Talk with Dino Spiluttini


Vienna-based artist Dino Spiluttini, who recently formed a new band called ICES, kindly accepted to answer our questions. Dino has been involved in couple of very interesting projects so far, that’s why we are very happy to host the debut of ICES. Read more bellow about his solo projects and other bands…

I am very curious about your new band ICES. Can you tell me more about it? How was the idea born?
“I have been toying with the idea of forming this band for a little over a year now. The initial idea was to break out of my isolation and just start making music with other people again instead of brainfucking myself into total solitude like I’ve been used to doing for the last 4 years or so.
But I never really actually started the band, I only built up all these crippling expectations, plans and hopes of how amazing ICES will be, and it took me almost a year to shake off these ridiculous expectations and just start writing songs and inviting people into the band.
Oh my, I sound so miserable, haha.”

And what are your plans for the future?
“Big plans actually. I’m very happy that a certain someone invited us to play a show on the 8th of November! This forced me to write a couple of songs. This is the kind of music that needs to be rushed. No second guessing (I’m terrible at this though), more punk. I’m currently recording and mixing these songs, trying to craft the sound of ICES as close as possible to what I have in mind for this band.
This will probably result in a finished EP some time until the end of this year. I’m planning a full length and full band release for 2015.”

You were playing in another band called Swan Fangs. Does this band still exist? Is there any connection between ICES and Swan Fangs?
“I started Swan Fangs as a duo with Volker Buchgraber (from Dust Covered Carpet) in early 2011, shortly after I quit my former band Liger. I lived in Berlin at that time and invited him over for 2 weeks. We were both at very low points in our lives, and we decided that this was reason enough for us to record some bummer songs.
The project went on for a while, we released a couple of online singles and a cassette, but you know, low points often come with a lack of drive and ambition, so the band never took off. From late 2012 to mid 2013 I used the name Swan Fangs for my own songs and played a couple of gigs.
I have recently decided to keep using the name. There are a lot of unfinished songs. I guess there is a lot of potential in the whole thing, the name, the songs, the image. I will make use of it in 2015.
About the connection of ICES and Swan Fangs: well, I am the singer of both bands. And the songwriter. Both bands are fueled by depression and “the infinite sadness” (thank you Billy Corgan, love U), which is certainly audible.”

Recently you posted in Facebook that your piano album “Ruebke” (released under the name Islands Of Light) is already sold out in various Japanese stores. Can you tell us more about this release?
“I have started composing little piano miniatures in late 2008, just for fun, without any purpose. This somehow became a routine and accompanied me through my move from Vienna to Berlin, and then to Hamburg, where I lived in the countryside just outside the city. Most of the album where written there, while dealing with a lot of beautiful and terrible stuff that only happens when you live in semi isolation in the nature. Although I only saw two other people for weeks and months, it was one of the most intense times of my life. i hate to be so cheesy, but it’s true.
“Ruebke” is the name of the small village where all this happened, and the album is the soundtrack of our life there. It took me 4 years to make it. Then the great Japanese label Home Normal picked it up. And then it took almost 2 years until it was finally released.
And yeah, although the album is distributed worldwide, the Japanese seem to love it the most. Which is so cool, but so weird. Such an intangible fame. Here I sit in my boring dead end day job, struggling to sell the few copies of the album the label sent me, while on the other side of the world (ok, I know this isn’t geographically correct) people apparently love my stuff! And buy it!”

Earlier this year, you released an ambient/drone split LP “Dino Spiluttini and Nils Quak – Modular Anxiety”. What is the story behind? Do you ever play live this kind of music?
“I have known Nils for something like seven or eight years now. We never met personally, but we used to be active on the same message board in the mid 2000s and somehow our ways crossed again. I forgot how. I guess there has always been some kind of mutual appreciation for each other’s music, so when I came up with my first “ambient” pieces in early 2013 I showed them to Nils, who has been making this kind of music for a couple of years now. Somehow the idea came up to do something together, and from then on everything happened really quickly. We were very lucky that the coolest label on this planet – Umor Rex from Mexico – decided to release our record. I am eternally grateful to Nils and Daniel (the boss of Umor Rex), because this record literally changed my life. I was pushed into a musical scene that met me with open arms, people wrote and said very very nice things about my music, which made me realize how happy I personally am with what I made. So I decided to go on doing this shit, and I now have a couple of releases coming up on great labels. Apparently this is my new “career”, and honestly it could be worse.

Every now and then people ask me if I am willing and able to play this kind of music live. So far I have had to negate this request. So far I haven’t found a way of “playing” that wouldn’t bore myself and the audience to death. There’s no sense in playing live unless you can do something that is exciting and entertaining. If anyone knows how I could do this: teach me please!”

Last question…do you hate life?
“I usually try to mostly shut up about this, because there’s nothing worse than an “artist” bragging about their mental issues, and I have yet to openly “come out” as being clinically depressed (or I guess I hereby just did come out), but there you go:
I’d say that yes, about 40% of the time I actually hate life.”

Text: Svetlomir Slavchev
Picture: Inge Marie Schaschlik