Together, Clemens Rehbein and Philipp Dausch are Milky Chance. Their album “Sadnecessary“ and single "Stolen Dance“ quickly achieved Gold and Platinum status worldwide. Folk music morphs with Electronic – Intimacy with PanoramaPop. A breathtaking narrative sends the duo from North Hesse, Germany and carries their unique sound around the world.
Touring across the USA with your own band? Any musician’s ultimate dream. Well-established, veteran German acts would sacrifice anything, so to speak, for a chance to make that dream come true. Even the biggest record labels here in Germany have a hard time with the thought of sending their artists across the Atlantic. Yet for Milky Chance, this unique experience became reality – just another part of the craziness that comes with having an expectation-shattering debut record, along with a worldwide hit single.
One moment on the duo’s globetrotting journey stands out – a moment that makes “Stolen Dance,” the internet-sensation pop fairytale (which has garnered 240 million views to date!) seem unintentionally eerie. The band’s American record label said it well when they presented the guys with their double-platinum plaque: “We are unbelievably proud of your success - and are really looking forward to new music!” Passion, hype, and expectations. At that moment, it was clear from Clemens’ and Phillip’s facial expressions, that apart from the joy they were feeling, they had realized: “Man, this whole thing has become really big.”
And it all started so innocently…
Flashback It was during their first music class after summer break in high school in the town of Kassel, Germany, that Phillip and Clemens first met. They found each other cool, became friends, and whenever possible, drove around and explored Europe in their VW bus. Along their journeys, street performances helped with cash which allowed them to extend their trips for as long as possible. It was pretty simple – play long enough (which thankfully, was often not very long at all) until enough money was there and go have breakfast.
It was then during exams that “Milky Chance” was born. Clemens plays the guitar, finding melodies and narratives, guided by his own personal experiences, smooth English and word play. Phillip is responsible for capturing the duo’s trademark sound.
The band’s songs that were available online quickly created demand for live performances. In 2012, the duo’s first show took place in Munich. Fitting the entire “learning by doing” vibe of the band’s early days, the show took place in a club called “Provisorium,” which translates to “Makeshift.” In any case, the rest is history.
Back to Now
Milky Chance’s bittersweet indietronic-pop has definitely struck a nerve. One may be impressed simply by listing their accomplishments in the past three years -- Appearances on late-night shows, from Jimmy Kimmel to Jimmy Fallon, awards in countries around the world, a private meeting with the legendary producer Rick Rubin (who has worked with likes of Johnny Cash, Adele and Kanye West), extensive headline tours across America, Africa, Australia (even Tasmania), Canada and New Zealand, and of course all over Europe -- not to mention countless appearances at the world’s biggest festivals – from Hurricane and Rock am Ring, to Sziget and Coachella.
Traveling in their rickety VW bus soon gave way to racking up frequent flyer miles. Ripe is exactly what the duo became – globetrotting back and forth from their safe haven in North Hesse to the stages (and airports) of the world. Despite their growing professionalism, the duo never allows business to detract from the fun and joy of making music. Whether performing on the main stage of an American festival, or playing a gig in a club around the corner, passion is what drives the band. Simply put – Milky Chance love what they do.
The duo have, step by step over the past three years, made this entirely new life, too often lived out of a suitcase, their own. “We’ve realized, to our surprise, that being away from home and the distance to those closest to us has actually proven how strong our connections to our loved ones truly are.” The band and their relationships can only thrive if all sides remain grounded and true to who they really are. This is undoubtedly the ultimate reason why Milky Chance is seen as truly organic and authentic.
In the Future
Indeed, the duo is working on new music and, as usual, it begins at Philipp’s home studio. Why else would one have such a picturesque refuge like the town Kassel- if not to be able to take a fresh breath of air every once in a while? It comes down to channeling the incredible amount of input which the band has received over the past few years into new music – to put their experiences into words. This will happen in early 2017 when Milky Chance’s long-awaited second album arrives, and the goose bumps continue...