Interview with Jan Hoffman (Bass)
Interview by Demitri Levantis
Thank you so much for giving us your time, so let’s start with the new album ‘How Do We Want To Live’. How is it different from your other releases?
Hey! Well, I guess it´s mainly the approach to the album as well as the sound design. We incorporated more of the electronic elements of our music to fit into the overall concept of the album which is the coexistence of humans and machines, artificial intelligence and how we deal with it. The is a narrative element as well so this album is like a journey from start to finish.
What is the meaning behind the name, ‘Long Distance Calling’ and how did u all meet?
I met our drummer Janosch first when I still had my last band before LDC and he knew our guitar player Flo who knew our other guitar player Dave. When we first met to practice there was some kind of magic and chemistry immediately which was crazy. We had never played together before (except Flo and Janosch who had a melodic death metal band called Misery Speaks at that time) so it felt right from the beginning.
Well, there is only one song with lyrics but we have plenty of narrative vocals on the album. Our songwriting process wasn´t that different from the ones before, we just meet and start jamming out or play around with some ideas. Like I said before, the theme of the album led to the fact, that we worked more with electronics that before, so this definitely influenced the songwriting process this time and our drummer Janosch, who is responsible for most of the electronic stuff, did a great job with all that tasty and diverse sounds on the album.
I guess the first thing that comes to my mind is our skills as musicians, those have improved a lot since the beginnings and also the craft of songwriting. It´s much more detailed now but we still have the same sense for atmospheres and moods. The first album “Satellite Bay” was pretty “naïve” in a positive sense, straight from the guts and a great start for us. “Avoid The Light” was a really dark and atmospheric album with a lot of songs on it, that we still play live on most of our shows and with a bit more sophisticated songwriting compared to the debut. With the third, self-titled album, we took a big step up in terms of sound and production and this was a pretty heavy album including one vocal song featuring John Bush of Anthrax. After that, we added more vocals on the album “The Flood Inside” and “Trips”, because we felt we want to try something new and after that phase, we returned to fully instrumental on “Boundless” which is the heaviest and most successful album to date. On “How Do We Want To Live?” we have now entered a new chapter, with multilayered soundscapes, a lot of hooks, and a really deep atmosphere to dive into. So we are always moving with our music because we hate to stand still, we want to challenge ourselves and the fans to follow our way with us and to discover new sounds and grounds.
And we would definitely like to do a movie soundtrack at some point, that´s something we really would love to do in the future!
Yes, we had. We had an exclusive show lined up at a festival in the Netherlands. Musically not too much I think as most of the music was already written when the pandemic began but it fits “well” to the concept of the album, especially with the use of information technology and social media regarding fake news and conspiracy theories, it´s very interesting and frightening at the same time. Personally, I have used the time to read and do stuff at home, which was kind of deceleration. I have become a bit calmer I guess and talked a lot to family and friends, which doesn´t happen that often in the regular daily life, so this was a good aspect of the whole situation.
Well, we have a German tour lined up in September and we still hope we can pull it through somehow. The first show is in Hamburg at Elbphilharmonie, which is one of the most renowned and most beautiful venues and Germany and the show is already sold out so this would be great if it happens. Otherwise, we want to come back to the rest of Europe as soon as possible with this new album and hopefully see some places we haven´t seen before.
Post-Rock doesn´t fit too well to our sound I guess, but it´s surely a part of it, same for Progressive Metal or Progrock. Our sound is a mix of a lot of different influences, I would describe it as experimental instrumental rock music or Art Rock but to be honest, we don´t care too much about this kind of stuff.
Life itself is the biggest influence I think but of course, there are also movies or books and other music. We are all very different within the band and that also means there are a lot of different influences and I think you can hear that.
Well, we thought about re-recording “Black Paper Planes” last year but then we recorded the live album and the live sound is even better than on the original recording. And we are also no big fans of re-recordings so I guess this was a good solution for it. If we record, we definitely prefer to record new music instead of old music again…
Do you have a favourite song from this release?
Personally, for me, it´s “Hazard”, “Immunity” and “Ashes”. One song is too hard to choose, haha.
It´s very different. We have families and kids so we spent time with them and two of us have dogs. We do sports like running, climbing, biking and fitness and I really like to read, watch series or play a computer game from time to time so we are not getting bored too much in our free time. But also music is very important besides the band, we are all big music nerds. And our drummer Janosch and I just started a Podcast.
There are plenty of anecdotes, haha but my favourite one is this one: at a very early stage of the band we had a tour with the American band Dredg, we were supporting them on their German dates. One of us (I won’t tell who it was, haha) picked up the rental car and we loaded all our gear into the car so we could drive towards the next show very early on the next day. The next day in the morning the car was gone including ALL of our equipment, because of us was parking the van half on a parking space for disabled people and a half on a bus stop so of course, the van was towed away in the meantime. This was “fun”, haha but we got everything back and we made it to the first show just in time.
Well, that’s a big question. A pro is definitely that you get to know a lot of people and places, you make friends over the years with other bands and it´s always great to meet again and of course, the fact that we are creative and live the life we want to live with making music. Being in the business means a lot of work, some really weird people, a constantly changing industry and a decline of record sales while other technologies are growing really fast so you have to be awake and creative to make the best out of it.
Yes we were, we wanted to raise reactions with that video and we were also expecting negative comments, but it was important to us to raise awareness. We could have used a woman as the android but we decided it´s 2020 it should be totally normal to have a man instead of women and the negative comments show that it´s still important to talk about this topic, there´s still a way to go. We just wanted to take a look into the future, how could life look like if we decide to share our time and life with a machine instead of a human being.
Thank you very much again for your time and we wish you all the best!
1. Curiosity (Part 1)
2. Curiosity (Part 2)
5. Fail / Opportunity
7. Sharing Thoughts
8. Beyond Your Limits
9. True / Negative
Music Video: Hazard
Long Distance Calling are:
David Jordan -Guitar
Florian Füntmann -Guitar
Janosch Rathmer -Drums
Jan Hoffmann –Bass