Ex-Wolfsheim member Markus Reinhardt speaks with William Zimmerman about his musical rebirth, culminating in the debut album from his new project, Renard.
An InterView with Markus Reinhardt of Renard
By William Zimmerman (WZ)
You mentioned that the end of Wolfsheim motivated you to reinvent yourself. Would you say that the title of the album Waking Up In a Different World was created out of that?
Reinhardt: At first the title was there. It wasn’t the result of hours of brooding. It was suddenly just there. And it was only in retrospect that I came to realize that the title was also very important to me personally.
Someone once said, ‘optimists see opportunity in every difficulty.’ Do you think your time during quarantine/lockdown was or has been spent with this attitude or did it have more of an adverse effect on you?
Reinhardt: I believe it’s a very wise quote. But sometimes, you have to be patient and stay calm, because these difficulties don’t make sense until 10 years or so later. That’s why I tried to see the quarantine as an opportunity, and actually some positive things happened to me, which wouldn’t have happened without it. Nevertheless, I was of course still happy when the quarantine was over.
How did you decide on the guest vocalists on the release?
Reinhardt: For every song, I had a certain idea of what kind of voice could go with it. And when I got in contact with a vocalist, I gave her or him three-to-four songs to choose from. Often, it didn’t work out, but if it did, it seemed that the songs had chosen their singers themselves.
The feel of the new album almost has a more organic quality than some of Wolfsheim. How do you think the genesis of the songs differed in this project as opposed to Wolfsheim?
Tracks like ‘Travel In Time’ or ‘Hotel’ have some implication of travel while other tracks like ‘Restless’ or ‘My Heart’s Still Shaking’ have a more personal, intimate vibe. Would you say you are more inspired while moving or sitting, contemplating?
Reinhardt: Sometimes, I have the best ideas when I’m just sitting or lying around without any certain plan or something. And sometimes, something pops up in my mind while I’m out for jogging. There is a Zen walking meditation… maybe I should try it once. It could be a cool combination of both – speeding up and slowing down at the very same time, so to say.
Let’s return for the moment to the track ‘Hotel.’ Is this track based on of a specific story or were you thinking about maybe the people who have come and gone, the things good and bad that went on in the rooms and where people might have come from or were going to?
Reinhardt: Marian Gold wrote the lyrics and I really love them. But for me, the words are more about life in general than just a simple stay in a hotel. Rather, the hotel is a symbol for the world and our lives on it. So many people are afraid that in the end, their lives will be in vain and no one will remember them – the big ‘where did we come from, where are we going, and why are we here, after all’ question. What is it good for? Never leaving a trace…
Artists such as yourself or Drab Majesty have successfully recaptured the ’80s sound. On the whole, have we completely lost this sense of purity, or do you feel there is a resurgence to go back to this sound?
What do you anticipate for the next few months for your music or the possibility of live shows?
Reinhardt: I’m not thinking so much about the next few months, but I hope that the album will be still around in 10 or even 20 years, and that the listeners enjoy it and draw inspiration from it into their lives. So far, I haven’t planned concerts because they are difficult to organize with many singers. I had some ideas that include VR and AR though, but nothing is certain yet.