WHO CARES WHAT THE LASER SAYS?
MARCH 25 | THIS CHARMING MAN RECORDS
“The work of musicians who know how to make off-kilter ideas into something that makes you feel good and strange at the same time.” – FADER
“Off-the-wall nd brimming with ideas” – DIY
“In an era where albums seem to be nothing but a pile of songs, I really tried to make one that had its own identity. The title, ‘Who Cares What The Laser Says?’ initially was just a joke that sounded like some broad and sweeping statement against technology. But then that really started to sink into me. For both of us it became a little bit of an anthem to mock the future. We searched for sounds that gave us some feeling of an alternate reality where the future goes a little wrong or gets a little broken. Or to let some sounds be intentionally cheap, because whatever is state of the art one day will sound dated and stupid in about 5-10 years (but then the younger generations thinks it’s cool again). IWatch the video for ‘Where Is My Line?t’s all so fleeting in the modern world. Why try to chase it?” – Joe Haege, 2016
Watch the video for ‘Where Is My Line?’
White Wine began as a solo project from Joe Haege (Menomena, 31knots, Tu Fawning, The Dodos), and was simply a place to house ideas that didn’t fit his other bands. That, and a way to pass time on tour with Menomena when he wasn’t driving. After writing and recording 2 albums (‘Chromakey’ on Polyvinyl Records and ‘In Every Way But 1’ on Discolexique records) he made a plan to tour Europe as a way to visit friends. Not being one for having a laptop as his bandmate, he asked his good friend, Fritz Brückner – who during that time was sound man to Menomema – to be his band.
Upping sticks and moving to Leipzig, Haege and Brückner built a studio and set about soundtracking a sleep-walk into a dystopian future. Lead single Where’s My Line?’s maudlin bass-line, schizophrenic guitar riffing and fraught vocal delivery offer an immediate glimpse into the disparate minds of White Wine, while Bullet Points Like Swords’ unrelenting claustrophobia opens up into an “I’m a sick and narcissistic sycophant!” refrain that’s hard to ignore. Elsewhere, Sitting On A Bench offers the same wirey guitar lines that’ll no doubt satisfy fans of Haege’s other bands – peppered as they are with unsettlingly spritely keys – and the ominous setting of Plastic Entrance twins a tumbling bassoon line with Haege’s own grizzled vocal and twisted outsider guitar line. Album closer, Relic On Fire, hits a rare moment of musical joy as horns and xylophones jostle for position – albeit it amongst the line “Terribly, terribly, terribly, terribly upset.”
It’s not only on record that this sense of our lives being negatively impacted by technology comes across, as Haege offers; “After a year and a half in Los Angeles prior to moving to Leipzig, I felt like I was almost at ground zero of how inhumane life has become. And yet to relocate to Europe and to take in what striking similarities in behavior was quite shocking. Less empathy, more distraction, no focus, the digital preaching to the choir of social media and the endless ways in which technology digs deeper into our lives.”
White Wine are completed by third member Christian “Kirmes” Kuhr (Zentral Heizung Des Todes). Brückner has integrated his skills as a classically trained bassoon player into the band, while Haege is once again putting his penchant for cheap theatre antics to work with the new stage show, and the endless supply of ability and talent in Kuhr has only begun to show itself in with intense drumming and guitar playing.
The album was written, performed, recorded and mixed by Fritz Brückner and Joe Haege.
Joe Haege: Vocals, lyrics, guitar, samples, drums, synth
Fritz Brückner: Drums, bass, synth, vocals, guitar
Christian “Kirmes” Kuhr: He is our live drummer and amazing. So there.