Louder Than War interview: Allie
Florian Boss aka Allie makes acoustic pop. Hailing from Berlin, thin walls and sensitive neighbors helped to create his rather silent style. This style doesn’t get summed up in one genre but his music mainly combines elements from Folk, Pop and Hip-Hop.
The latest of Allie’s three albums is called ‘Uncanny Valley’, where you can find Hemingway, Patti Smith and even South Park.
Allie has been touring from France to Hungary in the last two months. Between soundchecks and gigs he found time for a Louder Than War interview with Louisa Zimmer.
Louder Than War: How did Patti Smith, South Park and Hemingway inspire your latest album ‘Uncanny Valley’?
It’s always hard to say exactly how something influenced you, but since I read a lot of Hemingway and watched a lot of South Park at that time I guess it must have had a huge impact. Both moved me to the core.
I barely know Patti Smith’s music, just mentioned her name in one of my songs because it fitted perfectly. I wanted to rhyme ‘Jesus’ and ‘Smith says’ and Patti was the first Smith that came to mind, obviously because of her famous line: Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine.
You spent some months in New York and Berlin, what kind of impact had those cities on your music?
Again, it’s pretty obscure to me. I just know that it was very hard for me to write music in New York, even though I had a lot of creative input because I went to concerts and baseball games all the time. It was strange. Part of it was that I had to communicate in English every day and constantly felt how crappy my English was at that time and that sucked the fun out of playing with that language for me.
Luckily that feeling was gone again when I was back in Berlin. I love it here, I really like the pace of the city. You don’t have the pressure like in New York where you have to go to bed before midnight and work very hard the next day to keep your head above water. That’s probably the reason why so many people don’t get anything done in Berlin, but it works really good for me. I need a stress-free environment.
Your music unites different genres there are elements of Pop, Folk and even Hip-Hop..
I don’t get what genres are all about, that’s journalist’s business.
I surely don’t think about them when I write music, but I guess nobody in their right mind does.
As far as influences go, everything I do in my life finds its way in my music. Which is mostly writing and listening to music, but also watching a lot of films and TV shows and going for a walk and stuff. I just watched this documentary about Lil Wayne called ‘The Carter’ and it blew my mind.
A lot of friends of mine make music too, like Easter from Berlin, and they inspire me, especially in terms of work ethics and how to create an image in somebody’s head.
You’ve been touring Germany, Switzerland, France, Hungary and Czech Republic over the last two months. What was the best experience of the tour?
France was incredible, the feedback was overwhelming. But the best show was Hamburg, at that theater bar called Nachtasyl. It was at the very end of this Over-30-shows-tour and my head was already somewhere else. I travelled from Berlin to Hamburg and I forgot my guitar at home. Can you believe that? I discovered that when I arrived and got a panic attack, but I could borrow one from a recording studio and everything turned out fine. And the audience went crazy! It’s just nice to come back to a big city like Hamburg over and over again and see people slowly taking notice. They wanted three encores.
How did the last three albums get released?
The first two albums, Mimi King and New Friends, I home-recorded and self-released with an artist collective that I had with some friends at that time called Ramin Ton. We just uploaded all our music on our blog for free. Unfortunately that didn’t work promotion-wise so I started to reach out to labels, sent tons of nice packages, just visited them in their offices etc.
In the end I was signed by Clouds Hill from Hamburg and recorded my third album Uncanny Valley in the labels’ studio, along with a producer and a studio drummer. Now I give interviews at last.
What are the plans for next year?
The touring will go until early next year I think, then I will take a few weeks off to finish the new album. I constantly collect ideas and words that I want to use and then I only need some weeks to put it all together.
So far I have only one song done but the album has already a name that I am really excited about. I need deadlines so I just say it will come out in fall of 2014.
Interview by Louisa Zimmer. You can read more from Louisa on Louder Than War here.
Image by ORANGE ‘EAR.