The pristine alpine air around Innsbruck breeds many things; fine wine, good health, and a deep reverence for Mother Nature. To this list we can now add dreamy, ethereal shoegaze thanks to enigmatic Austrian duo MOLLY, born in a nondescript basement but inspired by the wide-open spaces and breath-taking scenery they call home.
Everything they do has a grand, sweeping air – think sky-high guitars and glittering crescendos – but is also possessed of a very human fragility, as if the melodies might crumble before your very eyes. We sat down with Lars from the duo ahead of their appearance at Basement Bash Vol. XIII on the 25th October!
indieBerlin: Tell us a little bit about your musical background.
Lars/Molly: I started to play the flute when I was five because everybody used to say it would be a good instrument to start off with and get into music. After that I took piano lessons and when I turned 12 and got into bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden I learned to play the guitar and a few years later the drums. I didn’t start to sing until I was 17 and got into bands like Radiohead and Pink Floyd. Thom Yorke’s voice inspired me really much, I never heard a man sing like that before, and I found his vocal range to fit mine really well actually. So I basically learned to sing and play every Radiohead song there is. Only with 19 I seriously started to write my own songs. That’s probably the biggest step in every musicians life. Since then I never really felt the need to sit down again to seriously try to advance theoretically or technically in any of those instruments I previously learned. Writing and creating from nothing felt — and still feels to this day — just so many times more attractive and significant.
In my head every song has its very own color palette, maybe I’ve got an early stage of Synesthesia
indieBerlin: How did you get together as a band?
Lars/Molly: We played in another band, „Aux Portes“, before we started of with MOLLY — so thats really how we met to begin with. When they moved away we saw how similar our tastes in music where and how difficult managing five people in a band where so we tried to get something rolling as a duo.
indieBerlin: How does the songwriting process work for you / in your band?
Lars/Molly: There really is no strict formula to songwriting for us. Sometimes we write individually and bring something to rehearsals to work it out and finish it of together. That can be anything from an almost finished song or just a lick or a melody or a chord-wheel. Sometimes we also create a song completely from scratch out of a jam, without any word or idea coming beforehand. That is the most beautiful and natural way to write a song to me. Its so beautiful because I feel like there is no other artistic discipline where you can really do that in this very sense — like creating something that homogeneously together, bouncing ideas back and forth within a jam, and all of that without saying a word. That’s really where the magic happens and you can hear and feel it when it happens.
indieBerlin: If your music was a movie, which genre would it be in?
Lars/Molly: Its not a genre but I guess maybe „Heidi“? The kids-cartoon from the 70s for sure. It has a lot of similar topics and the aesthetics fit. If our music would be a film it would basically be that I guess.
indieBerlin: What was the last concert you went to?
Lars/Molly: Nils Frahm
If the creative element is missing we get bored quite easily — as artists and as listeners.
indieBerlin: What was your biggest stage fuck-up?
Lars/Molly: Had my capo on the wrong fret for like two songs without noticing as the sound on stage was so bad. It must have sounded like a train-crash down there – and all of that while we tried to impress heroes of ours, „The Oscillation“, whom we where opening for and just seconds before invited to join down in the audience to listen. I think they even left during the first song. To this day I still didn’t forgive myself for that.
indieBerlin: How do you feel about covering a song?
Lars/Molly: We love to cover now and then, especially for encores, but we still always try to make it our own. If the creative element is missing we get bored quite easily — as artists and as listeners.
indieBerlin: With whom would you never share the stage with?
Lars/Molly: Josef Stalin
indieBerlin: In ten years you look back to today and think:
Lars/Molly: “As years go by.“
indieBerlin: Do you see your songs in colour or in black and white?
Lars/Molly: In my head every song has its very own color palette, maybe I’ve got an early stage of Synesthesia, but from what I’m hearing it’s quite normal.
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.