Thursday 19 December 2019

Wishes On A Plane - Perfect (Song Premiere + Interview)

When I sat down the other day to think about the year end and look forward to 2020, I didn't think that one my last posts of 2019 would include a special stream of a song that has sat unreleased since 2005. In fact, the song forms part of a five song release that was written the same year but never completed until now. It documents a point in time for a German emo/post-rock band that formed part of a network of bands, mainly remaining obscure apart from within their own scene, which included Single State Of Man, Seidenmatt (also known as SDNMT) and Milhaven amongst many more.

You can stream the song Perfect via Youtube below:-

Wishes On A Plane formed initially in 2002, but then they were known as A Life Less Ordinary, The quartet released a three-song demo CD with that moniker before releasing a five-song EP in 2004 with their new name. Line-up changes happened after this and later came various compilation recordings, a 10" called "This Faint Line" (released via Time As A Color and Strictly No Capital Letters) and then split 7"/DVD called "Transparency" with Bail (released via Time As A Color and Canot Pneumatique Records). At this point, I'm not giving anymore of the game away, as I recently interviewed Daniel and Josef from WOAP and you can read what we talked about below.

1. Hi Daniel, how are you? Can you start off by talking a bit about the history of Wishes On A Plane?

D: hi James! I’m pretty good, quite busy as usual though. Thanks for taking the time to sit over this music of ours. Let me introduce my band mates on this release, it’s Andy (guitar), Josef (Bass) and Paul (drums). Josef and I will try to answer all your questions. Basically the four of us started being a band in i guess early 2002 (Andy, Josef and I had already written some songs by the time Paul joined) and played our first show in the summer of 2002, released a 3-song demo CD by the end of 2002 under our first name A Life Less Ordinary, and a s/t 5-song EP as Wishes On A Plane in very early 2004. after that we recorded 3 songs for several compilations, and these 5 we never finished just until now. we played live, around 50 shows I guess with this lineup, mostly local though, as we didn’t have much connection to a scene by then. the farthest we got was Cologne and Siegen. don’t think we made it out of Germany at all. in 2005 Josef and Andy decided to quit the band, so Paul and I started from scratch with 2 new band-members, Anna and Tobi and released some compilation tracks, a 10“ and a split 7“/DVD with Bail, we also toured more than with the first line up, played all corners of Germany and also played in Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, a few mini tours and a 10-days tour in early 2009, which was our last tour. 

2. You are going to release an LP in 2020. What made you decide to release this music now? 

D: Basically I always knew these songs were somewhere on an old desktop computer style hard disk (sata), and sometimes the fact I knew I owed it to these songs to someday see the light of day sort of haunted me. But to me there were a bunch of obstacles, so basically whenever I thought of it it seemed too much effort to find the drive, research how to connect an old sata drive to a modern computer, to then maybe figure out my new pro tools wouldn’t open the old sessions or realise I didn’t know the lyrics to these old songs anymore and wasn’t sure if I ever found them in my records, or maybe I went through all these steps only to realise these songs/recordings weren’t good enough for me to want to finish them. My mind is like that. I guess what made me actually do it was that I coincidentally found the drive like a year ago, shortly before Christmas, where there is a little more free time than the rest of the year, also at a point in my life where I was seeing myself in a similar situation as when I wrote these songs, so after I had found it and researched about how to connect it everything else worked out so smoothly (the drive was still working, files were there, so were the lyrics, and my latest pro tools was importing that old session like a boss), I guess what I needed was a first step and after that every step was followed by the next naturally. Possibly the biggest obstacle in finishing these recordings was remembering how exactly the vocal melodies were for some parts, but I have a crazy talent in remembering these things and after occupying myself with the songs for a bit the memories came back. Of course I had to ask Paul, Andy and Josef if they were cool with finishing them but they were in, luckily. 

J: During the last years, we didn't really meet often, but when, we always talked about the good old times playing together. Thereby, Daniel mentioned sometimes some old recordings somewhere in his big hard data nimbus, but it was more like joking around about finishing them. Honestly, i have had no idea about the data anymore. But at the end of last year, Daniel came out all of nothing with the recordings and asked us if we were interested in finishing and releasing them. I guess all of us were spontaneous up with this idea. 

3. Is the band fully reformed now or is this just a one-off release? Would you consider doing more with the project in the future?

D: Over the last years I learned to do things step by step and see further. To me it would be great to properly release our earlier efforts, the self titled EP from 2004 and compilation tracks at some point. these would need to get remixed and remastered though, which consumes time and/or money, plus depending on the format different amounts of shares on pressing records, of course. To me personally this would depend a lot on how the new record is being acclaimed by listeners. We haven’t reformed and aren’t planning to release any new music under the name wishes on a plane. In fact only two of us have a saying with what’s happening under that band name, the other two final band members (Anna and Tobi) were ok with us re-releasing what had been released or written under that name before, but I guess if we’d write/release new songs it would be under a different band name. the four of us are in our late 30’s, two of us have kids, one lives in Hamburg, one has a pilot’s working schedule, all of us are fully working of course, one runs a record label and two have another band. There were ideas of us making music together in the future, which today is possible even with living in different cities, but there were no actions to do so yet. It would be cool though.

J: As Daniel mentioned, it is not that easy to come together playing or rehearse songs at a good level because of our different life schedule, but there is always a chance just to jingle or maybe doing a single release show.

4. You’ve been kind enough to allow me to have an advance listen to the songs. I would never have guessed that they were nearly 15 years old. What inspired you at the time of writing them and what were your main influences when writing the vocals?

D: I think Roland Wiegner did a great job mixing our mediocre recordings (to say the least), that coupled with the fact most current emo stuff shares similar aesthetics and the same influences from the 90s makes it kind of fit within the DIY, slightly lo-fi emo bubble quite nicely. I guess a lot of our influences when we wrote these songs are obvious when I name them, Elliott has always played a great role to at least 3/4 of us, as many people know bands like Jimmy Eat World, Christie Front Drive and The Get Up Kids belong to the basis of why I started making music and I guess you will always be able to find bits of these in whatever music I write. You will also find more than bits of Texas Is The Reason in there, Mineral, lesser known bands like Pictures Can Tell or Hudson River School, some falsetto I used for the first time in these songs was even influenced by a local band called The January Flake. there are still bits of emo-punk and pop-punk in there, influenced by bands like The Ataris, No Use For A Name or Midtown. other bands that definitely played a role in making us sound that way were The Appleseed Cast and Further Seems Forever. Considering songwriting to me we were at the best we had ever been, sometimes I wonder where this could’ve gone if we had continued… Lyrics to me have always been and still are super personal, even up to a point where it hit me when I was singing them again during recording, 14 years after, feeling the same pain or at least knowing exactly what I meant when I wrote them. All of these 5 songs we are going to release deal with a major breakup during my late teenager/early tweens time (remember, I was 22 when we wrote these songs). Thoughts or fears of two people being no perfect match but intertwined so deeply you find it difficult to embrace a life on your own. Questioning if you know at all what love is, or even more so, what not loving feels like, and how to know it when love is gone. Possibly a mind vs heart scenario. On perfect, the song we are premiering today, my mind was playing with the word „perfect“, having a very obvious, very cliché meaning of flawlessness, and a rather technical meaning in linguistic, the perfect tense, a metaphor for past, something that had bygone. Superficially, these two terms and meanings couldn’t be more distinct. Then again, when you look at it, when things end, they usually weren’t prefect. But when things are over, what do we tend you remember the most? the good parts. nostalgia. that brownish sepia movie clip in the back of our heads. that’s what this song is about. 

J: Basically in the beginning the three of us listened to the bands Daniel mentioned (especially Elliott), me not that intense as Andy and Daniel, as I also listened to stuff like Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Green Day and even sometimes some old school hiphop. But when Paul joined our team, at that time he drummed in a funk and soul band, he brought occasionally some funky elements in our writing.

5. Was this style of post-rock/emo popular in Germany at the time when Wishes On A Plane was active? 

D: to be honest I’m not sure if I at all had been in contact with post-rock at that time we wrote these songs. at least not much. I remember one of the earliest post-rock influence of mine being Red Sparrows, however at the soundless dawn has only been released in 2005, so if at all the post-rock influence had only been minor or subtle by then. As it appeared to me this sort of indie and rock-ish emo was super unpopular at that time. there was a bit of a scene in Munich that was evolving around red can records, and we played with bands like Jakov Goodnight once or twice, there was also a bit of a scene around Nürnberg/Regensburg area labels millipede, dancing in the dark and plane records (we played with bands like La Par Force, Kenzari’s Middle Kata and Squarewell), but most these bands played, even though under influence of emo, more rock-ish or screamo-ish or a more edgy style of emo, not the „polished“ clean sung understating style like Christie Front Drive or Jimmy Eat World, although bands like mentioned JEW and Get Up Kids were gaining more attention at that time. Possibly if we had kept on in that line-up a little longer we would’ve found more bands like us or more niches to fit in. I started Time As A Color in 2007 and although I guess screamo was a bigger thing in the 00’s I think we would’ve at least halfway fit into that scene if I had found out about it 2-3 years earlier. 

6. I love the idea of someday building an archive of obscure and DIY music, whether it be punk or metal (to be general). I think a lot of it captures an important moment in time. Is it important to you, being able to release this and do you think you’ll release more in the future?

D: To me, it obviously means the world these songs are finally going to be released, because as you say, they document us, document me at a certain moment in time, and by now, that moment had been hidden from the public, as if it never happened. Anyhow, running a label for over 12 years now I am absolutely aware this is mostly happening because I am stubborn, idealistic and not thinking very economically when it comes to the label, especially when it comes to my own music. I am grateful having built up some sort of network to at least spread the music to some people, but in the end what I will be able to release and on what format depends on if people care about what I or we have to say, if the documents of our lives matter to others. I don’t really think that sort of emo is any popular at the moment, but I’ve never really given a shit about feeding certain drawers, neither with the label, nor with the music I make. Of course I will continue making music, and releasing music, but the more people give a shit in what I do, by spreading the word, putting on shows, writing a zine or blog, buying a record, the less I have to work and make money to make these things possible, and the more time I have to actually do something meaningful, meaningful to me, and potentially meaningful to others. This scene depends on people taking part. Fundamentally, it consists of people taking part… 

Perfect will be given away on a special promo cd-r that will be limited to just 44 copies, when people order from the Time As A Color webstore here -

The lyrics to the song are below and will also form part of the inlay for the cd-r:-

falling through the easy selection
bent in between
the end and the everything
of the heart that made you leave

but haven't I heard you laughing?
haven't I always heard you?

fall into my certainty
we're the end you wished
I'll sign in with whoever decided
that nothing feels better than this

all you need me to is falling
when all I want
when all I heard in you
were the words that made me whole

but haven't I hurt you, laughing?
haven't I always hurt you?

Keep your eyes fixed on the Time As A Color bandcamp page, as the download will be made available shortly after this post has gone live. It will be made name-your price and proceeds from downloads will go towards an eventual vinyl release of the full EP.

All that's left for me is to say many thanks to Daniel, Josef and Wishes On A Plane for allowing me to share this song with you all and for also answering my questions, which were slightly cobbled together the other day.

Time As A Color Facebook -

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