Before they stick to their word and never ever give interviews again, STALKER managed to meet Jari Alterrmatt (Vocals, Gitarre) and Steve Valentin (Drums), who form with Evelyne Monney (Bass, Vocals) the band Navel. Quickly, when they found some time between touring with Queens Of The Stone Age and festival dates, after a video shoot and recording their debut ‚Frozen Souls’.
How did you two meet?
Jari: I´m the last one from the original line up. Steve came to us a year ago, and that happened via Andi, our old drummer. Steve, you have to tell that yourself.
Steve: I´ve been living in Germany back then and I wanted to go back, but I had to give up my job for that. I knew Andi, and because I liked him I called him and asked if he doesn´t want to take over my job. And that was a quite good job. When I came back later I heard that he quits in his band. He talked to me and asked if I felt like playing drums in this band. So we simply tried, and it worked out fine.
You´ve been touring with Queens of the Stone Age last autum. How come?
Jari: That was arraged by our label ouisville-records eingefädelt. A contact person from them wrote to Josh that Navel – some guys from Switzterland - would like to support them in Germany. He listened to our stuff and said: „OK – NAVEL IS A GO!“
Is there something special connecting you with this tour and the guys ?
Jari: (lauchs) Well, I´ve never eaten so many lobsters.
And nothing about drinks?
Jari: We´ve been out together for a drink only once, in Hamburg. But we used this time for several nice chats with the guitar player. He talked a lot about those desert sessions they did before.
You played more than 150 concerts and play a headliner tour now. What has happened so far?
Jari: It is our second headliner tour and (Jari giggles) there are always 5 people more than last time. I think this is because we always play with a local support act now (Steve laughs).
‚Is it you‘ on the new album ‚FROZEN SOULS‘ sounds a bit like ‚Cemetary‘ of Silverchair. A coincidence? One is born on a cemetary and the other one lives there. And it´s also the 6th song on Silverchair´s ‚Freakshow‘ Album.
Jari: This is a coincidence, but we heard that quite often.
Which bands have influenced you in your musical career?
Jari: Among others Sonic Youth. Evelyne is rather into Doom. Stoner and sinister.
Steve, do you have any drum idols?
Steve: Not really idols, but Dave Grohl and John Bonham are great drummers. John Bonham is unfortunately no longer with us.
Which albums you are listening to right now?
Steve: The new one of Black Mountain is my most recent purchase. That´s really good.
Jari: Just a moment (Jari runs over to the tour bus and comes back with several CDs) ‚Neil Young’, ‚Killed by 9V Batterys’, ‚Kissogram’ – they are also at Louisville, ‚White Stripes’ and many more. Ok that was the answer.
You played with Wolfmother, Turbonegro, Eagles of Death Metal and other bands. So have you befriended some of those?
Steve: Rather not. Some big band rather locks themselves up in the toilet and declares it as their private territory, as we had to find out.
Jari: With ‚Killed by 9V Batterys’ we indeed became friends. It´s simply the case that this rather works out with smaller bands, the big ones disappear pretty soon right after the show. With ‚Eagles of Death Metal’, however, we hang out backstage and had a lot of fun. Brian O’Connor had a big leather glove and we took pictures of his hand. He has pretty big hands (Jari tries to demonstrate) Those could be seen already on a PJ Harvey cover.
Finally, in your own words, with a song from your new album: ‚so much left to say’. What do you want to tell our readers ?
(Jari sings) ‚Keep on rocking’.
Jari: We want to tell you that MTV Germany sucks and that we try to make MTV real ‚Music Television’ again (Jari quotes: Eat the rich...we kill you all!) And we want that national and international radio stations play 7 minutes songs again and not only chart hits!
Good luck for the tour and thanks for the interview! Author: Cindy Bansemer, transl. K. Weber, photos: Cindy Bansemer, Eric Schreiner Date: 2008-05-18