Notes From Underground

D.H.:How important is it for Notes from Underground(musical) success?

---recognition & acknowledgment are very important for us. especially because this is our career and our business. we've been here before NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND and we want to stay here for a bunch of other reasons too.

D.H.:What can you tell us about the activities of live Notes from Underground report? It often gets the opportunity to play live?

---We've recently shared the stage with Das Ich, Front242 & KMFDM in Spain. There's not a hell of a lot of opportunities to play in Spain with bands of this degree but we've managed to get these 3 slots in a row!

D.H.:How can you get a gig Notes from Underground imagine? What is it with you on the stage from?

---It's definitely a rock show. Plus we always have video projections since day one. We use less lights at this moment and use video to put the audience on a more appropriate mind frame.

D.H.:It is also important for Notes from Underground on the Internet to be represented?

---yes, we try our best to spread the word. but we also have other commitments so we cannot be 24/7 online. myspace & lastfm are always being updated. soon we will have an official .com or .net site too.

D.H.:What do you want to in the near future (musically) with Notes from Underground achieve?

---We'd like to get established in central/northern Europe. Get to name rolling as much as possible and create a bigger demand. we've already started to collaborate with relatively big names like Bruno Kramm, William Faith & Jürgen Engler with some of the remixes included in the album. We'd like to keep some of that going in the future and collaborate with other bands too.

D.H.:What difficulties have you as a band currently the most to fight? Notes from Underground or running everything as it should be run?

---Money and time. You need money for gear, for promotion, you must hire the venues where you play, clothes, and of course pay the bills... Our technical jobs (we're all sound technicians) keep us away from the band more than we'd like. Some of us teach sound technology too so that makes agendas really tight! But we manage.

D.H.:In which country would you like to go on tour?

---GERMANY. which we think is realistic. anywhere else near germany would be great too and of course...the USA. but that's NOT realistic.

D.H.:Which country was the most impressing for you??

---I've travelled nearly all English speaking countries and America is just so wide and with such contrasts... The little I know of Japan is VERY appealing but their both so far away... In terms of the dark music industry, Germany is just unreal as seen from Spain.

D.H.:What plans do you have for 2009?

---Our debut album "Crossing the Rubicon" has just been released so there's a lot of promotion to take care of. Have the release party at the end of this month (June). And surely a couple more gigs after the summer. But most of our energy will be focused on getting a tour in Germany for 2010.

D.H.:How satisfied are you with the results achieved so far and what would you change if it could turn back time?

---I would only change 2 minute details so far. I regret not getting in touch with Sascha from KMFDM and Chris Vrenna from Tweaker (ex-NIN) to do a remix for us. There were reasons at the time not to do so, but in hindsight I think it should have been done. All else has worked quite well. When I look back just a year from now, we had barely just presented the band in public here in Madrid. We've done some nice gigs since then, the record is out in the German market, we're in the German press, we're still in touch with Faith, Esch, Kullf, Kramm... can't complain. We just need the German audience to SEE us live!

D.H.:What it feels like is important in today's (Gothic) music landscape image and the visual appearance of a band? Notes from Underground comply with any clothes properly?

---I see what you mean but for us the balance still falls to the side of music. We spend a greater deal of time in the studio and in the rehearsal room than in front of the mirror. Same with "window shopping". We still get turned on when we see gear and pay less attention to make-up or superficial gizmos. But make no mistake, there's a HUGE mirror in our rehearsal space covering an entire wall. It was there before and we like to use it to check our live performing. It's not for cat-walking ;) We're more of a rock'n'roll band, you know?

D.H.:Whom do you see as the typical audience? There is a certain audience that her address with your music want?

---the press point at KMFDM, NIN, Rammstein, Skinny Puppy, Oomph, Front Line Assembly fans... check the remix credits on our album and you'll know better.

D.H.:There is "the difference? between the German public and other audiences abroad?

---they are already accustomed to our style of music. They've heard similar stuff since the 80s - there's a whole industry working around the scene with media, festivals, labels, shops, agencies, managers...

D.H.:Is there a standard drawer for the music of Notes from Underground ? It describes how people your music that you never have heard?

---Reviews mention "an excellent mix between rock, trash-metal and electronics". Industrial-metal, electronic-rock, trance-metal? you pick!

D.H.:What would you never do for money?

---Father a child! Seriously, it's hard to imagine until one sees the figure on a cheque...

D.H.:If you have one wish for free, what would you want?

---Right now, a 10-gig tour in Germany

D.H.:Can you give me something about you and tell your artistic development? Since when do you actually like music and is the current line-up?

---All four of us play music since early teenage. So that's more than half our lives! We've learnt the trade. And the current line-up (which I hope to keep a long time) has remained the same since we started NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND. The video production team has changed though.

D.H.:Is there such a thing as a fundamental idea which hides itself behind Notes from Underground?

---Not really. There's no message for human-kind and the album is by no means conceptual. Perhaps an attitude, a point of view, but that could change anytime.

D.H.:How, where and when it came to the founding of Notes from Underground ?

---A really LONG time ago. Last century - in fact, last millennium would you believe!! I wrote the songs back in 1998. I had just finished what was to be the last album of Ecodalia ("Time Has Told" distributed by Projekt) and had these ideas perhaps for a future album. My personal life changed completely at that point and those demos where kept in a little drawer for nearly a decade!

D.H.:Why did you name the band decided Notes from Underground? Puts you behind for a deeper meaning?

---I worked on a theatre production back in 2001 titled NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND, written by New York based writer Eric Bogosian. I loved the text and got to know the original book on which it was inspired, written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I thought it fit the band perfectly because of the musical meaning of NOTES, and the fact that our main studio is underground - it's in a basement.

D.H.:What is even a song with you? Is there a person who writes the songs or the songs are in the common interaction?

---I take of things in the recording studio 100%. Once a new song is completely finished I bring it over to the rehearsal room and work it out for the live setup. But all the arrangements, guitar riffs, production, etc is my job.

D.H.:What for you was the first major production or were there earlier publications of you? Do you yourself feel that the album with her your own musical boundaries are redefined and exceeded you?

---I hit the market back in 1998 with Ecodalia. Although we were based in Madrid, the album was released through an Argentinean label and distributed by Projekt. Three of my songs were included on compilations from Cleopatra, VAWS and Black Rain. I think I've managed to explore as thoroughly as possible every single corner within the boundaries of this style as I understand it. But time keeps running and you keep growing so boundaries keep changing with you.

D.H.:How was it to collaborate with a label?

---So far we have a great relationship with AF-MUSIC and DANSE MACABRE. It'd be great to count on bigger budgets but we understand the size of the label does not permit it. Falk is helping us as much as he can and we have all the freedom we want. I never compromise.

D.H.:Will there be an album tour?

---We are working on that as we "speak".

D.H.:How many publications there has been from you?

---This is NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND's debut CD. But the song GAME has been included on a few compilations already. Plus our coverversion of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" might be coming out soon this year on another one. Check our myspace!

D.H.:Is there a song on the album, especially of you at heart? If yes, what and why?

---Well not quite of "my heart", but yeah, GAME is an anthem.

D.H.:In addition there are projects which it operates?

---Yes of course. The drummer (Pumuki) plays in a sort of Tom Waits band called The Rooster Spur Attack. The guitarist (MdA) plays in Robert Fripp's League of Crafty Guitarists on an on-and-off basis and the keyboard player (Guigher) has an experimental ambient project called Matter.

Aside of NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND, I run a recording studio called Room101 and I write music for theatre, dance and short-films.

D.H.:What requirements must provide it personally to a good song?

---A good melody and a great chorus. If it's rock, a good riff will help and in general a dynamic structure that builds tension towards the chorus. If you include electronic elements, clever licks are essential.

D.H.:When you new songs composed, as it requires a certain inner mood or a special atmosphere?

---Not always. Sometimes an idea just bursts out by itself and THAT puts you in the mood. Of course, you can't be in a rush or have noise all around you. To do things right, you need to concentrate.

D.H.:What draws her themes in your lyrics and what to let you in the lyrics inspire?

---Two main sources: observation (which includes myself) & imagination. On this album I ended writing about sex, religion, love, social critique, violence and anger.

D.H.:How important are you your texts? Take it in the music of Notes from Underground a big place, or you see the texts ore than accessory to the music?

---I pay as much attention to lyrics as to music. If you listen carefully you'll see my lines are well measured and I try to work out the rhyme. But I never force a lyric in order to make it rhyme. I try to chose the words to say something in such a way that it SOUNDS according to the music. I don't always keep the first alternative. it's certainly not something accessory.

D.H.:I thank you for the interview and wish you all for the future good. The last words in this interview I leave you.

---The pleasure is all ours. If you happen to have some relevant contact in the music scene that could help us bring NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND to Germany in 2010, please do not hesitate to cooperate!

Interview: Claudia Wagner