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Stoneman - Broken hearts and broken hands

Stoneman are one of the few bands that made it also outside of Switzerland. The glam rock band is known for songs like “Devil in a Gucci dress” and “Wer ficken will, muss freundlich sein” [Who wants to fuck has to be nice]. We met and chatted with this charming band the morning before their Trash Fest gig in Helsinki. Here´s what you get when Swiss are among themselves and an interview turns into a coffee party.

How are you today?
Dave Snow How we are?
Rico H Super
Dave Snow Super, awesome, the bomb, as fit as never before and I have to say I slept very well, relaxed, but no, just great (everyone laughs)
Mikki Chixx I´d rather go home than play
Dave Snow We have to prepare ourselves for the gig still

Is this your first time in Finland?
Mikki Chixx Yes, strangely enough.

How do you like it?
Dave Snow It´s like Altstädten (everyone laughs)
Rico HIt´s actually like all the other countries we´ve been to
Mikki Chixx Yep, exactly, it´s just about the same
Dave Snow Well, to be honest, everyone said that Helsinki and Finland are so beautiful but, sorry, it´s not that beautiful, no, sorry, I expected a lot more. Somehow more like a Mega-City and so, but it really is somehow like Altstädten.
Mikki Chixx It´s like the other 30 countries we´ve been to in the last two years, it´s always the same
Dave Snow And everyone said that it´s more expensive but actually it isn´t that much, it´s like in Switzerland, unfortunately!
Mikki Chixx Yes, and I would have been happy if it had been a bit more expensive (everyone laughs)
Rico H Not really, I think the clubs are similar wherever you go and a gig in a club is also always the same
Mikki Chixx The club here is really nice
Dave Snow Yes, it is nice, yep

How did the collaboration with Mama Trash come about?
Mikki Chixx We were on tour with Wednesday 13 and he recommended us to her and then she contacted us and now we´re part of the Mama Trash family, still!
Mr. Fly As long as we haven´t started playing!
Mikki Chixx Our behavior has been disastrous already but it wasn´t enough yet, we´re still in and are allowed to play.
Rico H It´s not always like that, there have been many shows where we got kicked out before the gig
Dave Snow But nowadays everything seems to be very professional and that´s megacool
Rico H We´re still in line with those fruitcakes.

Could you tell us a little bit about the history of Stoneman?
Mikki Chixx &Dave Snow Oh dear.
Mikki Chixx I broke my hand yesterday,
Rico H Who did you beat up?
Mikki Chixx Well, someone from another band, they all look the same.
Mikki Chixx Tell us a little bit about you.

It´s not about me.
Dave Snow Well, there isn´t much to tell. We started about three or four years ago and gave it our all from the beginning on.

A meteoric rise in this case?
Dave Snow Yes, like crazy, we played a lot of music and made a lot of sounds.
Mikki Chixx Please, ask us things like our favorite color and stuff like that…

Oh yes, the editors also suggested to publish this interview in Swiss-German, so we can do this as well.
Mikki Chixx Really…will you type it in Swiss-German?
(Chixx imitates someone from Basel because he thinks I speak with a Basel dialect.)
Jä und ä i ha welle säge eh Baseldeutsch, eh loss e mol Läckerlihuus jä jä jä

So let´s continue...

You´re just recording your new album, can you tell us a bit about the production and how everything is going?
Dave Snow Yep, we´re writing, and recording. How? This is something, a chef doesn´t give away his recipes either.
Rico H Yes, he does! Jamie Oliver writes books!

Between ourselves, you can tell me, can´t you?
Mikki Chixx (points to Dave´s scarf which he holds like two pompoms in his hand) What are you doing with those thingies?
Dave Snow I want to be a cheerleader now and those are my pompoms (everyone laughs)
Mikki Chixx What was the question?
Dave Snow Something about sounds...

About the album. How far are you and what can we expect?
Dave Snow Hmm, how far...we are all cooking something up somehow
Mikki Chixx Too many cooks spoil the broth
Dave Snow It will be unbelievably great, top notch. No, it will be awesome!

What does this mean?
Dave Snow It will be heavier, it will be more electronic, it will simply be fierce. Chige doesn´t have to sing so much anymore but scream.
Mikki Chixx There you can hear what I have to, those are the structures in our band.

Dave Snow

No! (shocked) Then I won´t enjoy your new album (laughs)
Mikki Chixx Won´t enjoy it?
(long pause)
Mikki Chixx What did you say?

That I won´t enjoy your new album then (laughs)
Mikki Chixx Why?
Because I think… (additional explanation because the guys didn´t let me finish: I think that the interchanging styles between clean vocals and growls from Chixx makes the band what it is and if this were gone then it wouldn´t be Stoneman anymore)
Dave Snow It will be a mix of the first two records, only more like us
Mikki Chixx To Rico: Now we have to do another style just so that she likes it
Rico H (laughs) It just gets better and better!
Dave Snow More like the first one, more industrial, more our own, less commercial bullshit

When will it be released, do you know?
Mikki Chixx When should it be released?

Right now!
Mikki Chixx You said that you won´t like it!
Dave Snow Now we are here and can´t continue.
Mikki Chixx You said that you don´t want to have it like we said.

I only said that I wont like it when you just growl. Jesus!.
Mikki Chixx You said you won´t...

I shouldn´t say anything anymore, probably the best.
Dave Snow I´ll say that the release date is fall 2015 (everyone laughs)
Mikki Chixx But it´s just not that?
Dave Snow No, it should be released this year, whether it´s in fall remains to be seen, it´s really hard to say.

Who writes the lyrics?
Mikki Chixx I do

And, Dave, you´re writing the music?
Dave Snow Jep, and Fly

So Mikki what are your lyrics inspired by?
Fly Yesterday evening, right?
Mikki Chixx (long pause) Yeah (everyone laughs) If I´d only know, no idea, should I just say something? I´m simply inspired by the music
Dave Snow Very clever answer. This is really how it goes, we write the songs and then we give them to Chige, feed him with it.
Rico H With the sounds.
Dave Snow The sounds just enter his head.
Mikki Chixx Through the ears, right?
Dave Snow And then it just starts, with the lyrics. Sometimes he´s then pretty confused.
Mikki Chixx And why do you type it in Swiss-German?

Because it´s going to be some kind of special.
Dave Snow Now I have another question, do you like Chige´s lyrics?

Mikki Chixx

Dave Snow What do you think of them?
Mikki Chixx Do you know them?

Mikki Chixx Great
Dave Snow What´s the third line from Necro?

Guys!!! (everyone laughs)
Dave Snow Got´cha...

I don´t study them.
Mikki Chixx No, writing lyrics works like this, if it flows then it flows and then you can do a lot or then it doesn´t work at all. You have to be touched by the muse, you can´t force it, this also goes for the music.

Now to you Dave, how did you get from a Bon Jovi and co cover band like Bad Image to Stoneman?
Dave Snow Ah, when did you discover this? You already threatened me with this yesterday. There´s absolutely no connection with this here, it´s simply the band I played in before.
Mikki Chixx What did you do? You played in a Bon Jovi cover band?
Fly I´ve never heard that before..
Dave Snow No, it was just a cover band hardrock-heavy.
Mikki Chixx What? What are you doing with your scarf??
Dave Snow Am I not allowed?
Mikki Chixx Yes, but I´m also allowed to ask. Did I already mentioned that I probably broke my hand yesterday?

Dave Snow No, everyone of us was in another band before. So that´s nothing special, it was just before this (laughs)

So you don´t do anything else? Other bands or something like that?
Mikki Chixx &Rico H Fishing, crazy golf, hiking, barbecuing.
Dave Snow No, you can´t, you don´t have time. I think when you really want to play professionally in two bands then this is really hard. Then you really have to love making sounds.
Mikki Chixx You really have to enjoy it.
Dave Snow You have to enjoy it like crazy.

So you wouldn´t?
Dave Snow Well, two bands is a no-go. One always has to consider the other somehow, and either you have one band which does fine or none. Then you rather stop, right? You have to do something else as well.

What are you doing besides the music?
Rico H Sleeping, barbecuing.

As your day job?
Mikki Chixx Fucking

Only music?
Dave Snow Yes

Does this work in Switzerland?
Mikki Chixx We´re not in Switzerland, only from Switzerland! With this one show per year and then mainly as a support in Switzerland. A prophet has no honour in his own country!
Dave Snow Yes, in Switzerland we haven´t taken care of things, also the record company isn´t interested!! What do you want to do here in crappy little Switzerland? We will see.
Mikki Chixx Now he says „crappy little Switzerland“ but before he said „At home it´s the best”.
Dave Snow Yes, it is, only not for the music
Rico He was thinking about his hobbies.
Mikki Chixx Ah, something about home.
Dave Snow But now with this next album we will see what we can do in Switzerland, too. It would make sense.

Rico H

So, do you think it´s harder to establish yourself in the Swiss music scene than somewhere else?
Dave Snow No, we actually didn´t do anything for it.
Rico H We also had the wrong label for Switzerland.
Dave Snow Yes, nothing really happened in Switzerland that´s why no one knows us there. Just ask there who we are, not many know us. At least a lot less people than anywhere else, that´s weird, isn´t it?

Well, they do know you but your reviews aren´t so...
Dave Snow Yes, they don´t really know us, just so blabla from some people
Mikki Chixx How are our reviews in Switzerland?

From what I read, not really good...
Dave Snow Not so, well.
Fly Bands don´t really like us. Maybe it´s because we had fights with almost all of them, and because we beat up people.
Dave Snow It´s like that, most of them are, they think we are arrogant wanna-be´s, what do I know
Mikki Chixx Hello circus director (talks to Jack from Private Line).
Jack What?
Mikki Chixx Hello circus director (everyone laughs)
Dave Snow But they don´t really know us either, do they?

It´s just what I´ve heard in the beginning.
Dave Snow Yes, maybe, in any case.
(Editor´s note: Suddenly there´s a big stir and everyone starts talking because a giant schnauzer has appeared: Doggy, doggy, what a cute schnauzer, hello, hey doggy ect.)
Mikki Chixx By the way we want to buy a band dog.
Everyone Yes

What kind?
Mikki Chixx Doesn´t matter. Just one who looks kind.
Dave Snow A very kind one.
Rico H And one who doesn´t eat shit

You already got one.
Mikki Chixx Who?

Mikki Chixx I look kind, don´t I?
EveryoneYes. But you do a lot of shit.
Mikki Chixx Cool would be a deaf dog, we once had a show with Within Temptation and they had, well, the singer had a deaf dog.
Rico H But Chris, our backliner, he has Rhiannon at home and they want to take him away from him.
Dave Snow Because of familial dog problems
Mikki Chixx Chris, come over here and tell us about your dog
Dave Snow It´s a Doberman
Mikki Chixx And that´s our tour manager Chris.
Dave Snow You still haven´t told us why you´re called Iron Chris. Shit, you promised it.


Tell us!
Chris This would go beyond the scope of this interview.
Mikki Chixx It would astonish me what scope this interview has.
Dave Snow We will hear about it and when we know we will give it to the media.
Chris Exactly, it´s going to be awesome. So, Rhiannon is actually our mascot, the band hasn´t seen him, apart from Fly, and he´s very friendly, isn´t he?
Fly Yes, yes.
Chris But he´s still our mascot even though no one has seen him.
Dave Snow Before, Bruno was the mascot of the band, everyone knew him. If someone has seen him, we want him back. He was stolen, during the video shoot for “Wer ficken will”, kidnapped, shackled, tortured. And Rhiannon is so to say our new Bruno.
Mikki Chixx So, now we introduced Chris to you, we´re so nice but that´s just the Stoneman family.
Dave Snow It´s like the Mama Trash family!
Mikki Chixx Only much better, of course.
Dave Snow Yes (everyone laughs).
Mikki Chixx Tell us a bit about you.

That´s nobody´s business.
Dave Snow Funny things!
Mikki Chixx You have dogs, right?

Mikki Chixx Not anymore?

Dave Snow Like Chris.
(Editor´s note: the dog is back: Oh, look here, hello dog, hello Rhiannon, that´s not Rhiannon)
Dave Snow Now he´s already looking at other dogs than Rhiannon, please help Chris.
Chris Give me Rhiannon back!

Mikki Chixx Can I just say something? Chris, our tour manager, is looking for a new girlfriend. (everyone laughs) Ideally one who has a dog because the last one took the dog with her.
Dave Snow Bad girlfriend.
Mikki Chixx This is a no-go.

I can add a photo of you.
Chris Better without a photo.
Dave Snow Just say Iron Chris (many muscles).
Mikki Chixx Many muscles, in any case. Take off your shirt, take it off!
Dave Snow You´ve never seen so many muscles, you would have never thought this of him
Mikki Chixx No, he has such breasts (shows with his hands).
Dave Snow Unbelievable, he has so many muscles, show it..

How can you hang with those guys?
Chris I´ve gotten used to it (everyone laughs)
Mikki Chixx Ask me what I was drinking yesterday!

Tell me!
Mikki Chixx A lot. (laughs)
Dave Snow The moment he drinks a great schnapps he doesn´t remember his name anymore.
Rico H You were standing in the man´s toilet in the club yesterday for three hours chatting.

Yes, that´s true.
Mikki Chixx Why did you go to the man´s toilet?

No, but I have seen you...
Dave Snow So, what else do you want to know?

What are your plans for this year?
Mikki Chixx We´re in the studio and from time to time we are going to far away countries where we were booked and have to travel
Dave Snow No, this year we´re doing nothing more than sleeping (everyone laughs) No, we do the new album.
Mikki Chixx We like you a lot more than the Finnish journalists because they don´t know how to speak Swiss-German (everyone laughs even more)

But they can at least use this interview!
Mikki Chixx You can´t use it?
Dave Snow You could fill half a book. Every week publish a new one. Do a whole report!
Mikki Chixx But I hope that Chris will get his own interview.

Yes, he will have his singles club.
Dave Snow A special, no but what will we do this year? It´s still a long way to go. No, the album and when the album is released we will do a tour, that´s for sure.
Mikki Chixx But when I go on to take as many drugs as I do now I´m probably not going to see the end of the year anymore anyway.
Dave Snow Or just cleaner. We will see.
Mikki Chixx Did I already mentioned that I probably broke my hand yesterday? I hit someone from another band at the toilets.
Rico H In the face?
Mikki Chixx Yes, at the toilets, I´m there all the time.
Dave Snow Chige loves sanitary facilities (everyone laughs) He feels like home there.
Mikki Chixx So let´s start all over with this interview.

Just one more question at the end.
Dave Snow Only one more?
Mikki Chixx No really, then you have to go home.

Do you have some final words for the STALKER readers?
Mikki Chixx For the STALKER readers? This is to all ladies, take your tops off next time (everyone laughs)

You had to say this.
Dave Snow And now something for the guys. Stay at home! (everyone laughs even more)

Halleluiah, that´s how you make yourselves friends.
Mikki Chixx Well, you won´t type it, will you?

Mikki Chixx Can we start all over again, now I have a bad conscience. Now you travelled all the way to Finland for this?
Dave Snow Ok, now something that you really can type: We are happy about all fans. No, rubbish, everything´s crap, c-r-a-p. When you have read all this thoughtfully then you have noticed that we all are very nice, friendly and kind
Mikki Chixx Just ask the Finns how arrogant we were with them, we were not so nice to them as we were to you.
Everyone Yes, exactly now we are so nice, so kind!
Dave Snow Before that we were way more arrogant but we were also a lot more tired than we are now. Now we are in a good mood, I have to say thanks a lot, thanks to you. Before we were harsh, crappy, we should have warmed up and now we are in a very good mood. This is what you can write as a summary: Thanks to STALKER, thanks to our fans we are motivated again, we can win again and will rock the stage.

Amen, ok, thank you for the interview and have fun tonight!!

Author: Sandy Mahrer, transl. Kathleen Gransalke, photos: Stoneman
Date: 2009-04-14

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