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simplyclaesbang.com  -  unofficial fansite dedicated to Claes Bang
Simply Claes Bang is your first and largest fansite for everything about actor Claes Bang. You may know him for his role as 'Dracula' in Dracula by BBC or as 'Christian' in the film The Square. Here you'll find all the latest medias, videos, interviews, high quality photos, and more. For all news related to him be sure to check out our twitter account.
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Posted on June 25, 2021 / by admin in 2020, 2021, EXC, Interview

 

Claes Q&A about his music

Claes Q&A about acting

 

Thank you again to Claes Bang, for having done the Q and A’s for us!!

 

 

Posted on November 11, 2021 / by ThisIsNotA in 2021, Music, This Is Not America

Posted on October 31, 2021 / by admin in 2021, Interview

A love letter on Halloween to goth and the New Romantics

 

This is the first in my interview series, “Seven Questions With” where I’ll be speaking with a wide range of artists about music, its impact on our lives, and the creative process.

Halloween demands an interview with Dracula, and not just the man playing the dark lord himself, but also one who creates ethereal, haunting tunes that will forever be a part of our music catalog. And because Halloween is a harsh mistress, I had to comply and find this impossible soul. Lucky for us, he exists, and his name is Claes Bang.

But before we get to the interview, a little backstory on the music.

It’s easy to forget how much music defines us when we’re young. That intimate connection — it’s almost indescribable — how hearing a song can reach something in us that hadn’t ever been touched. For those of us who grew up in the 90s and before, the record store was god. The record store was where I fell in love for the first time, long before my first actual boyfriend. It’s where I first heard the Velvet UndergroundRoxy MusicSiouxsie and the Banshees, and Joy Division, among so many others. Music leaves an indelible mark, a memory of time and place that can serve as an anchor when we’re lost over the years, tethering us to something, anything, even if it’s just the first memory of hundreds of songs, it ultimately becomes the soundtrack of our lives.

In retrospect, it appears I didn’t choose this affinity towards goth music; rather, it chose me. Although the record store was where I first heard those haunting sounds, I was already familiar with the pain and longing behind much of that music. My brother Christopher died in front of me before turning 5, and death always seemed just a step away. This, in addition to spending each Sunday staring up at a bloodied Jesus nailed to a cross at the Catholic church, cast a great shadow over my early years. It seemed death was all around me, yet I was just starting life.

In that record store as a teen, hearing goth, New Romantic, underground, I finally felt free to process the darkness that had been all around me when I was younger. I needed it without knowing and felt strangely at home. As we get older, music, art, and literature often lose priority over everything life throws at us. We often close ourselves off, finding that it’s all become too painful. The music that we once loved can often bring memories that we’d rather not deal with, elucidating the acute pain brought by the passage of time. It’s incredibly unfortunate because it’s at these times that art and music become most beneficial. I learned early that closing ourselves off to the pain, rather than working through it, doesn’t protect us; rather, it stunts us.

We fool ourselves once we’re out of the teen years, I suspect. We tell ourselves it was a phase; we see old pictures of ourselves with absurd hair and clothes and, only to find out much later in life, way past the moment we think we have it all figured out, that that teen was onto something, that mocking that teen was premature and ill-advised, and that reembracing past versions of ourselves is cathartic and necessary. Clearly, we have to learn to deal with the volcano of emotions life has in store and shut a good deal of it down, but often the pendulum swings in the other direction, and we find ourselves running on autopilot. One only has to look at the current state of our world to understand why that’s an even more terrifying prospect: you end up going through life without emotional depth. This moment in time calls for all of us to tap into more empathy, not less.

A few months ago, that’s where I was. I was emotionally closed off. I spent years trying to affect political change, desperately wanting people to have healthcare, a fair wage, mitigate climate disaster, and so much more. And after years of fighting, not only are we no closer, it appears that once again, greed is winning. Devastated doesn’t begin to encapsulate it. I stepped back for self-preservation. Feeling lost and dejected, I remember sitting there watching Dracula and being blown away by Claes Bang’s performance. Such incredible presence. I also watched all his films; this is clearly a man who cares about his art — The Square and The Burnt Orange Heresy should be on any film lover’s must-see list. This was someone I needed to know more about. I then found his music. I listened to everything.

 

Still of Claes Bang from ‘“Run” by This is Not America

Claes Bang’s voice echoed through my house. I remembered the first time I heard Portishead’s “Glory Box” and it having a similar effect: catharsis. Layers of sound, rich, dark, sexy vocals, great bass lines, I listened to his entire discography and found lyrics that were mature, someone older had clearly written this, there was incredible attention to detail here. It was new yet familiar, reminiscent of everything I fell in love with in that record store as a teen. Something in me opened up, and I let it all go. A good cry, and dear god how I needed that.

I realized that the last few years have done more than ever before to isolate us, to fear each other, to amplify division, rather than to find commonality. And a massive thank you to Claes Bang for taking the time to speak with me; who knew Dracula would be so nice? Of course, I know he isn’t really Dracula… but he does have those teeth…

Claes Bang

It seems the most radical act we can participate in in the current state of the world is to be kind, to truly connect. And regardless of whether you agree with that, I think it’s clear that whatever this current trajectory is, it’s a road to nowhere.

Some may look at goth, emo, shoegaze, etc., and think it’s self-indulgent, overly emotional, and melancholy. Well, they wouldn’t be wrong, but that also completely misses the point. What’s wrong with being emotional? Why is it a crime to care so deeply? I want more of that, not less.

Until we all take a step back and define what world we want to create, what causes misery and joy for each of us, and until we let ourselves feel the breadth of those emotions, then we’re stuck in a holding pattern. And now, as an adult looking back at that teen, I now realize that’s what always attracted me to the goth/New Romantic sound, not the darkness and death, but paradoxically the idea that ultimately love can somehow defeat all the darkness that surrounds us, even death.


Seven Questions with Claes Bang

 

One

Me: There are artists/songs over the years that stopped me in my tracks— Bowie, New Order, Roxy Music, Massive Attack, Everything But the Girl, Portishead, Thievery Corporation, Little Dragon, the list goes on. Most recently, your music hit me this way. What music hit you like that over the years, love at first listen?

Claes: Well for starters all the ones you mention I count among my biggest heroes, but I need to add Yazoo, Beach House, Miles Davis, Pet Shop Boys, Chet Baker, The XX, Tame Impala, Prince, The The, Gangway, Lars HUG, Love Shop

Two

Me: Much of your music could be described as haunting, passionate, often ethereal. “This Town”, “Take a Bow”, and “Last Dance” all leap to mind. Creativity takes immense courage, I think too many forget that. What’s the source, or rather how have you been able to continually tap into that creative, often vulnerable place that so many close themselves off to?

Claes: Slightly scared I sound arrogant here, but it’s not really “something I do” it’s more something that “happens”, I sit down with my guitar or at my piano or my laptop and I just start to mess around, and sometimes something comes from it. And also I don’t really think of it as a vulnerable place, I actually more think of it as healing:-)

Three

Me: I haven’t seen anything firm for a second season of Dracula, truly hoping there will be! I’m a huge fan of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatis. They modernized Dracula beautifully, while very much staying true to Bram Stoker in the broader sense. I’ve read that you don’t like discussing your lyrics, but “No One” (an absolute banger of a song and my very favorite of yours) speaks of a man with no reflection. You wrote this before playing Dracula, as if you were destined to play the role. My question is: if there is a season 2, do you think we’d ever see Dracula take his rightful place as Goth lord of the music world?

Claes: Oh that would be great fun, what band would he be in? Perhaps Slipknot, so he could wear a mask and not be recognized. And No One is also a personal favourite, and funny about the no reflection stuff, never thought of that in regards to Dracula before:-) As to a season two I have no news I’m afraid, haven’t heard it’s happening, on the other hand I haven’t heard it’s not.

Four

Me: “All is Said and Done” is the first song I heard of yours. It moved me to tears. Not asking for an explanation of the lyrics, just sharing my personal reaction. My question is, as an art form what do you think most distinguishes music’s unique connection between artist and audience?

Claes: I think the thing that really works with music is that it doesn’t need to be understood, it gets inside you and moves you through other channels than understanding in an intellectual way, and it allows for your own interpretation. I probably see all art like that; once your work is out there, you have had your say, and you as an artist don’t have the right to decide how people should perceive it. Also I’m not a big fan of art that needs a lot of explaining, I like for the piece to speak to me without explanation. In regards to lyrics, I actually feel my are pretty straightforward, and they should mean what they mean to you. Almost all my lyrics are one thought or one notion or one emotion blown up over at song.

Five

Me: What song, if any, would you most like to cover?

Claes: Quiet Life by Japan, Forbidden Colours also by Sylvian, and five hundred others actually. Would only ever do a cover though, if I felt I could bring something new to it.

Six

Me: I read that you switched schools often when you were a kid. I can relate. For me, it created a sense of isolation, but also a resilience. In my personal experience, I’ve noticed people who gravitate towards the New Romantic sound long for connection on a deeper level, perhaps in part because of these early wounds. How true is this in your experience? And do you still draw from earlier pain in life while writing?

Claes: Whatever I draw from it’s not a conscious thing, it’s not something I am aware of. And I try to keep it that way, and not be conscious of it. And it doesn’t seem pain is the right word for it, it doesn’t feel like pain, more just what has happened over the years. There is though something to think about here, because I am obviously heavily influenced by the music I was listening to in my formative years especially between 12 and 17, so something must have rubbed off during those years.

Seven

Me: And finally, what/who makes you laugh?

Claes: There’s a lot that makes me laugh, first thing that springs to mind though is a tiny clip with Sean Lock on 8 out of 10 cats…, where the presenter Jimmy Carr asks him: Sean, if you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? And Lock goes: Well, obviously the front…


Ten Songs (Artist Name – Song Name):

  • This is Not America – Last Dance
  • Roxy Music – In Every Dream Home A Heartache
  • Siouxsie And The Banshees – Cities in Dust
  • She Wants Revenge – Tear You Apart
  • The Sisters of Mercy – Lucretia My Reflection
  • Portishead – Sour Times
  • NNHMN – Vampire
  • This is Not America – Killing Times
  • Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead
  • This is Not America – Run

The above songs can be found in a Spotify playlist here.

 

Posted on October 10, 2021 / by admin in 2021

Posted on October 02, 2021 / by admin in 2021, Danish, Music, This Is Not America

Posted on September 21, 2021 / by ThisIsNotA in 2021, Music, This Is Not America

This Is Not America’s next single “A SATURDAY AFTERNOON AT THE END OF THE WORLD” will be released October 1st! Pre-save here: https://bfan.link/end-world

Posted on August 18, 2021 / by admin in 2021, Interview, Podcast
Posted on August 08, 2021 / by admin in 2021, EXC, The Offenders 
Posted on July 12, 2021 / by admin in Uncategorized
Posted on June 25, 2021 / by admin in 2000, Danish





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