Somewhere we only know the lyrics piano


Wed, 08 Mar 2006 00:00:00, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, [post_tag: exclusive-interview, category: interviews-om, post_tag: morgentot]
OM: To start right now: Your album “Zeit ist Gift” has been available since November 14th. Do you already know how successful you are with it?
Matze: We'll get the first numbers at the beginning of April, I think. It looks pretty neat so far. The expectations weren't that high, but I think we can handle them.
OM: And how does the title “Time is Poison” come about? What does that mean for you?
Matze: We sat on it for so long! It was finally time for a break and it stopped us somewhere the whole time. And now with the new album, your head is clear again, there is more live play again, new material is created. Stefan is there - it just goes forward again. It was just a brake all the time it took.
Matthik: On the other hand - it is ironic or ambiguous like so much with us - of course, it also has a content-related relationship to the texts.
Because what does “time is poison” mean? This means that too much time that is not used properly is actually toxic and can destroy people. And then I think of all the 0-8-15 - Parolendrescher "bands", for example. “I don't need any meaningful occupation, I don't need to work, I can drink beer all day and look out the window” - that destroys people, they develop into sociopaths. And if you look at that on the record, you will find one or two references to it.
A nice hint would be the song "Zeitvertreib", because it is anything but a funny song like "I just want to pass my time", it is exactly the opposite. But you have to listen carefully.
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OM: I read somewhere how your music is called “punk of critical reason”. Can you explain how and with what justification this comes about?
Matthik: So when I hear the expression “punk of critical reason” I first think of Immanuel Kant, with whom I otherwise don't want to have anything to do with.
And too “critical” and “reasonable”: I would describe what we do as critical. Whether that is sensible is a little different
Matze: Probably not - and it's not really punk either.
Matthik: But the question is sure to come up?
OM: Very correct. And while we're at it, you can reveal it right away: Do you see yourself as punks?
Stefan: It's not me!
Matze: I don't need a drawer for something, and I don't have to correspond to anything, I don't have to correspond to a group in order to be able to do what I'm up for.
That’s the tragedy with so many bands, I’m very aware of that in my studio. They say: “But it has to be punk because we identify with it and accordingly what happens there is predetermined for most bands by the drawer in which they are put and let themselves be pinned. We break out a bit and
for many people, “punk” is a means of classifying us. Math: I'm still thinking.
OM: What is your music for you guys?
Matze: This is rock music.
Matthik: That is and will remain German rock. It's Krautrock. Maybe it's high-speed German rock. But in any case, it's very fast music that comes across as angry.
Matze: The only problem is if you say German rock, then you will be compared to other German rock bands who fulfill this cliché. It is the same when you say. You do punk, then you will be compared to all punk bands. The problem is not the arrangement in drawers, but the narrowness of these stores. I don't see the assignment as such as critical. I can also live with it when someone says we do punk when they don't expect us to do the kind of punk that all the other punk bands that they classify are doing.
OM: What do you think of “punk” these days and what is called “punk”?
Matze: When I look at what started here in Germany in the early 80s, for example in Hamburg and Berlin, when it was inseparable: A punk scene, an alternative scene, a squatter scene, an autonomous scene. They were people who still had ideals, they had content and goals. Meanwhile, the school bath is no longer AntiFa, Autonom and Punk, meanwhile this drawer is called Punk and Oi! And then it's about fucking and drinking. And that's definitely not our thing!
Matthik: It has always been puzzling to me that the term punk, which was used for a youth movement and for a break-off from a youth movement, suddenly became a musical genre. I haven't understood that to this day, maybe somebody can explain it to me someday. It has become a negative youth movement, just like the 1968 movement was. It is only logical that there is no '68 music. What is that supposed to be? The movement had political and social content and it is the same with punk.
If you take the credo of one of my at least musical and lyrical role models as a basis, namely Yellow Biafra from the Dead Kennedys, who said: "Punk means thinking for yourself". Not more! Then I can identify with it and what we do people can call punk if they want to. According to this definition, it is not. We do what we do because we think it's good, and we do it very honestly. And how it is called and in which drawers it should be squeezed by the apparently not particularly tolerant punk scene in Germany - that should be fine with me.
OM: Back to your album and your music: Who is responsible for the lyrics and what is the motivation for writing them?
Matthik: Ultimately, no lyrics are published that not all band members find okay somewhere. On the current disc, most of the lyrics are from me and um ...
Stefan: Still your motivation!
Matthik: I'm just thinking about that. It's basically a process. It actually sounds very funny to say that the motivation arises from a process or a paralysis.
I never write texts when I'm in a good mood and when I'm fine.
I write texts after, for example, I've seen the news or read the Weltspiegel in the newspaper. Then I write lyrics because it's a very real horror show that you get there. And it is certainly sometimes difficult to understand, but if you take the trouble and try to get behind the images that are in the texts, you will find out what is meant by it. And I don't give any tips on that either.
OM: how important are the lyrics for your music? Do you only have them because you need lyrics, or are the lyrics your main concern?
Matze: The lyrics are much more important, the music just supports them. So the message comes through the text and the music creates the atmosphere.
OM: So your band only serves to communicate your or Matthik's lyrics to the world?
Stefan: That is definitely one of the achievements that this band achieves.
Matze: That is part of the whole. Certainly not only, but the pieces without vocals are simply not the same pieces anymore. That is a unity and that is also inseparable. Just as the lyrics, if read without the music, might easily lose, just as the music would clearly lose without the vocals, without the lyrics.
Matthik: They already need each other!
The importance of the texts is not to be understood in such a way that we absolutely have to sell our message, which can be found in the texts, to the world as a new truth. If you want to discover something in it, you can do it, and if you discover something completely different from what was actually meant, then that's absolutely fine with me. You should think up your own story, think for yourself: "What does that mean for me?"
Matze: It's definitely about expressing ourselves, and at first it doesn't really matter whether it's about our music or the lyrics. That is the expression, and it is found in both.
OM: Do you have role models that you feel influenced by?
Stefan: Role models? I wouldn't say.
Matze: The only legitimate role model I have in mind is what we'll do in ten years. That's where I want to go, that's the idea I got. And now I don't see any other band or any other artist where I say to myself: I want to be like them, I want to sound like this or that, but I want to follow this idea, this ideal, what I get out of it, how we'll sound like ten or twenty years from now.
Matthik: I don't think you can find any set pieces in our music that are very reminiscent of other bands. It's almost always production and sound stories that make people think of other bands. But that we are very influenced by a particular band or artist, that is certainly not the case. Personally, for example, I always come back, and that may sound funny to many, but I am always fascinated by the energy that Beethoven packed into his pieces and that then emerges from the music. And that is certainly one of the most important elements when it comes to our pieces: energy.
And we really never thought about the target group for our music. You can find it at concerts. What the target group will become is a very slow but very steady development. The target group is becoming more and more colorful, and by that I don't just mean the hair color, by that I also mean the age and by that I also mean that more and more people come to concerts who have not given their individuality in the form of a leather jacket with rivets at the cloakroom . In this respect, it becomes more colorful, it is more mixed, the audience.
OM: On your website,, I was surprised to read that I had already published on samplers in Japan, that was very surprising for me. Can you explain how you got there?
Matze: That is due to a sampler that was made in Germany but sold internationally, it was about cover pieces. We covered “Layla” by Eric Clapton, and then a Japanese label came up with the idea of ​​doing something like that too. They then wrote to the bands about the first sampler and then made their own compilation, which was then called “Punk it!” And there were only faster cover pieces on it. Then we released “Layla” and after three or four parts came out there was a “Best of” on which we were represented - and interestingly, much earlier.
Stefan: We haven't got a foot in the Japanese door yet, so to speak, but the door has already opened a crack ...
OM: .. which at first seems astonishing. Is there a market for German and German-language music in Japan?
Matze: The Japanese have definitely always imported large amounts of German Metal, which has always been huge when I think of Helloween or Grave Digger. I think the Japanese are particularly fond of German stuff. Although this is our only publication in English. (Laughter)
Matthik: We don't want to make it too easy for the Japanese either 😉
OM: At the moment you are not in Japan, but on various gigs, especially a lot with fence posts, like recently in Osnabrück's Ostbunker. Do you have a special connection with them?
Matze: We started playing with Zaunpfahl for a few weekends seven or eight years ago, and over time a friendship grew out of that. They recently recorded their album, and because they were there, we thought about playing together again in Osnabrück. As a revenge, there are now a few things in the East, and I think that we will play a lot more together again in the near future.
Matthik: We played relatively little live until the album was released and we didn't care much about concerts, and that will now change again quickly.
That was actually a chance acquaintance with a fence post, and somehow you meet again and again at various festivals, and at the end of long nights we were always the ones who were still sitting at the table. Because Zaunpfahl do not see their job as musicians in filling themselves up properly first, and so we were left as the not-so-drunk ones. They met again at breakfast at the end of a long night and could still speak - that's how it actually came about.
OM: You perform relatively seldom in Osnabrück, can that be? Why is that?
Matze: Well, we've played a lot in Osnabrück lately, but the response in Osnabrück is always worse than in other cities and in 98/99 we made the mistake of playing three or four times in Osnabrück and then you only have times the next few years rest! Even if it's been years since you've played too much in the same town, people won't go because it says “again” even if the band hasn't been there for 5 years. If there is something beautiful, we do it, but that we are looking for it on a massive scale, that is not the case.
Matthik: We have a lot of fun going to other cities and getting to know other people. In any case, we will be increasingly present not only in northern Germany this year and especially next year, but not necessarily here in the area.
OM: What do you think of the local music scene in general?
Matze: There is potential. Shops are too. An audience would also be there if the people of Osnabrück would make it easy to go anywhere. It seems to be working in Münster and Bielefeld, but somehow not in Osnabrück.
Matthik: In Osnabrück I often have the feeling that when people read the event announcements in the newspaper, they think: “Hm, it's a nice, interesting festival. We'll wait and see what's in the newspaper next week and if it was good, we'll go there next year! ”And I think that this mentality is common in Osnabrück.
Stefan: Watching TV on Fridays is also something nice!
Matthik: Well ... that's the modern allegory of the cave. What people see on television they seriously take for reality. Would also be worth a nice song.
OM: Are there any bands here in Osnabrück and the surrounding area that impress you?
Matthik: I definitely find jet fighters from Osnabrück interesting. They are a very interesting band that somehow do what they do because they think it's good without wanting to serve a specific target group, I find them relatively original ...
Matze: Then there is of course the sect band!
Matthik: The legendary sect band! Unfortunately still very unknown in Osnabrück, but pseudo-religious denominations that have dedicated themselves to the "GospelCore" have a hard time establishing themselves. Otherwise bands in Osnabrück that impress me a lot? Rather less. But that's also special for me
OM: And from the wide to very wide area?
Matthik: Yes, in the immediate vicinity, what impressed me about the spirit is the band EA80 from Mönchen-Gladbach, who deal with the entire music business and their own music in an extremely unconventional way. This is not just to be understood as glossing over the word that they are unconventional. For example, they generally refuse to give interviews. They refuse to be photographed, they refuse all press appointments, they refuse to sign with record companies and the records can only be ordered from people themselves or bought at concerts. Especially lyrically I can only recommend this band EA80 to friends of good, German, partly avant-garde, partly very modern texts. Those who like our texts will find a lot there too.
Matze: With EA80 it's really just the lyrics. Well who impresses me? Muse has been very fascinated by Muse lately. Otherwise I have the feeling that I haven't really found anything for myself in the last few years.
Matthik: You have to call System of a Down because they were rejected by the record companies for years and didn't get any concerts for years, but they always stuck to what they always wanted to do. Perhaps System of a Down are the only legitimate successors to the Dead Kennedys.
OM: Back to the Osnabrück music scene one more time.Do you have any experience in promoting local, especially young, bands?
Matze: The music office does a lot, and it does it really well. More could just happen, there is still a shortage of rehearsal rooms in Osnabrück. The city is withdrawing a lot, which is a shame. The promotion of youth centers is bad, you have to put it that way. Accordingly, shops like the Ostbunker are being forced to give more concerts that just work. It has simply not yet been understood that youth work and cultural work simply cost money and generate nothing. It just costs money and it has to be done. And that doesn't happen enough in Osnabrück, I think.
Matthik: I think we shouldn't even reduce it to music, but generally to youth work projects. If you look at the statistics, then the closure of state-funded youth centers goes hand in hand with, for example, electoral successes of right-wing parties and everyone can just think about it.
OM: Do you personally have any support from certain media or organizers?
Matze: Well, in Osnabrück you only have the opportunity to really receive support if you have the press behind you. Before there was actually only the Stadtblatt, and the Stadtblatt is only popular if you either work there or if you have already torn something. We drew attention to ourselves quite well with the first record, so that at some point it became clear that we are an Osnabrück band that belongs to them, so that we cannot be ignored. When we got the second disc out, I wanted to give away CDs for a raffle. The comment was: “Nobody will want it!” I found that a bit sad because we sold 3000 of the first one within six months. Then I thought “OK, so much for the press in Osnabrück”.
OM: What do you think of, where you have already mentioned?
Matze: It's a nice thing that people get involved and do something. There is a lot of ambition behind it and it has the nice aftertaste of altruism. You can tell that it's not about making an internet fanzine big, but really taking care of the music.
Matthik: Yes, thumbs up for the commitment and respect for something that I find very beautiful. And what you rarely find nowadays, whether it's concert or CD reviews: At I often find out about the content of the things that need to be discussed and I learn very little about the person who wrote this review. And that's the way it should be and that's a nice exception!
OM: Do you plan to make your band successful, commercially successful maybe? Or is the band already a source of income for you?
Matze: Not at all. The band still costs us money, as before. And as long as we can afford it, we want to
keep doing it. Maybe at some point it will turn around, that we take so much that we have a little bit too much. But that is not the driving force, nor has it been for this band. We are too far away from the mainstream and far too close to ourselves for that.
Matthik: We would certainly not defend ourselves against commercial success, but that is certainly not something that is on the agenda.
OM: What else do you do for a living?
Matthik: I'm reinventing myself. I studied German and Linguistics until the end of last year and don't really know what to do with that, and I am currently looking for something new. I do various video projects in addition to the music, mostly in the media pedagogical area with young people in Bramsche in the old web school and I want to see if one can somehow develop a second mainstay.
Matze: I make music - all day! Studio job, i.e. recordings, production for other bands. Hence the clear separation for me, not to earn any money with Morgentot, so that there really remains the contrast between this private thing and my job in the studio. I need the studio to fill the fridge, and I need Morgentot for myself.
Stefan: I study musicology and on the side, as a part-time job, I sell tea in a tea shop. And our drummer Svente makes returns!
Matthik: Exactly. Svente sits in the returns department at EMP and takes friendly calls and emails.
OM: Have you already had any extreme fan experiences or other encounters with viewers at your performances?
Matthik: First of all you have to say: The audience is like a wild animal, which is best not fed too well ... But apart from bottle and stone-throwing skinheads ... I think they weren't our fans at all!
Matze: The east is much more interesting overall. There is a right extreme, which is much more present there than here, but there was also a completely different response, especially in the mid-90s. You just noticed, the audience wasn't fed up yet. When there was a concert, people went there.
Stefan: But what else struck me as the youngest member of the band: It doesn't matter whether there are ten, 100 or 200 people in front of the stage: Those who are in front of the stage just keep walking away and can sing along with many, many lyrics, whatever you don't necessarily expect in such a circle, I would say, with a reputation as a local band that maybe gets around a bit, but doesn't operate as a professional thing. I am impressed that there is always such a response.
OM: Fine! Basically that was it, but traditionally the last statement comes from the band. So do you have another question I should ask you?
Matthik: Ask us what about the current “Germany is looking for the superstar” development.
OM: Okay. What do you think of the current "DSDS" development?
Stefan: Is that today or tomorrow? That weird modeling competition in the Alando. Heidi Klum is coming too! Matze: The audience gets exactly what it deserves!
Matthik: Yes! Modern looted art ...
OM: Then thank you very much for your time!
———- Author: Tim

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