o many bands, so little time! In the thick of the festival bustle we meet young talents for a high-speed interview. Not far from the Reeperbahn, Bled White is taking a break between sound check and gig. Over a coffee, the newcomer chats about Marzahn's inspiring tristesse and pop culture heroes.
Hi! Please say something about yourself.
My name is Christian Kuehn, I live in Berlin and work there on my Bled White project. I rented a studio suite in the wilderness of Marzahn –far away from what makes Berlin so cool, with a lot of loners around. For me, that was quite a pleasant way to work on my album. I actually do that part on my own, but on stage I always have a band with me. Before that I studied music at the University of Popular Music and Music Business in Mannheim.
What kind of music?
I'd say: pop with influences from the '60s, '70's and '80s. Guitar from the '60s, like in the early days of rock music, analogue synthesisers from the '70s, for example as in Jean-Michel Jarre or Tangerine Dream, and traces of The Cure or The Smiths from the '80s. I just get an incredible buzz out of working with music history. So I try to extract something exciting out of every epoch and create a kind of pop culture pot-pourri.
As a child, what musicians' star-crop used to hang in your room?
I definitely had an Eminem poster. But basically, I only ever listened to the The Marshall MathersLP – and didn't even really quite know who that was. In actual fact, I put up a lot of skateboard posters otherwise. But my first record, which I bought in the late '90s, was definitely Californicationby the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Oh, and I collected these Smash! CDs – sadly only from edition two onwards.
Who would it be nowadays?
Maybe Elliott Smith? I find different people interesting for different things. For example, to my taste Serge Gainsbourg and Leonard Cohen do absolutely brilliant lyrics. Or Bruce Springsteen as well. He says such simple things but with a very deep meaning. I think it's fantastic when somebody needs so few words to get right to the point. For sound, one of my great inspirations was the development of Radiohead. And when it comes to attitude: Oasis or Morrissey, they always had a wicked message. Bowie, too, or Freddie Mercury. You felt they were people who stood for something. I miss that to some extent nowadays.
What does it mean for you to be a Wunderkind?
It's totally cool to be included in this line-up of promising newcomers. I definitely hope I'll meet some interesting people with an international ear and who also understand the lyrics – that's always a bit of a problem in Germany. My music works very much on the text level. I put a super-tremendous effort into it and then I'm always happy when people pay attention to the lines.