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Catching Up With

David Boulter: Thinking Differently

By Published: June 5, 2012
DB: She is someone we met and was very inspired by the song "My Sister" to make a film called Nanette et Boni (1996), and she came to see us in Paris around the time of the second album and asked us if we would be interested in making some music or if she could use the music. I think as soon as we met her we kind of liked her and we realized, watching her films, that she makes movies in the same way we make music. It wasn't about trying to make an impressive movie that everyone would go and see and would make lots of money. It was about something inside of her that she needed to express, which is very similar to our music, and her films don't always make complete sense. They leave you wondering what is actually happening, which is very similar to our music. Sometimes it is very open to people to interpret the way they want to.

AAJ: To me, right from the very start the music of Tindersticks had innate cinematic qualities to it. Were you aware of that at the time?

DB: Yeah! That is why we wanted to do a soundtrack because people have mentioned it. Personally I was very interested in soundtracks and it affected the sounds we used on our first and second album, and ever since I've been taking a different approach to song structure—not just verse, chorus, guitars. I've been trying to find different colors in the music and different methods of making music work. The great thing about working with Claire is that you are allowed to make music you want, whereas making soundtracks for a big Hollywood producer they would tell you exactly what music they want and where; that is not the kind we are not interested in. It doesn't give you any space to express yourself. I don't think we felt the need to make any more soundtracks but it is good to work with somebody like Claire. who gives you a chance to do something different.

AAJ: How has that work on soundtracks influenced the band's regular song-based music?

DB: It is really good because quite often it falls between albums when you get dead space where you have just finished and you are thinking what to do next, and if Claire is making a film, it gives you a chance to experiment with different things. Like the soundtrack material we did recently it is really interesting because we kind of started in a kind of small way using a harmonium and a cello. Then we built this collage of sound where everybody was adding different things. You don't have to worry about making a song; it's more about making a piece of music. It is not really classical music or jazz, as it has structure that gives you great freedom.

AAJ: The band is currently on tour promoting The Something Rain. What will happen next, after the concerts are over?

DB: I suppose this year is kind of twenty years of Tindersticks, so we think for us it kind of started twenty years ago but I think we plan something for next year that celebrates that. This year is all about the album that just got released, and we are thinking about the celebration next year. Hopefully something else will grow then.

Selected Discography

Tindersticks, The Something Rain (Lucky Dog/City Slang/Constellation, 2012)
Tindersticks, Claire Denis Film Scores 1996-2009 (Constellation Records, 2011)
Tindersticks, Falling Down a Mountain (4AD/Constellation Records, 2010)
Tindersticks, The Hungry Saw (Beggars Banquet/Constellation Records, 2008)
Tindersticks, Waiting for the Moon (Beggars Banquet, 2003)
Tindersticks, Can Our Love... (Beggars Banquet, 2001)
Tindersticks, Simple Pleasure (Island Records, 1999)
Tindersticks, Curtains (This Way Up, 1997)
Tindersticks, Tindersticks (This Way Up, 1995)
Tindersticks, Tindersticks (This Way Up, 1993)

Photo Credits

All Photos: Courtesy of Tindersticks


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