Singer and moustachioed face of electro-pop pioneers Yello, Dieter Meier has many mysteries behind his polydirectional endeavours.
Entrepreneur, poker player and, as it happens, a very, very wealthy man. What drives such an individual? What trove of experience lies beneath the surface of such an effete aesthete, a man to whom luxury, excess, dress and pleasure are the fullest extent of each endless day? It’s a gentle line of questioning. The brine of time preserves, and with stasis, allows reflection.
What could be more 80s: that era of power, capital, shine and transparent towers, than a conceptual artist millionaire; an industrialist philosopher, poised and coiffed? A figure whose positivistic entreaty/rejoinder ‘Oh yeah’ summed up the ‘we’ve done the thinking so you don’t have to, this is tailored for your pleasure, luxury is indolence’ ethos of the time to its power purchasers choking in the consumption of the complementary?
But that was then, where now do Yello and their titular face sit?
We might never know. Although the questions were answered, mysteries remain. What we were given is enough to piece together equally a bored MO, or perhaps even some specific diamonds of wisdom irreducible and expansive in their simplicity.
After all, these answers could be considered impenetrable philosophical tracts, compared to the depth sautéed within the machine soul of ‘Oh yeah’.
Trebuchet: You’ve had a varied career poker player, investor, singer is there a thread that binds all fields together?
Different mountains, same climber.
Your conceptual artworks might be said to raise questions of the relations between ritual and time, how do you feel about human repetition?
My conceptual work is all about “la conquette de l’inulile“ (The conquest of the useless). Sometimes it’s repetitive, sometimes not.
With hindsight how do you look on the work you did with Yello?
I’m a natural born hasardeur (gambler) in the hands of the perfectionism of Boris Blank.
Yello and the song ‘Oh Yeah’ has become seen as emblematic of the 80s decade, what are your feelings on the encapsulation of a time with an aesthetic?
Aesthetic is always expression of the time into which it is thrown.
Do you see music as an art form like the conceptual art that you’ve produced?
Conceptual art is pure rationalism. If there is an opposite to that, it’s music.
What music do you listen to?
Carl Philip Emanuael Bach who broke open the schemes of baroque.
What was the driving force that led to Out of Chaos?
To be live on stage here and now in a dialogue with the audience.
What is chaos and is it escapable?
Chaos is the mother of invention. It’s at the beginning of whatever I do.
Are the Swiss really as fascinated by order as the stereotype suggests?
Switzerland is a strange mix of order and invention.
These two factors are the base of Swiss creativity.
Dieter Meier’s latest album Out of Chaos is now available
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