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NICE BOYS DON´T PLAY ROCK´N´ROLL – that´s the motto to which the Austrians Niki - guitar, vocals, Arne - lead guitar, Rio – bass, Paul – drums have committed themselves. Their loud dirty Rock´n´Roll / Punk mixture spiced up with juicy lyrics has such cool ear candy quality, so that we just have to present this band to you here. A meeting in Klagenfurt, Austria, didn´t work out, but that hardly matters thanks to modern technology – a web-chat with Nik and Rio feels almost like a face-to-face talk. Moreover, the author was spared an additional translation from Austrian Southern Slang to Standard German ;)
Who are you – please introduce yourselves a bit, e.g. who or what was responsible back then to touch a guitar/microphone/drumsticks? Rio: We are THE LOVE GUNS from hicksville Klagenfurt. Nik: Four guys from a backwater town who semi-autobiographical spill it all out; other people perhaps think it´s the meaning of life. Gutter poetry… Rio: ... of the narcissistic kind. But if you want hard facts, The Love Guns are Nik (voc., git.), Rio (b), Arne (git.) and nowadays Paul (dr.). Our previous drummer Joey chose the American Dream and is now busy nine to five. (both display a big grin)
What are you doing besides music – that means your ”real” jobs, hobbies etc? Rio: We basically try to push our plan through, in every aspect. Jobs in a traditional meaning do not exist here. Only Arne has a ”real” job. Nik: We tried nine to five, didn´t work! Since February I´m once again unemployed, that means skating, the guys, music, and there´s no room left for more! Rio: Don´t get us wrong here, we all are very busy to make ends meet, but it´s all on a DIY basis.
Your first experience as musicians – when how where have you played live for the first time (Kindergarten, at school)? Rio: puhh... be grateful you are talking to „the brain“ - Sept 17, 1997, in a tiny bar, was over-crowded, but still a crap-gig Nik: My first gig was in `92, but had nothing to do with Rock´n´Roll – I´ve had a classical trombone training, for 11 years. Rio: 11 years? Are you nuts? Nik: „blow me, blow me like the wind...“
When did you start making music together, how did you meet and start the band? Rio: Just like any good story ours begins in a bar, or better behind a bar – probably the most fucked-up place that Klagenfurt had to offer for a couple of years. A bar without rules, and this was the way to get The Love Guns started. Nik was running that bar back then, which supported our consumption of beverages quite a lot. Nik: I´d ran the bar still today, but my license was pulled after several(!) curfew violations. Hey, that place was the big-city gossip in such backwater town. The only place in Klagenfurt where you could drink 10 beers on a Wednesday, without being labeled an alcoholic. Rio: Since February 2010, when the bar business ended, we began to play live as a band.
What´s the story behind the band name? Nik: The name might be a combination of a back then fully evolved single-ego and Gene Simmons´ wise words…. However, ”back then” doesn´t mean that we aren´t still sexually active - very active... Klaudia. (laughs)
Your inspiration, influences? Rio: There are many, certainly, but I think everybody has their own; I for myself can say that as mere 10-year-old I was really flattened by G´N´R „Appetite for Destruction“ and Nirvana´s „Bleach“, and I think nothing can top that experience any more. Nik: I´m rather from the Punk genre, I thin the first CDs I bought were The Offspring´s „Smash“, Fool´s Garden´s „Dish of the Day“ and a Motörhead live recording. My punk roots with bands like Gang Green or Reproach are still present and were developed further into the Glamrock-genre with Mötley Crue and Skid Row. Backyard Babies have been my absolute faves for a long time, too. Rio: Fool´s Garden? Come on... When talking about music I´m listening to now, it´s naturally those bands that never age or die that dominate my stereo…
Those two songs on your website (Dirty Sweet, Emotional Whore) and the video „One for the team“ – what´s the story, something that actually happened or fiction? Nik: A lot that actually happened, with a R´n´R attitude. Everybody who had been part of bar talks until 4 am should know that you sometimes have to overshoot the mark for about 30% to tell a real good story. And that´s the case with our lyrics. You have to make sure that everybody knows that we have indeed balls.
How do you create your lyrics? Nik: As mentioned, those songs were inspired by life, just shaped into a certain super pursuit mode. Rio: Sometimes a punch line is everything we need, a statement that pops up at the bar, and if we still remember it the following day it´s probably worth to be written down.
Where have you recorded the songs / the video? Rio: Our 11 tracks were recorded and mixed at Stress Studios in Graz by Tom Zwanzger. Nik: The mastering was done at Principal Studios in Münster by Marco Perdacher. Rio: The video happened more or less as a joke, I thought after being together as a band for one year, our first shows, the album etc it would be sexy to edit some footage. The camera should not have been with us all the time all in vain.
You mentioned a demo, and 2 tracks are released on your website – but is there more of The Love Guns, on a CD? Rio: As mentioned, we prepared a full album with 11 tracks, but we put only 4 on a demo. Why? No idea. There are several songs available via several websites. Live our ´one finger salute´ song is quite popular. Nik: It just happened, but it is OK – and how it´s back to the studio, recording, re-recording … Rio: :... overdubbing Nik: overdubbing. ... There´s a lot to do in the near future, and a new full length album plus a lot of gigs are part of it, just like mustard at a barbeque.
How are your songs available – as downloads only or can people order CDs directly from you? Nik: There´s a lot available via internet, the usual music websites, or else at our shows, or write to us. We still (!) reply personally to every message. And naked, most of the time, as it adds to the wordflow (laughs) ((nice to have Skype+webcam… the author))
Where is your rehearsal place – and how did you get it? In my experience it´s not that easy in (Southern) Austria... and surely you have problems with your neighbours? Rio: Yeah, we got one. Yeah, it´s downtown and No, no-one is pissing in our backyard!
What´s your view of the situation for Rock/Metalbands in Southern Austria – is it better or worse than „back then“, and has the local government closed down all youth centers, Rock-Metalbars/venues already, or are still some left? Nik: It´s worse than in the late 90s, but I think you can still make it if you really work hard. You just need to realize that you better leave the tiny mountain village as fast as you can and reach for the horizon. You´ll slowly rot away if you just stay at home! Rio: I think it´s still pretty shitty just like back then, things didn´t get any easier – but no more of that, next question?
What´s the scene in (Southern) Austria like nowadays – is everything still working mainly on a band-DIY / exchange gig basis? Rio: The scene is a bitch. There are exchange gigs, but there´s more envy than cooperation basis. Nik: That is the reason why we no longer organize shows – nothing came in return and we were left with all the work and a pissed-off venue owner, because some still prefer beer in cans to this typical luke-warm event-beer in a plastic cup. Quite understandable, but for us it means no money, no bandexchange... Rio: ... but the party was cool, so perhaps we should give it another try.
Which genre is now the most popular in Austria? Back then it was Death Metal/Grind... Rio: That´s something I´d like to know myself, as I´ve had no interest in genres since ´ 94 (grins) I just keep an eye on my friends´ bands, e.g. DeeCracks or Boysclub. Indie, emo, pop-punk or whatever, i don´t give a rat´s ass! Nik: At the moment it´s definitely the electronic music, drum and bass and some Pop-remixes and all this TV show casting crap. I miss those times when local bands like Beatbrats, Redlightsflash, Sedirity, Rotten Rooters... Rio: ... Störsender Nik: ... and Sick of Silence were quite popular. And you could be sure that you´ll meet all your friends at the Terrorgruppe gig. But hey,... we got a plan...
Are you dreaming of a record deal? Nik: Not at the moment, we want to focus on our album, live shows and selling our merch there, and the rest... what goes around comes around. Rio: Right!
If yes, which slogan would you create to sell yourselves? Nik: Beware, hot and greasy (laughs) Rio: I could quote Rose Tattoo here, but I better don´t do that.
Your plans for 2012 – summer festivals, tour, demo? Nik: We are planning a tour in Spain and in Switzerland and we are writing new songs, therefore new stuff is coming. Rio: There´s a lot to do, the album and playing live are our priorities, so check out our website for the latest news: www.theloveguns.com
How important do you think is a label deal nowadays – because “it´s all working via internet anyway” …. Rio: I see it that way, too, the internet empowers DIY a lot, but when indeed the dream label offers a dream contract…. however, how many majors are still there, and do you really wanna get involved there? The Love Guns on the same label with Katy Perry or what´s the name of all these people … no fuckin´ way. Nik: We´re going with David Hasselhoff!
... e.g. reverbnation – is this now “the new myspace”? Rio: You can find us anywhere, I think, or it doesn´t really matter. Reverbnation, myspace,... the replacement of the replacement, there´s always something new popping up.
So how important is myspace for a band nowadays? Rio: It was extremely important in its role as pioneer, nowadays I rather use the competitors. There are still promoters who insist on a myspace-link, I guess they have to show more flexibility.
Your best / worst live show – what happened? And how was the Harley Davidson Bike-Week? It´s a pretty “special” audience to be found there … how did you get this slot? Rio: Every Gig is the best, because the chemistry on stage is simply great. Except the first show, that one was – let´s say a bit overboozed. The Harley meeting showcase happened out of nowhere – my telephone rang and a Whisky-voice a la Lemmy Kilmister said: “Hi, this is…. from Hell´s Angels club, I heard that etc etc...“ - strange but true. Nik: Everyone in the band loves to rock and get it all out, and when the audience catches fire, too, it´s perfect. But we always have fun playing, in the rehearsal room as well as on stage.
What are your dreams, expectations, hopes for 2012? Rio: New album, a lot of live gigs, no drama! Nik: just give me somethin´ of the rock n roll clichè, honey!
... famous last words?
have you seen this bird?
Who wants to shoot should just do it, not talk about it!
Author: Klaudia Weber, photos: Band Date: 2012-03-01