"One Man Band since 1998. The nice guy with the great music. Still getting stronger...", that's how Marcel Besner describes himself on his Bandcamp site. How great the music really is and if it's still getting stronger can be checked by everyone himself with the six albums provided there. eclipsed talked to the musician who calls himself a big Pink Floyd fan and bought his first own record already at the age of five.
eclipsed: You've already released various albums digitally on Bandcamp in recent years. How did it come to the first physical release on CD?
Marcel Besner: That was more of a coincidence. The underground-epicards are always looking for new music off the mainstream. They came across my stuff on Bandcamp and got in touch with me. Then they played Creamcheese on their online radio show. At some point they asked me if I would like to make a CD. They would know a small label. That was Clostridium. Andy from Clostridium also liked my music and wanted to put it out.
eclipsed: On your Bandcamp site, you refer to yourself as "One Man Band since 1998. The nice guy with the great music." Are you satisfied with the status of a one-man-band? Would you also like to play in a band one day?
Besner: In the mid-90s I played in a band. But at some point I got to the point that it was annoying the hell out of me. We spent so much time discussing. Everything was talked about forever. Then I thought to myself: I can also make music alone on the computer. That's what I did. That was then "undiscussed music". (laughs) I just felt like making music for myself. That also kept me from sitting in front of the TV. Unlike the others in the band, I also didn't have the dream of becoming famous or making money with music. Most of the time I'm happy with the way things are. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a drummer drumming along now. The interaction with other musicians is already inspiring. But I've been working alone for so long, I don't know if I'm capable of interacting at all.
eclipsed: So now your first CD is out. How does that feel?
Besner: That's mega cool. I am already proud of it. When I read the great review in eclipsed, for example, I spontaneously feel five centimetres taller. Also that there is a picture of Helmut Wenske [note: Helmut Wenske designed album covers for Jimi Hendrix, Tina Turner and Nektar] on the cover makes me proud. Not everyone gets him on the cover.
eclipsed: Will the older albums perhaps also be available on CD at some point?
Besner: There will probably be something new in the foreseeable future. But I'm a bit cautious. There is already the question with me whether I can manage something like that a second time. "Departure" is not a "Best-Of", but it gathers the delicacies of the older releases. Except for the song "Chimera", the songs already existed on the older albums. The songs were written in a period of about ten years.
eclipsed: As with many old and new Krautrockers, your songs have somewhat absurd names. Do you feel a connection to Krautrock?
Besner: That's two-layered. Of course I also grew up with Krautrock, with Kraftwerk, Frumpy and others. But absurd names are everywhere. Take "Cat In Clark's Shoes" by Gong. Or many tracks by Frank Zappa. I can often find myself pondering some off-the-cuff, absurd phrasing. If I have an idea and want to record it, I need a name to save the recording. So the name is just an identifier with me. I could also number the pieces. But I just go with something that comes to mind, like "Pig Sweat." It was hot that day. I was sweating like a pig, so I wondered if pigs could sweat at all. And there I had the title.
eclipsed: What kind of music did you grow up with?
Besner: Both my parents were born in 1953. My father is a big rock fan, especially a Pink Floyd fan. Pink Floyd, the Beatles, but also Frumpy, Lake or Deep Purple were part of my early childhood. My father always put on their albums when he came home from his shift. My uncle always gave me his old records when they were scratched. So I owned the Beatles' red and blue albums from an early age. Or also "Autobahn" by Kraftwerk and "Foxtrot" by Genesis. When I was five years old, I bought my first own LP with my saved pocket money. I went to the record store with my mom and bought Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here." I'm a big Pink Floyd fan. I guess you can hear that in my music. I must have listened to each of their albums 500 times. David Gilmour is a huge role model for me. He was the reason why I later bought a guitar in the first place. It had to be a Stratocaster, of course.
eclipsed: Where did the name Creamcheese come from? Did you name your one-man-band after the legendary club in Düsseldorf? Or after the fictional character Suzy Creamcheese, who appears on some Frank Zappa albums?
Besner: The name Creamcheese is clearly a nod to Frank Zappa. I especially like his phase from 1972 to 1976/77. The albums with Jean-Luc Ponty on violin and Chester Thompson on drums are already great.
***Interview: Bernd Sievers