Tobias Koett and Marco Kleebauer are ANT ANTIC. An Austrian duo whose ambient/electronic/dance/RnB mix has helped them to be very busy musicians. But if 2017 was a productive year for them, 2018 is going to get even busier. David Dempsey talked to Tobias Koett about 2017, 2018 and their very busy to-do list.
2017 was a pretty busy year for you. You released an album during the summer, and played several showcase festivals as well as the Reeperbahn Festival in Germany. How is 2018 shaping up so far?
Tobias Koett: Haha, yeah. 2017 had some heavy lifting but it totally paid off. The feedback for “Wealth” was simply amazing and I definitely wouldn’t have had it any other way. We released our album in June, so 2018 will be the first year we’ll bring these songs to festivals in summer. The year has just started and it’s already half planned out…and as a person who normally just plans two weeks ahead this is quite comforting.
Tobias, if I understand correctly you had the idea for the music video for Yen. What was the inspiration for it?
Tobias Koett: To be honest, I think the biggest inspiration was money. Or more the lack of it. We already produced two wonderful music-videos with the directors Gabriel Hyden (Juggernaut) and Felix Aaron (4Pole) so we had a very tight budget this time. My task was to make the most interesting three minutes out of one day of shooting with the very talented drone operators of ‘Luftbild‘. Instead of implementing as much as possible I focused on narrowing down the possibilities. That starts with the limitation of dimensions. By letting the camera move only in one direction I was able to avoid a stock-footage-esque feel and simultaneously created the visual feeling of isolation for the video. It’s basically the same concept as with making music. Limitation is key. The rest was easy. I put myself into the most isolated landscapes we could find in the Upper- Austrian Salzkammergut.
You also directed it. Was this your first time directing a music video?
Tobias Koett: Literally almost all of my closest friends work in design or the visual arts so the thought of having a conceptual visual identity has grown on me as well. Therefore I always worked really closely with the directors while creating Ant Antic videos. This time I just happened to be alone doing it.
And what was it like directing yourself?
Tobias Koett: Actually pretty easy. There were no big disputes between director and actors.
What is Yen?
Tobias Koett: Yen is desire and its resulting frustrations. I remember starting with the intentions of writing a positive song about love but it ended up bittersweet anyway. I also have a thing for words with multiple meanings so the Japanese currency gives the whole song an entirely different twist.
In March you will be starting an international tour. I know you have had experience playing outside of Austria, but have you ever undertaken such a prolonged tour abroad?
Tobias Koett: Not up until now, so we’re really looking forward to this! The three weeks in Italy are especially going to be magical.
How did the tour come about?
Tobias Koett: It honestly just happened. One day you get an e-mail from someone and the next day you just happen to play a shitload of shows. Haha. No, seriously we are very lucky working with such wonderful people who make all of this happen.
Are their any particular dates you are extra excited about?
Tobias Koett:It’s like parents and their children. Officially we love every single one the same. Haha. Of course every show has its own ups (and downs) but I seriously don’t think about that, and don’t make a difference between playing for 50 or 3000 people.
Any challenges you anticipate?
Tobias Koett: Snoring band members.
How would you describe your international strategy?
Tobias Koett: Our synth guy Fraser is from New Zealand, our drummer Jonas from Bavaria, our live-tech from Turkey and I’m from Austria. So basically everyone calls their mothers to come to our shows and we have quite the international audience already. Imagine the possibilities when they’d even invite all the cousins, aunts and uncles…unbeatable!
And finally, any plans for after the tour?
Tobias Koett: I already sketched out the production for upcoming releases. Maybe even an album. But definitely one or two singles this year.
Thank you for your time.
WEALTH SPRING TOUR 2018
16/03 – Fuoriluogo, ASTI
17/03 – 8Bit, MONTELUPO FIORENTINO (FI)
18/03 – Buatt, EBOLI (SA)
19/03 – La Cittadella Delle Arti, MODUGNO (BA)
20/03 – Alibi, FOGGIA
21/03 – Officine Sonore Lido, CATANZARO
23/03 – Officine Marchesa, SANTA CROCE CAMERINA (RG)
25/03 – Hmora, SIRACUSA
26/03 – Villa Rica, Patti (ME)
27/03 – Al Kenisa, ENNA
28/03 – Bolazzi, PALERMO
29/03 – Hub, COSENZA
30/03 – Mr Rolly’s, VITULAZIO (CE)
31/03 – Deliri Bistrot, SORA (FR)
01/04 – Ferro 3, SCAFATI (SA)
03/04 – Maria, PERUGIA
05/04 – Pomopero, BREGANZE (VI)
26/01 – Cinema Paradiso, ST. PÖLTEN
27/01 – Musikclub, LEMBACH
15/03 – Treibhaus, INNSBRUCK
07/04 – Dynamo Festival, DORNBIRN
01/03 – Lagerhaus, BREMEN
04/05 – Salon Hansen, LÜNEBURG
05/05 – Speicher, HUSUM
26/07 – Habitat Festival, H. LOCKSTEDT