Communication – a big word, many facets. These days, we experience many forms of it. Some get closer with people they wouldn’t have expected to get close with. Others lose people that were supposed to be friends. All of that is caused by communication – or lack thereof. As the distance grows, so does polarisation. How does this affect our lives, our friendships, and our relationships?
Your new single “Like Wild Horses” is based on the feeling of falling in love and communicating in a polarised world. What is the background of the song?
Christian: When I create music videos for Linebug, I’m more or less free to choose a way to interpret the songs visually. The lyrics for “Like Wild Horses” don’t tell a linear story, and since I like having stories in the videos I make, I got to make one up. Of course, I have to stay true to the essence of the song, in this case a love story. Through the lyrics, I also got a feeling that there was some sort of transformation taking place; The man who the woman sings about can transcend his physical body. Slowly, the concept of these two “floaty” characters came up. The idea of making them polar opposites trying to communicate probably has something to do with the fact that I was working on some paintings for an exhibition whose theme was polarisation in the world. That’s how it goes, sometimes ideas spill over and affect each other.
Using the image of wild horses to tell your story is visually very strong. How did you come up with it?
Line: I think a heart that’s falling in love is really racing like a wild horse. You don’t think, you can’t explain what’s happening, you’re just running in high speed, and there’s no way you can stop yourself. Kind of like a wild horse on the first day of spring. I can’t really remember how I came up with it. I might have been reading about horses, but once I put it in the song, the song fell into place, I remember that.
“If we are not able to see each other, we won’t be able to communicate,” you said. How do you think it’s related to the state our world currently is in?
Christian: “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” the saying goes. Not to get too political, but it seems like there’s a lot of cover-judging going on these days. On social media, we’re only exposed to the ideas and viewpoints we’re already subscribed to. Twenty years ago, we were exposed to more diverse points of view; Through old-fashioned newspapers and flow-TV, we were more or less forced to recognise the humanity behind our ideological opponents. There seems to be a tendency of polarisation, like we can’t even fathom how the people we disagree with have come to their conclusions. We demonise them, and, in a sense, we can’t see them anymore because we can’t see their humanity. So yes, even though the video for this song on the surface is a classic love story about impossible love, it also tries to wrestle with some rather complex issues.
How have you as artists experienced our polarised world where opinions rather “stare” at and not “talk” to each other? Has it changed anything in the way you create or express yourself?
Line: A lot is changing these years, especially the way we speak and the way we share our opinions. A lot of it is for the better. But I also sense that we’re becoming more aware that we could be misunderstood, and that makes us more careful and less willing to express ourselves. We’re also more aware of doing what’s politically correct. It could be showing support for Black Lives Matter on social media; I’m not saying these things aren’t important – they really are. But it feels a bit as if we’re all copying each other’s behaviour because we’re afraid to stand out of the crowd. That’s a result of the political climate, I think. We all identify with either the left or the right, and there’s not much room for opinions between the two poles. So yes, you can say that we “stare” at each other, but we don’t talk to each other. And I think that art could actually play an important role here, trying to build a bridge between the two poles. I really think we need that.
Talking about expressing yourself, you usually tour a lot. 2020 was different. What did this mean for you and how did you cope with it?
Line: Like most others, we had cancellations. It was sad of course, but we also got the longest break from the world we’ve had in years. I was actually quite exited about it at the beginning. I wrote a lot of new music and was feeling really good, but during the summer I started getting restless. I started to miss all these random people you bump into when you play concerts and travel. It was strange to miss people you don’t actually know, but that was honestly how I felt. I missed all these small conversations you have when you arrive in a new city. I missed talking to people after the concert. And I missed traveling around. Christian coped with the situation much better. He made a lot of paintings, an animation-video and was doing fine.
Looking into the future, what are your plans for the next months? What can we expect from your upcoming EP?
Line: Because of the Covid-19 situation, we actually don’t know what our plans are. Maybe we’ll tour in Germany. If not, I think I will be writing music. Maybe Christian will have a chance to work on some new stuff for our shows. We just finished the upcoming EP, and I’d describe it as a more electronic soundscape than my earlier work. But it’s still quite minimalistic. It’s a bit cinematic at times, and it gives me the feeling of a playground where no rules apply. I think you can expect something different, and I’m actually really curious to see how people will react.