Founded in 1988, The Cascades are a Gothic/Post Punk Rock band from Germany. Their style is old-school goth (think Sisters of Mercy) with a modern, artistic sensibility. Over the years they’ve gone through some personnel changes but the band now consists of M. W. Wild – vocals; Morientes de Silva – guitar; and Markus Muller – keyboards, with live and/or studio support from Tommy Dietweger – drums, and Esther Widmann – backing vocals. Recently after having reviewed M. W. Wild’s solo album – “The Third Decade”, and The Cascades’ retrospective double CD “Diamonds & Rust” (with some new tracks as well), I felt this group needed to be explored in more depth, so I arranged an interview with M. W. Wild. Here is what we came up with:
Chain D.L.K.: Most Americans are unfamiliar with The Cascades; in fact, the only band some (oldies) may know by that name is the American pop group that had a hit in 1962 with “Rhythm of the Rain.” Could you tell us about your early history and how you came to be?
M. W. Wild: As I decided in 1988 to found a new Band out of my punk band “GODOT”, I searched for a band name. A friend told me about a cool shop in London/Carnaby St. named “The Cascades” with real water-cascades at the entrance. It sounded good and the thoughts of falling water and its power felt good in my head. So “The Cascades” were born. In 1988 was no internet of course and this made it impossible to search for double-names of bands or s.e.. A few months later somebody told me that this name was already in use by an oldie-band (now I am an oldie-band too, hehe) but I didn’t care about it, I still was very punk.
Chain D.L.K.: So, it seems as though 2017 has been a busy year for you and the band. First there was the release of your ‘Third Decade’ solo album in April, then The Cascades 2 CD compilation in November. What has prompted this surge of creativity, now?
M. W. Wild: At the end of 2015 I had been very close to death and I decided in the hospital that if I ever would be able again to sing and make music, to produce a new album. So I built my solo album between April and November 2016. After I got so many fantastic reviews about my album, I took the phone and called Morientes, asking him about releasing a BEST Of album. And we did it, just with the difference that we made “Diamonds and Rust”.
I always was creative, that’s me, but now I have the chance to live it, because I am settled and know what I want to do, – producing music. And when I look in the ideas folder in our cloud, I know that the other guys in the band feel the same.
Chain D.L.K.: After such a long hiatus, it appears as though you and the band are getting back together again. So why did you leave in 2006? What prompted the reunion?
M. W. Wild: I lost the fun, had no money and was an alcohol destroying machine during this time. I was very disappointed about how things happened and handled by people around the band (not the band itself). The conclusion was to stop my work with The Cascades from one day to another. It was a heavy decision because I hurt many people and lost all my friends during this time, but without the stopping I would not write now, I would have died.
The reunion itself always was in my head. I always felt as “Cade” during these years. I think ”The Third Decade” is very responsible for our Reunion, because the band could see that my voice is still working and for me it was my way back to life. Together we discovered the fun again in making music.
Chain D.L.K.: The Cascades were formed in 1988. Some of your early music is on the experimental side and for a time it sounded like you were still trying to find your identity. What was the vision you had for the band then, and what is the vision you have for the band now?
M. W. Wild: In the early days we had the vision of being rock stars, having girls, drinks and money. We got girls, we got beer, but no money. Now we have money, are married and don’t drink any alcohol. The vision is the still the same: Let us make some fucking cool music.
Chain D.L.K.: Will there be a new Cascades album next year? Will the music lean more towards classic gothic guitar-powered rock, or will there be much other elements incorporated (electro, neoclassical, world, etc.) ?
M. W. Wild: Yes indeed, in 2018 there will be a new Album with new songs. There will be an EP in February with five new songs, another EP in June with five new songs and finally a complete new physical CD in October with more new songs. As we always did, we don’t plan a particular style or something. We always did music out of our inner selves, so what will be will be. Everybody in the band has a bit different style and influences. We put them together and decide the “taste” of the song together. But we always trust in rock’n’roll and in the power of real played drums and guitars.
M. W. Wild: If you can make it possible, yes please! It is difficult to plan a tour through the US, nobody knows us, the costs would be immense. Maybe we are lucky and Esther will be famous in Canada. – Then we will support her shows and come over.
Chain D.L.K.: Most of your songs are in English, although there are some in your native German. Was this a conscious decision to reach a wider than regional audience, or do you just prefer songwriting with English lyrics? (Following up that) Your new song, “Wenn Der Regen Kommt” is in German. Do you think you’ll be writing more in your native language?
M. W. Wild: For me it is much easier to sing in English, even though my English is not the best and I am always mixing up British with American (sorry). The reason for this is that English sounds better and I can describe a situation in English in three words – in German I need three sentences. It depends on the song – the feeling it gives to me – a song with a cold, depressing feeling like ”Wenn Der Regen Kommt” sounds sometimes better in German than in English.
I never thought about to reach a wider regional audience, Germany would be big enough to get famous. But times of dreaming are gone. I see it very realistic: The Cascades and even my solo thing is our form of art, with nearly no intention to mainstream. If it would, ok, but no need.
Chain D.L.K.: In what ways do you think the gothic music scene has changed since 1988, in Germany, and elsewhere?
M. W. Wild: I really don´t know what the gothic music scene really is because there are so many influences and styles in there. About the people I can hardly say something. I live now in a small village in the west of Germany, and here there is no scene. In 1988 we wore black leather pants, black western boots, and black leather jackets (we still do). Now I see many “cleaned up catalog goths”, sometimes remembering me in Carnival in Cologne. I always try to answer this question with the sentence that we make Goth Rock Music, but the main word is still Rock. I think I am too old-school to judge about the goth scene. For most of them I could be their father. We do our thing, our style; don’t care about any hips and charts.
Chain D.L.K.: I can easily pick out a dozen influences in your music, but who would you say your greatest influences/inspirations are (including any that aren’t necessarily music artists)?
M. W. Wild: Jim Morrison, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Nick Cave, AC /DC, Iron Maiden, Berlin, Australia, and my short but very intensive meeting with death.
Chain D.L.K.: Although you began in 1988, you didn’t put out your first album until 2001. Why did it take so long?
M. W. Wild: We were born in Straubing. Straubing is small town in the south/east of Germany. We did our thing in our small universe. That means we played a lot of shows in Bavaria. We had a great standing there, – selling our self-made demos, even earned some money back in 1998 when we had the idea to rock the world. So we tried to get a record deal and worked very intensely for this. Me and Morientes traveled from one record company to another with our demo in the bag. And finally, after a long trip through Germany with many frustrating moments we got one, – but the first album took its time until 2001 because the record company in Berlin had some trouble with the release or something else.
Chain D.L.K.: Esther Widmann’s backup vocals add a nice dimension to your new songs. Will The Cascades continue to use more female backing vocals to the music in the future?
M. W. Wild: Esther’s voice is phenomenal and we would like to keep her in our songs. But it is a little bit difficult, because she lives in Canada and she has her own career as a musician. If you listen to the songs on the “Rust” CD you will hear her too (recordings from 1998 – she was about 15 years old).
Chain D.L.K.: One of the best tracks off of ‘Diamonds & Rust’ (originally from your first album ‘Nine66’) is “Handful of Fear.” Tell us the story behind that song.
M. W. Wild: Ok, if you think so. “Handful Of Fear” describes my decision to leave Straubing, my wife and my son. In 1999 I decided to live, work and love in Berlin. This time was not easy and there was a lot of fear and tears. Everything was new for me. This big town, and all my friends were over 600 km far away. The fear of future, the trouble with myself, my new love, my old love… that’s the reason for Handful of Fear.
Chain D.L.K.: What is the one thing you would like to tell Americans at this point in time?
M. W. Wild: Maybe the same as many people do – fight against nazi assholes and please vote a president and not a comic figure! It is already dark all over Europe, and be careful, the candles are nearly down in America!
Chain D.L.K.: Thank you so much for your time and we all look forward to hearing more from The Cascades in the near future!
visit the artist on the web at: