What to write, what to write, we love turtles & we love Vienna. So it is only logical that this latest offering by Turtle Productions is also part of our Place Presents series. But because we have spent so much time talking to the head turtle Lucas Jankoschek, we all decided to focus on a shift that happened one video ago. The music is now custom made for the editors, Sven Langkabel & Simon Trummer are responsible for this shift so we asked them: how, when, why, and what.
Intro and interview by Roland Hoogwater.
Photos by Lucas Jankoschek.
Film & edit by Lucas Jankoschek.
Music by Simon Trummer, Sven Langkabel and, Aui & Sween.
So guys how are things in Vienna? How is the scene? Haven’t been there since November.
Sven: Through you or through Place, Vienna gets more and more coverage. It’s not only about Philipp Schuster or Daniel Spiegel anymore.
Not “only” about these guys anymore!
Sven: These were the only guys you heard something about, out of Vienna. But slowly but surely things are changing.
Simon: I feel like it has got a lot to do with Lucas Jankoschek (Luci) too. Because he’s doing a lot of things. And Louis Marshall is also very a social dude that does a lot.
A lot of things changed and are changing in Vienna. The city and the people have gotten so much more open.
But still, you do not really see a lot of the crews mixing up or hanging out with each other, do you?
Simon: Probably more whilst filming, but less so during skating. After all, now that all the obstacles are at Otto Wagner, you run into all the other crews pretty much every day.
Sven: Yes, I feel like Louis is getting everybody together…
Here we go again…. a German guy uniting the Austrians. (laughs)
Simon: I think Louis was also the guy with the idea with the whetstones, wasn’t he?
Sven: Yes, 100%!
Simon: We are all super thankful for that!
Sven: Honestly, I feel like we are super lazy. You should be asking when we would ever come down to Berlin…
I do not really have to ask anyone that, to be honest. Everyone ends up in Berlin someday.
I mainly wanted to talk about music and not only about the music in the Turtle videos. But maybe we can start with the Turtle videos music..how did it all start?
Simon: We got to know each other through skateboarding. And for a long time, I didn’t know that Sven made music. one day he invited me to play before an Aui and Sween concert. We ended up playing a gig together. It was a very fun night!
Simon: I have been saying to Luci for a long time, that it would be super nice to make the soundtrack ourselves. Because we all are musicians and that it would be an interesting approach to a skate video. Did you watch the Burgenland tour video?
Yes, the clip that Sven did not make the Wallie. (laughs)
Sven: (laughs) Yo, I’m going to do that one still! Hopefully soon!
Simon: So we started to experiment in that clip, with making the soundtrack for the video. Many people liked it and commented nice soundtrack. We just created something that is in my opinion incomparable to other skate videos. What I really like about skate videos is, that when you watch them you get introduced to a certain type of music that you didn’t listen to before or would not have been introduced to otherwise. A lot of the music that we/I listen to has been discovered through a skate video that someone made. That is something wonderful. Especially as a musician, to create something that no one knew because you made it specifically for that video and then have people enjoy it is extremely fulfilling.
Sven: Totally, a really great feeling indeed. For me personally, it is pretty similar. I discovered my musical foundation through the popular skate videos and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skate Part One and Two back when I grew up. Let it be Jimi Hendrix in a Reynolds Part or the Ramones in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skate Part One. I always used to press pause on the VHS to find out what song was playing. I personally enjoy discovering new songs through skate videos more than the actual skating. That is why it was only a matter of time until we included all of our on stuff in the videos for some promo.
So basically the promo is that people Shazam the track in the video. It happened to me when I wanted to find out what the last song in this edit was. I Shazamed it and realised that it was a song by Aui and Sween. (laughs) Maybe you can tell us a little be about the two of you and the music you guys make?
Sven: I have been playing the guitar for about 20 years. Im from a rather classic rock background. I played ACDC in the beginning, then moved on to a little bit more indy rock. Some day the guitar became too much for me and I was missing an electronic component in the music that I made. When I met Aui and the Schrott Boys in Kassel we started playing music that worked with a live audience. We never thought about recordings, making a record or uploading something to Soundcloud. We just wanted everybody to enjoy themselves. Very often our music just worked live because we made an effort. We dressed up for example. We always used to have a skateboarding connotation to our music. Aui and Sween the skater band (laughs).
One day we tried to remove ourselves from that and wanted to make music for other people too.
In the first place the music is supposed to be fun and should work live, but later on we started recording and uploading it.
Simon: That was really funny when we did the music for the Burgenland Video. Because he wanted to play everything through all at once. For example he was doing the rhythm with his nose. He had an epiphany when I told him that we could record each instrument by itself and then put everything together (laughs).
Sven: My relationship to music was that, every song I make it should be able to be performed in front of a live audience. I played by myself at a Turtle premier for example and I could play everything to you and show you each song, Roland. Through the recording I realised that you can go step by step and change the melody for example. (laughs)
Simon: I used to have a band but left it a while ago. Since then, I have alway been making music by myself. Therefore I could never play everything at the same time. I multitracked it. It motivated Sven to start experimenting and recording something. It really motivated him to try new things with his music.
So are we going to see Simon and Sween soon? (laughs)
Sven: (laughs) Yes! The sad thing is, that Aui lives in Switzerland.
It is not that sad if you can afford it…
Sven: Thats true! But he is super happy there at the film academy. (laughs) We used to live together in a shared flat with Eric and Kenny. It was the skater/punk flat in Kassel at the time.
He must have come up, living with the Swiss (laughs).
Sven: Because we live so far apart we do not see each other that often anymore. Therefore we do not really get to make that much music. But there will be a record with multiple songs on it by Aui and Sween. We currently waiting to finish it. But as I said with lockdown and our music being live oriented music, we do not simply want to just upload it to the internet. Rather we would love to play it live. In front of people and when the like it they can buy the record.
Sven: Usually when we go on tour, we bring some small instrument with us. It is just a lot of fun when you are on the road. We played a lot on my Casio MT65 on the Burgenland tour. Some nights were spent drinking in the apartment and that’s how the Gigi D’Agostino inspired parts came to be in the first part of video.
So that was the first moment that you guys realised, that you could make the soundtrack to a video?
Simon: I have always been convinced that we could make the soundtrack. But this was a push to do it.
Weren’t you guys scared that it could be perceived as lame?
Simon: No not really, we as musicians are confident enough to pull something like that off. With every project you are risking something, but when you get positive feedback it is worth it in the end.
Sven: I was really hyped for the video to drop, because I wanted the music to be released. This is how I feel right now as well. We made a lot of unreleased music but we are waiting so that we can release it. Just waiting for the Turtle 3 video to come out.
So is the music made primarily for the videos? Or do you make the music disconnected from that and then someone chooses a song for a video?
Simon: 50/50 more or less. Luci said he had footage of people looking very concerned that he wanted to use for example. He then gave me a few keywords like „dark“ and „ominous“ and I started working on the sound. When I sent it over, he really liked it and I think it was a monumental moment between the two of us. We realised that we can create something like we did for that video together.
Sven: Luci was like the director. He told us what mood he wanted to create. For instance he wanted another melody at some point in the middle of the video or something in particular for the night footy that we had. So we made that happen.
Simon: For example, I sent him a song and he wanted it to be a bit more gritty. So we found something that he really liked and that worked well with the footage. It is a bit sad that he’s not here talking with us today, as his perspective as an editor and producer on this would be super interesting. But it must have been a dream to ask for a song to be produced specifically for each part in the video.
Sven: When he cut it, he told us how long we could make each part and what exactly he needed from us. I for instance made the music for the four minute party footage in the video. When he needed something for the outro, I made the Song „Ach war das Schön“ with a very cozy and feel good vibe.
Simon: One of my favourite songs is the song by Aui that he recorded at the DIY (St. Marx) in Vienna whilst being drunk after a session there. I just think that is very beautiful.
Stop, quick question. How important is the visual of you guys making the music in the videos.
Sven: It is kind of important for me at least. That is why you see me playing the piano for a few seconds in the clip. Especially because of the live music and entertainment factor. I think it is always nice to show how music is made.
Simon: I think it is also nice when people include street musicians into their skate clip. The video begins with someone playing a dope song in the streets and then the footage gets put over the music. It brings another element to the table. I think I can be really nice when you see one of us playing music, drunk at the campfire but it also works without showing people point blanc, that one of us made the song for a part in a video.
Sven: The second song we made for instance…You know we have a few rockers in the Turtle crew too. At one point Luci said he would be down for something punk. I then showed him a few recordings from Aui and Sween. He said “Yo, that’s dope”, let us do something like this. He was down to make a part to some really fast music. He usually listens to synth pop music and edits most of his footy to that. This was something new for the Turtle videos. I always like when new things get mixed in like that.
How important are the lyrics? When I think of Turtle Productions, I think of good German lyrics. Even though I do not really listen to German music that much. Why did you decide to work with German lyrics a lot? Was it a question of identity for you? Or is it because the videos and everything around it get made in German speaking you countries?
Simon: I depends. Nothing from my music, that was used, ever had any lyrics. If I write, I usually write in German or English. English has the advantage that it is understood internationally. But I like both.
I like that Luci is using a lot of music with German lyrics. As you said, it is also about the identity. It is really cool that he’s doing his own thing. It makes him recognisable. The idea to use music that has been influenced by the culture and language around you feels really nice to me.
Sven: 90% of the time I listen to German music. 1982 was the best year for German music. Some really dope Neue Deutsche Welle was made back then. Aui and Sween lyrics have always been German. Once again we’re at the live shows. Most of the time when we perform, we tell a few stories in between songs. It just makes sense when everything is in German. Also my English is not really perfect, so I feel more comfortable in German. I like that not everyone can understand it, because I listen to music from other countries and languages too. I really enjoy that kind of music the same. For instance you do not have to speak a word of French to enjoy French Hip Hop.
I found a Ukrainian post punk band. And I couldn’t understand a word. But I do not think it is that important sometimes.
I thought it may be interesting to get you favourite songs, that you got from skate videos? What are the most memorisable parts and songs of yours?
Simon: Reynolds Baker 2 – Both songs but especially the first song.
Sven: I mostly watch homie videos really. I like watching videos where you know the people. The Likkie Wax Video by Ziggy The song is, I believe by a Dutch guy from the 70s, who covers Gigi D’Agostino or the other way around. I sort of like Molly Nilson too. Because of the minimal stuff. Luci also used a few Molly Nilsson tracks already.
Simon: The intro from the WHY 2 Video. These were the first skate videos that we saw from people skating in Vienna. I will send you the link!
Yes please we want people to learn here!
Sven: Yes I will definitely also send you my absolute favorite, that I discovered through a Turtle video by Luci. There is a part by Elias ASMUTH AND DR. FUCHSL – AN HAIFISCH HOBI . When I moved to Vienna from Kassel this was one of the first songs that introduced me to the slang of ancient Vienna lyrics. At first, I didn’t understand a word, but the song is so dope. Also the part that Fabi and I skate on by Karl MIZK: Phoenix aus der Asche. Austrian music never really made it to Germany and when I moved here it really inspired me.