Tag Archives: germany

Live: Straend Festival 2016, Berlin (DE)

Ich bin furchtbar blass, mein liebstes Wetter ist Regen und Temperaturen über 25° C lehne ich kategorisch ab. Klar, dass ich vom Surfen nicht den leisesten Hauch einer Ahnung habe, außer vielleicht, dass da meist ziemlich heiße Typen auf den Brettern stehen.

Das alles war aber kein Grund nicht zum wundervollen Straend Festival am 20.08.2016, welches zum zweiten mal in Folge stattfand, zu gehen. Auch wenn zunächst mit den Worten Surf, Musik, Film und Kunst von den Plakaten gelockt wurde, ging es hier doch um so viel mehr. Wobei Arena und Badeschiff mit Sand zwischen den Zehen, Liegestühlen und der Spree direkt vor der Tür zum entspannen einluden und die Veranstalter Loft Concerts, Novaque Events und Arena Berlin all das wie scheinbar nebenbei einfließen ließen, was ihnen verbunden mit der Thematik Surf am Herzen liegt. Dazu gehören an erster Stelle der Umgang mit Müll und unser Auftreten als Mensch in einer Welt, die wir als selbstverständliches Eigentum behandeln. Dieser Artikel soll jetzt aber kein Appell an dein Gewissen werden dich bewusster in deiner Umgebung zu bewegen, jedoch vielleicht den einen oder anderen Gedanken darauf zu verwenden. Und genau das hat auch das Straend Festival geschickt geschafft: sei es mit Mülltrennung auf dem Gelände, Essen auf Bambusblättern oder der Kunst von Angelo Schmitt, dessen Sammlung an Abfall von Stränden wieder einmal zeigt, wie gedankenlos wir unseren Müll entsorgen und dass wir in Plastik ertrinken ohne es überhaupt zu bemerken. Eingebettet in einer entspannten, kommerzfreien Atmosphäre mit Filmen von u.a. Surflegende Tom Curren und Musik von Sticky Fingers, Hein Cooper, The Graveltones etc. wurde dieser Tag zu einer absolut zwanglosen Entdeckungsreise. Maßlosen Konsum und die alleinige Ausrichtung auf Profit kennen wir schon von so vielen anderen Festivals, endlich mal was anderes, wo nicht die Einnahmen Kompass der Veranstaltung sind und eine Linie zwischen Unterhaltung und aktuellen Problemen gezogen werden kann.

Definitiv nächstes Jahr wieder dabei!

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Q&A: Telegram

The 5th of May was Ascension Day, it felt like the first day of summer and everyone had BBQ at the park. Except us – we were sitting in a bar next to the train tracks of the U1 interviewing Matt Saunders, the singer of UK newcomers Telegram. Later that evening the London based fourpiece would have their second German gig ever after the Munich debut the night before. Despite of the weather there was a decent amount of people who didn’t want to miss this historic event.

Telegram just released their debut album Operator in February featuring their hit single Follow amongst other rough, catchy, punkish songs. With this record they fulfilled the high expectations the debut single had set. Live on stage it wasn’t hard for them at all to recreate the unpolished sound of the record and they played a tight and fast paced set.

During our talk with Matt we got a glimpse of the creative process behind both their music and the accompanying art and visuals.

You just released your first album Operator. We noticed that it sounds almost like a live recording, very raw and unpolished. How did this decision come about to record it that way?

We recorded it on a boat down Docklands, which has a studio inside of its hull. Rory Atwell, our producer, has a quite “live” style anyway. Being a live band, we kind of wanted that energy on the album. It would have felt strange to people who have seen us play before to have a polished album, that wouldn’t feel right. When you release your first record, you’re still at a stage where you need to get people to come to your shows and check you out, so I think it should be a sample of what you’re like as a live band.

Were you consciously trying to find a middle ground between having a lot of rawness and noise on the one hand and quite catchy, accessible melodies and guitar parts on the other hand?

Yeah, you’ve got to be careful and find the right balance. When we write songs we start with an initial structure that is based on a simple melody and then we add noise and effects… I think if you start the other way around it’s not really working.
I love a lot of good pop as long as it’s real and you can believe the person that it’s coming from. As a band you are constantly told that you need to have one or two songs which will get you on the radio, which is the only way that you will get booked for festivals as well. You have to think on a different level about what you’re doing. We are trying not to let it get to us but it’s still how things work.

What are your thoughts on how the second album is going to sound like? Anything about the debut album that you want to depart from?

The first record is fast, it has a lot of pace in it. A lot of the new songs we are writing at the moment have that as well, but we don’t want to make a complete follow-up to the first record. We want it to be quite different, to be a little groovier in its tempo.

There is definitely a big consistency between your sound and your visuals. We noticed that all your music videos have the same intro for example. What’s the concept behind it?

I’ve got a VHS camera that we shot the first video for Follow on and I had a clear idea in my head how I wanted it to look. I used to work at a location for photography and film, which had two rooms with wooden panels on the walls. One was cream white and the next one was black, so we would do the same set up and click from one room to the other.
The credits in front were also made with that VHS camera. It has a controller where you can type in the credits and they come up on the TV screen, then you have to make sure that everything in the room is dark to film the TV screen. The problem is, if the thing breaks… (laughs) So I’m trying to copy all the letters so if it did happen we could just cherrypick letters digitally and pop them in … though it’s cheating a bit.

SONY DSC
Matt Saunders ©Nora Lee
Speaking of technology – you named your band Telegram and your album is called Operator. Is there a background to it, such as a retro technology theme?

Yeah, I think this aesthetic has a sort of dystopian, sci-fi theme – things like Kurt Vonnegut and J.G. Ballard, that imagery is quite attractive to me. The name “Telegram” came about four years ago, when I was looking at a newspaper which had a list of releases for record store day. I was just circling words that would be good for a band name, and there was a re-release of Telegram Sam by T-Rex. When that word came up it just felt good, satisfying in a way.
Operator was going to be called Telegram originally, which was lazy. We would always talk about calling it like a constellation or some other spacy thing… The name Operator came about because I was working on the artwork at the time and using a telephone as the basic back of the record as a theme – a telegram is being sent via a telephonic machine that you would press certain numbers on. This was maybe a day before we had to decide the title. As I was going through images of buttons on the telephone, one of them just sat staring at me, it said “Operator” and I thought “Ah, that’s perfect!” That sums up a lot of things that we’re about.

So you also did the artwork yourself?

Yeah, I went to art college for like four years and art is still a hobby of mine. I’ve also got a little studio space. For me the idea of somebody else doing the artwork is like getting another person to buy a birthday present for your girlfriend or boyfriend, giving them a couple of ideas what they’re into and then they go off and buy something for them. But if you find somebody to collaborate with that you can really trust then that’s worthwhile and I’m totally up for that. I mean there’s limits and boundaries and at some point I’ll have to get help, maybe.

Let’s talk about the lyrics a little. Do you focus on telling a story or is it more abstract…?

I imagine a lot of the lyrics are rather sentiments, as opposed to stories, in the same way that you might feel angry or upset or interested or bored or in love or whatever it is you’re feeling, and of course there is a story about it, and then I abstractly write about it.
There are so many lyrics that are just a repetition of the same themes and lines, about love or missing someone or this or that… It’s just not very original, so I try to be more abstract to make it interesting. I’m a big fan of Leonard Cohen for example. He’s really good at creating lines of abstraction, and then there is one line that is really straightforward and very simple which ties it all together and gives it a meaning, before it goes back to strangeness again.

Do you put personal experience into your lyrics as well?

Definitely. There will be one line that’s very specific to something from experience, and the next will be more of a general feeling about time, or space … it’s quite mixed up.

We read that you crowdfunded your album. Is that something you would do again?

I mean, it was really hard work but at the same time – it worked. We had a record deal with Sony but after nine months of nothing happening, it fizzled out, and then we went that way instead. Initially I was a bit skeptical, I didn’t like the idea of crowdfunding. To me traditionally, growing up, that’s not how a band puts a record out. But actually I think the simple method of a fan buying a record upfront – paying for the record before it’s been made – is a really clever way to do it, because you’re not asking for anything more than the cost of the record you would pay for anyway, it’s just reversing the order in which it happens. And if we did it with a label they would take 80% and we would have 20%, of control over things as well. All of that nonsense disappears. I would recommend it, and we would do it again.

Live: Everything Everything + Inner Tongue in Hamburg (DE), 29.11.2015

A British band that have recently released a top 10 album with two hit singles, have played Glastonbury and Jools Holland and fill big venues in their motherland? Surely they would play a bigger venue than Hamburg’s small cult club Molotow! Well, not in the case of Manchester’s finest Everything Everything, who brought sweaty dance moves to the 300 people in the sold out venue with their futuristic electro-pop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
(© S. Prahl)

Their support, too, was quite the entertaining act. Inner Tongue from Vienna captured the crowd with their dreamy and spacey electronic vibes, steady drumbeat and the thin voice of their frontman. Every song took you to a different dimension. The five-piece were so ecstatic and lost in their own music on stage that you didn’t really know where to look because so much was happening at the same time.

Also worth mentioning: the band had so much equipment and instruments that the stage was completely full and the band members had troubles getting on and off stage and to their respective instruments.

Everything Everything had a much cleaner stage plot. The quartet brought an extra keyboard and effects player who, let’s be honest here, had the time of his life on stage and danced harder than anyone in the crowd. The rest of the band were also in a good mood, welcoming the small and intimate feeling at the club as a nice alternative to the big arenas they fill in the UK. Especially singer and guitarist Jonathen Higgs was more talkative than I had expected and even cracked a joke about the weather. All in all the band really seemed to be enjoying what they were doing and that’s the best thing an audience can get (apart from all their favourite songs getting played, of course).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
(© S. Prahl)

Everything Everything played a set that didn’t leave you bored or your feet still for a second. Not only their hits like Regret, Kemosabe, Cough Cough or Spring Sun Winter Dread got the crowd going.

And not only the crowd but also the band themselves seemed to enjoy the concert in the small club. You would often catch them grinning at each other or making funny faces.

For the encore the band treated their fans with No Reptiles and the smash hit from their latest release, Distant Past. It was only shortly after that the four Manchester boys came out to hang with fans at the merch stand. It was nice to see that the band’s new rise to indie stardom hasn’t gotten to their heads.

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(© S. Prahl)

Live: Ezra Furman & The Boyfriends + The Blood Arm in Berlin (DE), 27.10.2015

Ezra Furman may have been around for a while, yet the Chicago songwriter has been one of my musical discoveries of the year. His third solo LP Perpetual Motion People (after three albums with Ezra Furman & The Harpoons), with its hit singles Restless Year and Lousy Connection, has become an unavoidable part of the indie radios everywhere, while his previous works flew a bit more under the radar. Maybe it’s because he’s lately been embracing pop music more fully, though not straying from his own brand of country-punk’n’roll completely and still valuing classic singer-songwriter skills; perhaps also because his appearance has become significantly more memorable: These days, the genderfluid musician usually performs in a dress, makeup and a pearl necklace.

I had not only fallen for his music, but also had gotten a hint of his great live shows via YouTube snippets. As a result I was looking forward to this gig like I haven’t often been doing lately. Also the support band was a treat: The Blood Arm, probably still best known for their ridiculously overplayed mid-00s hit Suspicious Character. Anyway, the LA-gone-Berlin group are relentlessly still around, and their glamorous indie-showtunes presented by exuberant frontman Nathaniel Fregoso somehow fit it remarkably with Ezra’s own extravanganza. Interestingly, the audience seemed to almost make a point of not particularly caring when they started playing their one big hit – it’s still too soon for 2000’s nostalgia, it seems. Or I just stood too far in the back to notice the diehard fans going down.

ezra 2 editAfter the support had finished, I managed to sneak up close to the front. The Lido was well full, but the crowd was a paradigm of laid-back-ness. No one pushed around or moshed – not that I mind that in general, but it was super relaxing to just direct your full attention at the stage and not at the people around you. Also, it’s probably quite obvious that Ezra Furman won’t pull a reckless dudebro audience. The petite singer, who had been seen standing in the crowd enjoying the set of his friends in The Blood Arm, looked like some punked-up forest fairy with green/blue hair and bright red lipstick, stomping, jumping and crouching across stage or into the audience, screaming out his lyrics like mad during punk-ier uptempo songs like 2013’s I wanna destroy myself or Tell them all to go to hell, or going all soft and gentle for the ballads such as Hour of deepest need. Without a doubt he was one of the most charismatic performers I’ve seen, who was able to draw the crowd in so completely that not one moment of boredom ensued. Of course, this was also thanks to his amazing backing band The Boyfriends, above all the incredible saxophonist who actually made you wonder why a saxophone is not a prerequisite of any rock band, that’s how awesome he was. But also the piano and guitar did a great service to shape Ezra Furman’s signature style, which is somewhere between anti-folk, garage punk, country and piano-pop. It was obvious that everyone was having a great time, both performers and audience, and Ezra seemed truly touched at the turnout. I was at the brink of bothering him with my feelings about this gig – one of my highlights of the year, clearly – when he was at the merch afterwards, but after his impressively long set had ended and I had collected my coat, it was already 12 o’clock on a weeknight and I had to avoid the shuttle service and go home the long way round, so I ended up not making a fool of myself this time.

LIVE: The Vaccines in Hamburg (DE), 09.10.2015

The Vaccines and Hamburg are not an easy combination. The band had to cancel their appearance at Hurricane Festival two years in a row before they debuted there in 2013. This year they also showed up at the festival and additionally played a headline tour in Germany to support their third album “English Grafitti”, which had come out earlier this year.

But before the quartet could take the stage at the swish Mojo Club on Reeperbahn, their support band Kid Wave tried to warm up the crowd. The four-piece from London needed a few songs before the crowd was feeling their music. After that there was nodding along and swinging from one feet to the other to their dreamy indie-pop with some rougher elements. What dinstinguishes this young female-fronted band from similar bands is the combination of the prominent bass guitar and the upbeat and precise drumming of their drummer, who seemed to enjoy herself the most of the band.

Kid Wave are too big to all fit in one picture ( © A. Hachmeister)
Kid Wave are too big to all fit in one picture (© A. Hachmeister)

Even though the concert didn’t sell out it got quite cramped in the basement club when The Vaccines opened their set with their first single from the new album. The crowd happily danced and sang along to Handsome and weren’t given a second to breathe as the band raced through Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra), Ghost Town and Dream Lover. All during the set, Justin Young gave proof of his frontman qualities as he put a lot of emotion and exaggeration in his facial expressions and body language.

The Vaccines were everything I had expected (© A.Hachmeister)
The Vaccines were everything I had expected (© A.Hachmeister)

The concert was basically everything you would expect from a really good concert. The band played all their many hits, such as Post Break-Up Sex, Teenage Icon, If you wanna, I always knew,  as well as a good bunch of new ones from English Grafitti,  communicated with the crowd, did a special acoustic version of No Hope and pleased the crowd with a three song encore finishing with Norgaard. Especially for this song some fans had prepared a banner saying “Are you ready, Freddie” which Justin Young threw over guitarist Freddie Cowan during the last song.

All in all it was an entirely satisfactory concert experience.

Festival Season 2015: Lunatic Festival, Lüneburg (DE)

We said we would, and so we did:

Those two of us that were spending the weekend in Lüneburg were also busy working at this year’s campus festival, which has been steadily growing every year since 2004. Therefore we weren’t able to really see any of the acts playing. But the two days (Friday and Saturday) were still enough time to realise that it’s impeccably organised (even though literally all the work is done by students of Leuphana University in Lüneburg, so props to them). It’s not even really the music that counts at this event, even though you can barely escape the beats and riffs floating over the festival grounds. There’s graffiti artists, DIY-lemonade stands, a 360° performance stage for comedy, screenprinting workshops, information tents about social and political issues and every piece of food and drink is vegetarian. Sustainability is in every corner, and that’s what counts. Even the festival merch is organic, and beautifully illustrated as well. It’s a small festival, easily overlooked, and I’m having a lot of fun simply listening to bands like Bergfilm, Carnival Youth and Balthazar from the press lounge where I’m editing my pictures between my time shooting bands on the smaller stage – the Spielwiese (lit. “play meadow”. Yes. It is a meadow. But it’s small and nice and there are no barriers in front of the stage).

We’ll simply leave you with a little gallery from the first June weekend (at which we had temperature peaks of 31°C and no rain). I’ll do my best to be shooting at Lunatic next year as well.

(Click on a picture for large view)

All photos © by S. Prahl

Live: Captain Casanova in Hamburg (DE), 19.04.2015

Last weekend, we had the honour to present our first concert with Indie Pen Dance! We had the lovely Captain Casanova playing at little Komet Bar just off the bright lights of Reeperbahn. And since a picture is worth a 100 words, we’ll leave you with the highlights in photo format…

(all pictures © S. Prahl)

Live: SoKo in Hamburg (DE), 20.03.2015

Do you ever go to a concert without any expectations? Not necessarily in a bad way, just… no expectations whatsoever. The night is a blank white page. Whatever happens, you will not see it coming.

Spread legs, not lies (© S. Prahl)

That’s how Yours Truly enters Molotow Club on a chilly Friday night, in the exact moment Parasite Single start. Tonight, they’re the support act for singer SoKo, who plays only two German dates on her European tour, this one in Hamburg. Experimental electronic beats sound from the drum computer and MacBook, but they didn’t miss to bring a guitar, too. The Hamburg-based band is excited to play and is lucky enough to look onto a packed club by the end of their set. The gig apparently sold out in the course of the evening, and I’m ready to leave right after the first three songs I’m allowed to photograph tonight – I need to be up at 6 AM on the next day.

"I can't find vegan burgers to eat here. So I'm gonna eat vegan… something else." (whispered:) "Pussyyyy." – SoKo, everyone. (© S. Prahl)
“I can’t find vegan burgers to eat here. So I’m gonna eat vegan… something else.” (whispered:) “Pussyyyy.” – SoKo, everyone. (© S. Prahl)

SoKo is actually a Polish-Russian-Italian-French lady born and raised in France named Stéphanie Sokolinski. Back when her debut album was released, she sported a hippie look with a long brown mane. As you do. Now, with her new album “My Dreams Dictate My Reality” out, along with her soft guitar sounds, the hair is gone. She’s become gradually more ‘white goth’, as she says herself – taking the stage with a dirty black-rooted blond bob, old leather jacket and red eyeshadow. And she’s so ready for this. SoKo has brought along her four-piece backup band – two guys and two gals, including her brother Max. They race through newbies like “Ocean Of Tears” and “My Precious”. In between songs, SoKo ponders on the lack of vegan burgers, legal weed in Amsterdam, and simply changes the setlist the way she wants to. Four girls have the honour to be asked to come on stage for “I Thought I Was An Alien” and animate the crowd to dance from up there – which they do, very gracefully. It is decided that an alien’s best name would be Jake.

Hair Envy: Max Sokolinski (© S. Prahl)
Hair Envy: Max Sokolinski (© S. Prahl)

This is just one of the unpredictable things SoKo likes to do on stage – before “Bad Poetry” she’d like someone to come on stage and recite poetry, later she lifts her shirt and informs us that her view on feminism is that ‘everybody should show their tits’ … when nobody but one girl volunteers to free themselves of their tops and bras and dance onstage half naked, she’s severely disappointed in the Hamburg crowd. Are we especially conservative? Who knows. Not really.

By now you might have noticed that I have, indeed, not left after the first three songs. There is no way I would miss the rest of this set just for a couple hours more sleep.

After a fun dance party for “Who Wears The Pants” (including the splits behind the synths – no biggie!) and multiple shared kisses with her bandmates, for “Lovetrap”, the singer introduces us to a virtual version of Ariel Pink – phrases recorded by the L.A.-based musician on different buttons on her drum computer. It’s maybe the most experimental duet I’ve ever witnessed.

As fun as the night starts, as melancholic it ends. SoKo’s songs get gradually slower, sadder and more quiet. During “For Marlon” she even interrupts herself and tells the bartenders collecting empty bottles to ‘shut the fuck up’. For another song, she asks her dear friend Ryan Karazija from Low Roar to come on stage and sing a song with her – their voices perfectly in harmony, and the whole room as quiet as it could possibly be.

Some dancing aliens called Jake (© S. Prahl)
Some dancing aliens called Jake (© S. Prahl)

It’s not getting any better after the encore: “Nervous Breakdown” is a short intermission with SoKo herself on the drums, while for “Keaton’s Song”, a beautiful track dedicated to fellow singer/songwriter Keaton Henson that wonderfully channels Henson’s own melancholic melodies, the bass is exchanged for a contrabass. As if we weren’t in love with the whole band enough already.

If I’d had any expectations, they would definitely have been exceeded. And for an experience like this, I happily give up part of my sleep. My last words of wisdom: Even if SoKo plays at 2 AM on a Sunday at any festival, if you’re there, go watch. You will not be disappointed.

Q&A: Cold Acid

Es ist Dienstag, als wir vor dem Pooca auflaufen. Zusammen mit zwei anderen Bands spielen Cold Acid aus Berlin heute Abend in der kleinen Bar auf dem Hamburger Berg. Die drei Jungs machen teilweise seit Schulzeiten zusammen Musik. Ihr tanz- und mitgrölbarer Indierock lässt jeden auf die Tanzfläche strömen, und das alles quasi im Selbstmanagement. Cold Kids Don’t Need Agencies, oder so. Wir landen also mit Daniel, Christopher und Eric beim Italiener, um uns bei Pizza und Bier zu unterhalten, untermalt von den ewig sich wiederholenden Klängen von “Time To Say Goodbye”. Irgendwie ironisch. Wir lernen uns doch gerade erst kennen.

Sänger Daniel, der eigentlich meistens bei Interviews nicht reden darf weil er immer Quatsch erzählt, blüht heute ganz besonders auf. In der nächsten halben Stunde erfahren wir, wie man Bandmitglieder per Bestechung rekrutiert und warum die Jungs nie mit Scooter touren würden, aber dafür gerne mal mit Helene Fischer.


IPD: Fangen wir mal von vorne an: Wie habt ihr euch überhaupt kennengelernt, seit wann gibt es euch?

Daniel: Eric und ich sind zusammen zur Schule gegangen. Ich hab damals schon Musik gemacht, seit ich 14 war, und Eric hat Schlagzeug gespielt. Immer wenn ich mit meiner damaligen Band nicht geprobt hab – weil unser Schlagzeuger sein letztes Geld für doppelt frittierte Hühnchenbrust ausgegeben hat, anstatt sich Sticks zu kaufen – haben Eric und ich dann geprobt. Wir kommen eigentlich aus Brandenburg, haben dort unsere erste Band gegründet, sind dann beruflich bedingt nach Berlin gezogen und haben unsere Band in Brandenburg verlassen. Das hatte für uns auch keine Zukunft musikalisch. Wir wollten beide weitermachen, mussten aber feststellen, dass wir keine Leute finden. Lustigerweise haben wir mit unserer alten Band auf einer Anti-Nazi-Demo gespielt, wo auch Christopher mit seiner Band gespielt hat. Der war zumindest Fan von uns, weil wir Turbonegro gecovert haben und er eine Turbojugend-Jacke anhatte. Auf der Suche nach einem Gitarristen ist Eric und mir dann nur noch Christopher eingefallen, der komischerweise sogar bei mir um die Ecke gewohnt hat. Und dann haben wir uns mal zu dritt getroffen, mit zwei Gitarren und ‘nem Schlagzeug.

Christopher: Ich wurde mehr oder weniger dazu genötigt!

Eric: Wir haben uns auf einem Konzert getroffen und haben ihm ganz viel Bier gekauft.

Christopher: Gaaanz viel Bier! Dann hieß es so: ‘Ja, du hast auch Bock auf so Schweinerock?’ Ich wurde mega abgefüllt und auf einmal hieß es: ‘Hey, hast du nicht Bock bei uns in der Band zu spielen?’

Eric: Das war der erste Abend, wo wir zu dritt unterwegs waren. Wir waren aber bei Myspace connected und haben uns auf ‘nem Hellacopters-Konzert getroffen. Und ich glaube, dann haben wir auf der Warschauer Brücke auf dem Rückweg vom Konzert darüber gequatscht.

Daniel: Auf jeden Fall haben wir dann versucht, weitere Leute für die Band zu finden, weil wir keinen kannten. Übers Internet war blöd, so ziemlich jeder, der sich da reinstellt, hat eine verzerrte Selbstwahrnehmung von sich als Musiker. Irgendwann saßen wir in einer Kneipe, schon mächtig einen im Tee, und haben gesagt: Wir haben jetzt ein Jahr lang nach ‘nem Bassisten gesucht, das geht so nicht weiter. Dann wurde halt entschieden, wer von uns Gitarre spielt. Die Wahl ist auf mich gefallen und Christopher musste sich einen Bass kaufen. Hat er dann am nächsten Tag gleich, für 70€ auf eBay.

Daniel: Beim Gesang war es dann halt so, dass jeder mal probiert und der, bei dem es am wenigsten scheiße klingt, der macht es dann halt. Vor unserem ersten Konzert hatten wir sechs eigene Nummern und wollten einfach mal gucken, wie es so wird. Und wir hatten noch nicht einmal in die Saiten gehauen, da kamen schon drei Leute an, die uns – bevor sie uns gehört hatten! irgendwelche anderen Konzerte andrehen wollten. Da waren wir dann auch ein bisschen verdutzt. Wir haben dann angefangen, noch mehr Songs zu schreiben und Demos aufzunehmen. Danach ging alles recht schnell: Mitte des Jahres haben wir nur mit einer MySpace-Seite erste Konzerte gebucht und ein Fotoshooting in einer Kita gemacht.

Christopher: Das ist echt schon fünf Jahre her.

IPD: Und dann habt ihr weiter gemacht.

Daniel: Und wollten unseren Sound verändern. Anfangs war das so Hellacopters-Rock’n’Roll-Krimskrams, aber es gab halt so viele Bands, die genauso klingen, also war es schwierig, da rauszustechen. Wir haben dann auch privat unseren musikalischen Horizont erweitert.

Christopher: Wir haben ganz viel Black Rebel Motorcycle Club und Picturebooks gehört.

Daniel: Mittlerweile sind wir wieder an dem Punkt, wo wir uns noch weiter entwickeln und ein bisschen an der Schraube drehen wollen.

Christopher: Wir haben zum Beispiel 2012 unsere erste Platte aufgenommen [‘Cold Kids Don’t Need Acid’], im Studio von The BossHoss. Das war eigentlich ‘ne ganz gute Zeit. Wenn du reinkommst, siehst du halt die goldenen Schallplatten überall und bist schon ein bisschen überwältigt. Und wir haben echt wenig bezahlt dafür, dass wir dort so professionell aufnehmen durften.

Daniel: Was uns im Wesentlichen von anderen Bands unterscheidet ist, dass wir nie so viel Geld ausgegeben haben wie alle anderen, nie Kredite aufgenommen. Wir haben immer gesagt: ‘Wir brauchen halt Zeit.’ Um eine gute Platte aufzunehmen, braucht man schon Geld, aber man braucht vor allem gute Songs. Wir arbeiten alle noch nebenbei und stecken schon so echt viel Geld in die Band, da müssen wir nicht auch noch einem relativ Fremden Geld in den Hals stecken. Letztendlich trauen wir eigentlich überhaupt keinem.

IPD: Habt ihr mal über Crowdfunding nachgedacht?

Christopher: Bevor wir die Platte rausgebracht haben, gab es  zwei Angebote von Indie-Labels, aber wir dachten, wir können das alleine genauso schaffen. Wir haben in drei Jahren 150 Konzerte gespielt, in Österreich, Tschechien und Deutschland. Wir haben selber Konzerte gebucht, selber die Platte pressen lassen, und die Releaseparty organisiert in einem Club, wo 180 Leute reinpassen. Im Endeffekt haben da über 200 Leute Eintritt für bezahlt. Wir haben selber Plakate geklebt, auf der ganzen Warschauer Straße, und es hat sich ausgezahlt! Wir brauchen keine Agentur, kein Label, jedenfalls nicht jetzt. Irgendwann kommt aber der Punkt, dass du den nächsten Schritt gehen willst, z. B. vier Wochen am Stück auf Tour sein und irgendwann Zeit für ein Album haben. 2011, 2012 und 2013 haben wir jedes Wochenende gespielt, einfach um präsent zu sein.

IPD: Wie weit seid ihr mit eurer zweiten Platte jetzt?

Daniel: Wir sind, wie gesagt, dabei, uns musikalisch ein bisschen zu verändern. Letztendlich muss man abwägen, was wir für Möglichkeiten haben für die Platte. Ich glaube nicht, dass wir diesmal total viel Geld dafür ausgeben werden. Alle Leute in Agenturen machen nichts anderes als wir: telefonieren, E-Mails rausschicken… dafür braucht man sich nicht in Agenturen einkaufen. Uns geht’s jetzt erst mal darum, Demos zu veröffentlichen, die uns musikalisch wirklich weiterbringen.

Christopher: Wir haben ja schon bei der ersten Platte gesagt, dass uns eigentlich jemand fehlt, der daneben sitzt und sagt, wo wir noch was verändern können. Wir haben aber schon Demos aufgenommen und Ideen gesammelt. Da geht was.

Daniel: Es wird von uns ja auch nicht erwartet, jedes Jahr ein Album rauszubringen. Wir sind jetzt auch keine Band, die, wenn einer grad mal keinen Bock hat, sich sofort auflöst.

IPD: Gibt es andere Bands aus Berlin, die ihr im Moment gut findet?

Daniel: I Like Ambulance.

Christopher: Stop Eating Robots! Ich persönlich mag sehr Coogans Bluff. Es gibt aber keine Berliner Band, die so gut zu uns passt, dass ich mir vorstellen kann, mit denen auf Tour zu gehen.

IPD: Mit welchen Bands würdet ihr denn gerne mal touren?

Daniel: Ich glaube, das wäre jede Band. Einfach jede.

Christopher: Du willst doch nicht sagen, dass du mit jeder Band touren würdest. Mit Scooter zum Beispiel würde ich nicht touren.

Daniel: Na klar würdest du.

Christopher: Vielleicht würde ich’s wirklich machen!

(alle lachen)

Daniel: Aber nur fürs Geld dann.

IPD: Angenommen du kriegst kein Geld und dürfest dir eine Band aussuchen?

Daniel: Wenn ich jetzt zum Beispiel mit Black Rebel Motorcycle Club touren könnte, wüsste ich, dass ich jeden Abend eine geile Show sehen würde. Ob die Typen nett sind oder nicht, kann keiner wissen, aber ich würde sie trotzdem mega gut finden für eine Tour.

Eric: Bei Black Rebel wäre ich auch dabei, die Tour spiele ich mit. Ich wäre aber zum Beispiel auch bei den Arctic Monkeys dabei.

Christopher: Ich würde gerne mit Cloud Nothings touren… Blood Red Shoes… Brody Dalle… Ich möchte mit Brody Dalle touren. Ich lege mich fest.

Daniel: Ich würde auch mit Helene Fischer touren, wenn sie die O2 World voll macht. Vor 17.000 Leuten? Natürlich. Weil du Musiker bist und in deinem Leben nie die Chance hättest, sonst so viele Leute zu erreichen.

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Heute Abend spielen die Jungs nicht vor 17.000 Leuten. Eher vor 17. Als die ersten beiden Bands durch sind, ist die Mehrheit der Gäste schon weg, aber das hindert Cold Acid nicht daran, trotzdem eine großartige Rockshow abzuliefern. Inklusive Drummerwechsel und Medley aus den besten Indie-Hits der Nullerjahre. Und wer vom Publikum übrig geblieben ist, bereut es ganz bestimmt nicht, noch länger geblieben zu sein.

(all photos © S. Prahl)

Live: The Fat White Family in Hamburg (DE), 05.02.2015

“I’m curious if they’re actually gonna show up; the last five times they cancelled” / “I hear they do striptease on stage?” / “I tried to listen to them…” – there’s all kinds of things you hear when you’re about to enter a Fat White Family show. Least of all, people tell you that it’s gonna be really loud. But that matters the least, to be honest.
Not everyone was as surprised as Yours Truly… (© S. Prahl)
Not everyone was as surprised as Yours Truly… (© S. Prahl)

This very Thursday evening, the London six-piece is actually playing, eleven songs altogether, and if you only avert your eyes from the stage a second at song number two (“Raining In Your Mouth”), frontman Lias Saoudi’s shirt is already off. Well then. It is pretty hot in the club, I’ll give him that, but bassist Joe Pancucci couldn’t care less: he keeps sporting his fur hat from beginning to the bitter end.

Brothers in bands do work out: Nathan Saoudi (© S. Prahl)
Brothers in bands do work out: Nathan Saoudi (© S. Prahl)
While Lias pretty much makes this gig a one-man show – jumping in the crowd, staring audience members down, losing his mic stand, pushing his hand down his pants – the other five lads do their thing. The amount of smoke on stage makes it pretty hard to see, let alone photograph, anything anyway.
Frontman Lias might have said “We’re from New York!” in the middle of the show – which, as we all know, is not true. And if he really did it was one of the few times any of the people on stage actually talked. Looking at Lias, one might mistake him for a very messy lovechild of Alice Cooper and Noel Fielding. With moves like Jagger, no less.
It’s all less crazy than you’d expect from a critically acclaimed young band, at least a lot less crazy than the stories I’ve heard from former London gigs, but then again the club wasn’t as full as it could have been. In contrast, the Berlin show a day before had been sold out. But let’s be real here, next time the Fat Whites are back, they’ll have a much bigger audience to play for (that is, if they actually show up).
Right now, the boys have sallied forth on the NME Awards Tour, which will most likely be the most chaotic to date. The Fat White Family will play amongst the biggest young troublemakers in British indie right now: The Amazing Snakeheads, Slaves and Palma Violets. Let’s hope they will all return from this adventure.
At least he kept his trousers on this time. (© S. Prahl)
At least he kept his trousers on this time. (© S. Prahl)