How did the band form?
Bev: Rik is my brother and we have been singing together forever. And one of my best friends...we went to nursery school together, so we have known each other for forever as well. And then our drummer is also a schoolmate. Then ten or eleven years ago we moved to Berlin from Magdeburg, which became famous because of Tokio Hotel (a bit of laughter). They are from the same city. But there was nothing else going on, aside from the one band. We decided to move to Berlin to get something started.
What made you want to make music?
Bev: It was so boring in that city where we grew up, that we were just sitting at home listening to records. There was nothing else to do. Only listening to music. We were so focused on music that we decided we had to make a band. It was a good excuse to move to Berlin because we didn’t want to work or anything. But we always had the excuse: “Yeah, but we are in a band.”
Can you describe your songwriting process a little bit?
Bev: Not really because we are not really songwriters at all. We are just punk rockers who...
Rik: We just do it all together. With everyone. But on our first record, our drummer wrote most of the songs because he can play every instrument: bass guitar, drums. Everything.
Bev: It is always kind of luck. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not.
Why the decision to write your lyrics in English and not in German?
Bev: Because German sounds horrible. (laughs)
Rik: We don’t listen to German music at all.
Bev: We were never listening to German bands at all. Most of the music, like 99% of the music that we listen to is in English. The Clash. The Sex Pistols. The Ramones. Those are the bands that we started with and it was all in English. I don’t know, I don’t like the German bands. It sounds too intelligent, you know? English just sounds better; the focus is more on the emotional side and you don’t have to use your brain always.
Rik: We wrote one German song, but he (Bev) doesn’t like to sing it anymore.
Bev: It’s just so embarrassing. We never recorded any German song before and the first three words everyone was just laughing the whole time.
What are your influences aside from music?
Bev: Yeah, it’s sad but true. Alcohol is a big influence. Ordinary life.
Rik: Our drummer is really into movies.
Bev: Really into movies. He is just sitting at home and watching movies all the time. But for us, it is working. Even working can be really influential. We are working in hostels, so there is always something going on. Sometimes there are people who steal stuff and then I get really, really angry and it inspires you to write a song. Ordinary stuff.
What are your thoughts on the Berlin music scene?
Bev: It’s got a few good bands and a lot of boring bands. It’s still a good scene. It’s a lot of nice people and even if you don’t like the music of every band, most of the people in the bands are very nice people.
Rik: It’s so easy to meet people.
Bev: Every club is very open to everything. You don’t have to be a psychobilly guy to go to a psychobilly show. Everything is very open-minded. I used to have long hair for three years and they would make jokes and call me “the hippy”, but it would never get serious. Small cities, you have long hair and go to a show where there are skinheads and they might beat you up just because of your hair. But not in Berlin. That makes Berlin open-minded. The music scene itself, Germany doesn’t have a music scene. We have a lot of friends in London and it is so hard to survive there: you work six days a week and still can’t pay your rent because it is so expensive there. But in Berlin everything is really cheap. That makes the people here really spoiled...they just hang around. In London, you have to work your ass off to get something done for your band. In Germany the promoters pay really well and it’s easy to go on tour. It’s easy to be in a band in Germany and you can really feel that in the music.
How would you describe your live show?
Bev: Sometimes we have talked about how we really want to see our show from in front of the stage. You just see a video afterwards and you can’t really recognize yourself. Being on stage is so automatic. We don’t think too much about it or time when we are all going to jump. We always try to bring a party, even if it’s only five people...we try to push it to the limit.
How do you prepare for a live show?
Bev: That depends. When we have Pfeffi, that peppermint liquor, we drink that before the show.
Rik: We always drink that before a show.
Bev: It is not always available.
How do you decide on your set list?
Bev: We are a punk rock band, it’s not that we have a big hit that we play at the end of the set. You play a few fast songs and then maybe a slow one. We used to play covers of the Ramones. I like the slower ones better than the faster ones.
Rik: Of course playing the new songs is the best.
Bev: We just recorded a record in December and that was just so much more fun. We put a lot more energy into writing the songs. Before it was just something we did in between and we were always touring. For almost six years, we didn’t have a break and we just made two records in that time. Not even writing, it was more just recording something. But this time we took a break for a whole year.
Rik: And we only played five shows.
Bev: So I like the newer stuff. It’s much better.
What were some of the difficulties with the recording process?
Bev: I think the chemistry between the people, the band. That is the hardest job. It was 13 days.
Rik: No. Three weeks. With three days off. And we had a producer for the first time.
Bev: Yeah, and he was from London. So we had to speak in English all the time. We have known each other for our whole lives, so it is really hard to not speak German to each other. But this time we had to speak in English. And when you have a really bad argument and you really have to get to the point, it gets lost in translation.
Did having a producer to help with the process:
Bev: Working with a producer was really helpful. When you do everything on your own, you get to the point where you are not sure if it is completely bullshit or if it is good. If you should keep working on it or just throw it away.
Rik: We tuned our guitars for the first time. It just sounded so much better.
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