IT IS A MISCONCEPTION THAT POP MUSIC SHOULD BE CAREFREE. Most fabulous IS THE FEELING ONE GETS BY VENTURING INTO THE ILLUMINATING SPACE WHERE THE DARK POP UNIVERSE OF BASTIAN EMIL EXISTS. HE IS A PART OF THE DUO SECRET LIFE, AND NOW HE HAS CREATED THE SOLO PROJECT GRAND PRIX.
FOR THE “SEMPER PRIMUS/TANDEM MORTEM” THE POP PREMISES ARE RECREATED AND NOW APPEAR AS DARK AND MAJESTIC BEATS. BASTIAN EMIL’s SOLO PROJECT STANDS OUT WITH ITS ALLURING VOCALS DELIVERING INTONED LYRICS ABOUT DEATH, VICTORY, AND BEAUTY. “GASOLINE IS FLOATING IN MY VEINS, AND BOLD DECISION IS MY NAME” HE SINGS BEFORE HE ADDS: – “NO ONE WILL SAVE ME.” FOR BEAUTY AND DEATH GOES HAND IN HAND IN THE “GRAND PRIX” – THE SOUND IS SOMEHOW A MIX OF REQUIEMS, MARCHING BAND-MUSIC AND LOVE SONGS. IT’S THE MUSIC THAT ACCOMPANIES RACE-CARS RUNNING BEYOND THE ABYSS. OR, AS BASTIAN EMIL HIMSELF PUTS IT: “MUSIC FOR PEOPLE WITH FAST HEARTS AND A SENSITIVE MIND. “
EXCLUSIVELY FOR DT 500 MAG –
GRAND PRIX UNPLUGGED
BASTIAN grew up in Lyngby, 10 km outside Copenhagen. His mother is a priest, so they lived in a 500-year-old clergy manor house. Bastian remembers it as a very romantic place. He learned to listen by starting playing the drums when he was 9 or so. He had a charismatic cowboy-like teacher with boots, who always smelled of cigarette smoke.
DT 500 MAG: – Bastian, could you try to define you?
BASTIAN: –I would like it to be a mix of Dorian Grey and The Count Of Monte Cristo. I’m not afraid of getting old, and I’m not searching for revenge, but the elegance, the power, and the surroundings of pure beauty that these characters embody is something I strive a significant.
DT 500 MAG: – What about your background?
BASTIAN: – None of my parents plays any instruments. They don’t listen to music that much either. I only remember I wanted to play the drums and that’s how everything started. My first band was called “Fire Drums.”
DT 500 MAG: – You told us you grew up in a 500-year-old rectory – how was that experience?
BASTIAN: – It is a beautiful place. I think I understood that very early. Listening to the church bells ringing every day is something I remember very distinctly. I think growing up like that enlightened me to understand history and to be interested in all kinds of mythology and religious stories.
DT 500 MAG: – You said that you are mostly inspired by old heroic tales, including the Iliad. What is going on in your personal Iliad?
BASTIAN: – I think we are all trying to conquer the world in our way. I’m obsessed with the idea of a real hero. Heroic stories are all about courage, beauty and death, and even tragedy, in one. And that is present from Achilles to Alexander the Great, Napoleon, or in sports, for example, Fausto Coppi.
DT 500 MAG: – You run your own magazine called Killer View, who are you trying to kill?
BASTIAN: – I wanted to create a printed magazine that was beautiful and diverse. The publication consists of art, poems, historic articles, essays, and lyrics. I wanted to show people that printed publications last forever.
DT 500 MAG: – Bastian, what is Grand Prix about?
BASTIAN: – My image is the world champion? The impregnable star who runs everything. But I also want to express the dark side of sound. The massive doubt in yourself that every person must have. You can wake up one day and feel unbeatable, and the next day you feel miserable. How do you rise? History shows that everyone is in doubt for themselves once in a while. But I think this corrosive doubt mixed with your ambition of being an emperor is what you create something compelling out.
“The music is a majestic, elegant march, but I still strive to make it shaking and vulnerable. It must sound important.”
DT 500 MAG: – Your stage name is Grand Prix, why so?
BASTIAN: – First of all, I find it beautiful. I like the letters and the articulation. The meaning of the name is ‘the great price,’ and to win the highest prize of all must be the goal for everyone, whatever people want to do with their lives. Then there is the reference to sport. I enjoy watching cycling, which I think is the closest you get to showing the self-dissolving effort that is required to write your name into history.
DT 500 MAG: – You are working with Secret Life and now refreshing your talents as a solo artist: Grand Prix. Tell us more details?
BASTIAN: – I have a very close collaboration with my friend Patrick Kociszewski. We created Secret Life together where he sings, and he helped and was a significant influence in shaping the universe I wanted with Grand Prix. He also helped me improve my voice. I would describe my voice as an almost crooning deep voice from the bottom of my heart.
DT 500 MAG: – You live in Copenhagen, how does it influence your artistry?
BASTIAN: – I think the grey weather is the first thing I think of when I think about Copenhagen. The consistent tones of grey make you hungry for something colorful. I like to think that Copenhagen hasn’t changed – it looks the same as when Kierkegaard walked around in his yellow over a jacket. But honestly, I don’t find that much inspiration in Copenhagen.
DT 500 MAG: – What style of music are you making guys?
BASTIAN: – As I think I noted earlier, I will name it Majestic March Music.
DT 500 MAG: – Bastian, what are you singing about?
BASTIAN: – My lyrics are about the conqueror, the world champion, whose style is glaring. What comes to his mind, and how he rises to conquer the dark obstructions that threaten to ruin the life.
DT 500 MAG: – Any tips on how to boost inspiration?
BASTIAN: – Take a walk. Read books. Have patience. Personally, I read about the Greek gods.
DT 500 MAG: -Any concerts coming up?
BASTIAN: – The next step is releasing my EP, vinyl and online. Play shows. The next one will be the 21st of November
https://www.facebook.com/events/1608965562699893/. My album is called Semper Primus/Tandem Mortem, which Always means first, death at last. It will be out in December!
Interview by Arthur Sopin
Photo by Joe Skilton