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You are looking for German language Alternative-Rock? Music with soul and intelligent lyrics? And it should sound cool, too? No problem! Stalker found the answer right at river Main. Before their new CD ‚Revolution‘ release party we hooked up with front man Claudio and plain-talked with him and the other guys.
Great to meet you, finally. The soundcheck took a bit more time? Claudio: Yes, there were problems with the microphone, but I hope we solved them.
You played 4 concerts on this tour, now it´s home audience again. What was it like so far? Claudio: It´s great, and we enjoy being back in Germany (laughs). Also because the way to the concert place isn´t so far for us all.
It is another tour with a German language Rekorder album. Before that you made lyrics in English. Why did you change that, what was the reason? Claudio: It was in mid 90s, back then I had an English speaking Punkband – Stereo. At some point I auditioned for another band that I really liked. And they made German lyrics. Although the lyrics were already there, it was difficult for me in the beginning. It took half a year, and I went to the rehearsals every week, I tested and compared, and then realized: Hey that´s cool... somehow much cooler. You need some time to identify with the music.
Your new album title is ‚REVOLUTION´. Is there one coming up or is it happening already? Claudio: Basically it is "our" revolution, as we see it and how it could be. It is more or less a cross section of what we have seen and lived through. A real revolution can be happening any time, but we don´t want to start one. It is the revolution of the main character who struggles through life and shows that everybody has to decide for him/herself, if one wants a revolution and is ready to do the first step.
It doesn´t have to be a big revolution, it could happen in the daily social environment. It is basically alrealy revolutionary if one decides to become elderly care nurse. This is a unloved and tough job, especially in these times, everybody sits at a computer or works part-time. It is part of a revolution to say "somebody has to do that. We need people for that, therefore I do it." And I think this is somewhat revolutionary.
You often use the term protagonist - your favorite word? Claudio: You have to be careful, not that people think that HE thinks that and it happened to HIM. Protagonist expresses that the lyrics do not totally mirror our lives.
Your lyrics deal with society and recent topics, don´t they ? Claudio: The reason was the installment of study fees. I life in Nordend close to FH, and there people protested in the streets. This was the inspiration for the song ‚REVOLUTION´ and the idea to continue with that topic. Thomas: What might be important: Although the inspiration was in political issues, but first we were scared to be put into a political corner. We want to bring something up but don´t want to send people rioting in the streets. You should analyse it from a distance, and it´s great that everybody can listen to the album and pick a personal part of it. It´s not palatable or political.
have you been in the streets and protesting against something, or were you on strike? Claudio: Yes, at the demo against study fees.
How did you come up with the‚EISBÄR´ Cover? The original is not quite from your generation Claudio: (smiles) Well, perhaps from mine. I thought about this cover version some years ago. But it never fitted on a record. But it had developed over the years and when we wrote the songs for the new album, I thought it might fit there.
Which music you listen to in the tour bus? (All laugh out loud.) Synchronously: Basically none. Volker: You have to explain that our bus is a treat with everything you could wish for. And you should expect that everything works. But the CD player has not been working from the very start. Therefore we listen to our own music on MP3-Players, have no music at all or to the radio. And listening again to the radio after such a long absence, I´m appalled about the bullshit played there Claudio: Especially how often the same song is played all the time. Within only a few hours you hear e.g. Shania Twain for the third time, and other stuff. One exception is the Rockland-Radio. They also play exceptional stuff, but you can listen to it unfortunately only in Rheinland Pfalz.
OK, so I try another way, what would you be listening to, if...? Claudio: I get it, I should reveal something. There´s the new Foo Fighters... I have to say that we are so different in tastes. I have just arrived at the songwriter level. Tobi is a Seattle fan and likes Queens of the Stone Age and such.Volker isn´t that heavy and likes the Beatsteaks. Thomas listens a lot Electro. In our rehearsal room we play stuff to each other, and recently we had for example a lot of Deichkind.
Finally, what would you like to tell our readers? Claudio: go and see gigs of smaller bands! And even if you don´t know them. There are so many cool bands, but people rather prefer to go to a shop to buy the new ‚Bon Jovi´, instead buying the album of a smaller band. They perhaps just download their stuff. This understanding for smaller bands has to come back. You just tell yourself that "I don´t need the 25th REM CD but rather buy something of a band I don´t know that well, but listened to a bit via myspace." This network is basically a chance for everybody to be introduced to new bands and their music, before to buy the album. I do that like this, too. I listened to several bands and thought, wow what´s that? and sometimes bought the album right away online, as those were not available in the shop anyway. Those came straight from the US. And in that way the issue of exploration is a lot of fun!
OK, thank you for this interview and good luck!
Author: + photos: Cindy Bansemer / Eric Schreiner, transl. K. Weber Date: 2008-06-05