Deine Lakaien – “From new wave followers to dark wave icons”
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Deine Lakaien are doing fine, thank you! While the band has hit the German media controlled Charts with their most recent single "Over and done", they went straight to number 1 in the German Alternative Charts DAC, Germany's leading independent charts. Released through Capitol/EMI the single is to push the newest album from this influential German band, "April skies". With live dates for Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Greece (at the Elfentanz fest) coming up, we talked with the ever charming Alexander Velyanov about the label change, the way Deine Lakaien feels nowadays and an rarities boxset for the near future. (By Bernard Van Isacker)
SL. You switched record label, from Sony/Columbia you went to EMI for the release of “April skies”, why precisely?
AV. We had a contract with Sony for which we made 3 albums, “Kasmodiah”, “White lies” and the “Live in concert” CD. So we fulfilled the contract. We didn’t want to continue with them and turned down their offer and collaboration. The people that have supported us in the beginning when we released “Kasmodiah” told us that they were to quit Sony because of the upcoming BMG merge. And for us it is always very important having the right people working for us so we talked with different companies from who we got different offers. In the end we went with EMI. You know, there no big companies left as there were ten years ago. Then you had indie labels and majors, now they are only middle sized ones left. Important to know is that people that worked with us for the albums “Winter fish testosterone” and “Forest enter exit” or at Sony for the album “Kasmodiah” had now joined EMI Germany so that was the most important fact. We knew they liked our music and we sure they would understand us and respect us. It’s the best basis to work with each other. The money isn’t you know, because then you never know what will happen.
SL. What about Carl Erling from Chrom Records?
AV. We are of course still working with Carl as Chrom Records has become something like a back catalogue label for us. He now concentrates on the website as well.
SL. Ernst told me a while back that you guys withheld the release of a new album after “White lies” because you felt that the release needed more time to grow and get appreciated. To your feeling has “White lies” reached that by now?
AV. That’s a difficult question really. When we released “White lies” we knew it was a rather introvert album and less uptempo then let’s say “Kasmodiah” and that it was not really commercial. But we believed in it, however it was not easy to convince people because face it, it was an album which was less easy to get into. But the tour was very successful and we reached the top 10 media charts in Germany so yes, all in all things went well. The “Live in concert” also included tracks from “White lies” so as extra promo that helped as well. We have been going on for 20 years now and things still go very fine.
SL. Did you recuperate older material for “April skies” or is everything as fresh as it can be?
AV. All the songs were from the period 2003 and 2004. In 2002 we didn’t work on Deine Lakeien material because the tour prevented us doing so. We do collect ideas and lyrics during touring but the main work always is for afterwards when we are back home and at ease so that we can concentrate on things much better. In 2003 we only played a few festivals in summer so there was time. Besides this Ernst worked on his new Helium Vola album and I started finally working on some solo material as well. I knew it had to be released already but well… I hope to have it released in 2005 however if I have the chance to finish the work.
SL. “Take a chance” is not really what I would call a typical Deine Lakaien song, what went through Ernst’s mind as far as you know?
AV. Well of course he will be the best to answer this… This song is about our history and the lyrics reflect how it all started like with our first dark wave clubhits “Dark star”, “Reincarnation” and “Love me to the end” in the very beginning of the nineties. Back then there were only a few bands in the scene, unlike today, and we were one of the most important ones in those days. It is not typical Deine Lakaien indeed, the old school ebm like track refers definitely back to those early days. We took our chance back then and built up a very long career and band history and tried not to forget where we started in those late days of new wave and eighties. We have become the icons or grandfathers of dark wave (laughs).
SL. How do you look back to that era?
AV. Nostalgia (laughs)! It is strange after those many years, you see what you have accomplished, all those fans in and outside Germany… Especially for them we released “1987” and they can also expect a rarities 4CD boxset later this year. For this we will gather all tracks that have been recorded in the past but which didn't make it to the final album as well as alternate cuts and acoustic renditions. They will for sure be good tracks and not just unreleased crap. You know, many bands just dump a few lesser tracks on their singles as B-sides, we never did that, all of our B-sides are tracks that we are proud of but that for some reason didn’t fit the album.
To read the complete interview, be sure to buy Side-Line issue 51!
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Posted by: KRUSAFIX on Jul 11, 05 | 1:29 am
Nice interview, look forword to reading the rest!
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