SR: 20 years of music career – that’s the big age. Could you bring an intermediate result of this twenty years’ way? What was the main thing you remember out of it all?
MG: Meanwhile technology turned the world of music into an even more exciting place than ever before, especially regarding the possibilities of the internet. It’s so much fun to be a musician today, to start new musical projects, to tour and to communicate with fans.
SR: What is Alphaville of 2004-2005? Who are the members, what they do. Where the band! is located and recording at the moment? How do you work on the records?
MG: Alphaville still is what it always used to be. An everchanging project with alternating members, well, apart from me. 🙂
The current members of the band are Martin Lister on keyboards, Davey Goodes on guitars and Pierson Grange on drums. Also Rainer Bloss, another co-writer of mine, plays an important role. – Alphaville is basically located in our heads as well as in several studios between Berlin and London.
SR: Could you please tell us about Nelson Project. Who were these people? What were the rules and lifestyle inside this artistic society? Why those days are gone now?
MG: Nelson was a collective of friends of different disciplines of art. We lived as a little out-of-this-world-community and shared everything between each other: dreams, ! drugs and money. Great times! We even wrote a promotional song about it: “The Jet Set”.
SR: In 80s Alphaville just like many other bands of that period were working under Neo-romanticism influence. Nowadays almost no band is working with this genre, your opinion on why this happened?
MG: I think, the name may be gone but there are still bands around who, sometimes, approach that style with their music (admittedly with less make-up): Depeche Mode, Wolfsheim, Sparkling, maybe us.
SR: Are you feeling nostalgic about 80s?
MG: Actually not. I feel more nostalgic about the seventies. That was the time when I got heavily involved into music as a fan. These times were strongly formative for me. Starting with Pink Floyd albums like “The Dark Side Of The Moon” and “Wish You Were Here”, accompanied by the rise of Kraftwerk, Bowie, Roxy Music, David Essex, Cockney Rebel, then, at the!; end of the seventies, Punkbands like Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys, Suicide and finally Joy Division, OMD and Tubeway Army.
SR: For today your band’s records are still selling good, you’ve got million of fans. Have you ever been aiming for “popular status”? For being in the spotlight 24/7? Have you ever gone on compromises because of fame?
MG: One constantly compromises about things although it’s hard to admit it. Musicians are perfect whores. At least the ones who are famous.
SR: In 80s your music was playing all over Russian dancefloors. Are there any young fans among your massive fanbase for today? You think new generation still can relate to what you do?
MG: On concerts I often get the impression that the age of Alphaville fans oscillates between 15 and 50. A range of confusing width but at least I am not the only old person during our show.
SR: Alphaville have once worked with Klaus Schulze. He’s quite popular in Russia. Could you tell us what he’s like, how does it feel to work with him? And what are the differences when you work in the studio with Klaus or any other artist?
MG: Since we produced Alphaville’s third album “The Breathtaking Blue” together in 1988, Klaus has been a close friend of mine. He is a very unwinded, meditative person, an man with a great sense of humour and besides his competence and unique musical experience he brings in tranquility and “space” into a production, which gives you the chance to explore musical areas you’ve never been before.
SR: When in 1989 you were filming “Songlines” movie, you had a collaboration with Russian actor Alexander Kaidanovsky. Are there any interesting stories about this experience ?
MG: We were flattered to have him involved in our project. We knew and admired him ever since we saw him in Tarkowkijs grandiose movie “Stalker”. And his contribution to “Songlines” was the most beautiful and lyrical bit. I was totally shocked when I got the news of his death in 1995.
SR: Tell us about your television experience. Which tv projects was it most interesting and exciting to work under?
MG: Alphaville’s first TV-appearence was probably the most (and only) exciting experience concerning that media. It was our first ever performance on TV-screen and I remember that I was so nervous I could hardly walk to the microphone to start singing. It felt great to be on the same show than some other artists you only knew from the papers.
Pretty soon I found that in fact there’s nothing really great about TV. Although it’s fascinating, it’s ab! out like a book of lies.
SR: You’ve alw ays had a lot of successful remixes to your songs. Album “Forever pop” is unbelivably popular in Russia until now. Are there any remixes you’re most excited about and feeling proud of?
MG: My fav remixes from “Forever Pop” are “Summer In Berlin”, “Summer Rain” and “Jerusalem”. There’s also a remix of “Inside Out” featured on our latest album “CrazyShow” done by the American band Thou Shalt Not, which is absolutely stunning.
SR: You’re working on musical play based on Lewis Carroll’s “Alice Underground”. This book is a huge mystery to many readers all across the world. What is your relation to this story? What is its main message by your personal opinion? And what its musical mood?
MG: Alice fascinates me since my grand-ma read it to me in my childhood days. When I got the offer to write a musical play on it, it felt like a golden opportunity. Momentarily I’m in the middle of writing a script for it together with Alessandra Montrucchio, an Italian writer. We kinda recreate the whole story, the musical will feature an Alice that is (hopefully) astonishingly unkown to the viewer.
SR: Who’s working on the upcoming book about Alphaville? What is the conception? Is it for fans only or for all-age-all-interests’ public? Are there any multimedia additions expected or just the text version?
MG: I am still working on a concept for that book. What I attempt to do is to connect song-lyrics, interview-extracts, reviews, photos and diary excerpts with each other in order to create a contiguous image of the history of Alphaville. It’s a kind of patchwork-strategy and will keep me occupied for quite a while.
SR: When your new LP is planned to be ! released? Tell us about the recording, about the atmosphe re in the studio? Do you have a title for the new CD? What is it all about?
MG: We have already written a couple of songs and played some of them on our recent concerts. But I still have got many more ideas for songs in my mind.
SR: You have always carried an “innovative” mark on your music products. Where do you think electronic popular music goes in this century ?
MG: It is almost impossible to forecast where it will go. It will probably go nowhere. As “80ties” music it created a niche for itself in the spectrum of popular music and there it will stay as a certain style like rock, reggae, hip-hop, trance or whatever. None of these styles has ever really changed. If one listens to “innovative” bands like, say, Franz Ferdinand, it’s still rock music one knows from the days of the Talking Heads. To me it seems the only! way music really changes is, when it amalgamates with other musical styles: rock with jazz, reggae with rock, hip-hop with techno and so on. But which style will connect itself with which is hard to anticipate. It depends on social flows of societies, on counterforces to existent musical trends. Rebellion is always the power that kicks on musical developement.
SR: And the last and traditional SpecialRadio’s question – what would you like to wish to young, beginning musicians? Which mistakes they should avoid and what to pay attention to first of all?
MG: They should never forget about their dreams.
Thank Marian Gold for this interview.
All greetings and good luck!