Several Swiss bands performing at Bern's Gurten festival in July have seized the opportunity to present their new albums. Among them were The Young Gods and the Lovebugs, who have come out with two innovative productions.
The Young Gods, who hail from canton Fribourg, started out as a band 15 years ago and have just released a new album called "Second Nature".
The Young Gods have a long tradition of mixing popular music with the latest technology. Lead singer Franz Treichler explains how the use of technology has helped the band achieve popularity overseas.
"We had some interest in England, before achieving any success in France or in Switzerland. We lived like nomads playing in English pubs," Treichler said.
The band's dedication soon paid off, though, as Treichler explains: "We had some good press very quickly, such as Single of the Week in Melody Maker, and we won record of the year in 1987".
Treichler describes The Young Gods' new album as "fast, loud and pretty wild" and says the aim of the band's latest production is ultimately to reach the human subconscious, and to experiment with sound.
"A texture or a sound can give you a whole idea for a song," Treichler explains.
He describes his creative process as one that "flows, without paying particular attention to tonality or counting".
The Basel-based band, Lovebugs, were also promoting their new album at the Gurten Festival. Adrian Sieber, the group's lead singer, used the occasion to desribe his own vision of the latest release, "Awaydays".
"All our hearts are in this record," Sieber said. "It's very intimate and has really beautiful melodies."
Sieber believes foreign audiences usually see Swiss bands as something exotic and are often surprised to hear their unique style of music.
He agrees that starting a musical career in Switzerland takes a bit more time, but says that this does have its advantages.
"Because Switzerland doesn't have a major music industry, bands are allowed to develop progressively and can better manage their success," he added.
For Sieber, this is the reason why the Lovebugs are still together to this day.
by Jeff Nottage