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Interview with Tyske Ludder

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Lucy: Hello Tyske Ludder! Many thanks that you have time to do an interview with us. How are you guys?

Olaf: Oh well, we still feel quite rough after the WGT. We are old men now and it takes us a bit longer to get back on the track again. Besides that, we can’t wait to see the feedback on our new CD.

L: I am a bit confused about your foundation date. Do you celebrate your 20th anniversary this year or in 2010?

Albert: The birthday of Tyske Ludder was sometime in 1989. Olaf and me have been doing music together for a longer period of time, but more in the classical wave-style with guitars, bass, drummachines and weird dark vocals. At some point we wanted to do some more electronic stuff and bought a first synth. We fucked around with it and started in 1990 with the project itself. Using a 4-track-recorder, we have produced our first tapes and sold them to the people. You can say, birth was given to Tyske Ludder in 1989, but the first tracks were finished in 1990.

L: On friday you performed live at the WGT in Leipzig at the WerkII. How did you enjoy it? Did the audience take part?

Z 67: As always there had been a fantastic atmosphere at the WerkII. The crowd got into it and they even liked the new Anonymous-tracks a lot. To sum it up, it has been a very nice evening. Sadly we heard afterwards that many people tried to get in but the location was too crowded. A pity, but we will appear at the Summer Darkness and M’era Luna as well!

L: Okay, maybe it’s time to tell our readers a bit more about Tyske Ludder. Who is responsible for what?

Albert: Olaf is our mastermind. He composes the songs, has most of the ideas for the music and produces the stuff. Live he holds the part of the unnoticed keyboardplayer. Z is responsible for the drums and contributes his ideas for the perfect beat of the songs and now he even started to compose a few tracks. On stage he is live-drummer, shouter and background vocalist.
Myself is writing all the lyrics. Most of the time I find topics on my own or I become influenced by samples I have dug out.
Basically, everyone holds his part inside of the bands, while for final production all come together to agree on the final mix – with the result of a discussions and differences from time to time.

L: Let’s go back in time to the early days. According to your biography you initally intended to create in the Wave and New Romantic genres. Can you tell us what made you change your plans in favour of EBM?

Olaf: The three of us know each other basically ever since – we went to school together. Z and me have started doing music together first in Deutsch-Punk, then kind of New Romantic and Wave. At some point we split and Z continued as drummer in various bands, while i was pursuing the wave-project with a bass player. Due to lack of alternatives we hired Albert as frontman. We had performed some gigs and started recordings in studio even, but we felt the right kick to be missing. The bass player moved out and we attended a very remarkable Front242-concert in Bremen – that marked the changing point when we decided to join the EBM-movement. Furthermore we really like to be part of the scene personally, too.

L: Tyske Ludder is Norvegian and means "German Whore". How did you came up with that band name?

Albert: We looked for a sticky name with historic background. There was a documentary about the end of WWII in Norway that gave us the inspiration. Women who have been going out with German soldiers were cut the hair and beaten along the streets of the towns. Furthermore they were forced to wear a kind of signs "Tyske Ludder" – German Whore. The kids of those poor women were parted from their mothers and their identities obscured.

L: You use pseudonymes of scandinavian origin and sometimes you even use Swedish or Frisian language in your lyrics. Do you feel a strong relationship with the Nordic culture?

Z 67: We are proud to be Frisian and proud of our history. A people that love freedom and peace that has fought against all kinds of invaders throughout the centuries and successfully defended it’s independency. But it never took part in the occupational wars. That’s were our affinity to Northern Europe comes from. The countryside we live in, is strange for many others, but we live here because we know how to cope with it.

L: And when did Ralf (Z67) joined the band as drummer?

Olaf: Z has been our critic and advisor from time to time. And at some point we decided to ask him to be our live-drummer and shouter. But we have been friends for nearly a life-time.

L: Has anything changed because of him joining the band?

Albert: Basically we all developed and progressed a lot since the beginning, so we cannot nail that down to a specific person. Z has been our best critic on many productions anyway.

L: Around the Millenium it has been very quiet about Tyske Ludder. What was the reason behind this creative break?

Z 67: We had decided to do a creative break after the Creutzfeld-EP in 1996 already. But to get rid of all those false rumours: Tyske Ludder never split up in arguments, it had been merely a private shit in priorities of the protagonists. We all had soon realised that EBM would not bring a safe income as we could achieve in non-musical fields. Thus, all of us had to find an other professional orientation. Meanwhile we produced a few songs for some compilations. Our return to the scene happened because of a reunion at the Electric Tremor party in Dessau, Germany. Of course it took a while until we finished the release of Sojus. But on the way there we performed a few more gigs, e.g. the WGT in 2005. Basically we never lost contact to the scene, but we were more observers than protagonists. At the end of the day our decisions have been more than right so far, as the feedback of the people and critics prove us.

L: Did that lead to a change in your style? When I compare the way you sound now to the old times in the 90s, I feel your music became aimed for the dancefloor?

Olaf: Our production process has changed completely owed to the technologic development. Everyone of us owns a small studio, so that we can avoid the exhausting recording sessions in a rental studio. And our live-performance took a lot of advantage of it: In the beginning we used normal TV as videobackgrounds and needed to change tapes a lot to be able to have at least a minimum of synchronisation to the music. In our point of view we have transformed the typical sound of Tyske Ludder to the next millenium. For the production of Anonymous we even decided to hire an additional producer – Sebsatian of Wertstahl – which made us sound a bit more danceable and experimental at the same time. But we never lost the focus on harsh sound, which we also testified by the mastering of Jan L. of Noisuf-X.

L: Has there a change in your lyrics in some respect? I clearly remember your lyrics having a stressing on topics like supremacy of technology and the war in Yugoslavia as well as the policy of the USA. What are you writing about today?

Albert: There has been only a minor change in general. Our lyrics are reflections of the society we live in. We even find inspirations for our topics in the studies of human behaviour in the daily life, no matter how and where it presents to us. No matter if we observe media or the daily life – the daily routine and life around us is a damn interesting, innovative and unpredictable animal. Especially when it comes to harming other people, innovation has nearly no limits. Thus, man and his behavious dictate the topics – sometimes more in general, sometimes very recent and direct events like the last year’s Scientific-EP. We want to show deficiencies but neither we claim to teach with the index raised nor to show any alternatives for improvement. We want to be at the pulse of time but to not hesistate to talk about banal things.

L: Before 2006 you have played live only very few times. When you take a look at the live-biography of 2007 and 2008 at your website, you can notice a real change there. Has the signing to Black Rain had such a huge impact on it?

Z 67: That’s right. After the first releases on Black Rain we had a lot of live-shows. And we did the European tour with Feindflug. It is very helpful to have the full support of the label, especially because the cooperation with Gerald is very pleasant and friendly. Since the beginning of the year we have a contract with WOD which brought us a tour with DAF. And there are some more dates on the track, among them Berlin, Kopenhagen and Stettin. We will see what will come our way in the future.

L: Where in the world have you played so far?

Z 67: In 2007 we toured Skandinavia, Switzerland and Belgium, last year we played in Southern Europe and England.

L: And where did you enjoy it most?

Albert: Poland was really cool and it was the first time for us to play in Eastern Europe. The scene is much smaller than in Germany, but they really party. Thas was quite impressive. And we have been so kindly been looked after over there in Stettin. We really enjoyed it. Basically we played a lot of shows that have left a lot of nice memories and impressions, no matter if Scandinavia, England or anywhere else in Europe.

L: Let’s get back to your new album "Anonymous", that has been released on June 5th. There will be two different releases, won’t it?

Olaf: Like with the previous releases, we will have a limited edition digipak with a lot of gimmicks to give something special to our fans. We reckon this to be a Thank You to our true fans and to give them something really special. For Sojus we made an additional remix-CD, now we put in an autographcard, poster and pin. When the first run of 1000 will be sold out, there will be left the standard edition only.

L: You have mentioned Frisian lyrics before. The opener "Frya Fresena" is most likely related to the old Frisian codex "Eala Frya Fresena". What does the expression of Frisian Liberty mean to you personally?

Albert: Frisian Liberty in a synonym of international law. The track is a hommage to the right of every nation for independency and freedom. We express our disgust with all kinds of oppression and occupation.

L: Am I right to think that the songs from the new CD are aimed for the people at the dancefloors?

Olaf: Some tracks are more danceable and catchier than older songs, but we never intentional produced them that way. This is merely the result of the kind of cooperation and the personal taste of the protagonists.

L: The song "Bastard" with its explicit lyrics brings up questions and makes the listener smiling. Are there any particular events in your lives that inspired you to write that kind of lyrics?

Z 67: Bastard paints the innermost thoughts of a sexual criminal, that transforms from his violent sexual phantasies to an abuser. The name of the album "Anonymous" is a synonym for the anonymous delinquent. It is dreadful to see, what can grow inside the anonymity of the loneliness, of the family, the group or even of an entire people. That causes the question where the threshold is set. We believe that we are facing a lot of horror. As long as man exists, we will not lack topics I think.

L: You have covered the song "Panzerlied", originally written by your label mates Jesus and the Gurus. What made you choose that song in particular and add it to your album?

Albert: We became real friends with the Gurus and this extend far beyond music. When time allows, we travel to Switzerland and party together. In the last year, when the production of the Gurus-CD had been finished, Gabriell showed me the track and i was impressed. When I suggested to cover "Panzerlied" for our CD "Anonymous", everybody agreed. Furthermore, the Gurus have covered an old song of us – Pädophil. Maybe there will be more actions together. In fall there will be two shows as collaboration, too.

L: The song "March" seems to be based on an old military theme. I believe I have heard that melody somewhere before.

Z 67: Of course. This is an old American song of the era of the Civil War. The original lyrics have been added by more up-to-date fragments, though.

L: What are your plans besides the appearances on the three big festivals of the year 2009?

Olaf: In fall we plan to undertake a small clubtour, where dates for Berlin and Stettin have already been confirmed. Other dates will be disclosed when time has come.

L: Many thanks for the interview. We wish you best of luck with the new album and much fun when performing live. Is there something you would like to add or to tell our readers?

Tyske Ludder
: Harmony is the end of creativity.
Translator: SiNiC
Add date: 2009-08-07 / Interviews

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