Schultz saw the daylight in 2002, but things really started in 2004 when Franz Schultz joined hands together with performer VDREY. The band released several albums and did a lot of live performances. After a hiatus of several years Schultz is now back on tracks. The current line-up consists of Franz Schultz (electronic & vocals), ‘GuitarFox’ (guitar & vocals) and ‘Sandy Dynamite’ (live dance & vocals). They this year released the new opus “Shot Of Pain” on BLC Productions, which stands for a kind of new start revealing a furious mix of electronics and guitar.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: The origins of Schultz bring us back to the early millennium years. Can you briefly remind us how it all started with the Schultz project? Your meeting with VDREY? The release of the first albums till the new work “Shot Of Pain”?
Franz: Schultz started in 2002 as a solo project. In 2006, somebody in Swiss asked VDREY to create an art performance for a fetish event. She asked me if I was interested to work with her on it, and then the project continued to grow from this moment to now… In 2014, VDREY decided to give her last concert in the same place where everything started in 2006. After a few years break, we have released in 2017 a 6-tracks album called “Raw Fucking Power” and VDREY sang on several tracks. In 2017, a local festival contacted us to open for Dirk Ivens and Clan of Xymox, so we invited GUITARFOX and SANDY DYNAMITE to play with us on stage. Some months after, VDREY left the project, to another artistic choice. We continued with four members during a short time and now we are three; a formula that suits us perfectly today.
Q: “Shot Of Pain” has been written and released after a break. Why did you need a break and what has been its impact on the new album?
Franz: This break was a kind of breathing after being performing all over the world for over 8 years, it was a necessary pause, I think. A moment of questionning, the opportunity to do something else and to wonder if I still wanted to make music or to do something else of my life. The impact was very benefic for this new album. I came back more motivated than ever, the brain brimming with new ideas to express.
Q: “Shot Of Pain” feels a bit like a new beginning or should I say the album on, which you gained maturity and found the perfect balance between guitar and electronics. Tell us a bit more about the composition of the work, the lyrical content and what does “Shot Of Pain” mean to you?
Franz: For me it is really a new beginning. The opportunity to express what I had in my mind for some time without having the means to express it. I am not a singer and I am totally unable to play guitar. But I wanted to learn and work to get this result, and with the arrival of GUITARFOX and SANDY DYNAMITE, I’ve been able to concretize it all. The recording took a year because we all are perfectionists, but when we listen to the result, I think it is a full satisfaction for us all. And when I read that this equilibrium is perfect, I can only be delighted with the choices we made. Shot of Pain has many meanings for me, a long and sometimes painful work to achieve, the dose of suffering that accompanies all process of creation, but also a big slap in your face.
Q: You seem to like working with guest artists. What do you like in these collaborative efforts, how did it happened technically and tell us a bit more about the input of the French punk-band Ludwig von 88 on two songs from your last album?
Franz: In fact, my relationship with K.B is a strange story. I knew K.B from Ludwig Von 88 for several years without knowing who he really was, just as a work friend… Talking with him he revealed to me what seemed to be obvious to him because everyone around us knew it. Then, I explained him that I was also into music, and asked him to record some tracks with us, which he immediately accepted without knowing what to expect. The recording was done in 30 minutes, I told him to do what he wanted, he improvised, and then, two titles were born. We stayed in touch since this time more than in the past, and we will have the honor to open for his band in a few weeks, a dream that seemed totally unrealistic a year ago.
Q: VDREY seems very important in the ‘image’ and ‘live shows’ of Schultz, but what’s her input in the global writing/production process?
Franz: VDREY had a very important impact on this album for several reasons. First of all, because the first versions of some tracks were sung by her (on the 6-tracks album “Raw Fucking Power” released in 2017). During all the time we’ve been working together, we did everything together, she also realized all visual stuff on stage but also on video. We have worked like that during several years, the music on my side, the visual part on her side. She appears several times in this album (also on the first video “I Hate You” because for me, it represents a transition between the SCHULTZ of before and the SCHULTZ of today. She is a founding member of the project, and if one day she wants to come back in the band, the door will be wide open.
Q: We all know how difficult it became to sell physical releases, which I think must be very frustrating for artists and record companies. How do you as an artist experience this evolution and is there something like a strategy to fight back and catch the attention of listeners and potential new fans?
Franz: It’s a strange period for music since several years. I make music since a long time, GUITARFOX and SANDY DYNAMITE too, and we all knew the time when it was easy to sell 500 records in a few months. For sure, things have changed, people now are listening more music on their phone or computer, and don’t care at all if quality is better on CD or not… The music is now more a commercial product than an art… They prefer buying CD only when they want to have a beautiful object in the hands, something concrete and not a simple digital file. In the past, physical supports were the only way to have music at home, excepted radio, but things have evolved, and now people want everything for free or cheaper price.
Personally, I know the amount of work involved in creating an album, from the writing to the pressing, and I think it’s a form of the artist’s respite to buy an object when there’s been real work behind it. We try to adapt, to propose beautiful visuals, beautiful graphics, beautiful videos or original objects as on the project we are currently working on and on, which we will start to communicate in a few weeks. The social networks are also very important but double-edged, it is very hard to catch the attention of listeners due to a very large offer, it can take months or even years, and everything can collapse in a few minutes. It is the idea we express in the track “Fake World” in the album “Shot Of Pain”.