They started in school years in Kassel, Germany and are now a global musical success. The song Stolen Dance catapulted the German duo Milky Chance into single charts worldwide in 2013 – and they just stayed there until then. Just before they hit my home town Cologne on their Tour Again 2022 tour, I had the opportunity to chat with Clemens Rehbein and Philipp Dausch in a new edition of my Spotlight interviews.
Flyctory.com meets Milky Chance
FLYC: You had quite a busy festival summer, followed by the first leg of your tour from 7th October in Lausanne to 1st November 2022 in London. How would you see the first part of the tour?
Philipp: It was amazing! I think we were very excited to play Europe again. It has been a while, pre-pandemic. We have a lot of new music and we came from a for us very creative time. We had a lot of things to create and develop and spend a lot of time together with our band. We jammed and played a lot. So I think we felt more prepared than ever. So the tour is really good. It feels very nice to share the music. We enjoyed it a lot. We are very present in it and are in a better position to appreciate and enjoy, take the fun of playing show.
FLYC: After the first leg of the tour, you took a roughly two weeks break, which included both of your birthdays. Did you use the time to relax?
Clemens: It was relaxing at the beginning. Then we had a lot of birthday parties, which was nice and a lot of fun, but also very little sleep. But it was good. We had a good time with the families and friends. We threw a party as we are just four days apart and we invited all of our friends, all came. We all enjoyed it, it was a nice evening and night. And we also spent a lot of the with our families at home, which we really enjoy.
FLYC: Did you also take some time to recap the first part of the tour, which you may adjust in the second part?
Philipp: No, we did not really do anything like that and just took the time for the family and to recover and decompress. But we do that on tour, though. The first half of the tour was four weeks. The first three weeks, we always used the soundcheck. You know, out of the experience, when you play everything, you kind of get a feeling for what works and what not. You do little tweaks and like change the bad and adjust things. We did that on the first run, so that there is already a change. But we did not do that in the break.
FLYC: A lot of anniversaries are there for you. You just had your birthday each, it is the band’s tenth anniversary, but also your A level (Abitur) one, which you still did in Kassel, where you grew up. What do your former schoolmates think about Milky Chance?
Clemens: I mean, we still have a lot of friends which are close to us from that time. For example, Antonio, who is in the band as well, and Philipp and myself went together to high school. There are still a lot of other friends as well. We all moved to Berlin, funny-wise. It is a very constant, closed circle of friends, which I feel is unique. It is cool, it is nice. We yesterday played in Berlin and everybody came. It was like a big gathering.
FLYC: Staying at the early band years. There was, of course, this one big song, Stolen Dance, right at the beginning. You were a band in Kassel, just about to be ready to take your first steps. When you feel that this is not just a good song, but a huge one?
Philipp: Honestly, I think we are by now kind of capable, more able to grasp and to realize how much impact that song had for our career and what door it really opened. At the beginning, there was a growing process. It’s not like from one to the other day, you realize something. Also for us growing as musicians and having a career for a longer makes you realize what it actually did. I think it is not too since we realized, how big that song actually is.
FLYC: The song has over one billion streams on Spotify only. As you say it was more like a process to you, the song has never been like a burden to the songs which followed after it?
Clemens: Yeah, it was a really quick one, a really strong one. (smiling)
Philipp: No, it’s not a burden. I think we don’t see it as that at all. It opened the door and happy for it, we are proud of it and that’s really it. I feel that this is the perspective we should take on it and not look at it somehow differently.
FLYC: You did a lot of stuff on your own liking driving your small own record company from very early stage. Who were the people who helped you to take the right decisions, especially as you just had such a jump start career?
Philipp: Definitely not the people we found at that label at the very beginning (laughs)
Clemens: They are the opposite, an actual nightmare.
Philipp: Now we found people on our way. Actually, the best people we could ask for. We have a really good team now for seven years, almost. Our sound engineer is actually the one we met first, who is still with us. We now built a crew of fourteen people around us, just on the road, and then like probably almost 25 working daily with and for us. They are amazing people. We wouldn’t be where we are, especially not with the spirit and energy where we are if we hadn’t those people
FLYC: You traveled the world and brought German music to any part of the world. Is there are part of the world where the fans the weirdest, the most special, the most enthusiastic ones?
Clemens: We can have two very different shows in the same city, just a few years apart., So it really depends on the people who come to the show, on our mood, the whole vibe, the venue. It can also change. It is not like “In this country, it is always like that”. But playing in Latin America was intense. They have a very high level of energy, you can say that. But besides that, it is almost equally good.
FLYC: You play in Cologne tomorrow and have a couple of German shows, but you will also go the Slovenia, Slowakia and other rather Central and East European locations. Is there any show you look forward to most or is it just great to see the people in general?
Philipp: I mean, we just love that we get the chance of travelling all those places and play for people that are coming to our show and enjoy and celebrate music with us. It’s really nice. We did basically the West side of Europe and the U.K. And now we are going the East side, including the Baltic states. It’s really nice. These are places you typically don’t go that often and easy. It’s amazing. We are really looking forward to it.
FLYC: Traveling as a band through Europe and the world, is there something you do to keep motivated? Clemens, is there something you especially appreciate in that regard about Philipp – or vice versa?
Philipp: In general, I feel it is not just the band, but the whole crew. But also, of course, it started with us, just with two of us. I feel like we kind of kept that vibe and the thing growing. It is a friendship and kind of family vibe for us. It’s really important for us, because that’s how we started: as friends. It’s also because we have families at home and it is hard to leave them. So, if the vibe here wouldn’t be as well as a family with the crew and everyone, it would be tough to sustain it and – as you say stay – to be motivated. Why would you like to leave if you to a place where the vibe kind of sucks? So it is very familiar, spending time together, doing sports, taking walks, having diners, having talks, relax. And just kind of enjoy the time together.
FLYC: I guess that enjoying time together is also when fans love your music. Your latest album was Trip Take II. Is there a song which is a fan favorite – or which is surprising you regarding the fan reaction – also in general?
Philipp: I guess it is just nice to see that everything from Trip Take II and I, because we have never performed it live, people are really digging into it. They sing along at every song. With new music, it obviously a some kind of nervous thing to do them. The “oldies” – I don’t know if you can say “oldies” yet (laughs)… At the older songs, of course, you are more used to the reactions of the fans. Because first you seen it and secondly you have some kind of trust of what’s happening. With new songs, it is kind of guess, you don’t know yet. It’s exciting. We all have the feeling that they have been taken them well. As I said, people sing them, they are cheering. We get a lot of really nice response afterwards, talking to people. They are super nice. I don’t think there is one song which is more surprising than the other.
FLYC: We just cannot talk about Milky Chance without talking about Milky Change, your sustainability project. Maybe, just tell us a bit how you got into that project and why you did that.
Clemens: Yeah, we started end of 2019. It was just our approach to become more sustainable as a band and to do our part for the whole thing. I think it was a very natural process, us becoming parents, us becoming more mature, more conscious about us as a band. The responsibility that you have when you have a certain reach on a platform, talking about social media. People are following us. Of course, it is all about the music for us. But of course, you start thinking about what you share and talk about besides that. It is very important. A lot of experiences and situations brought us there, very naturally. I mean, it is about time to do something about it, also being inspired by the younger generation. So we are trying, still working on it – and it is good. It is a lot of fun, actually.
FLYC: For this tour, a part of any admission ticket is donated to a Peruvian rain forest project, which protects a part of it. How did you opt for this one?
Philipp: In the last tour in the U.S. in the beginning of 2020, just before Covid-19, we met with an NGO called Wilderness International. They are working together to save ancient forests, not only in Peru. They showed us some of their work, not in Peru, but in Vancouver. it was so nice to see, we learned a lot and it was a really good feeling to actually see it. There is so much in the internet like plant trees here and plant trees there. But really, that has no effect, there no actual outcome of it. How can you really be sure and see about what is happening about all these tree-planting things?
So, for us, it was kind of eye-opening to be with this NGO and really see what they actually do. And to understand that if you we do that, there is an actual outcome that will do something and help. So, yeah, how we met them and why we gonna do this on that tour and donate money to them for each and every ticket sold on that tour.
FLYC: Last, but not least: your tour is closing with a concert in Offenbach on 16th December 2022. Thus it is almost Christmas when you will be done with the second leg of the tour. How will you spend the Christmas days thereafter?
Clemens: Classic family Christmas holiday. Just at home with our families. I thinking it’s gonna be very relaxing, very slow.
Philipp: Some snow – some white Christmas
Clemens: Yeah, very chilled.
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All pictures in here by Anthony Molina (press material).
Milky Chance – Tour Again 2022
The second leg of Tour Again 2022 started yesterday in the Berlin Columbiahalle. Milky Chance are touring Europe almost until Christmas this year:
|Th 17.11.2022||Leipzig (Germany), Felsenkeller|
|Fr 18.11.2022||Cologne, Palladium|
|Sa 19.11.2022||Hamburg, Sporthalle|
|Su 20.11.2022||Copenhagen (Denmark), Arnager Bio|
|Tu 22.11.2022||Oslo (Norway), Rockefeller Music Hall|
|We 23.11.2022||Stockholm (Sweden), Nalen|
|Fr 25.11.2022||Helsinki (Finland), Tavastia Klub||Sold out|
|Sa 26.11.2022||Tallinn (Estonia), Noblessner Foundry|
|Su 27.11.2022||Riga (Latvia), Palladium|
|Th 29.11.2022||Vilnius (Lithuania), Compensa Concert Hall|
|We 30.11.2022||Warsaw (Poland), Stodola|
|Fr 2.12.2022||Prague (Czech Republic), Forum Karlin|
|Sa 3.12.2022||Budapest (Hungary), Akvarium||Sold out|
|Su 4.12.2022||Zagreb (Croatia), Tvornica|
|Mo 5.12.2022||Ljubljana (Slovenia), Kino Siska|
|Tu 6.12.2022||Bratislava (Slovakia), Majestic Music Club|
|Th 8.12.2022||Graz (Austria), Orpheum|
|Fr 9.12.2022||Munich (Germany), Tonhalle||Sold out|
|Sa 10.12.2022||Linz (Austria), Posthof|
|Su 11.12.2022||Vienna, Gasometer|
|Tu 13.12.2022||Stuttgart (Germany), Porsche Arena|
|We 14.12.2022||Hanover, Capitol|
|Th 15.12.2022||Dortmund, Westfalenhalle|
|Fr 16.12.2022||Offenbach, Stadthalle|
Spotlight – Flyctory.com Interviews
Here are all postings of my interview section Spotlight: