make of it. As bands I can say it is something really positive and essential: how can we imagine music without internet nowadays? Also our personal lives have been affected by this virtual revolution: try to think that now you can book anytime and without spending so much money a flight to any European city, thing that was impossible till 10 years ago. You can meet on the net many interesting people that shares your passions and tastes in music as you can meet many shit people... as said in the beginning what is important is just the use that we make it and even mostly that we use it and don't let it use us.


And finally, this is one I have been eager to ask you for a very, very long time! Once upon a time, my best friend and soulmate Zaklina, who spent nights and days with me, told me when we were listening to Flares "Mileta, with this music you can melt ice around any girls heart WWW ( world wide web ) on land, air and sea and anywhere out of this world..." so, the most simple question for this round. Who Are you! What is Port Royal then... defender of romantics or macho conquistadores?
- First of all hvala to Zaklina! Then let's reply to your question: Port Royal will be forever defenders of the last romantics! Shyness and clumsiness are the reason.


Author: Mileta Okiljević