Dinner is Served

“Awkward, stadium rock, sexual, new age, brain-dead, karaoke” is how L.A./Berlin-based musician Anders Rhedin describes his project, Dinner. Others tend to liken him to the Magnetic Fields, Joy Division, and Depeche Mode, which isn’t surprising, considering his deep, moody voice mixed with electronic pop and darkwave sounds.

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Dinner arose out of heartbreak, when Rhedin was sitting on a balcony in his native Copenhagen on a chilly, late summer, uncertain of what to do with songs he had just written about romance, loss, and transitions. His friend Jannis, the frontman of Choir of Young Believers—in which Rhedin once played—convinced him to record them, creating his two EPs You Are Like LA and Girl. Recently signed to Captured Tracks, Dinner just released another EP, Oui! and is set to release a full-length debut next spring. (Listen to his thumping single “Going Out” below.)

I asked him what he was saying “oui” to during our conversation at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right; he replied, “Everything…it felt like the right title. With all these EPs, the title has been there before much of the material has been finished. It just felt like, yes.”

Although Rhedin admits Dinner is “a shitty name in terms of Googling stuff,” he said he believes he’s becoming superstitious about the magic of words. “Maybe Dinner will put dinner on the table,” he continued.

He introduced himself pretty well in this bizarre video, so I decided to ask him a few dinner-related questions. A rather kooky figure, he made us hold hands for two minutes prior to the interview so we could “break down the barriers a little and have a little contact.”

“I don’t want to play a role,” he told me. “I just want to be as honest as possible…so I’m wondering if we hold hands just a little maybe we’ll know each other just a little.”

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Is dinner the most significant meal of the day?

I feel dinner is the king of the meals. It’s the heaviest one, the one that carries the most weight, at least in my world. Also you eat dinner maybe around dusk, and so that too I feel is beautiful—there is this strange passing from one moment into the next day.

When is optimal dinner time?

Optimal dinner time would be having had a beautiful experience such as if you have a really beautiful romance with someone, and you’ve been lying in bed all day. And it doesn’t really matter if its in the middle of the night or the day but eating together in bed in certain situations. For instance, if it’s winter and the snow is falling outside, I’d say that would be the ideal dinner time: naked in bed with a beautiful woman with beautiful snow falling outside.

What’s your favorite thing to eat for dinner?

That’s like when you go to Spotify, and you look at it and can’t decide what song to choose because you can choose from so many. I’m trying to think of a favorite dish, and nothing pops up. I think anything involving truffles; even truffle oil would be nice.

Where’s the best place to have dinner—L.A., Berlin, or Copenhagen?

Ah, that’s L.A.. I’m afraid of offending my German brothers, but it’s hard to compete. Also in New York, you have everything here, and it’s so good. I’m sure if you get Danish food in New York it’s probably better than in Denmark. But in L.A. I remember the first time going there and eating a burger, and I just felt like everything—all the produce, all the ingredients—seemed so full of energy, and I’m sure a lot of it is super inorganic, but I felt there was energy in the food and in the air. I was very much into the practice of Zazen—sitting meditation—and I felt I was very strict and Scandinavian in my approach to everything. I thought I was gonna hate L.A., but I bit into that burger and tasted so much energy.

Who are five people you’d invite to a dinner party?

Jesus would be very interesting…imagine Jesus with wine. The Buddha, too. I’d like to see how those two would get along. Let’s throw in Aleister Crowley. It would be nice to include Steve Reich; for many years he was my Jesus. He seems like a really sweet guy. I’d like Onassis too, the Greek billionaire from the 60s. Yeah, that would be a nice combination, I think. And it’s only guys: thats horrible, thats so sexist. Well, too late to change it.

What’s a guaranteed dinner-ruiner?

I think if people don’t like to talk about the importance of spirituality at some level—whether it’s magic or it’s just your own personal understanding of the ontology of how everything is put together. I feel if people aren’t really into that, and there aren’t any beautiful women and there isn’t any beauty. If there isn’t spiritual substance and some outer beauty on any level, I’d say the lack of those two would ruin every dinner for me.

What’s the best dinner-eating music?

I remember one time trying to drive around L.A. in a convertible listening to Steve Reich, which is really shitty driving music, and also some of the Brian Eno ambient stuff would be really nice but also very mellow. That’s very Scandinavian, that’s not very sexy. I would say if you could have one stereo with one of the Brian Eno ambient records and then some pulsating Caribbean beats on another stereo, that would be ideal. Maybe playing each in their own room.

Anders’ WILD Wish:

I would like to marry Annie Clark in the nearest foreseeable future. I’m leaving New York in less than 24 hours, so lets just send out some energy out in the universe and hope that she responds. I can’t really offer her much at all other than my sparkling personality; she would definitely have to be the provider, but she’s a rock star so she’s probably pretty rich. She would have to buy me dinner.

Header image via YouTube

 


text by: Claire Voon

photography by: Colin Marchon










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