Exclusive Interview with MEUTE’s Thomas Burhorn
Interview with MEUTE's Thomas Burhorn at Great American Music Hall on October 24th
MEUTE is an electronic marching band that merge elements of EDM with marching band instruments. The group’s formation started in Hamburg, Germany in 2015 and they got their big break after their cover of German EDM duo Âme‘s track, “Rej”, became a viral hit on social media platforms in 2016. Since then, MEUTE has released their debut album in 2017 titled Tumult, composed and performed numerous covers of popular house and techno tracks, toured internationally, and released a second album. Their second album, MEUTE Live in Paris, released on October 4th and it was recorded in March 2019 during their performance at Le Trianon in Paris. OneEDM caught up with MEUTE founder and group leader, Thomas Burhorn, before the group performed their show at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on October 24th.
Kenny Ngo: How do you like San Francisco so far?
Thomas Burhorn: Actually, it’s beautiful! I didn’t see that much, I would have to take a look tomorrow but I saw this wonderful location, one of the most beautiful locations ever. I also saw this street that went up very high like a mountain like how I saw from a TV series and it was very beautiful from what I saw.
When MEUTE was formed, what did people think about the group’s unique merge of marching band music with EDM?
I didn’t know what people think but I think most people in the crowds smiled and danced. It leads me to the thought that maybe people liked it.
Back in 2018, how did you guys react when you found out that your cover of “You and Me” became an international hit?
It wasn’t suddenly an international hit. Of course, the original is the hit but it was still funny to recognize when we started to play the song, especially when we played the first notes. Yeah, it’s a nice feeling.
When producing your musical content, you have worked around Techno, Deep House, and modern house music. Have you thought about experimenting with other electronic music sub-genres such as trap, dubstep, hardstyle, and so on?
Actually, we feel very comfortable in doing house, techno, electronica, and other similar styles. I think this is positive that people want it so much that maybe, I don’t know, we are not so interested in this trap thing. There are maybe other marching bands which have more hip-hop and funk styles and that maybe more for them. We keep it minimal and the trap style is a different direction but I think it would be interesting to perform it but I think it’s not our style.
MEUTE recently did a European tour this year. What was your favorite destination and why?
It’s really hard to tell what’s our favorite destination because we played in 50 cities. Every concert was every special and we could mention that Paris concert because that was a really beautiful location, a little bit like tonight’s location. It was a very old-fashioned location and there was the Culture Works team filming the Paris concert.
You can listen to the Paris concert on the streaming platforms and you can buy it in CD or vinyl. Maybe this was a really special thing but all of the concerts were very special and we always try to give our best every night and no matter if we are in big cities like Paris or LA or San Francisco and also in smaller places like Nashville or Berlin, we also try. These kinds of evenings can also be even more special, every night can be exciting.
On October 4th, MEUTE recently released its latest album, MEUTE Live in Paris. What are the significant features of the album that potential listeners should look out for?
They should just listen to it and I don’t know, the people would have to decide what the features are. Maybe everyone finds something different.
In your overall opinion, what is the song that stands out the most in the album?
Haha, I can’t give the one answer. I love them all and also the people will have to listen to the album and decide what they think. We really try to make every track the most special track of the evening so there are no charts that list which is #1 or #2. We try to make each track special from the first to the last.
Are you planning to do any tours in other continents in 2020?
We already played concerts in Asia and Africa but they’re not really big tours, just two-three festivals. We would see because of course, it is hard to travel around very much and so we are very happy when we can manage to travel again across Europe and maybe again across North America. Of course, we have fans waiting in Central America like Mexico and parts of South America. We’re still interested in touring Asia and Africa and we also have fans in Australia. However, we understand that it is not easy to travel with our really big combo.
Regarding music festivals, which music festival would MEUTE desire to perform at in the future?
The good thing is we don’t fit in any festival because we are always something really different but that’s why we can play at any festival. We can play at a jazz festival, an alternative festival, and also an electronic festival, or even a rock festival. That’s what we did in the last few years in Europe and so we played in many festivals. It’s always fun and the people want to dance and want to make a party and of course, we want to do this as well and we heard there are many high-quality, high-class festivals here. We are very excited for some possibilities for us in the future.
MEUTE was formed in Hamburg. Which attractions or locations should the fans check out if they can visit the city one day?
It’s a big city with a very beautiful harbor and the legendary Golden Pudle Club. They can watch a St. Pauli soccer game and they can also go to the St. Pauli district where there are many bars, clubs, and crazy places but it’s still very beautiful. There are also many places to catch music shows since the city has a large music scene. For example, the Beatles started their career in Hamburg because they had an engagement there at a club and played in a club for a half a year every night there.