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LONG DISTANCE CALLING's Florian Füntmann: “That was totally fun and we had some very good shows in Spain because I remember the first time in Spain, a couple of weeks after they won the World Cup. Everyone would go totally nuts so that was very cool."

Interview with Florian Funtmann from Long Distance Calling
by Andrew Harvey at 29 July 2022, 7:10 AM

Long Distance Calling are a four piece band from Germany as they came together in the year of 2006 and were heavily influenced by the likes of PORCUPINE TREE, LUNA and ISIS as they adopted an instrumental sound around a time when the post rock or instrumental bands were in full flow in the UK, Europe and the US. It is astonishing that the band have indeed come up with such a sound which I found very interesting as they produce their albums with mostly no vocals, however some tracks do feature vocal snippets or excerpts from sci fi films for all the sci-fi fanatics out there haha!
The band's first release SATELLITE BAY in 2006 and their follow up AVOID THE LIGHT in 2010 certainly gave a good impression and idea for listeners to hear the roots of what the band is all about, instrumental, progressive and contemporary is how they could be described as. However they have had more releases since then including their self titled release in 2011, THE FLOOD INSIDE(2013), NIGHTHAWK(2014), TRIPS(2016),  BOUNDLESS(2018) and HOW DO WE WANT TO LIVE?(2020). So with a new album on the way now as the year of 2022 is over halfway, Metal Temple writer Andrew Harvey was delighted to have the opportunity to listen to their music as there are four members including DAVE JORDAN on guitars as well as FLORIAN FÜNTMANN, then there is bassist JAN HOFFMAN and drummer JANOSCH RATHMER.

Welcome Florian from the band LONG DISTANCE CALLING and obviously thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me of course and myself is Andrew from Metal Temple magazine!

Florian - Yes hello nice to meet you!

I will start by asking the usual question you might get asked, is how did the band come together and what bands or artists even influenced you to start?

Florian - I think we started back in 2005 by the end of 2005, when we started to hang around and make some music in the rehearsal room and we were heavily influenced by bands like ISIS, LUNA and PORCUPINE TREE. Because that was the main thing we were totally into at the time in the band too so I guess PORCUPINE TREE was what we were searching for.

I read of course you have been together for quite a long time now actually, 16 years which is impressive of course. Now obviously of course 2020 was a challenging year (with the elephant in the room)being covid, global lockdown and self isolation for millions of us, how did you manage throughout that time and what did you do to keep yourselves to active?

Florian - For me it’s pretty easy because I had a kit at the end of 2019, I was busy and there was no boredom on my side. I guess maybe for me it was good to be at home and not on the road for 3 years straight.

And looking through your discography I noticed you did a collaboration with PETTER CARLSEN, a well known Norwegian musician who began at 15 years old, how did this collaboration come up?

Florian - We met when we were supporting a band called ANATHEMA from England, he was supporting and we were supporting the shows in the Netherlands and Germany. We can say we became great friends on the road and when we worked in the studio, we were thinking of who can we ask to do vocals then he was the obvious choice for us, he is such a nice guy and fantastic singer in my opinion.

So your first video you released was “Jüngfurflug”, were you guys nervous about it before it came out, or did you feel you made it as you imagined it?

Florian - When we did the first album, we did not expect anything. We were like okay, let’s see what happens. We were like a very strange band playing very strange music. We were not expecting anyone to like this (laughs) so yeah we were kind of surprised that it turned out the way it did.

My next question relates back to 2020 being quiet with touring and people not being able to see each other, you were able to produce your album DO WE WANT TO LIVE your concept album, what was the theme behind this album or what was the concept?

Florian - The concept was about how humans deal with technologies and how they use them in life and that was the main concept for the whole album. We wanted to put out some good and bad things about it but yeah that was the whole idea behind it.

Now obviously I mentioned before you formed the band 16 years ago, I read somewhere that the ‘belief that your music has no room for rules’. Now this goes on to say that your music can be described as somewhat adventurous post rock that often drifts into post metal territory’. Do you feel this is close to what you’re aiming for?

Florian - Yeah I think so, I am not good at putting my own stuff into genres, I think it is just instrumental atmospheric rock or something that if you say post metal or post rock that still sounds good to me.

After your first EP release DMNSTRTN, you were compared to bands like MOGWAI, RED SPAROWES, PORCUPINE TREE and GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR, would you say this is also the sound you would have found inspiring or being compared to?

Florian - I think so, I think that fits like I said in the beginning, especially PORCUPINE TREE was a huge influence for everyone in the band, so yeah that is correct.

Your first album release being SATTELITE BAY in 2007, so not long after you came together it is very instrumental from listening to it, could I ask where the lyrics in “Fire In The Mountain” comes from the and were these written originally by you or were they sampled from somewhere?

Florian - That’s taken from a movie I think the guy doing the electronics stuff he came up with so it was the atmosphere of the song we kept it like this one.

Kind of relating to my next question, the inclusion of spoken word (from a film), the track “The Very Last Day” you sampled a short excerpt from A.I. I believe, do you feel then the sci-fi films helped you to relate to themes in your music?

Florian - Yeah absolutely because they always or sometimes relate to reality like in that movie; greenhouse gases and oceans rising. These dark and let’s say evil stories are very fitting to the kind of music we play and the atmosphere we try to create.

So from listening to your other albums, I found at least your sound evolves as time goes by, would you say they do evolve over time as well or could you maybe give an idea as to how different each album is?

Florian - I think the main thing is that we have become better musicians over the years, when we started the band we were just experimenting with no idea what was going to happen. And of course from the second album we played a lot of shows and we rehearsed a lot and of course we got better and so on and so on. I guess that’s the main thing you can say about our sound evolving and in a certain direction.

I would say there would be a lot of experimental input into your music, would you say maybe this side came out in your later albums or was this very much apart of the songwriting process from the beginning?

Florian - Yeah I think it was there from the beginning but I think we were not really able to experiment the way we want to experiment because we just started as a band and yeah we were just maybe let’s say planning our style. I guess we really started to experiment on the third album with space and sounds like that.

 So as touring goes I am sure you have been to all places all around the world, aside from your native country of Germany, what would you say is your most favourite country that you have actually toured now?

Florian - Ah that is not an easy question because we have played lots of shows all over Europe but I think some of the craziest shows were actually in Russia because they were totally nuts with people there. And that was totally fun and we had some very good shows in Spain because I remember the first time in Spain, a couple of weeks after they won the World Cup. Everyone would go totally nuts so that was very cool, I really like Switzerland and the Netherlands. I think we had some good shows and bad shows somewhere.

Looking ahead now, you have a new album on the way titled ERASER, what would you to say that fans, who have tuned in along the way in the last number of years, what can they expect from the album, would there be new ideas or would you say this is like a return to your origins

Florian - I think it is a mixture, I think the new album is a bit heavier than the one before but with some new elements we did not have on the previous record. So I think it is a mixture of some old stuff combined with new elements because we always tried to experiment when it is about the songwriting or production, things like that. And because we like to keep it interesting for ourselves as well as a band. So we are not like a band, for example like ACDC they have a certain style and then they have to repeat the style every time, we don’t do that.

So as the new album comes out are there plans for a tour throughout Europe or going further out?

Florian - Of course I think the tour will be in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in March next year. Then we are going to do a European tour soon afterwards (maybe I don’t know) we have never been to the United States before, you never know. It will happen someday, unfortunately it is not easy to go to the United States.

My final question to conclude obviously if any upcoming fans want to follow you, you have a website and social media to go to?

Florian - Of course everything is just LONG DISTANCE CALLING and we are on Facebook, Instagram and all these social media platforms.

So that concludes all my interview questions I would like to say thank you so much for taking the time out to take part of course. Obviously I will keep an eye out for you and your new album which I am certainly looking forward to from listening to your previous albums of course so thank you so much and we will leave it there

Florian - Yeah thank you for having me and that was a totally fun interview and yeah thank you!


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