AERIE is an International band from four different countries in Europe. The band consists of Ingo Hipp (lead and saxophonist) from Germany, Peedu Kass (bass) from Estonia, Laurent Méteau (guitarist) from Switzerland, Matthew Jacobson (drummer) and Sam Comerford (saxophonist) both of them from Ireland.
This is their second tour in their young life as a group all together, and the first time in Estonia. After their gigs in Viljandi, Narva and Tartu, they ended up in Tallinn, where I had the pleasure to interview them.
Pilarica Martin: You are from many countries in Europe, so how happened that you got to know each other? When did you start to be a jazz band?
Matthew: The band started in the summer of 2012 when Ingo and Sam met in Graz because of the International Association Schools of Jazz (IASJ). It was then when they had the idea of the band. In the 2013 all of us gather and decided to start.
Peedu: When Ingo and Sam met in Graz I was also there. Ingo, Laurent and Matthew knew each other from before, because they studied in the same Music school in Lucerne. So basically three of the components knew each other from their student time, and Sam and I met Ingo at IASJ.
How did you come up with the idea of this band and why this band and this style?
Ingo: When jazz musicians meet each other it’s usually like “yeah let’s play together”. In 2012 it happened that Peedu, Sam and I met at IASJ in Austria, and I was quite impressed by their talent. It was then when I though “I should do something with them”. After that I realized that one is living in Estonia and the other in Ireland, but I didn’t worry about the distances and I contacted Laurent and Matthew and brought them together. I just called my favorite musicians all around Europe.
The style is just what I’m interested in, the music that I like to write and go a little bit away from the traditional jazz. I try to find other options.
What other options are? How will you define your jazz?
Matthew: every musician’s favorite question!
Ingo: Haha, that’s true, I don’t know how I would define the music I do. Hmm…something like modern, rocky (laughs), jazzy, something free and Ingo inner music.
Nowadays it seems quite trendy to name the bands with animals and colors, but you went further…AERIE is the nest of an eagle or large bird of prey. Why the nest of a bird as the name of the band?
Matthew: Idea of Ingo’s. We are five musicians, from diverse places coming and making a home together. A nest is the home of birds, it doesn’t matter where they come from.
Peedu: Yes, but also because it is usually located somewhere very high and sometimes it can be used by different birds. That was the idea: people flying in from far away and meeting in one spot.
You said that the nest is the meeting point of bird-musicians that fly to make their tunes. I would like to know which bird are each of you.
Matthew: I’d be an eagle. It can fly very high above the others and see what’s happening. It just flies around to see what’s going on. There’s not a specific role for me, so I just see what’s going around and do the appropriate thing.
Peedu: Ouch! It’s a difficult question I wasn’t prepare for that (haha). I guess I would be an owl because the idea of hanging up at night and doing things.
Ingo: Well…I think I would be a big falcon, they are not as big as yours (pointing Matthew). Maybe a little bit more flexible and faster (ooohhh! – Said the rest of the band between laughs). It’s the faster bird I think.
Sam: No idea. Really. I need some time.
Laurent: I might be a penguin! A penguin doesn’t fly but it’s still a bird and I would need to be clever and find another way to get the nest. So it’s a bit strange but I can like it, I would be the penguin of the band.
Sam: I got it. I’d be a crane, because I always feel like it, floating and balancing on the water.
This is the first time that you play in Estonia, how did you feel so far? How was the reception?
Matthew: They were different as we played in many cities and stages. The first one was in Viljandi, in a coffee and restaurant, so it was more informal and relaxed. After we performed in a bigger hall in Narva, meant for concerts, that’s why I felt it more formal but still nice. In Tartu the gig was in a small jazz club. As you can see, we could stay in a lot of kind of venues. In general, the reception was really great and warm, and people seemed really interested in our music.
Estonia is the first country where you are playing your new album. Where are you going next?
Ingo: We will have a break in October to keep working in our different projects and we will continue in November. Starting in Switzerland, going to Belgium and finishing in Germany. That’s all for 2015, but who knows where we will fly next year.
Thanks to these artists who after the interview had to take off to land on the stage and make the spectators fly with their wild and fresh music. Their melodies go up and down, head in any direction and vary in speed and form. It was a concert where you never expected what would happen. I’m just willing to know: what’s the next in their nest?