You can't help it! The two Mael brothers, better known as Sparks (alluding to the Marx Brothers), once again tease the music world with their album "A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip". Now in their eighth decade of life, they are still among the most creative minds in progressive pop music.
For about five decades now, the Sparks have stuck to their concept: "Go to the limit, surprise yourself, stay true to your standards and avoid repetition The project by brothers Ron and Russell Mael has had a chequered history. The fact that they still belong to the assets of creative rock is probably due to the fact that they always took a turn when they were on the road to success. When bands like Queen, Roxy Music, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode or Franz Ferdinand put Sparks' recipes into practice, they themselves were already somewhere else. Their latest work "A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip" is a treasure chest full of surprises. Singer Russell Mael talked to eclipsed about the new album, a long-standing musical project and their definition of success.
eclipsed: Your new CD sounds like a musical in which you play all the parts yourself.
Russell Mael: That may well be. The reason for the stylistically broad positioning is probably that we are working with director Leos Carax on the musical film "Annette" with Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard. We started this project eight years ago and are now in post-production. Of course the musical tells a story, but the working process may well have had an impact on the new Sparks album. The choice of themes, the design and realization of the songs and last but not least my singing in the film might have occupied our psyche while working on the CD.
eclipsed: Your records have always had a musical bracket. But on the new CD the lyrics seem to be the connecting element. Every song is like a mask, behind which the portrait of a certain aspect of the current US-American state of mind is hidden.
Mael: We spend a lot of time and care on the details of our texts. A lot of pop music is more about the sound of the lyrics than about their content. We try to achieve a unity of lyrical and musical content in every song. When writing the lyrics, we were certainly not fully aware that a common thread would run through all the songs on the album. But that simply results from the process. Even though there is no obvious plot, all lyrics deal with human nature. We don't have to address certain events to get to this higher level of perception. The line "Please don't fuck up my world" in the opener "All That" has been understood by many as a comment on climate change. Yes, the song can be interpreted that way. But we have made it much broader, because there is much more going wrong in our world. Besides the political reading, this song can also be about an interpersonal relationship. The listener has the freedom to take whatever he wants from a song. Strong songs have always been open to many different interpretations.