Nocomment is a very productive band with a different policy than other bands. On singles and EPs they always add a lot of remixes, other versions and other tracks that will not be included in another album. They even approach their Best Of album in a special way with songs from the past and from the future. After ten years we look back with Thomas. And we can already look forward to a new album release in 2003.
Chain D.L.K.: What has changed since the beginning of the band in 1989? Did you think about making more poppy, accessible music or did it just happen?
Thomas: Yes it’s right, that our music changed during the years, and has become more poppy. Well, we are not the only ones that went through this process, personally I think it has do to something with better abilities in production and songwriting and with the wish to produce not the same style of music over and over again.
Chain D.L.K.: When did Franzsika join Nocomment?
Thomas: She joined in 1996, when we split in the old line-up. The split was necessary because Rene and me wanted to go in other directions than the other band members that left..
Chain D.L.K.: Did any of you go to music school?
Thomas: Yes, Franzsika has a classic education, Rene and me learned by doing…
Chain D.L.K.: What are your influences?
Thomas: This is hard to say, somehow everything is an influence, even the things you dislike, because you want to avoid them. It’s often hard to say, what really influenced a certain song. It’s clear, when we started that 80’s electronic music was a big influence for us and I think this is still in our music somehow.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you try to create a certain feeling with your music?
Thomas: Well we hope that we record albums and singles that people like to hear in total and not only the singles, somehow the music is often melancholic, but there are some tracks with happier harmonies, too. So this depends on the mood we are in when writing and producing the songs and certainly what the lyrics are about.
Chain D.L.K.: Tell us some more about the It’s Not Too Late EP and the benefit of children from Chernobyl.
Thomas: To our 10th year anniversary of Nocomment releases we wanted to do something special and not just to celebrate ourselves. Since we are against nuclear power we had the idea to support a very reliable organisation from Germany that helps Children from Chernobyl. For every sold CD 1 Euro is donated to that organisation. The single itself was once again produced by José Alvarez who worked for Wolfsheim, Witt/Heppner before.
Chain D.L.K.: How was it to work with José Alvarez?
Thomas: It was great as always, he is very professional and does not make anything you don’t want him to. He just makes suggestions what could be possible to do with the song, the sounds, the vocals and so on and the band decides what to do. So we are sure that we will work with him again in the future.
Chain D.L.K.: Why did you release a best of CD and can you tell something about that?
Thomas: Well after more than 10 years of Nocomment and a lot or releases that are no more available we decided to make a best of. Since there is a lot of unreleased material on it and we have the possibility of 10 additional downloads until 2004 it’s not just a normal best of with songs everybody got already. This is something we wanted to avoid, we wanted to make the CD also interesting for somebody who got all our CD’s already.
Chain D.L.K.: Are the songs in a certain order on the CD? Why did you pick these songs?
Thomas: Yes, in general we start with the new tracks and then switch to the older ones. The first CD is in the new line-up from 1996-2002, the second one with the old one from 1992-1995. These tracks are no more available, so this was the reason, why we made a full CD out of this period. We just took the songs, that we thought would fit together best, but it was hard, because we had to erase a lot of tracks from the set list because there was not enough space on the CD’s.
Chain D.L.K.: Can you tell us something about the remixes by Wave in head and Second Decay?
Thomas: We know Second Decay now for more than 10 years and they are very good friends of us. We also worked together on the Rehberg project. The remix of Love Leads To Isolation is an older remix that we thought would be cool to release again, because it is quite typical for their work. We also had contact with Wave In Head before and made a remix-exchange with him, too. He’s more known in the US than here, but I think he deserves to have much more popularity over here, too.
Chain D.L.K.: Are you the first band that allows free downloads of additional tracks for the buyer?
Thomas: Well we are not the first band ever, but it’s the first time, that a best of is not "old" when it’s released and has not only material on it from the past, but also from the future. We think it’s important to have new ideas in the way music is brought to the people, if you want them to buy a CD there has to be something special about it, that you only get, when you buy it.
Chain D.L.K.: Can you tell us the ideas behind different versions of your songs?
Thomas: We thought about remixing some songs because we had the feeling we could improve them, so some of the remixes made it on the best of CD, some versions were also used for our live appearance.
Chain D.L.K.: Are you working on new material right now?
Thomas: Yes, we made some tracks on the tour already and plan to release a new album in 2003. But everything is yet very new and no song is really finished, so we are just collecting ideas and songs at the moment.
Chain D.L.K.: Can you tell us something more about Nanopop and the start of it?
Thomas: We started our own label because we had the feeling that everything an independent record-company can do for us is something we can do on our own. We are all working on different parts of Nanopop, so Rene does the graphic design, Franzi the internet appearance and Thomas the business part for example. But Nanopop is not only limited to Nocomment releases, although we will rather release a few recordings but then make a very good promotion for them. The next one will be Nachzehrer, a band coming from the 80’s and now having a big come-back.
Chain D.L.K.: And what about your own recording studio?
Thomas: Our studio is mainly used by Nocomment, we did some other recordings, but nothing big. And certainly a lot of remixes we made for other bands like Wave in Head, Virtual Server, Celluloide, Empire State Human, Common Dream and Sleepwalk.
Chain D.L.K.: Can you tell something more about your tour with Apoptygma Berzerk?
Thomas: The tour was very successful for us and the guys of APB are very, very nice and professional, as was the whole crew and management. It was great fun to tour for 6 weeks through Europe and we really would love to do this again. Especially the gigs in the foreign countries where great and we did not expect in some countries to be so well-known.
Chain D.L.K.: Will you add another ten years to Nocomment?
Thomas: Well, hopefully, we still have a lot of ideas…
www.nocomment.de [interviewed by Peter-Jan Van Damme]