Formed in Malmö, Sweden by Marleen Nilsson and Anders Hansson, Death and Vanilla utilize vintage musical equipment such as vibraphone, organ, mellotron, tremolo guitar and moog, to emulate the sounds of 60s/70s soundtracks, library music, German Krautrock, French Ye-ye pop and 60s psych. They revel in the warmth of older analogue instruments to create a more organic sound, each loose wire and off-kilter noise adding to the rich atmosphere.
1: Support feminism globally
2: Get well Lemmy!
3: Potatoes are evil
What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Life in general, people, dreams, travel, music, films, art.
How and when did you get into making music?
Anders: We’ve all been making music for a long time, since our early teens at least. Music has been the central thing in my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve never been very good at playing any instrument but I love to play, so I’ve always been making up my own music to play.
Marleen: I started playing the electronic home organ when I was five. My grand parents had one, and I liked to play it. My mum noticed my interest and took me to an evening course for ten year-olds. I couldn’t even reach down to the bass pedals. But then my grand father built me a pedal board in wood and vinyl tubes that springed back when pressed down. So I could put that on top of the pedals and play on them through that. A couple of years later I ran into one of the older kids and she said, ”Yeah now I remember where I seen you – you’re that kid that always brought this strange thing with you.” Well, classes did not last for too long – it was at the same time as the kids evening shows on TV, so I soon stayed home watching that instead. I ended playing bass in a couple of band s when I got older. It is first with Death and Vanilla I started to write my own songs.
What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
It’s an impossible question to answer! There are so much stuff we like. But here’s a few we like:
Neil Ardley – Symphony Of Amaranths
Throbbing Gristle – 20 Jazz Funk Greats
Alice Coltrane – World Galaxy
Armand o Sciascia – Impressions In Rhythm And Sound
The Zombies – Odyssey & Oracle
And a thousand others!
What do you associate with Berlin?
Marleen: Were from Malmö in Sweden and Malmö has quite a few similarities to Berlin so it feels like a big sister to our hometown. International and creative, budget living compared to the other large big citys. Art, music, dj culture. Historic.
The same things as many would say I guess. My own personal picture I see when thinking of Berlin is breakfast at a small street café on Kastanienalle. We love Berlin.
What’s your favorite place in your town?
Anders: It’s an area called Möllevången where we live. It’s a very busy and active area with lots bars, clubs and restaurants. It has a very continental feel with lots of people with different nationalities. Most of our friends live in or near this area as well so it good.
If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Marleen: Hang out more with friends and family.
Anders: Work as a spider exterminator.
What was the last record you bought?
Bernard Fevre – The Strange World Of…
Jan Steele & John Cage – Voices And Instruments
The Greg Foat Group – The Dancers At The Edge Of Time
Time Attendant – Vellum Generator
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Anders: The Moomins
What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Anders: Hard to say but as a spectator it’s probably seeing Throbbing Gristle play at Statens Museum For Kunst in Copenhagen, in 2009 I think. I’ve been a huge fan of TG for a very long time and it was incredible just to see them all on stage together. It was almost unreal. It was an incredible gig in so many ways.
Marleen: First ones that comes to mind… Bob Hund doing film score, Slayer at Vega in Copenhagen, Throbbing Gristle, Ela Orleans in a small attic, Current 93 just a couple of years ago.
When it comes to Death and Vanilla, performing the Vampyr film score at Lunds Fantastic Filmfestival is one of the best experiences I had.
How important is technology to your creative process?
Anders: Not very important actually. We do record on a computer with Pro Tools but most of our instruments are analogue. We don’t use any software to create sounds really. We like the sounds of old organs, analogue synths and electric guitars through real amps.
Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
Marleen: My siblings are almost half my age and they are in their teens, so I don’t think they really care:) We’re old stuff to them. They’re into totally other things. But I hope they will be inspired to travel and do whatever they want to do with their own things.