Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
Arts Correspondent
8:04 AM 26th February 2024

Chatting With Jante


Photo: Marco Landau©
Jante Photo: Marco Landau©
German folk-poppers Jante have been on a steady rise. Having built a loyal fanbase with their steady stream of EPs and single releases, the group is finally ready to release their debut album, Menschen sind komisch. Having teamed up with Carla Ahad for the single Wie ich es sag, the group has released a bop to tease and tempt final pre-orders of the stunning collection (we know, we've heard an advanced stream!). To celebrate their arrival at this key moment in their career, we caught up with Jante to learn a little more.

What an exciting 2024 you have ahead... What are you most excited for right now?

Jan: We're most excited for the release of our first album, Menschen sind komisch, in March. We've been working on it for the last two and a half years and are particularly happy because it will be our first vinyl ever.

2023 saw you release several gorgeous singles. Which was your personal favourite?

Jan: This is a really difficult question. But I think I would name the first single we released last year, Glauben was stimmt. Simply because fake news and manipulation via social media is such an important and dangerous topic, and we also had a lot of fun making the video, where we really took the whole thing to the extreme.

Tim: I would also choose Glauben was stimmt for the same reasons. Plus, the song is a lot of fun to play live, which is why I'm glad we have it!

Photo: Simon Mathiessen©
Jante Photo: Simon Mathiessen©
The album countdown is truly underway. How typical of the album's sound are the singles?

Jan: Very typical. Most of the songs on the album have already been released as singles. It was planned from the start that we would first release single after single, and that would eventually lead to an album.

Tim: That's why the singles are basically the sound of the album, although some of the songs that haven't been released yet will sound a little different.

If you had to file the album between two others, what albums would it sit between?

Jan: I think I would place our album between two very atypical, very dissimilar artists or albums. Between Alligatoah - Musik ist keine Lösung and Mighty Oaks - Howl. 

Alligatoah, because a lot of inspiration comes from him when it comes to the direct, ironic lyrics. I believe he might be the best German lyricist of our time. Mighty Oaks brought in the emotion and the folk sound into our music, which basically led to the initial desire to do folk in German at all.

Tim: I agree with Jan, but I would also like to mention a third album: Hier by Bruckner. Bruckner are a German indie pop duo very similar to us (except that Jan and I aren't brothers). Stylistically, Bruckner generally influenced us on many songs and arrangements, and, for me personally, they were also an inspiration for some of the guitar motifs that you can hear on the album.

The album arrives over half a decade into your recording career; does the anticipation make the album release more daunting?

Jan: It's definitely a very special thing for us to release the album now. So far, we have released several EPs, then a lot of singles, and the album is the absolute logical next step for us. In many people's opinion, an album is a bit on the way out due to how people are used to listening to music via streaming nowadays. But I think albums are still relevant, which is why we're even happier that all the singles we released come together on an album now.

Tim: It's just that you can hold the album in your hands as a record or CD; we can take it on tour and give it to people; it's just very meaningful for us to have it as a physical version, too.

Which song are you most excited for people to hear?

Jan: We talked about that before and are most excited about Bis hierher. This is a song that made it onto the album but was actually not planned anymore. For a long time, the song only had one chorus and nothing more. But this chorus was already fully arranged and was created during the pandemic at a time when we were experimenting a bit with our sound. But then we picked it up again at the last minute and managed to write a whole song around this one chorus.

And in our opinion, this process turned out very well, and we are proud of how Bis hierher sounds because it shows another completely different side of us.

If you could achieve just one thing with the album, what would it be?

Jan: I think there's a bit of a fanboy moment coming through. As I said, Mighty Oaks are a very special band for us, and I also gave them our first EP at one of their shows. And I told them, "Here, guys! Without you, this music wouldn't have been written." I think if they listened to the album, liked it, and we could play support for them, that would be a real dream coming true.

Tim: To play a concert with Mighty Oaks or maybe a festival and to get to know them from the artistic side, not just as a fan, would be amazing. But also to play in general at such big festivals as the Southside Festival again would be really cool.

Cover for _Wie ich es sag
Cover for _Wie ich es sag
Can we expect to see you on the road any time soon?

Jan: This time we haven't organised a full club tour, but we will play a release concert in our hometown, Chemnitz, and then the summer will take us to various festivals throughout Germany. A few of them have already been fixed, and we are still in discussions about more dates. We will make a lot of dates public as spring comes.

What makes a good live show for you?

Tim: After a good live show, you feel something more intense than before. So either you are more emotional, or you are more excited, or you are happier, or something like that. You simply leave the concert with the feeling that you have experienced something very special, and you still look back fondly on that evening days or weeks later.

: A good live show makes it possible for us to fully live out feelings that we often push away or suppress in everyday life. If a live show can do that, it's a good live show for me.

Lastly, what's the best show you've ever been to?

Jan: It's hard to name just one here. I think emotional favourites for me were Mighty Oaks on their acoustic tour and Passenger at Hurricane Festival, because those were concerts by artists that started everything that we are today. If we're really talking about a spectacular show and not only the music itself, then I would say Muse definitely surprised me a lot, because I hadn't had much to do with them before. But they totally picked me up with their show. And also, Giant Rooks have a great live show. And even though the band has been a bit burned by the scandals of the past few months and I wouldn't watch them again because I don't want to support them anymore, Rammstein really has a great live show. But yeah, I don't think I would recommend anyone go there and support the band in the future after seeing how the singer behaved and, furthermore, how the band reacted to it.

Tim: I think for me it's the Wolfmother concert at Highfield Festival a few years ago. Not necessarily because the show was so spectacular, but simply because I attended the concert at exactly the right time in my life. It was all about the music and having a good time, and that was just so nice. Many of their songs have been with me for years, and I felt very connected to the band and everyone at the concert at that moment. It was also generally my first concert with a big rock band, so that certainly helped to make it so memorable for me.
Photo: Simon Mathiessen©
Jante Photo: Simon Mathiessen©