I went up the stairs with a bottle of red wine in my hand. The door opened, and a guy with a bald, scarred face stared at me. I wasn’t really scared, but that truly wasn’t what I had expected. Toni laughed and let me in. “I wore this mask for the promo picture of the new record“, he said, taking it off. We went into the living room, opened the bottle of wine, and Toni showed me the pile of records he had chosen for this evening. This was not going to be a normal interview. We agreed on having a meeting where Toni would play me his favorite records, as if he were recording a mixtape for me. So we sat down in front of the record player and I turned on my camera while Toni fetched the first record out of the stack:
ENNIO MORRICONE – “Once Upon A Time In The West”
[from the 7”, 1968 / German: “Spiel mir das Lied vom Tod”]
This is one of my first childhood memories: There is a man hanging on the gallows, standing on his brother’s shoulders, and then Henry Fonda says to Charles Bronson, “Play me the song of death.” This scene made such an impression on me that I watched the whole film. I would say that, besides Rocky, this is the most important film for me.
Rocky also affected me a lot as a child. When I was a kid it was Rocky I to III, and then when I became a teenager it was Rocky IV. So this was the first film that I saw more with the eyes of an adult. I also had the soundtrack on tape. It has a really strong ‘80s kind of sound.
[Sings] “There’s no easy way out!” Isn’t that with Robert Tapper?
And the SURVIVOR songs!
“Eye Of The Tiger” was from Rocky III.
It was the one after that. What was the title? “Burning Heart”, I think!
[Sings] “In the burning heart, just about to burst!“ I also have the soundtrack. Shit, I should have brought it with me!
There are these great instrumentals on it.
Yes, “Training Montage”, when you‘re doing like 50 pushups – in three days.
Right, and then you watched Rocky, and then afterwards you went, “Now I go to the boxing training!”
Alright. What am I doing now? Some punk, maybe. When I do a mixtape I start with something weird, and then I continue with punk. Let’s start with my favorite band from my hometown, Hagen:
SOUL INVADERS – “Dead Man´s Eyes” [from the 7”]
They‘re really good, especially live. On the record it‘s so-so, but live they‘re really strong. Before they played in a band called HEMMUNGSLOSE EROTIK. So, mixtape-wise, this would be the first real song after the intro.
Actually I started with punk. I come from a small village. All we had was radio, and so when I started listening to music I was depending on what played on the radio. Stuff like a-ha. Then a friend started listening to DIE ÄRZTE, and through them and DIE TOTEN HOSEN I found punk rock. But then shortly after this, a friend brought me some METALLICA, and then I was hooked on metal.
Where do you come from?
I come from a town near Oldenburg.
Ok. So as I said, this band is awesome live. The singer is called Kaktus, and he is the greatest MISFITS fan that I know. Back then he wrote handwritten letters with Glen Danzig, so they‘re friends. He has a whole room just for MISFITS stuff. Everything that‘s available from MISFITS and DANZIG – he has it there.
Crazy! Later, when I already listened to metal, I also continued to listen to punk. SLIME, BAD RELIGION, a little bit of NOFX, this kind of stuff.
Well, then I‘ll play you the second band from my home city now, and then we can close the chapter Hagen:
DOOMTOWN – “Forever Fucked” [from Forever Fucked, 2004]
Where exactly is Hagen?
Hagen is not Sauerland, not Ruhrpott, but five S-Bahn stations from Dortmund, towards Sauerland. EXTRABREIT, NENA and GROBSCHNITT are from Hagen, and the city still profits from this. They say, “Come to Hagen – become a pop star.“
Doomtown is almost hardcore. They played in the USA and in the whole of Europe.
GOD MACHINE – “All My Colours” [from Home 12”, 1993]
Alright, now I become a little bit emo. This is one of the most important bands for me. I will even take off my hat for this. GOD MACHINE. Nobody knows them. It’s a maxi single, a cover version of ECHO AND THE BUNNY MEN. For me, the music is even darker than JOY DIVISION or this kind of stuff. They released two records in the early ’90s, on the label of THE CURE, Fiction Records. During the recordings of the second album in Prague, during the mixing, the bassist got a really bad headache, so they went to the hospital. He died the same night of a brain tumor. Then they released the record in the last version that he had heard. This is the darkest, saddest music that there is. This maxi is worth now around 300-400 euro because in the ’90s they were producing less and less vinyl records.
These are the most expensive vinyls from this time. Brave New World from IRON MAIDEN was only released as a shabby picture disc with a bad sound, but nevertheless it‘s very expensive because it’s the only original vinyl available from this record.
I bought One Last Laugh In A Place Of Dying from GOD MACHINE for 12DM [6 euro] in Hagen, and I even gave one away to a friend. It‘s plain white, with nothing on it. But my copy is full of fingerprints because I have been listening to it for twenty years now. So one day I took a look at Discogs – there is one pressing, I could have paid my rent for two months with this! But I had fun with it. I hate this whole collectors thing when it’s just about what it‘ll be worth later. That’s bullshit. What is priceless is the joy I had with the record.
They still sound a lot like the ’80s, very melancholic. Also when it comes to the vocals. I like the dominant drums.
It’s more something for a red wine evening. Rather a downer. You‘d give this to someone you know very well. I wouldn’t give this to a girl I have a crush on – at most to show how profound I am. But this can go the wrong way.
What can I play after this?
It’s gonna be difficult to get out of this mood.
I’ve got an idea. Watch out, I must not forget this in any case. Where is it? [He digs in the pile of records] To lighten up the mood I‘ll play the first punk:
JERRY LEE LEWIS – “Money” [from Live at Star Club, 1964]
I think the record was already in stereo. This is an album I like to put on when we sit together or when I celebrate my birthday. Especially the song “Money”, because for me this is the absolute punk rock song. How he hits the keys! And the drummer!
Play this at double speed, and you have the Sex Pistols.
Yeah, right! Pay attention how he goes off; this is fucking live! This was at a time when the people thought ELVIS PRESLEY was the devil. “Your love gives me such a thrill, but your love can’t pay my bills” – this is simply punk, totally punk. Not Vivienne Westwood and the SEX PISTOLS. They invented the term but not the music.
Johnny Cash was also a punk.
Right, totally. I’d really like to have been there, back in the days. There is still cool stuff today, but I believe this was the absolute birth.
Ok, next one, since this is from the same period of time, my absolute god singer:
ROY ORBISON – “She’s A Mystery To Me” [from the 7″, 1989]
For me this is the most incredible voice in the world. This song is from his last record. We don’t need to talk about his old hits – everybody knows “Pretty Woman”. This is a song from the album Mystery Girl. The song was written by Bono from U2. A lot of people wrote for him. There‘s this last concert, Black And White Night. The backing band is the TCD-Band from Elvis Presley: on the left side on the piano sits very shyly Tom Waits; one of the guitars is played by Bruce Springsteen, another one by Elvis Costello, and another one from a guy from THE EAGLES. You have to watch this! So he made one last record at the end of the ’80s, shortly before he died. As I said, the song was written by Bono, and you can say what you want about U2, but they wrote really good music up until Achtung Baby. Until Joshua Tree. I also like Achtung Baby. It is very good pop music, I like it very much.
I have no prejudice against U2.
Today, stuff like “Beautiful Day” belongs in the trash, but Joshua Tree and Rattle And Hum were great, and then Achtung Baby was already a step towards megalomania, but it‘s still a very good album. Never mind. Imagine, a few years before Bono was allowed to play a song for Roy Orbison, which is already a great thing. And then he plays it to him two times and goes with him through the lyrics and the music. Roy says, “Alright, let’s go to the studio and do a test recording.“ This first take ended up on the album! You can totally hear that this is an old U2 song; it’s from the times of Joshua Tree. And then this voice. This would be something for a mixtape you give to someone you‘re in love with.
The sound is so three-dimensional.
This is the shit, right? Listen to this voice, this sound! Best voice in the world. Everyone in our band is a big fan of his. But before this gets too emo:
FAITH NO MORE – “Caffeine” [from Angel Dust, 1992]
Yes, the ’90s were also a formative time for me.
Screw nu metal and this crap; this is such an aggressive monster record. In 1992 they were, along with SOUNDGARDEN, the support band for GUNS N’ ROSES, and this was the absolute lesson in rock and roll. When I came, Soundgarden played “Searching With My Good Eye Closed”, and then Faith No More came on. I didn’t know them at the time – only “Midlife Crisis” because that was their hit. They played the Müngersdorfer Stadium in Cologne – 60000 people and everybody went “Axl Rose! Axl Rose!” Nobody was interested in this kind of music. Then at some point Mike Patton told his band to stop playing in the middle of the song and put the microphone into the monitor box, producing a giant feedback. He stared at the 60,000 people until they stopped screaming “Axl Rose”. Then there was silence, and then they finally continued playing. And I thought, “Man, you’ve got balls.”
[Listening to the record] This is so fucking aggressive, totally cynical. Mike Patton is a god anyway.
Still, I like The Real Thing better. I remember the Hard ‘n’ Heavy show on Tele 5. They played the video of “From Out Of Nowhere” and the guitarist had a Cliff Burton tribute shirt and was headbanging all the time, so that’s how they got me.
A few years later I saw FANTOMAS, but unfortunately without Dave Lombardo, and Jello Biafra with THE MELVINS. It was absolutely amazing. Mike Patton lay in a pulpit. He had two microphones – one for the clean singing and one for the effects. This guy can sound like Sinatra, Elvis, and Roy Orbison, while at the same time he could sing for SLAYER. Afterwards The Melvins played, but we had to leave after three songs because we weren’t able to listen to normal music anymore.
He did many great things, like MISTER BUNGLE.
Yes, Mister Bungle! Also Mando Cane, the solo album where he plays Italian radio music – total madness.
It was sad that Jim Martin left the band. They also didn’t get him back for the reunion a few years ago. I saw them at Wuhlheide in 2009. Unfortunately there weren’t so many people there. Seems like the young people don’t know them, because they were gone for such a long time and seemingly not part of the retro wave that brought back a lot of ’80s bands.
Yes, I think this is rather something for our generation.
There are other bands from the ’90s that pull more young people, like PEARL JAM. They sell out the Wuhlheide.
[Shows me the record he had pulled out of the stack:]
PEARL JAM – “I Got Id” [from the Merkinball 7″, 1995]
You just pulled out this record [laughs]? That’s a strange coincidence!
Yes! This is a rare EP. They made an album with Neil Young, Mirrorball, and this is “Merkinball” from the same session. Pearl Jam was an important band for me. I was even able to get to know them, for like five minutes. They played at the Mercedes Benz Arena. A friend of mine knows them and took care of them, so she gave us VIP tickets. I hadn’t listened to them for some time because at some point I had become too cool to listen to Pearl Jam. But we thought: “Let’s just go.”
We went inside, and it was the changing room of the Eisbären Berlin [ice hockey team]. Matt Cameron was sitting there – the drummer of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. They just did the 20th anniversary show. So I went to him and said, “Congratulations on 30 years!” And he looked at me, and I went, “Oh, sorry!” The next moment Eddie Vedder passes me by with a cake because it was the birthday of the guitarist‘s mother.
The whole thing was very cool. These guys are super stars and they meant a lot to me when I was a teenager. And then you meet them, and they are all extremely cool. They shook my hand and said, “Great that you are here” – even though I was an absolute nobody to them and it was shortly before the concert when you normally aren‘t up for these things. They were totally nice and down to earth.
This is a song with Neil Young. I mean, Neil Young and Pearl Jam – fuck! You don’t need to comment on this. Neil Young is one of my all-time faves. It‘s remarkable when someone like him plays on your record but then keeps himself completely in the background.
Eddie Vedder used to be so extreme back in the day. He would climb up the stage supports and jump into the audience from high up. It‘s a miracle that he never broke his neck.
Yes, in the “Even Flow” video.
He did it many times. Meanwhile he has become more steady. But that’s okay.
Now we have to play something else. That was very emo. Ok, so that was Side A of the mixtape. It wasn’t 45 minutes, so it has to be a 60 minute tape. Actually I should play BURZUM now, just to be edgy, but I’m not in the mood for it.
I read a story on the internet today. Someone in a band wore a Burzum shirt during the setup of the stage. Then the venue cancelled the gig because of this.
Ok, then I do play something from Burzum – before people think I only listen to Pearl Jam and Roy Orbison.
BURZUM – “A Lost And Forgotten Sad Spirit” [from Mayhem Versus Burzum, Bootleg Split, 2010]
We don’t need to talk about the guy, but the music was not bad. This is a bootleg; the B-side is Burzum. These are old demos; I bought the record under the counter in a record store of a friend. I interrupt the song here. Beyond three minutes, Varg Vikernes can get on one’s nerves.
Ok, this is kind of a hard break, but after Burzum you can only play DEPECHE MODE.
DEPECHE MODE – “It’s No Good” [from Ultra, 1997]
A later record, Ultra. I know; the band is ’80s, but Ultra is a monster. This is the perfect pop song.
I remember the video.
There are two videos: One where he is at a diner and wants to talk to the waitress, and then the one where they appear as a wrecked band. It’s awesome. At the end of it they only get 20 pounds and can’t even pay the cab.
I think this was the last real hit single from them.
There was a good single on the last album “Where’s The Revolution”. But it wasn’t a real hit.
It’s funny; you could have chosen Music for the Masses or something like that.
Yes, or Black Celebration. It’s funny; most of the stuff I put on today is from the ’90s. It was an awesome time. I don’t know why people complain so much about it; there was so much great music. Better than in the zeros!
The music that emerged in the ’90s was great, but most of the music that the old bands made was crap. METALLICA was crap; MAIDEN was crap; all the thrash bands blew it. They all wanted to sound like PANTERA and released only boring mid-tempo garbage. That’s why people complain. Because the classic bands fucked it up.
But what is heavy metal doing today? Everything just repeats itself. What people fancy these days is stuff that sounds and also looks like in the ’80s. I find this mostly just boring.
I like it as long as they come up with great songs.
Sure, a good song is a good song.
For instance, among the retro thrash bands, there is none that I really find awesome – not a single one. Because they all sound like EXODUS, but they are not able to write any great songs, while bands like RAM, VULTURE or INDIAN NIGHTMARE – at least they have some great songs!
Heavy metal is actually entertainment. No one can reinvent the wheel. Since rap music there has been no new music I suppose. Techno and rap.
People are not brave enough. How much new music appeared in the ‘90s – it’s incredible what was invented in that period! And then with the 2000s it suddenly stopped. Everybody just went retro.
Exactly! What I really don’t understand is that these people are celebrated so much because they sound exactly like JUDAS PRIEST and look exactly the same. We had the same in vintage rock, where they went like, “We even used old cables,” and I thought, “Is that your artistic footprint?” Ok, congratulations.
Of course, I can’t reinvent the wheel as well. My intention is to write good songs or to tell good stories. We are not a band of entertainers. But actually we don’t want to talk about our band tonight.
But still, you are a band that tries to sound unique.
Yes, we want to tell our own stories.
You do have your own sound.
In that regard you are ahead of many bands from the scene, I must say.
Maybe. I don’t know if we are ahead of someone; I am not interested in this.
You do sound unique, and that’s something special these days. If I put on a (Dolch] song, people know instantly that this is (Dolch).
Even with the new one? [Fire] A lot of people say it sounds much too modern.
No, I really like the sound of the new album. What I didn’t like was the sound of the last EP; it was much too noisy – too dry for my taste.
You know why? Because I made it exactly here, in this room. It was a month before we flew to America to record the new album, and we were about to go on tour. So we needed something for the tour. Fast. I did it sitting exactly here, mixing it myself, totally under stress, with a mega sleep deficit.
Considering that, I still find it pretty cool because it’s so radical – also with the backward playing parts with some hidden messages. I would never call myself a musician. For me this is storytelling, communication, or art. But with the new stuff I am really happy about the sound.
I think the sound is great, and I don’t think that the sound takes away your identity just because it‘s good. On the contrary, I think that the atmosphere that your music has is more apparent with this sound than it was on the EP, where it was very much distorted. And that’s why I am really excited about the sound of Fire.
PERCY SLEDGE – “Out Of Left Field” [from The Best Of Percy Sledge, 1969]
Also a beautiful voice, this guy.
Are we back in the ‘60s?
Yes. Everybody knows “When A Man Loves A Woman”. I think back in the days these guys more or less recorded everything live. The drummer, the background vocals, it’s all fucking live!
And still it sounds amazing! These guys are standing around in the studio, and it sounds as if you were there!
[Sings] “Honey, I found you, oh yeah!” Later he sings: “She made me a man” – so it‘s also very sexual.
The sound is so great, and I really don’t understand why today so many bands screw it up so much. It’s strange. Only compression and loudness.
When we did the mastering for the new album we chose a medium volume. At the end of the ’90s there were these loudness wars – and I really hate it. It‘s absolutely unnecessary. We‘re really not virtuosi, we could never record our stuff live. It has to be done step by step. I have some basic ideas at the beginning, and then we add the vocals and then the songs develop.
Now with Michael Zech as a producer, he improved the sound big time. For instance, for the first song we had guitar tracks and vocals that were really good, but we had to discard them because they had to be in a different way. I think everybody in the band would be able to record live, but I am not. I am not a good musician. So we do use modern techniques, but I find the end justifies the means if you want to create art.
Nobody can afford to take their time anymore and go into the studio and let something grow slowly. We have been working on the stuff for three years now, and we said that we do not do anything for two years. Which is usually said to be commercial suicide. I was never interested in this because I do this primarily for myself. It has to touch me deeply, and everything else is a bonus.
Now we‘re souled-out so much, I have to put on some street credibility:
INTEGRITY – “Live It Down” [from In Contrast Of Sin, 7”, 1990]
I think as soon as you create something mainly for the audience, or for the market, you lose it.
Yes, or when you have the feeling that you HAVE to do it because you are a full-time musician – when you are obliged to tour or to make records. I have a job that I really love; I am a social worker. This is so much more important and more meaningful than to play in a band and to celebrate yourself in order for some people to like it. That’s ego flattery. I‘m lucky. Some people have to work at the counter at Netto for 7,30 euro per hour. I think it’s an advantage if you do music part-time.
Of course, sometimes it might be easier when you have the surrounding conditions. But some bands are not that lucky – maybe because they don’t have the contacts that they need in order to do this. And of course it’s an advantage when there are people who are interested in this. There is no question; I am totally grateful for it. But a “must” in art – that never helped.
Nevertheless, as an artist you want to have some kind of acknowledgement. It doesn’t necessarily mean sales figures, but when you create art you want the people to somehow confirm that what you do has some value – beyond any financial aspects. I must say for me as a photographer, if no one had ever said to me that they liked my photos, I think I would‘ve stopped. Just from the standpoint of getting some motivation to continue. If you never get any positive feedback, I think you would stop because otherwise it would just be too much fucking work.
On the one hand I agree. On the other hand, if a thousand people tell you that your photos suck and you would continue anyway, then for me that would be the highest degree of artistry. I studied art as a guest student in Düsseldorf for some time, and there I learnt that the highest form of art would be the kind that you do in the desert, all on your own, and no one sees it, and then the wind comes and blows it away. There‘s Andy Goldsworthy, who does ephemeral art. He builds things from natural materials. But ok, he takes a photo of it and reproduces it.
And then he sells his books.
Ok, true. It is not an easy topic. But actually if you say, “The people hate my photos, but I continue anyway,” then this has a value of its own. Then one day people might discover you and think you are tough. It’s like that with our band. If we were the worst band in the world, then this would also be significant. But I agree – it helps when there are some people who say they like it. And I would be lying if I would pretend not to like that.
Two years ago I was in a pub. Then I looked at the bartender, and he had a Dolch tattoo on his arm. And I thought “Dude, what??” The strangest things happened: people had sex to our music, or people hugged me because it meant so much to them. This is beautiful, of course. It gives you some motivation. But, when I am totally honest, the most important thing is that it touches me, and that I like it. So now our record is out. I know what it means to me, and now the baby is born, and it can be crucified or loved – it doesn’t matter. Amen.
SAINT VITUS – “Look Behind You” [from the EP Thirsty And Miserable, 1987]
Now I play Saint Vitus. I did play in doom bands before, and I also got to know Wino shortly. He played with THE HIDDEN HAND in Leipzig. I was on the road with DOOMTOWN, who supported them. For some reason Wino approached me and saw my Saint Vitus tattoo and said, “I’m proud of you – welcome to the Vitus crew.” Then we smoked a cigarette, and he was very cool. He is also my favorite singer from Vitus. Maybe even because I got to know him.
I also think he has the better voice.
Yes, and it‘s not so perfect, it‘s so perfectly beat up. Did you know that they have the same label as BLACK FLAG? SST Records. So now watch this: if you play this on 45 rpm [he turns it to 45 rpm] – this is Black Flag! How great is that! Blasphemy, I know. But it is like that. Black Flag are Saint Vitus, sped up.
Or the other way around.
Or the other way around – I don’t know who was there first.
That’s a good question. I think it was at about the same time.
I believe Black Flag might have even started earlier.
Maybe they just made an agreement [laughs].
DEAD CAN DANCE – “Persephone (The Gathering Of Flowers)” [from Within The Realms Of A Dying Sun, 1988]
This is my favorite song from Dead Can Dance. Do you like them?
I never actually got around to deal with them on a deeper level.
Shame on you, dude.
Yeah, well, you have to save something for retirement [laughs].
I saw them two times this year, in Berlin and in Athens, where they played in this amphitheater. It was amazing, so good. You were not allowed to smoke, drink alcohol, or wear high heels in there because it has a two-thousand year old marble floor. It’s a historical monument, a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site.
Alright, so now that we are almost in the Olympus, we need to lighten things up a little.
GEORGE MICHAEL – “Hand To Mouth” [from the “Faith” 7“]
This is a hard cut now. We‘ll make a cover version of this song soon. George Michael is really good. I was just too cool to like him back then. We‘ll make an industrial version out of this; it’s gonna be pretty awesome. It’s kind of a social critical song.
“I believe in the gods of America; I believe in the land of the free. But no one told me that the gods believe in nothing, so with empty hands I pray. And from day to hopeless day, they still don’t see me.” So actually it‘s about the people who were left behind.
Why is he dead already? Why did Prince die already? I mean, ok, Michael Jackson was always on meds, so that was kind of predictable.
Yes, true. But imagine, from such a young age you have so much money, and you are so famous, that the people freak out when you go to the bakery around the corner. They all deserved their fame; they were great artists.
DEAD MOON – “Fire In The Western World” [from the 7″, 1992]
The next one is very heartfelt. We got to know DEAD MOON when we were in Seattle. They played in the backyard of a bar. And we asked them for permission to do a cover version of “Dagger Moon” [which is on the Mond 7″]. They immediately said, “Of course, go ahead!”
They do press their vinyl matrices themselves and have their own label. Everything is just published in mono. They had an old Mercedes Benz, and for concerts they brought a folding chair, two amps, a bass, and a guitar. After the concert they put everything back in the car and drove back home. Totally down to earth. They‘re legends.
I have a buddy in Portland. One day his heating was not working, and he called the property manager – and then Fred Cole stood in front of him! He owned the house. The guy wore a boiler suit, carried pliers – and then he fixed the heating!
They were never musically perfect. I saw them live once, and they all stood together on one square meter and played. A bit like CRAZY HORSE from Neil Young. Unfortunately Fred Cole died recently.
JULIO IGLESIAS & WILLIE NELSON – “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” [from the 7″, 1984]
This is one of the most obscure singles that I own. Julio and Willie were just having a tennis match, and shortly after it they were talking, “Hey! I have this song. It is about all the girls I had in my life.” – “Yeah, great!”
The cover image is so bad!
It’s so ridiculous. I saw Julio Iglesias live in 2002, with my mom. He had a live band and background singers, and his vocals were overlaid with too much reverb. The guy didn’t talk very much, and all he said after four songs was [imitates his accent]: “Tonight we talk only about one thing:” – and then he made a hip motion – “making looove.”
Did you know that Julio Iglesias was an aspiring goalkeeper with Real Madrid? In the junior team. Then he had a road accident, and because of that he couldn’t play professional football anymore. Then he went into rehab, and he was so sad, that a nurse gave him a guitar, and then he put all his emotions into music. That’s how the legend goes.
This guy is the dream of all housewives. And this, on the other, hand is fucking Willie Nelson, one of The Highwaymen. And then he publishes a song with this cover image. “To all the girls I’ve loved before” – how great is that?!
COCTEAU TWINS – “Musette And Drums” [from The Pink Opaque, 1986]
This is something we like very much. Our demo sound might remind you a bit of this. We didn’t reinvent the wheel as well. A drum computer – totally blunt – guitars with a strong reverb, and cool vocals. Later the singer sang for THIS MORTAL COIL, and she also sang a duet with Jeff Buckley, the son of Tim Buckley.
The guitars are very post punk.
Yeah. Actually these are black metal guitars, even though black metal wasn’t invented yet. These harmonies – this is totally similar to suicidal black metal. There are these strange “Major Tom”-like fifths – I don’t really know what this is; I can’t even play it on the guitar. It’s very disharmonious. COCTEAU TWINS, I can really recommend them. Especially this record. They became a bit strange later, but this one has this dark, almost spiritual vibe.
JAN HAMMER – “Miami Vice Theme” [from Escape From Television, 1987]
You did get excited when you saw this, right?
Right. This was one of the first songs that I recorded as a boy with a cassette tape recorder, when they played it on the radio. On Sundays my cousins used to come visit my mother and I. They were four or five years older than me. My mother used to record Miami Vice for them, when it was first shown on TV. They used to watch these videos with us, and they were allowed to drink Coke, eat potato chips, and smoke, because they weren’t allowed to do this at home. And I was allowed to watch Miami Vice with them, so for me as a six-year-old this was totally cool. The soundtrack of our youth!
It’s so awesome that you have this on vinyl!
Of course! They also played stuff like “Sweet Sixteen” from Billy Idol. I really had good tapes!
It’s awesome how simple good music can be!
Yes, very simple, almost like a children’s song. I imagine being on the road with a cool car driving into the sunset when I hear this. The woman or the man you love at your side, or whom you are about to meet. Right, you are on the way to a date. You know you are cool, but you are not totally sure because you are excited.
At the moment this sound is very hip again. Suddenly this synth sound is showing up in every TV series. It’s so cheesy, but still it’s so cool. Escape from Television [laughs] – this is such a great title!
Back then television was unbelievably important.
This also goes with the Rocky IV soundtrack.
Yes, you really got me there, I should‘ve brought that one. The first Rocky movie is a really good social movie, and the second one is also great. I remember the scene where his wife is in the hospital because she is pregnant with Rocky Junior. Then, when the rematch with Apollo is coming, Rocky doesn’t want to fight anymore. He‘s totally desperate, and then she whispers something in his ear, and he goes, “What?” And she whispers, “Fight! Fight!” This is incredible. Then he starts training again.
And this is the most important scene In Rocky I: Rocky has become a bit famous in Philadelphia, and he is walking down the street at night. There are these guys who are always standing by the burning barrels, and he is passing them by and further on there‘s a wall with a small entrance. It’s a dark, dangerous looking corner, and suddenly this guy comes out of the corner and goes: “Uh! Rocky!”. And Rocky replies, “Hey! Guy from the corner!“ Then Rocky moves on. Best scene ever!
I read an interview with Sylvester Stallone. He wrote the script for the film based on a true story. There actually was a boxer who got the chance to fight against Muhammad Ali. Then Stallone talked to every producer in Hollywood that he knew, but no one wanted to make this movie with him. The story goes that when he had one last appointment left, he had to drive all night with his pregnant wife in the car and with only 100 dollars in his pocket. Then the producer said, “This is a great story; let’s make a film out of it.” Dude!
It was the same with Star Wars – no one wanted to finance the project at the beginning. I mean, imagine, no one wanted to have Star Wars!
FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM – “The Sequel” [from Dawnrazor, 1987]
I finish this evening with FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM. We don’t really need to talk about this band. This is one of their best songs. The guitar sound on one of our new albums is a bit influenced by Fields. So, I think this has become a good mixtape! It’s an awesome tape! We started with “Once Upon A Time In The West”, and now we finish with Fields. Perfect!
(C) DEPICTED Magazine 2020
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