Even an initial antipathy couldn’t stop Stereo Dynamite, hailing from the South of Germany, to start making music together. The band’s first EP We Are Dynamite was released last year and just recently, the Melodic Hardcore heroes returned from a tour with the Brits Templeton Pek. In the following, the three guys introduce themselves to you: Matze and Fabi, you have the floor!
As is right and proper for a Fresh Act, could you please introduce yourselves first. What are your names, what are your day jobs and what did you have for breakfast today? Matze: Servus, we are Stereo Dynamite from Freiburg/Tübingen and play Melodic Hardcore. Band members are Fabi, Gäschi and my humble self, Matze. Our day jobs are at the moment, being students. But Gäschi and I have this graphic design agency, which is still in its infancy and Fabi makes some money with his still-in-its-infancy-being booking agency. I didn’t have breakfast today! Fabi? Fabi: In its infancy??? Pha… (laughing). I like to sleep late but also work till late at night, therefore … no breakfast….
There isn’t much to learn about your band history (at least not from your band homepage). So, I guess, you have to reveal here and now, how and when you first met Matze: We have known each other for some time by sight. Fabi played in a local band, Gäschi and I in another. So, we knew each other before, and, to be honest, we have to admit that we didn’t like each other very much at the beginning :) But, as we went along, this changed and one day we decided, over the phone, to form this new combo. Actually pretty unspectacular. Fabi: Do we like each other now??? (laughing again)
Now to your music, if I describe your style, broadly, as Emo, will you threaten me with beating? Matze: I think it’s a pity that this genre is nowadays so ill-reputed. There are definitely EMO-tional parts in our music. On the other hand, what kind of music isn’t emotional; except maybe that “I do techno at home on my iPhone” stuff. I’d like to describe our music rather as Melodic Hardcore. It has lots of emotions ranging from hate over pain to the beautiful moments in life. It’s a healthy balance, I would say. So, you avoided the beating after all ;-)
Some of your songs reminded me of My Chemical Romance, before they became famous and commercial… do they also belong to your musical influences? Matze: I do have a Chemical Romance record at home, but I’m sure you’re not referring to The Black Parade. I didn’t listen to the album very much, I do like them, though but I don’t really see them as idols. For me, an idol is more the music and not so much the people who make it. And that’s for me bands like Boysetsfire, Comeback Kid, Snitch (CH) and you wont believe it but also Frank Turner. Fabi: Nicely said. I agree in principle – with the difference that I would like to add a little Rise Against.
Even though, MCR are not your idols, could you imagine to go for a similar theatrical overall concept ;) Matze: Good idea! We urgently need some funny stage outfits :) No, seriously now, I don’t think that our music goes into a direction where it would work via theatrics. This would require a lot, the music would have to fit, the atmosphere, the club etc. At the moment, we are not there yet!
You already revealed your musical influences earlier, but how don’t you want to become/sound? Or with whom don’t you want to be compared? ;) Matze: We don’t want to sound like…mmh very hard, I don’t want to end up like Linkin Park who are brought to the stage, separately, in a limo, play and are then “evacuated” again. That’s horrible… we certainly don’t want to be compared to them. Fabi: Absolutely. For me, a band works more likel a family, friendship is indispensable. It surely is everything but easy when you spent too much time with each other but, on the other hand, that’s exactly what makes it so compelling. And the challenge to learn how to deal with it.
Tell us a bit about the production of your EP We Are The Dynamite. How long did it take, what were the biggest hurdles and what the happiest moments. Matze: The production went rather quickly. I mailed some ideas, Gäschi recorded his drum ideas, Fabi added his bass and refined everything. The lyrics really saw the light of day only in the studio. The final touches were also added in the studio, and this was it. The recordings themselves went pretty quickly, too. We ran a little bit out of time because, for our first gig, we wanted the EP to be ready in any case. The biggest hurdle was that Fabi, due to family problems, only had a teeny-tiny time window that spontaneously opened and closed. But, in the end, it all worked out. The happiest moments were when we got the demo tapes one day before our first show and then, when we stood on stage at the Dürer Kert in Budapest and stroke up the first song, this one girl was already singing along. One has to add that we only had released the single Antidote before. A beautiful moment!
There are five tracks on the EP, could you give a short summary about what every song is about? Matze: The CD is a concept EP, meaning the stories build upon each other.
- Antidote: Little Naomi lives with her parents. She has big plans, want to see the world later and play with her friends outside. But her parents want to keep her small, they don’t want her to achieve her dreams because their dreams didn’t come true either. One night the situation gets out of control, and Naomi runs away from home.
- Sin: Naomi is now attending school and is terrorised by one of her schoolmates until he’s fed up with being ignored.
- Leave your attitude here: One of Naomi’s long-time friends, who already made her appearance in Antidote, jeopardises their friendship because she now has a boyfriend who doesn’t give her any space for her friends.
- Until you'll Go away: Naomi has entered the working world and now has to stand up to her boss. A conflict between conscience and career.
- Drop the Gun: Pregnant Naomi is waiting at home for her boyfriend, who, armed with a weapon, has to defend a country that isn’t his. Will he return? :-)
Alright, this probably sounds very gloomy but you will realise that, when you read the lyrics, that the main message of the EP is hope. She never gives up and achieves her goals that she set for herself, despite all those huge obstacles that appear to be insurmountable.
What piece took the longest until it was done? Matze: Hard to say, because we were in such a hurry, everything went very rapidly. I think Leave Your Attitude, generally, took the longest to record.
What piece turned out especially well, in your opinion? Matze: I find that Leave Your Attitude turned out best. Almost on the same level as Antidote. Fabi: I absolutely concur, however, I have also grown very fond of Drop The Gun.
I noticed that there isn’t any ballad-like song on the record. Is this something you’re not interested in doing or can we maybe expect one in the future? Matze: Well, we consider Until You’ll Go Away almost as a ballad. In principle, I have nothing against ballads, there’s only the question to what extent this makes sense in our music. With us, the lyrics are very important, and when something is sad, when something makes me angry, then I prefer to shout it out loud than to play the diva.
Are you already working on a full-length studio album? Matze: There aren’t any concrete plans at the moment, the only thing we know is that we do want to record one some day. We, of course, write new material, play a couple of new songs at gigs and that’s how it will continue for the time being until we have enough material at our disposal. For now, the most important thing for us is to play as many gigs as possible. Fabi: One has to appreciate that a band, at the beginning of their career, is subject to huge changes. The first 15-20 songs show a more than broad musical spectrum and the sound changes a lot faster than with ‘older’ bands who have played together for years. For this reason, I think the EP approach is much more efficient because you simply can’t go to the studio with new songs for an album three times a year.
Could you quickly describe how you write songs in general. Matze: I already said a few words about it earlier: I record song ideas on my computer at home, then I send them to Gäschi and Fabi (who lives in Tübingen). The drummer programmes some basic drumming over it, then the bass is added and last but not least, I work on the guitars again. Fine-tuning is done in the rehearsal room. This has worked pretty well so far.
Yo were also on tour, in March with Templeton Pek (UK). How did this liaison come about?Matze: Fabi? :-) Fabi: A musician never tells… (laughing). Briefly, through the right people in the right moment and a little bit of luck. And, of course, a lot of talent… (laughing)
On your website, there’s also a note about a “We are the Dynamite BOOK“, what’s that all about? Matze: It’s a book that visually echoes the lyrics of the concept EP. It’s available at our gigs, it’s worth a look!
If a fairy would drop by now to fulfil you three wishes (for your music career), what would those three wishes be? Matze: Gigs, gigs, gigs. I don’t want to be given anything for free because people who do usually don’t appreciate their craft and, in many cases, disappear very quickly from the scene. I’m more the guy who sets goals for himself, achieves them and then sets new ones. It’s motivating and fun. If my three wishes would be: I want to make money with our music, attract thousands of fans to every show and never have to set up our equipment ever again, where’s the motivation for achieving new goals? Fabi: Continue going on tour with this carnival club. Besides that only minor things like money and fame…
Thanks for the interview and good luck for your future. Matze: No, thank you. Fabi: Check our tourdates, we look forward to seeing you on tour.
Author: Kathleen Gransalke, Photos: Band Date: 2012-04-01