Starting out at the age of 17 or 18, Jantzen, now 23, began S ND Y P RL RS (then known as Songs for Sunday Parlours) as a folk-influenced project.
“It was basically always just me playing guitar,” he said. “Occasionally I got to record stuff or got to play shows. And then it just kind of developed into a different thing.”
What that different thing is is not so easy for Jantzen to explain, except that the changes have been subtle over time.
“I got rid of my acoustic guitar because I started hating it and got back to electric guitar,” he said, pointing to one major variance that kickstarted a transition in songwriting and sound.
To promote the album, Jantzen – a member of Berlin’s New Wedding Avant-Garde collective – has stepped out of obscurity to play his first shows in more than a year at Schokoladen. And while his typical live performance might include him on guitar and vocals with the assistance of loop petals, tonight’s show will be done entirely on piano.
“I always wanted to do that,” he said of his reasoning, although he did admit that unlike his upbringing of guitar lessons, he wasn’t properly trained on piano. “I never learned to play the piano…I just kept punching on the keys until I liked stuff.”
Another show, in February, will be more along the lines of the standard guy with guitar, and Jantzen expects to premiere some new material there.
“[The new stuff is] written just for guitar…with lots of loops and effects,” he said. “So what I’m going to do there is, like, play some new songs which are more kind of ambient.”
His reasoning for this kind of experimentation in the live setting is simply because he appreciates when other bands mix up their own concert sets.
“I like it when they have something special for the live shows, you know, a kind of surprise. And I like it for myself as well, having the freedom to improvise,” Jantzen shared.
Although he is a solo musician, Jantzen said he doesn’t struggle much when writing songs or trying to determine if they’re “good.”
“It comes naturally. When something feels right I’ll do it. It’s as easy as that,” he said. “[But] in the first place you have to like it. If you don’t like it, then it’s no use doing it. At least, that’s it for me.”
And where his music has changed over the course of the past six years, Jantzen said it continues to expand into different areas.
“When I started I was really into, you know, songwriting music,” he said. “Over time you develop and you find other things more interesting or you just broaden your horizons. [And now] I just want to try out new stuff.”
A recent collaboration of experimental sound art with a friend was a first step in this new as-of-yet undefined direction. But because Jantzen’s interests are so diverse, his approach will be along the lines of trying to meld various influences together to create something new and unique.
“[I like] taking the little bits and pieces that you like and kind of just doing your own thing. And I think that’s what I’m doing now.”
S ND Y P RL RS plays tonight at Schokoladen in Berlin. The show begins at 20.00. He will also play there on Feb. 2