Chain D.L.K.: Could we consider you those Interimsliebenden Einsturzende Neubaten used to sing about?
Alexander: Certainly not, as that would be an interim of rather biblical proportions (we have been lovers for over a decade now) and however we do not intend to change that as opposed to the interim-lovers who barely make do in between.
Chain D.L.K.: Danielle, do you still make those lovely psychedelic portraits?
Danielle: Well this year I was mainly busy with recording our record and finishing two documentaries but now after all of this has been done I am happily back to drawing – I started a graphic tour diary whilst being on tour with Neubauten and am finishing that up.
Chain D.L.K.: What about the portrait of Alexander?
Danielle: There are quite a few in my tour diary!
Chain D.L.K.: …and if you were to make one for Hitman?
Danielle: I have visuals for the Hitman’s Heel Live show – they are very minimal as this project is more about the music – but I enjoyed drawing for the songs and having them animated by my dear friend Stephan Burns who also designed my homepage.
Chain D.L.K.: My compliments on your record… maybe some pigheaded reviewer could only criticize the fact it seems conceived as a promo album for a live performance, but I found it really interesting from a stylistic viewpoint and for its “dramatic” hooks! What would you say to such a stubborn reviewer?
Danielle: The record is a very exact log book of our current life – almost like a diary of our thoughts and moods – we are nomads for the time being – traveling the world and questioning values and our convictions. We felt like putting all of our stuff into storage to see what happens. The music is one of the results. It was recorded on the road, in empty hallways, full living rooms, hotel rooms and professional studios.
Alexander: As long as it moves you emotionally, reassures you in your outlook on the world and even manages to inspire you to great thoughts and possibly also motivates you to even greater deeds, then we are happy and satisfied, because that to me is what great music is all about and that is what great music does for me. So that would be my reply.
Chain D.L.K.: Both of you are old hands of the Berlin scene… is there anything you’d complain about the current situation in Berlin?
Alexander: We tend to leave complaints to other people. Our wish and our strategy is to have our hands in many scenes. Old and new and not in Berlin necessarily.
Danielle: We have wonderful friends in Berlin that we cherish and that support us in every way. But that’s about it – the city is so bankrupt that finding work as an artist is almost impossible. For a city that is known for its creativity that is very sad.
Chain D.L.K.: What are the most relevant changes in the Berlin music scene besides those in music technology, tools and toys?
Alexander: Well, there you go: Right now I believe there is another renaissance of electronic music and DJ-culture, but with less hype and for lower wages because few bookers and venues can effort to put on live-shows with actual live-musicians and if they do only few people will come to see that because the tickets will essentially be more expensive than the entrance fee at a club with a reasonable line-up of DJ’s. And as the tourists are the main source of income it is certainly more profitable to sell alcohol to them instead of exciting new music which has it’s price. So economic necessities dictate what is going on.
Chain D.L.K.: A propos of electronic music technology, do you feel musically very distant from The History of Electricity times now?
Danielle: The last project we did together, “The Ship Of Fools”, presented our many different musical interests. Hitman’s Heel concentrates on instruments and lyrics – we felt like doing something we could easily do anywhere – on a stage, in a living room or on the street. This record is going back to basics. Our basics and the basics of music – simple songs expressing our thoughts and feelings.
Alexander: It is nice for a change not to begin your working day with the start-up sound of a Mac… Of course I am riffing on the subject from a philosophical angle: I might be a rocker but I’ll always be a very passionate geek too!
Chain D.L.K.: A friend who didn’t know anything about you and your record entered my room while I was listening to “Hitman’s Heel” and after a while he said: “Ohhh it’s brilliant… it sounds like Gogol Bordello possessed by Tom Wait’s haunting ghost…”. Let’s imagine you were able to interect from the speakers, stop playing and reply to him (I’m not sure a sci-fi novelist has ever imagined such a concept of interaction and entertainment technology!!!), how would you react to his wordy astonishment?
Danielle: nice picture – I love surrealist visions!
Chain D.L.K.: I don’t know why (maybe ’cause it’s Xmas time or maybe ’cause I perceive it could describe nowadays’ “sensemelia”) but I was entranced by “Bikers Lullaby”… any particular story behind that track?
Danielle: I can only speak for myself emotionally, so for me “Bikers Lullaby” echos my restless nature. I have tried settling down in one city for a long time and Berlin was a great place to do it but at one point I just felt like getting back on the road to feel the movement and excitement.
Alexander: Nomen est omen. It was written for people who consider acceleration into change of scenery to be a stimulating concept and being presented with it might find relaxation in listening to the track.
Chain D.L.K.: I’d ask you a lot more questions about your sources for inspiration for every single track, but I’ll confine my curiosity to just asking you what your favorite song is and why?
Alexander: I love all our children.
Danielle: I can’t say one of them is my favorite. For me they are all one song. The song of letting go of everything – what is left of your life if you decided to live off of one suitcase for two years – what does one pack , what does one leave behind… what will you miss and will you be missed? What becomes relevant and what will be completely superfluous? It turned out to be very different from what I had imagined. I need much less than I thought and very different things are important on the road than in a large house. I suppose the song: “Hitman’s Heel” says it all but then again all of them do…
Chain D.L.K.: …and what’s you favorite bullet-like lighter?
Alexander: All of them are sporting pictures of stark naked men and women.
Chain D.L.K.: Is “Rise and Converge” a strategy for contemporary survival or what?
Alexander: We are out to shake up the world a little and to sort of “corrupt” you into being all new and a revolutionary.
Chain D.L.K.: “Time is passin’” …but do we have time for a war?
Danielle: “Time is passin’” is a love song dedicated to our friends – the friends that we spend New Years eve with and that have stood true next to us through thick and thin all over the world. And like our lyrics often mention: it all boils down to true love. Every outlaw knows that.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you envy the condition of that fish you sing about in your nice ballad?
Danielle: Sometimes I do miss security – it is something I have never really had in my life – the comfort of knowing where you belong and of that being enough. But as I never really had that – growing up as an army brat, always traveling, always the outsider – I don’t think of it often.
Chain D.L.K.: I hope to see your perform somewhere on the planet… any anticipation about a forthcoming tour?
Danielle: We will be touring Europe in March. The tour will be called “Burn Baby Burn” and we will be traveling together with Chris Hughes, Kid Congo, Khan and Julee Cruise.
Chain D.L.K.: The future is unpredictable, as you suggest in one song… but do you think it could be less cold than the present winter time?
Alexander: Everybody talks about the weather and predictably we do too! As for the future: Some say that there is none. You might say: “Honey, come back”, I’d rather say: “Honey, come forward”!
Danielle: Ok – well then: I love Paris in the springtime, I love Paris in the fall, I love Paris in the Summer and also in the Winter when the snow falls. It always depends on what kind of shoes you are wearing.
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