Vocalist Nils Ottensmeyer admits that his Berlin ensemble the Blue Angel Lounge does sound Joy Division-dark, especially on its new EP “Ewig.” Yet, he says, “We’re not locking ourselves in a dark room, lamenting about all the evil things in the world. We’re just trying to figure out where we’re going, and our moods fluctuate all the time.” The group’s otherworldly aura has impressed big-name benefactors such as Spacemen 3’s Will Carruthers (who got the band signed to 8MM Musik) and the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe, who oversaw the sophomore album “Narcotica” sessions and invited the band on tour in the U.S. The show hits The City on Friday.
What career did you have planned before this? We’re not full-time musicians and still do things besides the music. We are rather German in that way I suppose — you’ve always got to have a Plan B, you never know how the future will develop. So that’s why we still study and work proper jobs. As Will Carruthers once told me: If you want to be a musician, you’d better learn how to work construction.
Are you a Joy Division fan? Or sick of the comparison? Yes, I’d say we are all fans, and that has certainly influenced our music. You can hear those aspects in our music — the idea being to create a beautiful, dreamy space out of a cold atmosphere. Like on our new EP “Ewig,” (the song) “Melloch” is about lethargy and the inability to give your life a deeper meaning — hoping for change, but doing nothing to bring it.
How did you meet Anton Newcombe? We met him in Cologne in 2006. It was his first tour of Germany, maybe there were about 50 people there, so the whole concert had a very personal touch. It felt like, “This guy wants to play the whole night for just this small crowd of people.”
So Anton isn’t as crazy as he appears in the documentary “Dig!”? Of course Anton is crazy, and you never know what will happen. But if he wasn’t, he certainly wouldn’t be the creative character that he is. Time in the studio with him was at times more enjoyable than it was productive. He’s always telling breathtaking anecdotes, and he’s a very spontaneous guy. The other day he baked us a cake!
Were you surprised when he invited you to tour America? Maybe not surprised, but very honored. I think every young band of this genre dreams of touring with the great Brian Jonestown Massacre one day.
Opening for The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Where: The Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Contact: (415) 346-6000, www.livenation.com