StereoDrama: “We are trying to involve our audience as much as possible“
StereoDrama from Karlsruhe have been playing together for a few years. They combine different musical influences and their different cultural backgrounds into a style they have dubbed Altenative Dance Rock. After the EPs „Red Light District“ and „socal (fake) world“ they will release their first full length album next year. Reason enough for a few words with them.
You’ve been around since 2007, so you are not entirely new to the music business. Still, could you introduce yourselves briefly, so our readers can get to know you?
Yes, we started as a guitar/acoustic duo. At the end of 2009 we really got started as a full band. Basically we are four guys - Chris on vocals and guitar, Jürgen on the other guitar, Denis on bass and Lukas on drums – who are trying to take over the world with their music.
You describe your music as “Alternative Dance Rock”. How did you come up with that and what does it mean?
It means that everyone can move to our music like they want to. Each member of the audience can decide for themselves if they waltz or pogo to it. We try to mix elements from Classic and Alternative Rock with Latin rhythms and Pop hooklines, and this is the result.
How did you come up with your band name?
Chris has always been a fan of “Soda Stereo,” a well-known Latino-Rock band from Argentina. When our band was founded, there was a lot of drama going on in many parts of his life – thus StereoDrama.
The first thing I noticed on your current EP was a Spanish song. Since Christian is from Ecuador, it’s a song in his mother tongue. How did that come about?
It was just an idea and it fit well. The upcoming album will contain even more Spanish Songs.
Is there a difference between writing in English and writing in Spanish?
Absolutely. It’s easier for Chris lyrically and sounds more exotic to the listener. It also leaves more room to musically underline that.
Why no song in German?
If we did that we’d have to be fair and let Denis sing a song in Croatian language because of his orign and nobody wants to hear that (not because of the language). No, jokes aside, Chris can express himself best in these two languages (Spanish and English).
Can you describe your songwriting process to me? How do new songs develop?
That differs. In the past Chris often had a basic idea and the song developed from there. These days everyone brings lots of material or produces song snippets at home. Together we take them apart and add the StereoFlair to them. We are also making the songs fit with the lyrics more and more. You can hear that especially in our new songs.
You all seem to have different tastes in music. In which way is this reflected in your music?
That’s true. Chris is much influenced by music from his home country and old rockers like Bon Jovi, Journey, Whitesnake, Metallica, INXS and so on. Lukas and Denis are more into Punk/Alternative like Incubus, Foo Fighters, The Gaslight Anthem and the like; and Jürgen also likes the Foo Fighters or U2.
Overall each one of us listens to anything that has an electric guitar and what the others like.
Our songs benefit from this variety. Sometimes we put little things from our favorite bands into our songs and reinterpret them our way. When you are a musician you cannot reinvent the wheel, but you can spice up your own ideas. If you listen to our instruments, the sound will tell you where each of us is coming from, but it is exactly this mix and the combination of it that makes it appealing.
Which current bands do you like?
30 Seconds To Mars, Foo Fighters, Paramore, U2, Queens Of The Stone Age, Jimmy Eat World, Incbus, and many more (not current, but we all love Journey and Mötley Crüe)
You are independent, doing everything on your own. Was that a conscious choice or are you hoping for a record company to knock on your door?
It’s a mixture of both. Now we have found a partner for future cooperation. We don’t want to say more about this at the moment, but we are looking forward to working together.
If you were to find a record company, what would they have to offer?
It does not matter how, but it is important for us to do our own thing and be supported in doing it. We don’t want to end up with one of those companies where we are being told you have to do this and that for so and so to like your music.
Can you live off your music? If not, how do you finance your band?
Haha, that would be nice. We are working towards that goal, but it’s not easy. There are so many good bands out there. As long as this is the case, we are working or going to university.
What are you doing when you are not making music?
Friends, family, work, study.
I’ve read several times that your live concerts are really good. So far I have not had the chance to see for myself.
What makes you so special when you play live?
We’ve been asking ourselves that question too. No, just kidding, we are always trying to add new elements to our show. We are working on improving our setlists and just get tighter live. Most importantly: We are trying to involve our audience as much as possible to make them part of the show. We think people notice and like this.
Where and when can we see you live?
Unfortunately there are no more concerts planned this year. Soon we will publish dates for the upcoming year on our homepage and we are hoping to see you or your readers there. ;)
If you could choose, which band would you like to play with?
Phew... so many! We’ve been lucky enough to share the stage with bands Kopek, Skindred, Chantel or Zebrahead. That was amazing! I believe each one of us would absolutely love to rock with Foo Fighters, Mötley or Journey!
Apart from that is there any dream concert or dream tour for you?
There is no such thing as one dream tour, but there could be many.
These are the stages we would like to be on: Rock am Ring, Rock in Rio, Wembley, Whisky, Radio City Music Hall, Sir Royal Albert Hall, Southside, Sziget, preferably all legendary festivals or locations there are. We would like to tour South America. Or a shabby basement.
What are your plans for the (near) future?
First of all releasing our Album “The Game” in spring 2014, then making a decent music video, finding partners to support us and of course playing, playing and playing!
Thank you for the interview.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity! Cheers and see you soon!
Author: Stefanie Oepen; photos: band / Marc Stern Date: 2013-11-10