THE FANZINE THAT FEATURES SMALL AND UNSIGNED BANDS
Sunday, May 16, 2010
INTERVIEW WITH UNHEILIG
I had for Dark Entries-magazine a nice chat with Der Graf aka Unheilig. Since ten years this German based band is a well known name among goths and in countries like Germany, Switzerland or Austria they even reached a much wore wider audience. Here's the original version of this interview...
HELLO…WELL SINCE YOU RELEASED “SAGE JA” YOU ARE ALREADY IN THE MUSICBIZ FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS. HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT THIS IF YOU STARTED?
I hoped it but you can’t expect anything in the music business.
I WANNA ASK IT TO SOMEONE WHO IS SUCH A LONG TIME IN THE ALTERNATIVE SCENE, HAS MUCH CHANGED?
I don’t think so. We got older. But there are still new bands that enter the scene and there are still fans which love the music and the way of living. The festivals are an event and the WGT in Leipzig is still fantastic.
WITH ALL RESPECT, TEN YEARS AGO YOU HAD THE BIG THREE (SONIC SEDUCER, ZILLO, ORKUS) BUT NOW IT SEEMS LIKE ARTISTS HAVE TO FIGHT MORE AND MORE….. SO IN A SENSDE AREN’T YOU HAPPY THAT YOU HAD THE LUCK TO START IN THE BOOMPERIOD?
I think that it is always difficult to be successful and finally established in the music scene. You have to work hard and constant and you need a little bit luck. Some people think that there is only one way to become successful but sometimes you have to tour through the little clubs and you have to spent a lot of your time and money to reach something. I had a very hard time when I startet but I didn’t give up and that is the important thing.
“PHOSPHOR” WAS STILL IN ENGLISH TOO, BUT FROM THEN ON YOU WENT IN GERMAN, WHY EXACTLY (NOT THAT IT HAS BEEN A BAS CHOICE!!!!).
The first album PHOSPHOR was in English and german because I worked together with Grant Stevens. He is an Australian and we wrote the songs together. After PHOSPHOR Grant decided to start a solo project and it was difficult for me to make English songs for my own. I dream and think in the german language. I can explain and describe my feelings in my songs because of the great variety of the german language. You can see that in this interview. English ist not really the language that I master.
IS UNHEILIG IN FACT DER GRAF ONLY OR NOT?
Unheilig ist not only me. There are some important people in the background. Unheilig works only together. I write the songs but the planning of everything is in the hand of my management Markus Tombült and Oliver Reimann. Live I play together with Henning Verlage ( keyboards ), Licky ( guitar ) and Potti ( drums ). We are a little familiy and we work together since a lot of years.
AS FAR AS MY GERMAN KNOWLEDGE GOES (SORRY) THE LYRICS FROM UNHEILIG AREN’T THAT POSITIVE, I MEAN SOME SONGS ARE LIKE YOU WANNA WAKE UP THE PUBLIC. IS THIS A MATTER THAT ISCLOSE TO YOUR HEART?
Sometimes I want to wake up but the songs are always with an hopeful glimmer. I don’t like those negative songs. You should think about your live but you shouldn’t resign.
I DON’T WANNA OFFEND YOU, IT’S JUST THAT I DON’T KNOW… OVER HERE YOU ARE SEEN AS A GOTHACT BUT I READ THAT YOUR ALBUM “GROSSE FREIHEIT” MADE IT TO NUMBER ONE IN THE GERMAN CHARTS, SO DOES THAT MEAN THAT IN GERMANY YOU REACH A MUCH WIDER AUDIENCE?
Yes, we reach a wider audience and it startet 2008 with the album PUPPENSpIEL and the song “An deiner Seite”. They played the video at viva and MTV. A lot of people saw that and realised that Unheilig is a band that makes music not only for some people. I don’t like the crampedness that music is only for black dressed people. GROSSE FREIHEIT and the song “Geboren um zu leben” is very successful in Germany and Austria and Swiss.
DO YOU KNOW THE ANSWER TO THIS? TWENTY YEARS AGO GERMAN BANDS LIKE NENA TILL SPIDER MURPHY GANG WERE HAVING HITS IN GERMAN LANGUAGE OUTSIDE GERMANY, TODAY IT’S EVEN IMPOSSIBLE TO GET AIRPLAY ON THE RADIO. DOES IT MEAN WE HAVE BECOME NARROWMINDED?
Narrowminded is the wrong word. The radio stations decide what they play and their decision is often fixed through money.
AS FAR AS I KNOW YOU’RE THE KIND OF PERFORMER WHO IS CLOSE WITH HIS FANS, NOT? HOW DO YOU REACT IF YOU SEE MUSICIANS TREATING THEIR FANS LIKE SHIT?
The fans are the most important people. You are nothing without their support. I know that Unheilig is successful because of our loyal fans. I always try to talk with the fans and hold a close contact. Musicians who don’t realise that they are nothing without the fans are poor.
YOU ALREADY HAVE RELEASED TWO LIVEALBUMS, A GIFT TO THE FANS OR JUST BECAUSE PLAYING LIVE IS SO IMPORTANT ?
Both of them. The songs are in an other dress and there is this special emotion. I love to play live and you can hear that at the album. It is also important that you can hear an other tracklist and some people maybe hear a song for the first time on a concert or the live album.
FOR WHICH CURRENT BANDS SHOULD WE LOOK OUT FOR,YOU THINK?
That’s difficult because some will be offend if I don’t name them. Maybe Zeromancer.
YOU SOON WILL BE PLAYING AT WAREGEM GOTHIC 2010, WHAT CAN THE FANS EXPECT FROM UNHEILIG?
They can expect old and new Songs from the album GROSSE FREIHEIT. We try do give all and we try to rock the show.
THANKS….THE LAST WORDS ARE YOURS!!!!
Thank you for the IV. I hope we see us soon on a festival or an Unheilig-Show. Thanks for your support.