Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Förtress interview with John Madsen

Delivering a hefty dose of riff-worship via Sabbath and Mötorhead with deafening, skull crushing stoner psych noise and solos that tear through the ether like razors through flesh in the vein of Van Halen meets Earthless, Förtress is leaving little more than a decimated pile of noise in their wake.  So far, they’ve dished out two heaping helpings of their psychedelic, stoner metal, sludge rock in the form of two consecutive EPs in 2013, Of Bones and Legends.  I wandered across some live Here Today Sessions that I’ve linked below and was instantly floored by their visceral combination of all that I hold holy and dear about psychedelic music and the infusion of the occult obsessed brutality and aggression of early 70’s proto-metal without loosing any of the luster, appeal, or energy of either part of the equation.  While effortlessly performing their death defying genre balancing act, Förtress keep busy crafting some of the best head-bangin’, face meltin’, ass kickin’ music that’s out there right now.  God damn is it nice to hear a band that’s not only able to pull off dual-lead lines, but who’s capable of simultaneously interweaving solos along the way that slither and glide like a demonic serpent between notes, swells, crescendos, and breaks, sewing destruction, fire, adrenaline and havoc wherever they tread.  It’s not just the guitars that grabbed me by the balls when I heard these guys for the first time though, not only could I hear their lead singer, but he had lyrics and I could understand what he was singing about.  Real lyrics, not toss away shit I won’t remember in twenty-minutes, the kind of vivid imagery that instantly draws you in like the intoxicating vapors of a witch’s incense burning in the blackest darkness of man’s subconscious, the promise of power from the lord of the pit risen to deliver whatever you desire most, the sweetness of the apple in the Garden Of Eden…  The second time I ever heard “Forest of The Wicked” I was already chanting the words along, pumping my fist in the air and shouting at the empty room around me and I knew I was going to have to track these dudes down!  I try to explore every corner of the globe musically, simply probing for the best of what’s out there right now and it’s times like this that I’m happy I do what I do because I may have otherwise never come across these guys.  Enough of the words though, I won’t bore you any further with unneeded introductions I’ll let the music do the talking, click the links below to stream some sweet music and videos and read on for an extremely enlightening conversation about all things Förtress with bass player John Madsen – and remember, keep it psychedelic baby!
Here Today Session – Live Session:  Howl, Stampede, Forest of The Wicked, Year ofThe Witch

I only recently found out about you guys, what’s the lineup in Förtress at this point?  Is this the original lineup or have you all changed lineups at all since you started playing together?

Förtress is:
Lead vocals and guitar - Nicklas “Mr Sex” Kirchert
Backing vocals and guitar - Simon Sonne Andersen
Backing volcas and drums - Cato “Tisse” Jørgensen
Backing vocals and bass - John Madsen

We only started the band two years ago and back then we were called Fortress.  But a polish neo-Nazi band had the same name, so we changed our name to Förtress, hah!  The line-up is the original one, though.

Are any of you in any other bands at this point or do you have any active side projects at this point?  Have you released any music with anyone else in the past?  If so, can you tell us a bit about that?

Simon plays and writes the music in the blackened death metal band By The Patient.  I think they’ve released two or three EP's and are just on the verge of releasing their third full-length. Check 'em out they're really talented.  Nicklas and Cato play together in a prog band called Cacafogo.  They’re just about to release their debut album.  It's a great ensemble of musicians.  I've only recently started to play, so for now Förtress is my only project where I play music.  But I’m a booking agent for other musicians, so my life is pretty much all about the sweet tunes, man.

How old are you and where are you originally from?

We're all around the same age, ranging from twenty-six to twenty-nine.  We're all from Denmark, but two of us are from the northern most part and the other two are from the south-eastern area.  We all met in Copenhagen and became friends.  Some odd years later, we started a band.  And look at us now, ha-ha!

What as the local music scene like where you grew up?  Did you see a lot of shows growing up?  Do you feel like that scene played a large or important role in shaping your musical tastes or in the way that you perform at this point?

I’m from a small island called Bornholm where we had one real venue.  We started a festival back there in those days, because of the lack of interesting musical and cultural offerings for kids my age back then.  Of course you’re somewhat influenced by what’s going on locally as well as nationally, but I think my friends and good tunes influenced me the most; what I value as a good tune that is.

What was your home like when you were growing up?  Were either of your parents or any of your close relatives musicians or maybe just extremely interested or involved in music when you were growing up?

Neither of my parents play anything, but they were totally supportive of what I did.  And when I came home and said that I wanted to start a festival they both got involved right away.  Actually, everyone got involved in some way or another and the festival is still a part of the local community today.  I think this is the either or ninth year.  I’m actually hosting it and Förtress is playing!  It’s called Wonderfestiwall and is located at the foot of a great rock with an oldmedieval fortress on top, he-he!  The circle is complete!

What do you consider your first real exposure to music to be?

I dunno man, my mom singing lullabies when I was a kid, or listening to Metallica, or The Red Hot Chili Peppers through my brother’s door when I was a kid…  I remember years later, during my preteens, when I actually put on those records myself I didn't know that it was the same bands I had listened to coming from my older brother’s room, 'cause the fucker never wanted to tell me what it was, ha-ha!  But I recognized the songs and loved 'em even more.

If you were to pick a moment, a moment that seemed to change everything and open your eyes up to the infinite possibilities of music, what would it be?

The first time I stood on a stage in front of a crowd.  It was September 2012.  We played in front of a sold out venue with seven hundred people or so, because we were supporting a locally known rap group.  I had never played an instrument outside the rehearsal space and I was shitting bricks.  But the young rap fans just connected with our energy in this tongue-in-cheek way.  I think it was kind of an epiphany for me, you know?  I was twenty-five at the time and I realized that I'm able to do what ever the fuck I want.  Very carpe diem-ish I know, but still very true.

What was your first instrument?  When and how did you get it?

Bass guitar.  Two years ago.  I think I “borrowed” it.

When did you decide that you wanted to start writing and performing your own music and what brought that decision about for you?

That too goes a couple of years back.  Simon and I knew each other from Bornholm where we grew up but we really started becoming friends when we moved to Copenhagen.  Here we started working together at a daycare center, you know, for toddlers.  And in between changing diapers and feeding the little dudes, we found that we had similar tastes in music.  We liked and disliked the same things and at one point we looked at each other and went, “You look mighty fine with your beard and tattoos, and you listen to some great jams.  Do you wanna form a band?”  At that point I couldn't play a thing.  Simon told me I should just pick up the bass and he could teach me the basics.  I’ve always read a lot, so writing lyrics came naturally to me.  We headhunted the two other dudes and now two years later we’ve just played Roskilde Festival, Northern Europe's biggest festival; which was a big deal for us!

Is there any sort of creed, code, ideal or mantra that the band shares or lives by?

We drink a lot.  We talk about girls a lot.  We smoke a lot.  Kinda what every rock band does I think, ha-ha-ha.  Oh yeah, and we really have a shitload of fun playing and we don't try to hide it on stage.  If one of us starts laughing during a show we never hide it.  We encourage it.  The rock scene, maybe especially the Danish one, can be so introverted and serious all the time, which is fine let me be clear about that, but we just got bored with that and wanted to do something different.  We want to rock like in the old days.  We just wanna have a good time and show people that it’s okay to laugh even though you wear black, ha-ha.

Where’s Förtress located at?

We’re located in Denmark, Copenhagen on the island of Amager; and damn proud of it!   A lot of people seem to frown upon Amager, because dudes and dudettes out here are kinda cray cray.  But that's how we like it.  A lot of our friends from other bands rehearse out here as well.  So, we have a strong little community of bands helping each other and playing with each other and having fund-raising parties, and that kinda stuff.  Oh yeah, and the rent is affordable.

How would you describe the local music scene where you all are at?

People are into rap and indie music, which is cool.  I like a lot of rap and I like the energy of it.  I like a lot of indie bands too, but it's really angry, or sad, or like I said before, introverted.  This is where, and why, we fit in the Danish music scene.  Bands like us have been missing.  I think people in our country are oversaturated with these kinds of vibes from music.  We try to make people party and forget they have to look cool and be angry.  We try to make them raise their devil horns and go, “Fuck my ex-girlfriend, fuck that I have to go to work at seven, fuck that I need to look cool.  I wanna party with these dudes!”  And it’s actually working.  We see so many different people coming out to our shows.  From the high school girls, to the skater dudes, and the ol' timers who listened to Sabbath and that kinda stuff back in the day.  Actually, there’s a lot of stuff going on in the Danish underground rock scene right now, and we’re definitely a part of it.  The last ten years or so the scene has been close to death, but now all kinds of rock bands are forming and playing shows and getting the crowds going.  I don't think we kick-started the scene, but we and a handful of other cool bands picked up rock music at a time where Danish rock music wasn't listened to that much in our home country.  But we’ve all been fighting, proving ourselves and winning ground.  We’re a part of a rock crusade and we won't stop until we’ve won over every single person out there.

Do you feel like you’ve very involved in the local scene at all?  Do you book or attend a lot of shows or anything?

We’re definitely a part of the local rock scene and it’s growing, and more and more people are listening, coming to the shows, and buying our shit every day.  It’s an amazing time to be involved in the Danish rock community.  We play a lot of shows.  I think we’ve played fifty plus shows in our tiny country this year so far, and we’re going international this year as well.  We have some dates planned in the Netherlands this October.  It's gonna be great.  And yeah, of course we attend a lot of shows.  I think I go to at least one concert a week and at least a festival a month.

Are you involved in recording or releasing any local music at all?  If so, can you tell us a bit about that here?

Well we are local music, so I guess we’re involved.  We recorded our latest EP Legends at Danish legendary producer Jacob Bredahl's Dead Rat Studio in Aarhus.  And yeah, well, the scene is blossoming with local bands getting record deals, putting out records, getting booking deals, touring the festival circuit.  A shit load of stuff is happening for the rock bands in our country.  I work as a booking agent for other Danish artists so I'm involved that way as well, promoting and getting jobs for great musicians.  But it’s totally different genres of music, mostly reggae and dancehall; but you just can't fuck with good tunes now, can you?

In your opinion has the local scene played a large or integral part in the formation, history, sound or evolution of Förtress as a band?  Or, do you all feel like you could be doing what you’re doing and sound like you do regardless of where you were at or what you were surrounded by?

Oh, it did.  We started Förtress because we were so bored with what the local scene had to offer for guys who liked rock and metal.  So, Förtress is the spawn of Simon’s and my own frustration.  We couldn’t figure out why Norway and Sweden could produce so many talented and really good rock and metal bands, when we in Denmark only had Volbeat at the time; although ten years before it had been D-A-D.  So, we took matters into our own hands and made Förtress a product of what we liked to listen to and what we liked in a bands visual profile and how they acted on stage.  We just stepped it up a notch and showed, mostly ourselves, that it’s possible for Danish dudes to make good ass rock.

You all have any extremely cool sound.  How would you describe your sound to our readers who might not have heard you all before?

I think it’s a mixture of a lot of stuff.  There’s definitely some 70's vibes going on with some Sabbath stuff and Thin Lizzy, but there’s some 80's in there too.  And of course we’re also influenced by more modern bands, Mastodon, Red Fang, Kvelertak, The Sword and stuff like that.  But to put it short, I think we’re just playing hard rock and we like to party.  So, if you like beer and you like to have fun, then chances are you’re gonna like us!

Speaking of what you all sound like, I’m curious to hear who you’d cite as some of your major musical influences?  What about influences on the band as a whole rather than just individually?

Well, a lot of the above answers actually cover that question, but I personally like a lot of stoner stuff too, stuff like Weedeater and Conan.  The musical range is quite large in this band.  We listen to everything from hip-hop to classical, but of course our hearts are totally devoted to all things rock and metal.

What’s the songwriting process like for Förtress?  Is there someone who usually comes to the rest of the band with a riff, or maybe a more finished idea for a song, to work out with the rest of you?  Or do you all just get together and kind of kick ideas back and forth until you kind of distill an idea from it all that you can work with?

Simon usually has a riff or two in the bag.  Then we try to put it together with some other stuff, sometimes by jamming, other times by just tossing ideas out.  When we have a song put together I start writing the lyrics.  The others sometimes kick in with ideas for the lyrics and when we’re all happy, we have a finished song.  It’s a very democratic process, everybody is heard and every opinion counts, but we’re all quite aware what our sound is, so we almost instantly know which direction we’re going with a new song.

What about recording?  I think that most musicians can obviously appreciate all the time and effort that goes into the recording of an album when you’re holding that album in your hands.  But getting to that point, getting stuff recorded and sounding the way that you want it too, especially as a band, can be extremely difficult to say the least.  What’s it like recording for Förtress?

We have some real tech nerds in the band.  They really get into the recording process and listen to the stuff over and over again to make sure that it sounds good, that we sound the way we’re supposed to.  So, I’m not afraid that the next record is gonna sound amazing.  We’re actually planning to go into the studio during August and September, and we’re looking into all different kinds of ideas regarding studios, producers, and mixing and mastering.  It’s very exciting.  But first, we need to write a bunch of new songs which is always super fun.  You get together with the guys for a longer period of time, and you fart a lot and talk mostly bullshit, and then you jam together.  I love that.

Do you all take a more DIY approach to recording where you all handle the technical aspects of things so that you don’t have to work with or compromise on the sound at all with anyone else?  Or do you all like to head into the studio and let someone else handle that side of things so you call can kind of concentrate on getting the best performances possible out of yourselves?

Simon is very into the studio process, so he always gets really involved; and Nicklas too.  Well, we all do in our own different way, I guess.  I too, of course, want the record to sound amazing, but it’s not me who’s sitting up till two in the morning listening to the stuff over and over again.  I leave that for some of the other dudes.

Is there a lot of time and effort that goes into getting something to sound exactly the way you want it to, every aspect all worked out and planned before you all record?  Or do you all get a good skeletal idea of what a song’s going to sound like, but allow for some room for change and evolution during the recording process?

Some things are pretty rehearsed and we know exactly what to do when we record it.  Last time we went to record though, one of the songs was half finished and had no lyrics whatsoever.  So, when I finished my bass lines I had to go to the next room and write lyrics but I actually liked that song the most when we finished recording.

Do psychoactive or hallucinogenic drugs play an important role in the sound, songwriting or recording processes, or the performance aspect of Förtress at all?  There are a lot of musicians that really appreciate and utilize the altered states that drugs of any sort produce and harness them for the creative process and I’m always curious about it.

I smoke a shitload of weed; the others not so much.  All of us really like beer and it’s almost certain that at least one of us will get hammered while rehearsing, but we’re actually pretty good at not getting drunk before we get on stage because every one of us loves to be up there and being shitfaced on stage would just dilute the experience of it.  After the show though, all of us get super wasted!  That’s why it’s important to have good roadies who both know how to handle your gear, as well as help you when you’re drunk trying to carry your gear, ha-ha!

You all released two EPs in 2013. There was Of Bones which I know was released digitally and Legends which was released as a 12” LP. Can you tell us about the recording of the material for Of Bones? When and where was that material recorded? Who recorded it? What kind of equipment was used? Was Of Bones ever physically released or is that a digital only release?

We released Of Bones together with our first label, the Copenhagen-based Black Cheese Records.  At first, we didn't release it digitally but as a very limited cassette tape.  I think we made a total of fifty tapes and we gave like ten away, but we sold the last of them on our first tour.  They went like cold lemonade on a hot ass day.  Our old record label boss had to manually sit and record all the tapes by you know rewinding, recording, stop, turn tape, rewind, record, and so on, and so on.  We owe him a huge thanks.  He was the first motherfucker who believed in us and he did a ton of shit for us for free!  We recorded all of it in our old rehearsal space on shitty or old equipment.  It only cost fifty dollars worth of hash that we gave to the guys recording it.  It has a very rough and “fuck-it-let's-just-go” vibe to it.

As I mentioned before you all also dropped the Legends EP in 2013 as well.  Was the recording of the material for Legends very different than the session(s) for Of Bones?  Who recorded that material and where was at?  When would that have been and what kind of equipment was used in this case?

I think I pretty much answered that earlier.  We recorded it at Dead Rat Studio with Jacob Bredahl.  Danish metal royalty.

Does Förtress have any music that we haven’t talked about yet, maybe a song on a compilation or a demo that I’m not aware of?

No not really. We’re about to go into the writing process to write new stuff for our full-length debut, so that should be a lot of fun.  I can't really talk that much about it because we haven't decided more definitely about the process.  But I can assure you that it is gonna kick ass and we’re trying to stay true to our own sound, as well as stepping it the fuck up.  But hey, people should just come to one of our shows.  If they like that energy, they’ll like the record as well.

With the release of your two EPs last year are there any other releases in the works or on the horizon for Förtress at this point?

He-he, yes.  A full-length, hopefully in early 2015.

With the completely insane international postage rate increases that just don’t seem to be letting up where’s the best place for our US readers to pick up your stuff?

Well, God bless iTunes and Spotify.  And hey holler at us if you want!  We’re always trying to help if we can and we answer every request personally.

What about our international and overseas readers?

I like them, I think.  I haven't met them, but they seem real nice!  And don't you motherlickers worry.  We’re coming for you!

And where’s the best place to keep up with the latest news like upcoming shows and album releases from Förtress at?

Facebook I’m sad to say it a necessary evil.  It keeps us connected with you guys and that’s why I love it.  You can also find us on twitter: @fortressdk or instagram: @fortressdk.

Are there any major goals or plans that you’re looking to accomplish in the rest of 2014 or 2015?

Yeah, we’re going to tour internationally this year and hopefully more so in 2015.  We played Roskilde Festival this summer, which was the initial goal for Förtress when we started out.  Now, I’d like to get booked for that festival again and another personal goal for me is to tour Europe and the States with an established band, such as maybe Valient Thorr, Mötorhead or dudes like that.  I'm certain it’s gonna happen at some point.  We just gotta keep rocking hard, grabbing people by the nuts and forcing them to like us!

Do you all spend a lot of time out on the road touring?  Do you enjoy touring?  What’s life like out on tour for Förtress?

I love fucking touring.  It is hands down the most fun time.  You drive around with your friends all day, cracking jokes, eating bad food, drinking beers and listening to music.  Then you get to the venue, have sound check, dinner, you play the show, meet a bunch of cool new people and after that you drive some more, get some more beers, get hammered and do a ton of stupid shit on the road.  Then you wake up and you start over.  Of course after a while it gets kinda trivial, but it truly is a good time.  I love every second of it and I feel privileged that I’m able to do it at all.

What, if anything, do you all have planned as far as touring goes for the rest of the year (2014)?

Well, we’re still playing the Danish festival circuit.  I think we have five shows left during the festival season.  After that we’re touring Denmark and the Netherlands in October.  But we’re primarily going to focus on writing and recording new material this fall.

Who are some of your personal favorite bands that you all have had a chance to play with over the past few years?

We’ve supported Kvelertak, Valient Thorr and Hark recently.  Those guys are really cool and we’ve had such an amazing time already.  We’re all excited about who's gonna be the next cool band we get to support.  I'm hoping Mötorhead.  That would be like a childhood dream come true for me.

In your dreams, who are you on tour with?

Mötorhead and Valient Thorr, fifty dates all across the U.S.  That, my friend, would fucking rock!

Do you have any funny or interesting stories from live shows or performances that you’d like to share here with our readers?

When we played at our release party for Legends, a party where my mom showed up, our drummer Cato played completely naked, ha-ha-ha.  My mom was in the front row, just in front of me.  She didn't see his dick at first because she was taking pictures of me, ha-ha, but when she did see it she went completely red and ran to the back of the crowd.  Man, I would love to see the pictures she snapped; a lot of ball action going on I reckon.  One time a large part of the crowd was crazy drunk at our sound check, so they started moshing and crowdsurfing for the fucking sound check.  And when our drummer was done these really wasted dudes came up to him all cross-eyed and just gave him bro love, you know?  Like, “Wow man you are an amazing drummer.  That was the best drum solo ever” ha-ha-ha-ha, during the fucking soundcheck.  Ha-ha-ha, the rest of us just laughed our asses of.

© Michael Boe Laigaard 2013

Do you all give a lot of thought to the visual aspects that represent the band to a large extent, stuff like fliers, posters, shirt designs, covers and that kind of thing?  Is there any kind of meaning or message that you attempt to convey with your artwork at all?  Is there anyone that you usually turn to in your times of need when it comes to that kind of thing?

We give a lot of thought to that stuff.  I think it’s really important to have a complete product.  And as a band, I think that the visual aspects, like how we dress and act on and off stage, cover art, stickers and stuff like that is almost as important as the music.  Needless to say, the music takes priority, but these things come in as a close second.  And this is not news.  All the greatest bands in the world do this.  Even if they say they don't.  Actually, everybody does this.  Not just bands.  When you want to make a product that other people would like, you have to put your heart into it.  The closer we can come to a total package where everything seems “Förtressy” the better, you know what I mean?  We play bare chested, we have tattoos and beards and long hair.  This gives us, and the crowd, a sense of unity.  I write lyrics about black magic, witches, well generally occult stuff, 'cause I draw inspiration from fantasy, D&D and Magic Cards and stuff like that.  So, of course the cover of Legends was done by magic card artist Rob Alexander, who tried to work all the song titles into the front cover.  From my point of view, there has to be a cohesive line going straight through what you’re trying to project and get people excited about.

With all of the various methods of release that are available to musicians today I’m always curious why they choose and prefer the mediums that they do.  Do you have a preferred medium of release for your own music?  What about when you’re listening to and or purchasing music?  If you do have a preference, can you talk a little bit about why?

I prefer vinyl by far.  But I listen to iTunes mostly, because I use it when I'm biking around town getting from point A to point B.  When I'm at home and I want to check out an artist or band I just heard about I usually use Spotify, because you can listen to all their stuff for a small fee.  As a band we like to put our music out physically one way or the other, but we’re grateful for iTunes and Spotify, so we can get our music out to a potential worldwide crowd.  Technology, uuuh!

Do you have a music collection at all?  If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?

But of course.  I think we all have one.  We all like to present new and old new stuff to each other and we influence and learn from each other all the time.  My collection is mostly rock and metal.  I’ve got a shitload of CDs, because when I grew up that was the preferred medium.  I only started my vinyl collection a year or so ago, but it’s getting decent.  I try to buy the bands vinyl every time I go to a show.  I also have a lot of my moms old 7”s like The Beatles, Credence and old Danish singers.  It's pretty cool to drop some acid and listen to them.

I grew up around a large collection of music and my dad would always take me out and pick me up random stuff from the local shops that I thought looked cool and from a pretty young age I developed a deep appreciation for physically released music.  I would kick back with a set of headphones, read the liner notes, stare at the cover and let the whole experience carry me off on this trip.  Having something physical to hold and experience along with the music always made for a much more complete listening experience for me.  Do you have any such connection with physically released music?

Of course!  Who doesn't??  I think everybody around our age has done that at least once in their life.  We still do it.  That’s how you're supposed to listen to music.

Like it or not, digital music is here in a big way.  In a lot of ways though digital music is just the tip of the iceberg, when you combine it with the internet; then you have something really revolutionary on your hands.  Together they’ve exposed people to the literal world of music that they’re surrounded by and it’s almost eradicated geographic boundaries and limitations overnight.  On the other hand though, while people are being exposed to more and more music they’re not necessarily interested in paying for it and for a lot of people music is becoming this disposable experience to be used and then forgotten about when you’re done with it.  As an artist during the reign of the digital era, what’s your opinion on digital music and distribution?

The music made to be disposable, will be so, and will fade away within a couple of years or whatever, so I'm not afraid.  It will sort itself out and have a short life, because it’s made to be that way.  The music that’s created as a piece of art and is meant to live on forever will do so.  Music fans will always uphold the truly beautiful music, so I'm not afraid.  Rock and roll may fade away from time to time, as Alex Tuner said, but it will always resurface when it’s most needed and there’s nothing the labels and the moneymakers can do about it.  As long as there is music, there will be people with soul and depth and the will to make it, regardless of the money or current trends.

I try to keep up with as many bands as I possibly can but there’s just not enough time to sort through even one percent of the amazing stuff out there right now.  Is there anyone from your local scene or area that I should be listening to that I might not have heard of?

You should definitely give Pet The Preacher a listen.  They’re an extremely talented trio powerhouse playing dirty blues-infused sludgy rock.  They’re good friends of ours and they really rock.  They just toured with Pentagram and Acid King.  Of course, you should check out Simon’s other band By The Patient if you're into death metal.

What about nationally and internationally?

I really love this Danish band called Spids Nøgenhat (Liberty Cap).  They’re a 70's themed band.  They sing in Danish about freedom, love, smoking weed and the occasional acid trip.  I don't think the language is a barrier though, because the beauty and truth of the music speaks for itself.  I'm really into Weedeater.  It's just heavy and slow, and about smoking weed and drinking some beer and whiskey; fun lyrics too.   You should check out Behemoth as well if you don't know them already.  They’re this Polish blackened death metal band who are just amazing!  It’s like going to a satanic mass watching one of their shows.

Thank you so much for taking the time to make it this far.  This took me a while to put together and I know it has to have taken you a while to finish!  I swear I don’t have anything else to spring on you or anything.  Before we call it a day and everything though, after having played twenty questions with you, I’d like to open the floor up to all for a moment.  Is there anything that you’d like to talk to me or the readers about at this point?

We’re just excited that you guys wanna talk with us and like our jams.  Thanks a bunch man.  It's so overwhelming that people from far away actually listen to, and like, our stuff.  Thank you from the darkest pit of my tiny black heart.  And we wanna come party soon!  Bars, venues, child birthdays, taking your dog to the farm, vaginal exams…  If there's a stage we will rock it!

(2013) Förtress – Of Bones EP – Digital, Cassette Tape – Black Cheese Records (Limited to 50 cassette tapes)
(2013) Förtress – Legends EP – Digital, 12” – Warner Music Denmark

Interview made by Roman Rathert/2014
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

Original Soundtrack Blow-Up (1966) review

Original Soundtrack Blow-Up (Music On Vinyl, 1966/2014) review

I won't dwell too much on the film itself other than to say that it's a seriously groovy piece of mid-sixties filmic psychodrama set in swinging London that, amidst other things, features one or two of the beautiful people, some shots of delightfully quaint mews dwelling houses, and the quite wonderful (in real life too) Marion Park an expanse of green nearby the military barracks in Woolwich Arsenal and wherein the flick's plot really begins to thicken. There's also the main starring role of an obsessive photographer, played by David Hemmings, and oh yeah of course there's all this, which is a pretty nifty soundtrack that features swinging jazz and mod-rock style tuneage that comes and goes, which is really where we come in.
Everyone who has seen "Blow-Up" will know that it's The Yardbirds, in a recording made with the rare Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page line-up, who provide the film with its exciting live rock group action cameo, and they are seen, and here heard, blazing through an interpretation of the old Tiny Bradshaw via Johnny Burnette Rock 'N' Roll Trio chestnut 'Train Kept-A-Rollin' - here redesigned as the sharper-titled 'Stroll On' - yet that's only a smidgeon of what's on offer.
This recently-issued reassessment of the soundtrack via the Music on Vinyl outlet presents everything in a vibrant, altogether more alive way for the up to date listener to get their head into. A few of the instrumental pieces - almost all created by the great Herbie Hancock number among the set's most colourful creations, including the highly effective 'Bring Down The Birds'.
Most people who are even just a little bit bothered about those types of fascinating behind-the-scenes insights will know nowadays - well at least since the initial vinyl reissue way back in the late 80s / early 90s - that one of director Michelangelo Antonioni's first choice London groups for the onstage club guitar smasherama scenario was to have been the never less than intriguing, always effortlessly endearing Tomorrow, the British psychedelic pop legends who would later go on to give us such mercurial-sounding underground pop gems as 'My White Bicycle' and 'Revolution'. Here, they can be heard as they transit forward from their more mod-inclined previous incarnation when they operated as the In Crowd, and now giving out with the softly attacking charm of 'Am I Glad To See You'.
As a musical document not only of the film itself but of it's time generally, 1966 pre-hippie rock, this is a well put together, thoroughly inspired and slinky-sounding programme.

Review made by Lenny Helsing/2014
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014

DOM interview with Gabor Baksay

Germany in the late '60s and '70s was a special place for various of artistic experimentations. Bands were experimenting with new equipment and moving away from blues roots of rock'n'roll music. Only a few made some commercial success (Kraftwerk, Can) and there is a whole underground spectrum of bands that remained unknown.  Out of Düsseldorf came a band so ahead of their time, that we can safely state they were "too weird to live too rare to die". I heard tons of psychedelic records, but I'm telling you, this is one of the most lysergic albums ever made. Here's an interview with remaining member of the band, Gabor Baksay. I would also like to thank our friend Patrick Helfrich for translating from german to english. We decided to publish both versions. Enjoy.

First I would like to give thanks for taking your time. I hope you don't mind if we start with questions about your childhood. Where were you born and what are perhaps some of your essential music foundations?

I spent my first 4 years in Budapest, Hungary until my mother could escape together with me to Austria during the chaotic days of the people's revolt in 1956 against the Russian occupiers. For some days the borders were not guarded very well and some farmers told my mother the night before we left, that she should give me some wine to keep me calm and quiet. Well, the effect was the exact opposite. I wasn’t calm, in fact (that’s what I was told ) I insisted on getting more wine, molesting a farmer’s wife, behaving like a hooligan and singing really vulgar songs... for a four year old. This corruption of traditional Hungarian songs in the spirit of Pre-Punk was my first, semi-official musical performance.
Later, during the time with DOM, there happened to be a short romantically influenced interlude in my generally more Dadaistic, Fluxus and Punk attitude towards music, to which I returned later and continued to evolve up to today.

The main problem of my early musical socialisation during the early sixties was the fact, that a record by Elvis Presley cost 5 Deutsche Mark in the record store in my neighbourhood, but a record by Peter Kraus (very embarrassing German pseudo-Elvis) only 3 DM.
My answer to the fateful question in those days - BEATLES OR STONES – was clearly THE BEATLES.

The 3 most earthshaking experiences were (in this order):
67, Hendrix, also 67 Freak Out by the Mothers and in 68 the true mother of invention:
The movie 2001 with it’s groundbreaking score.
Between 69 and 73 ( I got off at Dark side of the Moon) there was only Pink Floyd.
We were travelling through Germany, following them from concert to concert.
Around 73 (with a little delay) I discovered Beefheart and Velvet Underground.
I was not interested in Punk those days, in contradistinction to the Post-Punk that came up around 78. Die tödliche Doris, Mania D. , Der Plan... And also a bit of Kraftwerk, mainly ‘Radioaktivität’.

Die ersten vier Jahre lebte ich in Budapest, Ungarn. In den chaotischen Tagen des Volksaufstands 1956 gegen die russische Besatzung waren die Grenzen ein paar Tage lang nicht richtig überwacht und meine Mutter konnte mit mir nach Österreich fliehen. In der Nacht davor empfahlen die Bauern, die unsere Flucht organisierten, mich mit Wein ruhig zu stellen. Der Effekt war aber genau gegenteilig. Ich war nicht ruhig, sondern begann - wie man mir erzählte - die Bäuerin in Hooligan-Lautstärke um mehr Wein anzupöbeln und für einen Vierjährigen ziemlich derbe Lieder zu singen. Diese Verballhornung ungarischer Volkslieder im Geiste des Prä-Punk war meine erste semiöffentliche Musikdarbietung. In der Zeit mit DOM kam es zu einem romantisch inspirierten Zwischenspiel meiner ansonsten mehr dadaistischen, fluxus - und punknahen Musikauffassung, die ich aber später wieder aufgegriffen habe und bis heute weiterverfolge.

Das Hauptproblem meiner frühen musikalischen Sozialisation in den frühen 60ern war, dass in dem Plattenladen in unserem Viertel, eine Elvis-Platte 5 Deutsche Mark gekostet hat, eine von Peter Kraus (peinlicher deutscher Möchtegern-Elvis) nur 3 DM. In der bald darauf folgenden Schicksalsfrage: Beatles oder Stones, war ich ganz klar für die Beatles.

Die drei erdbebenartigsten Schlüsselerlebnisse waren (in dieser Reihenfolge) :
 '67, Hendrix, ebenfalls '67 Freak Out von den Mothers und 1968 the true mother of invention: der Film 2001 mit seinem bahnbrechenden Score. Zwischen 69 und 73 (bei Dark Side of the Moon stieg ich aus) gab es nur Pink Floyd. Wir sind denen zu jedem Konzert in Deutschland hinterher gereist. Gegen 73 dann mit Verspätung Beefheart und Velvet Underground. Punk fand ich uninteressant, den gegen 78 aufkommenden Postpunk dagegen sehr. Die Tödliche Doris, Mania D, Der Plan usw. und auch ein bisschen Kraftwerk,hauptsächlich „Radioaktivität“.

Were you guys in any other bands before forming 'Dom'? Did you record anything before this?

My older brother Laszlo integrated me as drummer in his Teenie-Coverband 'The Early Birds' when I was 14. I had spent all my pocket money for my first, horrible looking drum set, which I thought looked really sexy with red frippery on the bowls.We played in sports clubs and school halls, mostly covering The Beatles. The next band was 'The Set Minds', which was a bit more ambitious. I was 15 and we still mainly played covers, not exclusively Beatles anymore, but also Hendrix and The Doors. My brother played rhythm guitar like he did with 'The Early Birds'. The look of my drum set had improved a lot, the sound only a little, because of the ‘Pearls’-Set I bought, which had the look of Ringos ‘Ludwig’-Set, but sounded not much better than my first no-name-shitty-kit. Pearl was a cheap brand in those days and far away from the premium stuff they produce nowadays. Our new lead singer Klaus Lunkenheimer really managed to sound a bit like Hendrix on the Hendrix covers we played, beside his ‘Lennon-Lookalike-Voice’.

The Early Birds 1966, Gabor Baksay

Around 66/67 we were in a sort of sporty competition with Michael Rothers Pre-‘NEU’- formation called 'Spirits of Sound' which also included Kraftwerk drummer Wolfgang Flür. Both bands met each other more than once in school halls in the Düsseldorf area, performing heavy battles for the girls’ favour. The Spirits stayed ahead most of the time, because they were that small bit cooler, had longer hair, and Wolfgang Riechmann was a very charismatic lead singer. Klaus wasn’t really able to compete, because he had to go to the Bundeswehr, that has forced him to close-crop his hair. His attempts to compensate this with a sort of ‘Winnetou’-style long headdress were not really successful.The Set Minds’ ranking got higher when Hans-Georg-Stoppka und Rainer Puzalowski (later DOM) joined in 1968. Their first official act was to delete the ‘The’ and the second ‘S’ from The Set Minds.So now we were Set Mind. (it was mandatory to have a name without ‘The’ or a plural ‘S’ at that time in the newly born and rising ‘Prog-Rock’ scene) Cover versions made room more and more for own material and songs, which were very heavily influenced by Pink Floyd in the beginning. Our epic 20-minute-bombastic-bouncing hymn a la Atom Heart Mother was called The Planet, which basically was an imperceptible, slow increase in the style of Ravel’s ‘Bolero’ or ‘Carefull with that axe Eugene’. My brother added some very dark, apocalyptic lyrics about a fire planet at the end of time – very close to what he later did with the lyrics of ‘Edge of Time’.We did have a few own songs during the ‘The Set Minds’ time, but really very few and they were so obviously influenced by the Beatles. Our flagship was ‘Theres no time’. The chorus was a cheeky Rip-Off from "We can work it out" from the Beatles, but nobody seemed to notice that or take care, especially the composers not.
But - as mentioned before – our own songs became more and more, better and more complex because of Rainer’s and Hans-Georg’s input, so during the last period of Set Mind, around 1970, we only performed our songs.

The Set Minds Netherlands 1966, Gert Schlagenhaufer-Bass, Jürgen Scheps-Vocals, Gabor Baksay-Drums, Hansi Pyrzek-Solo Guit, Laszlo Baksay-Rhythm Guit.

Mein älterer Bruder Laszlo brachte mich als Schlagzeuger in seine Teenie-Coverband ‚The Early Birds’ rein. Ich war vierzehn und hatte mein gesamtes Taschengeld für mein erstes, grauenerregend schlechtes Schlagzeug ausgegeben, das aber, wie ich fand, mit rotem Flitter auf den Kesseln sexy aussah. Wir spielten in Sportvereinen, Schulaulen und coverten hauptsächlich Beatles. Die Folgeband (da war ich 15 ) nannte sich ‚The Set Minds’ und war schon etwas ambitionierter. Wir coverten zwar immer noch, aber immerhin nicht mehr nur Beatles, sondern auch Hendrix und die Doors. Mein Bruder war wieder dabei und spielte, wie bei den “Early Birds” Rhythmusgitarre. Mein Schlagzeugset hatte sich optisch sehr aber klanglich nur ein bisschen verbessert, durch Anschaffung eines “Pearl”-Sets, das zwar  Ringos’ “Ludwig”-Set bei den Beatles täuschend ähnlich sah aber nur unwesentlich besser klang als mein erstes No-Name-Schrott-Kit. Pearl war damals eine Billigmarke und weit von den Premium-Kisten entfernt, die sie heute herstellen. Wir hatten einen neuen Sänger, Klaus Lunkenheimer, der es fertig brachte, neben seiner Lennon-Lookalike-Stimme bei den Hendrix-Covern tatsächlich ein bisschen wie Hendrix zu klingen. 

Wir befanden uns um 66 bis 67 herum in sportlicher Rivalität mit Michael Rothers Prä-”Neu”-Formation “Spirits of Sound”, in der auch der Kraftwerk-Schlagzeuger Wolfgang Flür mitspielte. Beide Bands begegneten sich mehrfach in den Schulaulas von Düsseldorf und Umgebung zu heftigen Battles, in denen wir um die Gunst der Mädchen buhlten. Meistens lagen die ‚Spirits’ um eine Nasenlänge vorn. Die waren einfach einen Tick cooler, hatten längere Haare und mit Wolfgang Riechmann einen ziemlich charismatischen Sänger. Klaus kam da aufgrund einer tragischen Einschränkung nicht ganz mit: Er musste zu der Zeit zur Bundeswehr, die ihm das damals wichtigste sekundäre Geschlechtsmerkmal, die lange Matte, geschoren hatten, was er mehr schlecht als recht versuchte durch Anschaffung einer Langhaarperücke Marke Winnetou auszugleichen - mit, sagen wir mal, durchwachsenem Erfolg. Das ‚Set Minds’ -Ranking verbesserte sich merklich, als 1968 Hans-Georg-Stoppka und Rainer Puzalowski (später DOM) hinzu kamen. Deren erste Amtshandlung war, das “The” und das zweite “S”  von “The Set Minds” zu streichen. Wir hießen also “Set Mind” .(einen Namen ohne “The” und ohne Plural-”S” zu führen war ein absolutes Muss im damals neu aufkommenden Prog-Rock!). Die Coverversionen machten immer mehr eigenem Material Platz, das zu Anfang deutlich unter dem Einfluss der frühen Pink Floyd stand. Unsere große 20-minütige Rausschmeißer-Bombast-Hymne a la „Atom Heart Mother“ nannte sich bei uns “The Planet” und bestand aus einer unmerklich langsamen Steigerung im Stil von Ravels “Bolero” bzw. “Carefull with that Axe Eugene”. Mein Bruder machte dazu düstere Apokalypse-Lyrics über einen Feuerplaneten am Ende der Zeiten - ganz ähnlich wie später bei seinem Text von “Edge of Time.” Wir hatten zwar schon zu “The Set Minds”-Zeiten eine Handvoll eigener Stücke, aber eben nur einige, die außerdem unübersehbar unter Beatles-Einfluss standen. Unser Vorzeigestück war “There’s no Time”, dessen Refrain ein aus heutiger Sicht unglaublich dreister Rip Off von “We can work it out” von den Beatles war. Das hatte aber anscheinend niemand bemerkt, die “Komponisten” am allerwenigsten. Aber, wie gesagt, durch Rainers und Hans-Georgs Einfluss wurden die eigenen Stücke mehr und auch deutlich besser oder zumindest komplexer. In der letzten Phase von “Set Mind”, Ab 1970, spielten wir nur noch eigene Stücke.

The Set Minds, Cologne 1967, Hans-Georg Stopka, Gabor Baksay, Rainer Puzalowski, Klaus Lunkenheimer

The Set Minds, Cologne 1967, Hans-Georg Stopka, Gabor Baksay, Rainer Puzalowski, Klaus Lunkenheimer

You were from Hungary, Poland and Germany and I believe you formed in 1969 in Düsseldorf. At which point have you encountered each other and how did the idea to start a band happen?

There was nobody from Poland. Rainer did maybe have some Polish ancestors. My brother Laszlo and me came from Hungary, but at the time when we recorded the album, we had already been living in Düsseldorf for 10 years. DOM was born in 1970 when ‘Set Mind’ did split.
Rainer and Hans-Georg left to concentrate on their own project ‘Orbit Free’ which was much more progressive. Despite the budding Psychedelic they felt that Set Mind still had some sort of ‘Pop-Group’ image. The ‘Free’ at the end was a must-have for a serious progressive Band, just like the dropped ‘S’ in ‘Set Minds’ was. I‘m sure they would have called themselves ‘Free Orbit’, if they had started one or two years earlier. 'Orbit Free' did perform one single gig, but I haven’t been there and have no idea about other involved musicians. Laszlo completely turned his back to music and went to the CERN to do his doctorate in physics.
I had a short interlude with a Hippie-Band that played in the Spirit of the Dutch ‘Provo’- movement, looked pretty much like the Pretty Things and sounded even a bit more sharp and hard. Those guys were – compared with my more well-of ex-colleagues from Set Mind – really rude (and looked really dark on band pictures) and introduced me to Hash on a concert in 1968.We scored second in a band contest and during the complete performance of the winning band I was hanging on the lips of their singer, frozen and fascinated, because the THC in my blood made it absolutely clear to me, that this suburban Hippie from Düsseldorf can only be Orpheus himself.
Rainer and Hans-Georg asked me after the gig, if I wanted to join them again.
They had split from the other  Orbit Free members and continued as a duo for a short time.
Far away from space and time we did spent hours surfing on the loops of their new Echo-Machine, benefiting from the beneficial achievements of Albert Hoffmann for the company Sandoz.

Set Mind, Gabor Baksay

Aus Polen war niemand. Möglicherweise hatte Rainer polnische Vorfahren. Mein Bruder Laszlo und ich stammen aus Ungarn, waren zum Zeitpunkt der Plattenaufnahme aber schon seit über zehn Jahren in Düsseldorf.
DOM ist 1970 aus dem Split von “Set Mind” entstanden. Rainer und Hans-Georg hatten keine Lust mehr auf das, trotz aller aufkeimenden Psychedelic, immer noch latent spürbare Image einer Pop-Gruppe und verließen die Band, um mit ihrem eigenen Projekt, “Orbit Free”, dem Progress in der Rock-Musik zum Durchbruch zu verhelfen. Das nach hinten gestellte “free” gehörte 1970 ebenso, wie das gedroppte “s” bei “Set Minds” zu den absoluten must- haves  einer Progressive-Band, die es ernst mit sich meinte. Ein oder zwei Jahre früher hätten sie sich zweifellos “Free Orbit” genannt. “Orbit Free” hatten gerade mal einen Auftritt, den ich aber nicht gesehen habe und auch nicht weiß, was für andere Musiker beteiligt waren. Laszlo ließ die Musik sein und ging zum CERN, um dort seinen Physik-Doktor zu machen. 
Ich hatte ein Zwischenspiel mit einer im Geiste der niederländischen “Provo”-Bewegung aufspielenden Hippie-Band, die gefährlich nach den Pretty Things aussahen und auch so, wenn nicht sogar schärfer klangen. Das waren, im Gegensatz zu meinen ex-Kollegen aus gutem Hause von Set Mind, recht derbe Jungs, (weshalb sie auf Fotos so schön finster aussahen) und die mich 1968 auf einem Konzert mit Haschisch bekanntmachten. Das war so ein Bandwettbewerb, auf dem wir auf den zweiten Platz kamen. Beim Auftritt der Siegerband, hing ich deren Sänger bedingungslos fasziniert an den Lippen, weil mir das THC im Blut klar machte, dass es sich bei diesem Düsseldorfer Vorstadt-Hippie zweifellos um niemand geringeren als Orpheus persönlich handeln konnte.
Nach dem Gig fragten mich Rainer und Hans-Georg, die sich von ihren Orbit-Free-Kollegen getrennt hatten und eine Zeit lang zu zweit weiter machten, ob ich wieder bei ihnen einsteigen will. Wir hatten dann ein paar mal - jenseits von Zeit und Raum - stunden lang auf den Loops ihrer neu angeschafften Echo-Geräte gesurft und dabei ganz eindeutig von den segensreichen Errungenschaften Albert Hofmanns für die Firma Sandoz profitiert.

Set Mind Aachen, Malteserkeller, Stopka, L. Baksay, Puzalowski, Klaus Lunkenheimer

How about the scene in Düsseldorf at the times?

Above all, the Creamcheese was the scene. A club for artists with live bands and performance, which was established by what were then Avantgarde musicians. Mainly Günter Uecker and Ferdinand Kriwet. It was a long tube that had a battery of TVs in the entry area, displaying art videos, white noise or the football world championships. The bar was designed by Heinz Mack and the barmaid was the most profligate and sophisticated in the Düsseldorf Underground. Oriental-styled, sort of Mata Hari on opium, she really was redoubtable at the time when I was 16 and my Creamcheese-era began.
Her name was Mona I think, and she opened her own classy club later in Düsseldorf’s highly esteemed avenue (Königsallee). Really great live bands played the Creamcheese. Early Kraftwerk, still with analogue flute and a drummer that was still beating real HARDWARE,  and Can were the most impressive for me. Malcolm Moroneys’s mantra recitation of ‘You do right’ struck me and pushed my innocent teenager mind in the right direction for ritual and holy madness forever. Playing the Creamcheese with DOM in 1971 was like winning a small Nobel Prize for us. Almost as important as the Creamcheese was the Domino, a tiny little bar only a few streets away, where you could get the best hash and have the best discussions about all kinds of art. The queen of the barmaids at the Domino also drove me totally mad, when she let off her free-speech performances in her queen-of-the-jungle outfit with her leopard-stetson. Like most of the really interesting people from the scene, she studied at the Düsseldorfer art academy, her name was Katharina Sieverding and she should later obtain world wide fame as Germanys most important photographic artist.

Dom 1971, Laszlo Baksay

The academy of art was the hatchery for the importance of Düsseldorf as the anarchistic-avantgarde laboratory for the musical streams and evolution in the 60’s and 70’s. Sure, no one from Kraftwerk, Der Plan or Neu studied there, but they all knew students or professors, and the parties at the academy were legendary. Supplementally  there was the Einhorn and the Uel, places where you could chill, hang around and get something to eat if you had money. The Ratinger Hof became important at the beginning of the seventies, first as some sort of hippie-billiard-saloon, later as Germanys most important Punk – and Postpunk club. For me, the essence of the Düsseldorf scene was the intelligent and humoristic propensity for anarchism, which was rooted primarily in 3 things:

1- the time of the French occupation of the Rheinland, which brought the rebellious esprit of the Enlightenment to the generally provincial Düsseldorf very early

2- the presence of the art academy, that was radiating deep into the scene and still today remains one of the most radical, most elitist and best in Germany

3- the ghost of Heinrich Heine, the Düsseldorf Grand Master of the ironically broken Romantic, floating above the waters of the Rhein since 1856.

It seems to me as if I could find his sensibility, mixed with his very angry sense of humour and caustic death wish in all works of bands from the Düsseldorfer school as Kraftwerk, Neu, Der Plan… and yes, maybe also DOM.

Die Szene war zuallererst das Creamcheese. Eine Künstlerkneipe mit Livebands ,von damaligen Avantgarde-Musikern gegründet: Hauptsächlich Günter Uecker und Ferdinand Kriwet. Es war ein langer Schlauch, am Eingangsbereich mit einer Batterie Fernseher ausgestattet, die weißes Rauschen, Kunstvideos oder die Fußbalweltmeisterschaft zeigten. Die Theke war vom Künstler Heinz Mack. Die Barfrau war so ziemlich das verrucht-mondänste, was der Düsseldorfer Underground zu bieten hatte. Irgendwie auf orientalisch aufgemacht, wie Mata Hari auf Opium, hatte ich mit 16, als meine Creamcheese-Ära begann, einen heiden Respekt vor ihr. Sie hieß, glaube ich, Mona und macht später so einen eigenen Edelschuppen auf der Düsseldorfer Prachtstraße (Königsallee) auf. Im Creamcheese spielten großartige Live-Bands, von denen die frühen Kraftwerk (noch mit analoger Querflöte und auf echter Hardware klopfendem Schlagzeuger) und Can bei mir den größten Eindruck gemacht haben. Malcolm Moroneys Mantra-Rezitation von “You do right” gab meinem ahnungslosen Teenager-Kopf für immer den richtigen Effet zu Ritual und heiligem Wahnsinn. Als wir 1971 mit Dom im Creamcheese spielten war das für mich, als hätten wir einen kleinen Nobelpreis gewonnen. Fast genauso wichtig war das Domino, eine winzig kleine Kneipe, ein paar Straßen weiter, in der es das beste Haschisch und den besten Kunstdiskurs der Stadt gab. Auch die Starkellnerin dort, hatte mich in höchste Verwirrung gestürzt, indem sie in ihrem verboten sexy Queen-of-the-Jungle-Zweiteiler mit Leoparden-Stetson und einem unglaublich frechen Mundwerk ein brillantes Free-Speech-Feuerwerk abfeuerte. Sie studierte, wie die meisten der wirklich interessanten Szene-Größen, an der Düsseldorfer Kunstakademie, hieß Katharina Sieverding und erlangte später als wichtigste deutsche Fotokünstlerin Weltruhm. Die Kunstakademie war ohne Zweifel die Brutstätte dessen, was die Bedeutung Düsseldorfs als anarcho-avantgardistisches Musiklabor der 60er und 70er ausmachte. Zwar war niemand von Kraftwerk, Neu oder Der Plan Student auf der Akademie aber alle kannten Studenten oder Professoren der Akademie, und die Akademiefeten waren legendär.

Ansonsten gab es das Einhorn und die Uel, Plätze wo man chillte und was aß, falls man Geld hatte. Später, Anfang der 70er wurde der Ratinger Hof wichtig. Zuerst als Hippie-Billard-Salon, später als wichtigster deutscher Punk- und Postpunkclub.

Was für mich das Wesen der Düsseldorfer Szene ausmachte, war ein intelligenter, humoriger Hang zu Anarchie. Das lag, meiner Meinung nach, hauptsächlich an folgenden Dingen:

1. an der Zeit der Französischen Besetzung des Rheinlands, die den aufmüpfigen Esprit der Aufklärung schon früh ins ansonsten eher provinzielle Düsseldorf brachte.

2. an der Anwesenheit der tief in die Szene ausstrahlenden Kunstakademie, die bis heute zu den international radikalsten, elitärsten und besten gehört und

3. auf den seit 1856 über den Wassern des Rheins schwebenden Geist des Düsseldorfer Großmeisters der ironisch gebrochenen Romantik, Heinrich Heine. Dessen Empfindsamkeit, gemischt mit bitterbösem Humor bis zu sarkastischer Todessehnsucht , meine ich  in allen Werken der Düsseldorfer Schule von “Kraftwerk”, “Neu”, “Der Plan” und wenn man will, auch bei “Dom” wieder zu finden.

Where was the first band meeting and what do you remember from it?

My brother Laszlo took me to the lower class suburb Eller, where Rainer and Hans-Georg had a rehearsal room in his parent’s house. I was the youngest by far and I was somehow admiring Rainer Puzalowski and especially Hans-Georg Stopka. My brother took me there because the Set Minds were falling apart and we were looking for new musicians.

Ich war mit Abstand der jüngste und blickte damals ein bisschen bewundernd zu Rainer Puzalowski und besonders Hans-Georg Stopka auf, als mein Bruder Laszlo mich in den Düsseldorfer Arbeitervorort Eller mitnahm. Dort hatten die beiden im Haus von Hans-Georgs Eltern einen Proberaum. Besonders Hans-Georg mit seinem ironischen bis zynischen Humor und seiner Hipster-Attitüde flößte mir Respekt ein. Mein Bruder Laszlo hatte mich dorthin mitgenommen, weil die ‚Set Minds’ auseinander fielen und wir neue Musiker suchten.

To ask you about influences is something I wondered for a long time. What were your direct influences to do the  'Edge of Time' album? I don't mean just music but generally speaking...

I had just become 18 when we started with DOM, and like everyone else at my age with Hippie ambitions during these times I had read Hermann Hesse and listened to the early Pink Floyd. The “Mothers of Invention” were very important, even more (a bit later) “Captain Beefheart”, whose destruction of the groove by a rhythmically uncontrolled polyphony, remains one of the most important influences for me. In 1970 King Crimson were arriving like a bombshell on us all, especially their second album “In the Wake of Poseidon”. Because of the movie “2001-Odyssee im Weltall” and the “WDR-3-HörSpielStudio” of Klaus Schöning I was listening to a lot of contemporary music, which (because of those 2  factors of influence) appeared very intuitionally comprehensible, and not difficult or overly intellectual. It was also around 1970 that unplugged-Bands like “The Third Ear Band” became more an more important for us and marked the passage from electronically generated Psychedelik to analogue created forms of Romantic consciousness. I always understood the Romantic in the ambivalent form of Heinrich Heine, an I always tried to avoid sentimentalism and goo The musical prototype for this direction was Claude Debussy, who Hans-Georg  (as the only member of the band with a classical musical education) also appreciated very much.

Ferdinand Kriwet, a revolutionary artist from the art- academy- milieu in Düsseldorf was also a major influence. I want to entrust his acoustic works of art and sound collages to everyone who doesn’t know them. Kriwet was a visual artist, sound artist and author, who e.g. manufactured typographical objects and created the furnishing of the Creamcheese. He called his radio plays listening texts, and they were based upon a refined cut-up- technique with extremely rhythmic, polyphonic precision. They were not (as postulated by Burroughs) controlled by chance, they were composed. His most famous listening texts are : “One Two Two”, “Apollo America” and “Radioball”. I got to know Kriwet and his work fort the first time in 1969 while listening to Klaus Schöning’s above mentioned “HörspielStudio” on WDR 3. Schöning was very important for the acoustic art scene all around the world and brought the ‘Creme de la Crème’ of the American Avantgarde to WDR 3. His program was a must go for me and for sure beside Kriwet the major influence for my persuasion, that the differentiation between music and sound was antiquated and useless. I didn’t know John Cage in those days….. but I did in 1987, when Schöning played Cage music and interviews for 24 hours non-stop on his 75th Birthday. It was very stressful to record everything without a gap on tape, but it also was the most intensive experience I had with radio in my whole life.

Along the lines of Kriwet I started doing my own sound collages from sound pieces and snippets in 1970. I did of course not reach the virtuosity of my paragon, but I was creating acceptable material to push my friends into trance during the nights. There wasn’t much talking during these meetings.It looked more like lying on the floor, listening to my loops for hours, passing around burning medicinal herbs and KEEP OUR MOUTHS SHUT.
One of those tape recordings was planned to be used as an interlude in ‘Silence’, but this was cancelled because of my naïve attempt to include some snippets from Kriwet, for example the beginning of “One, two, two”, in which the German football reporter Herbert Zimmermann was screaming his ecstatic  “Aus! Aus! Das Spiel ist aus!” during the final of the 1954 World Cup.
I had used this one plus two or three other parts without any compunction as a collage from the collage.But our producer Neubauer was going ballistic because Kriwet had recorded “One, two, two”, about a year ago with him, and he noticed the parts immediately.
“No way! We cannot use that !”
A heavy discussion followed, because I refused to accept that I have to cut those Kriwet parts out, but at the end I improvised something with shortwave-background noises, that made it’s way on the record together with Paul’s flute accompaniment.

Ich war gerade mal 18, als wir mit DOM anfingen und habe (wie damals alle in meinem Alter mit Hippie-Ambitionen) Hermann Hesse gelesen und die frühen Pink Floyd gehört. Die “Mothers of Invention” waren wichtig, noch wichtiger bald “Captain Beefheart”, dessen Zerstörung des Grooves durch eine rhythmisch unkontrollierte Polyphonie, mir bis heute zu den wichtigsten Einflussfaktoren gehört. 1970 schlug “King Crimson” bei uns allen ein wie eine Bombe, speziell noch mal deren zweite Platte “In the Wake of Poseidon”.
Dank dem Film “2001-Odyssee im Weltall” und dem “WDR-3-HörSpielStudio” von Klaus Schöning hörte ich viel zeitgenössische Musik, die mir aufgrund der beiden Einflussfaktoren gar nicht schwierig oder kopflastig erschien, sondern intuitiv verständlich. Um 1970 herum wurden für mich und die anderen unplugged-Bands wie “The Third Ear Band” wichtig und markierten den Übergang von elektronisch erzeugter Psychedelik zu analog erzeugten Formen romantischen Bewusstseins. Romantik verstand ich immer in der ambivalenten Form Heinrich Heines und wollte immer Schwulst und Gefühlssoße vermeiden. Musikalisches Vorbild in der Richtung war Claude Debussy, den auch Hans-Georg, als einzig klassisch ausgebildeter Musiker der Band, sehr schätzte.

Dann gab es in Düsseldorf einen bahnbrechenden Künstler aus dem Kunstakademie-Umfeld, namens Ferdinand Kriwett. Dessen akkustische Kunstwerke und Soundcollagen möchte ich jedem eindringlich ans Herz legen, der ihn noch nicht kennt.
Kriwet war bildender Künstler ,Tonkünstler und Autor, der u.a. typographische Objekte hergestellte und das Creamcheese eingerichtet hat. Seine Hörspiele nannte er Hörtexte, die  auf verfeinerter Cut-Up-Technik mit einer unglaublich rhythmisierten, polyphonen Präzision beruhten. Sie waren nicht, wie von Borroughs gefordert, zufallsgesteuert sondern komponiert. Am bekanntesten sind seine Hörtexte: “One Two Two”, “Apollo America” und “Radioball”. Kriwet hörte ich das erste mal 1969 auf WDR 3 im oben genannten “HörspielStudio” von Klaus Schöning. Schöning war für die akustische Kunst weltweit enorm wichtig und hat die Creme de la Creme der amerikanischen Avantgarde zum WDR 3 geholt. Für mich war seine Sendung ein Pflichttermin und ganz bestimmt, neben Kriwet der wichtigste Einfluss, der mir eine Unterscheidung von Geräusch und Musik immer altmodischer und sinnloser erscheinen ließ. John Cage kannte ich damals noch nicht. 1987 aber schon, als Schöning zum 75. Geburtstag von John Cage 24 Stunden lang non-stop Cage-Musik und Interviews sendete. Es war ganz schön stressig, alles lückenlos auf Kassette mitzuschneiden aber gleichzeitig war es mein lebenslang stärkstes Radioerlebnis.
1970 begann ich nach dem Vorbild Kriwets, mittels Tonbandschnippseln Soundcollagen herzustellen. Natürlich erreichte ich nicht die Virtuosität meines Vorbilds, produzierte aber sehr akzeptables Material, mit dem ich meine Freunde in nächtliche Trancezustände versetzte. Es wurde nicht viel geredet bei diesen Zusammenkünften. Vielmehr sah es so aus, dass wir auf dem Boden liegend, meinen stundenlangen Tondandloops lauschend, uns brennende Heilkräuter weiterreichten und ansonsten die Klappe hielten.
Eigentlich sollte als Zwischenspiel bei “Silence” eines dieser Tonbandwerke enthalten sein. Das scheiterte aber, weil ich naiver Weise ein paar Soundschnippsel von Kriwet mit reingeschnitten habe, z.B. den Anfang von “One, two, two” in dem der deutsche Fußballreporter Herbert Zimmermann im Endspiel der Fußballweltmeisterschaft 1954 ekstatisch ins Mikro schrie: “Aus! Aus! Das Spiel ist aus!” Ich habe das und zwei, drei andere Stellen, als Collage der Collage ohne irgendwelche Gewissensbisse verwendet.
Das sah unser Produzent Neubauer aber anders. Zufällig hatte Kriwet “One, two, two” nämlich ein Jahr vorher bei ihm aufgenommen. Neubauer rastete völlig aus, weil er die Stellen sofort erkannte und meinte: “Das können wir nicht nehmen.” Es gab eine heftige Diskussion, in der ich nicht einsehen wollte, dass ich die Kriwet-Stellen rausschneiden soll und habe dann schnell etwas mit Kurzwellen-Hintergrundgeräuschen improvisiert, was auch mit Rainers Flötenbegleitung auf der Platte gelandet ist.

There are four different pieces that work as a concept on the album. Do you agree?

Well, the concept was more perceived than conceived. I cannot agree to this theory, that the concept of the record was an evocation of a ‘Bad Trip’. The four pieces came into being absolutely independent from each other and were chosen very shortly before the recording. I don’t think that Rainer and Hans-Georg were following a specific CONCEPT, for sure not a narrative one. But I do agree that now – retrospectively – those four tracks seem to be made from one piece, what not necessarily means that they were contrived. It would be a very narrow-minded and absolutely NOT psychedelic understanding of music, trying to ascribe everything to a conscious intention of the musician.

Das Konzept war eher gefühlt als durchdacht. Was ich öfters lese, das Konzept der Platte sei die Beschwörung eines “Bad Trips”, kann ich nicht bestätigen. Die vier Stücke entstanden unabhängig voneinander ,und wurden erst kurz vor der Aufnahme ausgewählt. Ich glaube nicht, dass Rainer und Hans-Georg ein explizites Konzept dabei verfolgten und ganz bestimmt kein narratives. Ich gebe dir aber recht, dass im Nachhinein betrachtet, die vier Tracks wie aus einem Guss erscheinen, was aber eben nicht zwangsläufig heißt, dass sie “ausgedacht” gewesen sein müssen. Es wäre ja ein sehr engherziges Verständnis von Musik, und ganz bestimmt kein psychedelisches, alles auf bewusste Absichten des Musikers zurückführen zu wollen.

How did the process of making these pieces look like?

Every time Rainer and Hans-Georg came over with the material that they prepared individually or together. ‘Silence’ and ‘Dream’ were more or less Rainer’s creation, ‘Edge of time’ a joint venture of both and ‘Introitus’ most likely the work of us all.
We were always crediting the whole band as composers, but the most style-forming stimuli came from Hans-Georg and Rainer.

Es war jedes Mal so, daß Rainer und Hans-Georg mit dem Material kamen, das sie entweder einzeln oder gemeinsam vorbereitet hatten. “Silence” war mehr Rainers Ding. “Edge of Time” ihr gemeinsames. “Dream” war klar von Rainer und “Introitus” am ehesten das Werk von uns allen. Wir haben immer die gesamte Band als Komponisten angegeben, aber die stilbildenden Impulse kamen meistens von Hans-Georg und Rainer.

How did you get signed up by Melocord Records. I only know, that this company released 'Anima Sound' the same year as your LP came out and 'The Germs' and 'Rainbows'. Would love if you could cover the story of the label! Who was behind it?

We recorded at Studio Neubauer. He had launched an advert that he was looking for Avantgarde bands for his newly founded label. I don’t remember who he was working with, but I recall Florian Schneider tinkering on a shelving system for his setup there. I don’t know for sure what Neubauer was doing with Kraftwerk, but I remember that Michael Rother and Ferdinand Kriwet did record there. I later assumed that the Kling-Klang-Studio of Kraftwerk was the reconstructed Neubauer-Studio, because they were both located next to the main station of Düsseldorf, but I am not really sure.

Wir haben im Studio Neubauer aufgenommen. Dieser hatte eine Anzeige aufgegeben, dass er Avantgarde-Bands für sein neu gegründetes Label suchte. Mit wem er sonst noch arbeitete, weiß ich nicht mehr, erinnere mich aber, dass Florian Schneider dort an einem Regalsystem für sein Setup herumschraubte. Was genau Neubauer mit Kraftwerk machte, weiß ich nicht. Sicher weiß ich nur, dass Michael Rother und Ferdinand Kriwet dort Aufnahmen gemacht haben. Da das Neubauer-Studio am Düsseldorfer Hauptbahnhof gelegen war, habe ich später vermutet, dass Kraftwerks Kling-Klang-Studio, das ja auch in Bahnhofsnähe war, das umgebaute Neubauer-Studio gewesen sein könnte. Sicher bin ich aber nicht.

Where did you record the material and what are some of the strongest memories from producing and recording this LP?

Recorded all material at Neubauer-Studio and my heaviest impression was for sure this big piece of Black Afghan which a fairy godmother had left for us. (I think it was Mister Neubauer himself).
The studio was excellently equipped, comfortable and wide. There was this superb piano Hans-Georg was literally crawling into (‘Edge of Time’) and this deluxe version of a XXL-vibraphone which I operate on in ‘Dream’. One of the historical feats of Neubauer was to exorcise the last Pink-Floyd-influences by telling us that he doesn’t have an echo console in his Top-Gear-Studio.This was of course a lie, but Neubauer was obviously bugged because we always wanted to have an echo everywhere and in everything.
At that time (just like most of the other ‘Psychedelics’ from Düsseldorf) DOM actually consisted of 99% echo-loops. The most distinctive feature of the Pink-Floydianism was taken away by the ban of Neubauer, so Dom was able to create their unique and inventive sound in the studio. My vocals on ‘Silence’ are the only part were Neubauer accepted echo.
We were forced to drive through half of the city to Eller to get our own one, because he pretended not to have one. How we sounded back then with echo can be heard on the bonus tracks of the Cd ‘Flötenmenschen 1-4’.

Wir haben alles Material im Neubauer-Studio aufgenommen. Mein stärkster Eindruck war zweifellos das fette Piece schwarzer Afghane, das uns eine gute Fee (ich glaube, Herr Neubauer himself) da hingelegt hatte. Das Studio war aber auch sonst vorzüglich ausgestattet und kam mir damals ziemlich gewaltig vor. Es war ausladend und gemütlich. Es gab einen hervorragenden Flügel, in den Hans-Georg buchstäblich hineinkroch (“Edge of Time”) und das De-Luxe-Modell eines XXL-Vibraphons, auf dem ich mich bei “Dream” versuchte.
Es gehört zu den historischen Großtaten des Herrn Neubauer uns die letzten offensichtlichen Pink-Floyd-Einflüsse ausgetrieben zu haben, indem er behauptete, in seinem Top-Gear-Studio kein Echo-Gerät zu haben. Das war natürlich eine Lüge, aber eine weise. Neubauer war sichtlich genervt, weil wir immer und überall Echo drin haben wollten. Eigentlich bestand DOM zu der Zeit , ebenso wie die meisten anderen bewusstseinserweiterten Psychedeliker aus Düsseldorf, zu 99% aus Echoschleifen. Durch Neubauers Echo-Verbot war das Haupterkennungsmerkmal des Pink Floydianismus entfernt ,und Dom konnte im Studio seinen unverwechselbaren Sound entwickeln.
Die einzige Stelle, in der Neubauer Echo akzeptierte, war bei meinem Gesang bei ‚Silence’. Weil er ja angeblich keines besaß, mussten wir also mitten im teuren Produktionsprozess durch die halbe Stadt nach Eller und uns unser eigenes Gerät holen. Wie wir damals mit Echo klangen, hört man auf den Bonusstücken der CD “Flötenmenschen 1-4”.

What gear did you guys use?

We had a WEM (obvious prototype: Pink Floyd) with PA boxes for which Rainer and Hans-Georg had worked during the complete summer on a construction area. I played a Sonor drum set which was replaced by various drums shortly before the recording of ‘Edge of time’. Partially an outcome from the influence of the ‘Third Ear Band’.
I also thought it was very sophisticated and comfortable not to have to carry around so much bits and pieces anymore. I was on the peak of my Hippie-Romantic-Period and wanted – young and naïve – to reduce everything artificial and all tools as much as possible.
Paragon was the ‘Third Ear Band’ and The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse, in which the hero (the mighty Glass-Bead-Game-Master) reduced all his technical apparatus to a small flute for children. Synthesizers were new and unaffordable, so the choice for keyboards was mainly
Hammond or Philicorda. We found Hammond too much jazzy, so Hans-Georg played Philicorda with ‘Set Mind’. An instrument with a cheesy plastic-sound, that allowed a reasonable Doors or Soft Machine Keyboard sound. It was a revelation when the Dr.Böhm-Orgel was released as a do-it-yourself-kit. It had a fantastic sound, especially in the sacral register and was affordable.
The rub lies in doing-it-by-yourself.
It took weeks to combine and solder those thousand pieces AND to calibrate it meaningfully.
The result can be heard in all it’s glory in the organ solo of ‘Introitus’.

The absolute killer in Neubauer’s equipment was a Echolette ring modulator with a tonal range which facilitated us to create aggressive, nasty and toxic sounds somewhere between an amputation without anaesthesia and a tilted angle grinder.
Exactly what Hans-Georg - as a fan of Baudelaires “Flowers of Evil” - had dreamed of.
He chops up those lovely flute and guitar landscapes with Neubauer’s infernal machine on the first track of the Lp ‘Introitus’ with appreciative cruelty.
Those 45 seconds of radical electronics are the most painful experience for the highly sensitive listener since their first endodontic treatment. It was very important for us that the Romantic which we just discovered was not drifting into sentimentality or becoming corny.
The roots of the Romantic in the German idealism have been anything but corny and soppy.
Turning away from the civil self was painful, ambivalent and paradoxical.
Represented very clear in the poems of Heine.

Wir hatten eine WEM-Anlage (klares Vorbild: Pink Floyd) mit PA-Boxen, für die Rainer und Hans-Georg den ganzen Sommer auf einer Baustelle gearbeitet hatten. Ich spielte ein Sonor Schlagzeug, das wir aber kurz vor der Aufnahme von “Edge of Time” abgeschafft haben und durch diverse Trommeln ersetzten. Das geht zum Teil bestimmt auf den Einfluss der ‚Third Ear Band’ zurück. Außerdem fand ich es elegant und angenehm, nicht mehr eine Schießbude durch die Gegend schleppen zu müssen. Ich befand mich, damals jung und naiv, gerade auf dem Höhepunkt meiner Hippie-Romantik-Phase und wollte alles künstliche und alle Hilfsmittel so weit wie möglich reduzieren. Vorbild war die “Third Ear Band” und Hermann Hesses “Glasperlenspiel”, wo der Held des Buches, der mächtige Glasperlenspiel-Meister seine ganzen technischen Apparat auf eine kleine Kinderflöte reduzierte.
Synthesizer waren noch neu und unerschwinglich, deshalb beschränkte sich die Auswahl an Keyboards im wesentlichen auf Hammond oder Philicorda. Hammond war uns zu jazzig, deshalb spielte Hans-Georg bei “Set Mind” Philicorda, ein Gerät mit einem käsigen Plastiksound, mit dem man aber immerhin einen ganz passablen Doors- oder Soft Machine Keyboardsound hinbekam.
Als dann die Dr. Böhm-Orgel im Selbstbau-Set erschien, glich das einer Offenbarung. Die hatte einen phantastischen Sound, besonders in den sakralen Registern und war bezahlbar. Der Haken war nur das selber bauen müssen. Es hat Wochen gedauert, die ca. 1000 Teile zusammen zu löten und das Ganze dann noch sinnvoll zu kalibrieren. In seiner ganzen Pracht hört man das Ergebnis beim Orgelsolo auf “Introitus”.

Das brutale Killerteil in Neubauers Gerätepark war ein Echolette Ringmodulator, mit dem man im Klangspektrum einer Beinamputation ohne Betäubung und einer verkanteten Flexmaschine die giftigsten und aggressivsten Sounds hervorbringen konnte. Genau so ein Gerät hatte Hans-Georg als Fan von Baudelaires “Blumen des Bösen” immer schon vorgeschwebt. Auf dem ersten Stück der LP “Introitus” zerhackt er die lieblichen Flöten- und Gitarrenlandschaften in genüsslicher Grausamkeit mit Neubauers Höllenmaschine. Für zart besaitete Hörer zählen diese knapp 45 Sekunden Radikalelektronik zu den schmerzhaftesten Erlebnissen seit ihrer ersten Zahnwurzelbehandlung. Für uns war wichtig, dass die von uns gerade erst neu entdeckte Romantik nicht ins Sentimentale oder Kitschige abdriftete. Die Wurzeln der Romantik im deutschen Idealismus sind ja alles andere als süßlich oder sentimental, sondern als Abschied vom bürgerlichen Ich auch schmerzhaft und ambivalent bis paradox, was man in Heines Gedichten sehr schön sieht.

What can you say about the cover artwork and the related text, that appears on it? What was the concept about it? Is it really about an acid trip?

My brother wrote the text, who was the only one in the band that never took acid or smoked weed. He was (and still is) proud of his always-clear physic’s head. 
The cover is from his then-girlfriend Jutta Keimer, who (also abstinent) used some physical experiment in which my brother took part as image motif. My brother is particle physicist, so I suppose it shows a bubble chamber. Acid played an important role for the rest of the band.
For Rainer and me in a relatively uninterrupted ‘Hippie-Nature-Romantic’ way….the beauty of silence, speaking sparsely and as truthful as possible. Getting behind the distorted and indoctrinated pictures of society, discard them and focus on the substance.
Hans-Georg was more sort of the clever, urban Hunter-S-Thompson-guy, who swallowed not only Acid but also much heavier stuff, mainly to have fun and to laugh about himself and others.

Der Text ist von meinem Bruder, der der einzige aus der Band war, der kein Acid genommen hatte und auch nie gekifft hat. Er war (und ist) halt stolz auf seinen immer-klaren Physikerkopf. Das Cover war von seiner damaligen (ebenfalls abstinenten) Freundin Jutta Keimer, die als Bildmotiv irgendein physikalisches Experiment, an dem mein Bruder teilnahm, benutzte. Er ist Teilchenphysiker, deshalb nehme ich an, das Bild zeigt eine Blasenkammer.
Für den Rest der Band spielte Acid eine wichtige Rolle und zwar in folgender Rollenverteilung:
Für mich und Rainer in einer relativ ungebrochenen Hippie-Naturromantik. Also Schönheit der Stille, wenig und möglichst wahrhaftig reden. Die gesellschaftlich indoktrinierten Gaukelbilder durchschauen und ablegen und sich auf das wesentliche reduzieren. Hans-Georg war mehr der clevere, urbane Hunter-S.-Thompson-Typ, der alles mögliche, nicht nur Acid, sondern auch weit härtere Sachen, eingeworfen hatte, um Spaß zu haben und sich und andere Leute auszulachen.

Dom Back-cover foto

Please comment each song from the LP.

A1  Introitus

The first song from DOM ever, in which all current and already partially overcome influences
interact and work together. Rainer plays the flute and the organ solo of Hans-Georg is a double reverence to the engineering qualities of Dr. Böhm and the keyboard art of Rick Wright.
Rainer brought a tape recorder together with a pre-release recording of the LP up to the 4th floor for me to listen to. At that time I was in a private Acid conference together with a friend of mine, floating above a clear Chinese mountain lake.
When we reached the ring-modulator interlude I really suffered torturous bodily pain.
Full of panic I pushed the stop button and Rainer looked at me, staggered and sad ….. like I had just committed a peerless act of brutality and sawn off the head of our common baby.
I did calm down very fast, we listened to the tape until the end and Rainer was cheerful again.

A2 Silence

"Silence" is pure Rainer. He sings, plays the flute and has conceived the complete track alone.
It contains  (at most hinted for the listener, for me clearly evident ) elements of a collective LSD Trip in the “Aaper Wald” in Düsseldorf.

B1   Edge of Time

The only track on which I allowed myself to play drums. Too bad. The flute is also mine.
Not to mention, how much I hate flutes because of the above mentioned reason. One of my most favourite announcement from my highly adored John Peel goes like this :
‘I NEVER listen to records that include a flute. Don’t ask me why… but this record from xx (I forgot the name) I really listened to until the end !’
The text on Edge of Time is spoken by Hans-Georg and for quite some time it felt like the only real overblown and pathetic element of the record to me. For this reason I often played the record on 45 instead of 33 rpm when I played it for friends in the 70s. I really suggest everyone who owns the record should try this. It creates a discrete, but  (from my point of view) also reasonable second piece.

B2 Dream

My favourite track on this record for a long time. Like ‘Silence’ it is strongly shaped by Rainer.
The synergy of the guitar and Hans-Georg on the organ is soothing, but without any trace of sentimentality. The ‘Ligeti’- passages take the subject into a contemporary context in a very unaffected way.

Dom, Back-Cover session

A1  Introitus

Das erste Stück von DOM überhaupt, in dem alle damals aktuellen und zum Teil schon überwundene Einflüsse noch einmal nebeneinander stehen. Die Flöte spielt Rainer und Hans-Georgs Orgelsolo ist eine doppelte Reverenz an die Ingeniersqualitäten des Dr. Böhm und die Keyboardkunst von Rick Wright.
Rainer schleppte ein Tonbandgerät mit einer Vorabaufnahme der LP zu mir auf die 4 Etage, um sie mir vorzuspielen. Ich befand mich gerade mit einem Freund auf einer privaten Acid-Konferenz und schwebte wie auf Knopfdruck über einem klaren, chinesischen Bergsee. Als dann das Ringmodulator-Zwischenspiel kam, versetzte mich das in körperlich derart qualvolle Schmerzzustände, dass ich panikartig den Aus-Knopf betätigte. Rainer sah mich erstaunt und traurig an, als hätte ich in einem Akt beispielloser Brutalität, unserem gemeinsamen Baby den Kopf abgesägt.
Ich beruhigte mich aber schnell wieder, wir hörten das Band zu Ende und Rainer konnte wieder fröhlich blicken.

A2 Silence

“Silence” ist purer Rainer. Er singt und spielt Flöte und hat das ganze Stück im Alleingang konzipiert. Es enthält für den Hörer höchstens angedeutete, für mich klar ersichtliche Versatzstücke eines gemeinsamen LSD-Trips im Düsseldorfer “Aaper Wald”.

B1   Edge of Time

Das einzige Stück, in dem ich mir gestattete Schlagzeug zu spielen. Schade eigentlich. Die Flöte ist auch von mir. Kaum zu sagen, wie ich Flöten (aus oben genanntem Grund) seitdem hasse. Eine meiner Lieblingsansagen des von mir hoch verehrten John Peel lautete: “Ich pflege NIE Platten zu hören, wo Flöten drauf sind (Fragt mich nicht, warum) aber diese Platte von XY [habe vergessen, wie die Band hieß] habe ich zu Ende gehört.”
Den Text von Edge of Time spricht Hans-Georg. Ich habe das eine Zeit lang als das einzig deutlich zu schwülstig, pathetische Element der Platte angesehen. Deshalb habe ich die Platte in den 70ern, wenn ich sie Freunden vorspielte oft auf 45 statt auf 33 rpm abgespielt. Ich empfehle Plattenspielerbesitzern das auch einmal zu probieren. Es entsteht so, wie ich finde, ein eigenständig, durchaus plausibles, zweites Werk.

B2 Dream

Seit längerem mein Lieblingsstück auf der Platte. Es ist , wie “Silence” stark von Rainer geprägt. Das Zusammenspiel seiner Gitarre mit Hans-Georgs Orgel empfinde ich als höchst besänftigend, ohne jede Spur von Sentimentalität. Die “Ligeti”-Passagen klammern das Thema auf ungekünstelte Weise in einen zeitgenössischen Kontext ein.

Why the name ‘Dom’?

My original idea in the summer of 1970 was "D-OM" which should have signified a (more or less trashy) conjunction between western and eastern mysticism. The omission of the hyphens was an aesthetic decision and should not – like some still believe – be a reference to the super drug DOM, which was circulating in those days. DOM was a very strong LSD that took you on a trip for days, but neither of us tried it. As far as I know not even Hans-Georg.
I mean ……one whole day on great LSD should be enough for life, or ?

Meine ursprüngliche Idee im Sommer 1970 war “D-OM”, was eine, wie ich heute finde, etwas kitschige Verbindung von westlicher mit östlicher Mystik andeuten sollte. Das Weglassen des Bindestrichs war eine ästhetische Entscheidung und sollte nicht, wie manche glauben, auf die damals kursierende Superdroge DOM anspielen. DOM war ein sehr starkes LSD, das einen tagelang auf Trip brachte, das aber keiner von uns probiert hatte, nicht mal Hans-Georg, soweit ich weiß. Ich meine, ein ganzer Tag auf gutem LSD reicht doch wohl fürs Leben!?

Did you do any concerts or perhaps even tour? If so where and with whom did you share stage? What was the audience’s reaction?

We mostly played in Düsseldorf and Aachen. The highlights in Düsseldorf have been the Kunsthalle, the Creamcheese and the Big Ape, a sophisticated hippie club in the Königsallee.
From Aachen, where my brother studied physics, I recall the Neue Galerie, the Audimax and the Malteserkeller.We played as support for the Spencer Davis Group at the Audimax (strange mixture), at the Creamcheese I once called my friend Frank Köllges on stage to join us on the percussions without having ever rehearsed at all together. But that wasn’t necessary with Frank, who started some very innovative stuff later on together with Padlt Noidlt and others.

Dom 1970, Aachen Malteserkeller

Wir spielten hauptsächlich in Düsseldorf und Aachen. Highlights waren in Düsseldorf die Kunsthalle, das Creamcheese und das Big Ape, ein mondäner Hippieclub in der Königsallee. In Aachen (mein Bruder studierte da Physik) erinnere ich mich an die Neue Galerie, das Audimax und den Malteserkeller.
Im Audimax waren wir der Support der Spencer Davis Group (eine merkwürdige Mischung), im Creamcheese holte ich meinen damaligen Freund Frank Köllges als Percussionisten auf die Bühne, ohne jemals vorher zusammen geprobt zu haben. Das war bei Frank aber auch nicht nötig, der ja später mit Padlt Noidlt u.a. höchst innovatives auf die Beine gestellt hat.

Dom 1970, Aachen, Malteserkeller, Stopka, L. Baksay

How was the LP distributed and did it got any critics?

I really can’t remember. The lion’s share was private distribution, but that was mainly organized by my brother and Hans-Georg. I’m sure there were some local critics, but I can’t remember when or where they were published.

Dom 1970, Aachen, Malteserkeller, Stopka, L. Baksay, Puzalowski

Ich weiß es nicht mehr wirklich. Der Hauptanteil war Eigenvertrieb, mit dem ich aber nichts zu tun hatte, weil mein Bruder und Hans-Georg das organisiert hatten. Kritiken gab es einige regionale, ich erinnere mich aber nicht mehr wann und wo.

Dom 1970, Aachen, Malteserkeller, Stopka, Puzalowski, G. Baksay

What happened after the LP was released (how many copies?). You ended up a year later? Does any other material exist? I know, that you recorded some additional stuff a few years back, that is featured on the Second Battle reissue. Tell us about that material?

Well, we disbanded shortly after the LP was released.
My brother had to stay in Genf at the CERN more often and much longer, Hans-Georg wanted to get further with his medical study in Frankfurt and I desperately wanted to go to India to get rid of my EGO.

Wir haben uns sehr zeitnah zur Veröffentlichung der LP aufgelöst. Mein Bruder musste / blieb immer länger in Genf beim CERN, Hans-Georg musste mit seinem Medizinstudium in Frankfurt weiterkommen und ich wollte unbedingt nach Indien, um mein Ego loszuwerden.

What did you guys do after 1972?

Well, I didn’t reach India because  I couldn’t get a visa with my Hungarian refugee passport.
So I decided to pretend a ‘civil existence’ to get a German passport by starting a cross flute studies in Aachen. Musically a big mistake, because my Romantic episode had already begun to recede and to evolve in the Dadaistic Pre-Punk direction. If I had studied drums at that time, which I did not hate that much and could play much better than the cross flute, I would probably play music as main job nowadays. After the cross flute I did German studies and Art studies, invented a small print product directly after finishing, which I continue to conduct as a culture-and-satire magazine up to today. From the early 80’s to 2007 I had this wild-improvised-Post-Punk band called “Die Malangrés” in Aachen, where I still live today. It was part of the concept of unrepeatability, that we did not release any recordings and pushed all energy into the live gigs.
Hans-Georg and Rainer continued as a duo for a short time, but more or less faltering, without big ambitions. Both died very early at the beginning of the 90’s.
My brother Laszlo is a nuclear physicist and works as a professor in the USA since the 1980s.
First in Boston, than Dallas, now Florida.

Bei mir hat Indien nicht geklappt, weil ich mit meinem ungarischen Flüchtlingspass kein Visum bekam. Um einen deutschen Pass zu bekommen, entschloss ich mich, eine bürgerliche Existenz vorzutäuschen, in dem ich in Aachen begann Querflöte zu studieren. Musikalisch ein Fehler, weil da meine Romantikphase bereits anfing abzuebben und sich in die dadaistische Prä-Punk-Richtung weiterzuentwickeln. Hätte ich damals Schlagzeug studiert, was ich viel besser konnte und das ich nicht so gehasst habe, wie sehr bald die Querflöte, würde ich wahrscheinlich heute noch hauptberuflich Musik machen.
Ich habe dann Germanistik und Kunst studiert und direkt nach dem Studium ein kleines Printprodukt entwickelt, das ich als Kultur- und Satiremagazin bis heute betreibe.
Anfang der 80er hatte ich in Aachen, wo ich seitdem lebe, eine wild improvisierende Post-Punk-Band namens, “Die Malangrés” mit der wir bis 2007 krachig improvisierte Musik im Aachener Raum gemacht haben. Es gehörte zum Konzept der Unwiederholbarkeit, keine Tonträger zu veröffentlichen, sondern alle Energie ins Live-Spielen zu legen.
Hans-Georg und Rainer haben noch eine Zeit lang zu zweit weitergemacht aber ich glaube, relativ halbherzig, ohne großen Einsatz.
Beide sind sehr früh, Anfang der 90er Jahre gestorben.
Mein Bruder Laszló ist Kernphysiker und arbeitet seit den 80er Jahren als Professor in den USA. Erst in Boston, dann in Dallas, jetzt in Florida.

What currently occupies your life?

I continue to work on the zine “Moviebeta”, that I maintain on the internet together with various film projects, for which I also recorded the music. At the moment we are preparing a new website, which is conceptualized as a satiric – Dadaistic, zine-supporting master plan.

Megabeta August 2014

Ich mache meine Zeitung “Moviebeta” weiter, die ich mit diversen Filmprojekten, zu denen ich auch die Musik mache, im Internet begleite. Wir arbeiten gerade an einer neuen Website, die Anfang Januar fertig sein soll, und als magazinbegleitendes satirisch-, dadaistisches Gesamtkonzept konzipiert ist.

Any chance you'll get back together?

At the utmost once : “In the Night of the living Dead”.

Höchsten einmal noch: “In the Night of the living Dead”.

Thanks for taking your time! I’m glad we discussed your music. Would you like to share anything else; perhaps a message to It's Psychedelic Baby readers?

“Two dimensions are one too many. “

“Zwei Dimensionen sind eine Dimension zu viel.”

Interview made by Klemen Breznikar/2014
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2014