SONS of VILJEMS are the East London-based project which involves Nejc Haberman, bass player in the Slovenian ethno-jazz ensemble Jazoo and Andrea Giommi, composer, guitarist and bassist for such psych-noise acts as The Emerald Leaves, Edible Woman and Leg Leg.
“Touch Me Not” is their debut track which is out now via SaS Recordings. It is a 8-minute track which shows a tense and “pulp” mood, rough ambient textures and a cinematographic narrative. It is also a new chapter of our Singles Series. We have the pleasure to premiere the official video directed by Bojan Brbora. We had a little talk with the duo to know more about the project. Check it after the video.
How was this project born? I read that you come from different backgrounds. Tell me more about it
Slovenia and Italy are very close and yet quite far away.
Nejc comes from the mountains; on the contrary, I come from the seaside. One night in a fantastic restaurant in Maribor, a Slovenian acquaintance described his opinion of Italians as follows: ‘Italians are opinionated and shit ‘. I loved it.
This tension is ever present between us, I have patterns of behavior that he does not approve of and this is true the other way around too. I am outspoken and loud, he is a more subtle and composed figure, less paranoid, too. He has received a more scientific upbringing, instead I have had a humanistic one.
Musically, we could not be more different. He hates guitars, I am not a fan of 5 strings basses, we come from very different musical worlds, but you see…
What we have in common is more important and more profound: our sense of humor is very similar.
Playing together teaches us something all the time, it makes us uncomfortable from a music point of view, it keeps us on the edge, it challenges us.
We are ever aware of where we come from, but for us it is not about erasing the differences, it is about enhancing them and be able to live with them. It is a way of living that certainly requires cold blood and intelligence. We want to live this way in what is now a difficult, scary, narrow minded and racist era.
I would not care less about playing with someone with whom I agree on everything.
What about the track ‘TOUCH ME NOT’, is it your debut track?
Yes, TOUCH ME NOT is the first track we record and publish.
What about the short film directed by Bojan Brbora?
Bojan is a friend, we met him through common friends in London and quickly found out that he was also a pal and collaborator of Filip Sijanec, a film music composer whose work we love.
Through promoter Sad House Daddy, we organized a concert with Filip and Merlin Nova in Hackney last May, and after the show Bojan approached us, mentioning how cinematic our music sounded to him and how much he appreciated the show. I instantly knew we were in business.
What has surprised me about Bojan is his work ethic and the enthusiasm he puts in his work; we agreed that he would come up with the initial idea for a minimal script for the video, and he hired the cast too.
We have scouted the locations together, and we have shot over one entire night last August.
The video is an ideal counterpart to our music, it is a great way to transmit our ominous sounds.
This is a collaboration that we are looking forward to extend in the future and our label Sas Recordings is definitely encouraging us to also pursue a combination of sound and images.
The video allows us to enter a new dimension that complements our music.
Considering your backgrounds and your project, what is your definition of experimentation in music? Is it important in your music?
Experimentation is a laughable word. I think its use today is often improper.
The capacity of experimenting and shaping a new world is now present in technology and business. We quietly shy away from these ideas.
Our music comprises several different elements, it surely tries to be both emotional, carefully crafted, minimal and at times apocalyptic.
What we like is the interaction of the two of us as musicians, the artisanal nature of our compositions, the desire to create a thick layered – droney sound with such traditional elements as guitar and bass, transcending the nature of the string sound into vapor.
Our music is the result of our work, it is very physical and very ‘human’, so to speak.
Are you working on the release of a full-length or EP? If so, what is the direction you are working on?
We have at least one more hour of music that we want to record; next year we would like to work at Sas Recordings studio in Shoreditch, the studio belongs to Jean-Gabriel Becker, who is also the mind behind Sas Recordings as a label. That would provide a perfect platform for us to experiment on our sound and to collaborate with the incredible music scene in London.
If the right opportunity arises to release a full-length album, why not? However, even the idea of working towards the direction of combining music and video is a thrilling one to us.
One additional aspect that thrills us about our music is that it is so minimalistic and open that it literarily invites other interventions. We have already performed live accompanied by percussionist Marie Roux of O YAMA O, and we will perform soon with Filip Sijanec and Nepalese singer Shreya Rai, two incredible musicians.
In this city, sky is the limit.
What about your live plans? Have you got ideas on how to introduce your music on stage?
We have played live in a few occasions already with promoters such as Minus Tone and Sad House Daddy. It is our favorite dimension. We also record live in studio, all our recordings are one – take only.
We need to choose the venues where we perform carefully, because our set requires silence and attention, or it simply doesn’t fulfil its full potential.
We will play at Efesto house in Bologna on November 16 and on December 7, we will be playing at Paper Dress Vintage in London, sharing the stage with the wonderful V4V of Charles Hayward, fellow label mate Ama//Mizu and folk drone project Uyuni.
Check the track via Bandcamp.