Vanity Beach: When You´re Working Alone, you Don´t Have that Much Money

After a long break, Vanity Beach played a concert and a DJ set in Saint-Petersburg. Right after the concert in Helsinki and some adventures with the train, Jonas and Jesse told a little bit about their new album, labels and combination of hard work and fun in music.

How are you doing?
Jonas: Good! We slept for two hours and jumped on the train. We had a show last night in Helsinki.

Still alive?
Jonas: We´re still alive, yeah. We just had sound check and I guess we´re gonna play in two or three hours.
Jesse: And the train was late. Our first train broke and we had to change the trains, it was quite tiring.

As far as we understood you haven´t got much free time, as usual, while touring, but still what would you like to see in St. Petersburg and what are you going to do there?
Jonas: We´ll be here for two days. We gonna see Isaac´s church , we wanna go up to a tower. And tomorrow we´re playing records at the Union bar. So we´re gonna see that bar as well. It´s a beautiful city, it´s nice to walk and just look around.

If I´m not mistaken, you´ve been in Saint-Petersburg before, right?
Jonas: We´ve been there once, but it was long time ago. 2008 or something.

What kind of music are you going to play on your DJ set tomorrow night?
Jonas: All kinds of music.
Jesse: I might go home tomorrow.
Jonas: Yeah, we still don´t know who´s playing, we´re all djs and we´ve got all kinds of stuff with us.

Your new album is coming out this year, right?
Jonas: Yes, ´this year´ is good.
Jesse: We´re still in the middle of the recording

Will there be something in strong contrast to the previous stuff or will you make your fans happy with the same sound?
Jonas: It´s been 4 years, so..It´s been a natural progression. Older and wiser now.

Are you working with some label or by yourself at the moment?
Jonas: We are working by ourselves at the moment. We finish the album first and then will talk to labels.

Have you ever worked with labels before?
Jonas: We had a label, released our last album and we´re probably going to work with somebody else with this new album.

What´s in your mind, is it more comfortable to work with labels or release albums by your own?
Jonas: Of course, it depends.
Jesse: It depends a lot. Because all of work with labels is different: different kinds and different projects. It depends a lot of the band, a lot of the labels. Music and music business is changing all the time.
Jonas: And labels want fast big money.
Jesse: Yes, fast big money, so sometimes it´s hard for bands to do an album, because everybody wants good singles. It´s harder now, let´s say, than in 90s or earlier in 2000. People listen to music more and want music more, but no one wants to pay for it. And that also comes to the label. So labels want to have as much as money as possible for the albums, but they still want top-quality product. It´s hard to make top-quality product if you haven´t got that much money.
Jonas: It´s tricky.
Jesse: So sometimes it´s easier to work alone. But! Then again, when you´re working alone, you don´t have that much money.
Jonas: And you don´t have deadlines.
Jesse: Deadlines are really good.
Jonas: Because deadlines make people work faster.

Actually, in Russia it´s the same problems between artists and labels.
Jonas: I think, it´s a global problem.
Jesse: It´s a global problem and it doesn´t matter of the genre. It doesn´t matter at all what kind of music you´re playing.
Jonas: It´s more like back to the 50s, it´s more about singles, not albums. It´s more about big hits.

You´re popular in Finland, but still your band´s name appears on the billboards of big festivals not so often.
Jonas: We toured a little bit after out last album, then we just started working on a new record and it is still being worked on.
Jesse: The scene is very hard. If you don´t have big hits, big festivals might abandon you. And if you are not with a big label, so you haven´t got the money, that´s pushing.
Jonas: We always get back to the same point with the labels.

Jesse, have you ever felt an influence or pressure of your brother´s fame?
Jesse: No, never.

Maybe there were some cases when girls got acquainted with you to get to him?
Jesse: Yeah, it could be.

Among Finish artists, with whom are you getting on well and with whom are you trying to get away from?
Jonas: We´re not trying to get away from anybody
Jesse: The scene is rather small
Jonas: The scene is getting very small and everybody knows each other.

In what atmosphere do you usually make your new stuff, are you doing it separately and exchange after or making it all together in studio?
Jonas: Talking about this album, we´re making stuff, and then give it to Jesse.
Jesse: Yeah, I´m doing some kind of studio work: recording and producing. I know how to record different kinds of music: pop, rock, house, electronic music.

Is music for you more like work or fun?
Jesse: Both, but you also must have good muscles on your butt!
Jonas: It´s a lot of sitting. Especially during the studio work. When you´re working in studio for three days long, you could have good things for two or three hours, but they might won´t happen if you don´t sit. The more you work with patience without interruptions, the better ideas you get from working. Music is hard work. So it´s a mix of fun and work.

Author: Evgeniya Gyjva, Julia Andreeva, transl. S.Mahrer, photos: Julia Andreeva

GastmitarbeiterInnen / guest contributions

Regular guest contributors e.g. Melanie Kircher, Tatjana Tattis Murschel, Grit Kabiersch, Marina Minkler, Jasmine Frey, Maria Levin, Elvira Visser, Nina Ratavaara, John Wisniewski