Monday 1 September 2014

Interview: Die Krupps

The machinists travel guide...

"Berlin was cool when the wall was up, it had a special flare, I really liked the atmosphere, it was like whoever did not want to get the draft went to Berlin, and so it was very artistic. Nowadays it is just a big city without a centre."

Die Krupps has been manufacturing Musik fabrik for 30 years. A creation of steel worker hard bass and a production line rhythm, that seeks to move. Last year was marked by the ‘Machinists of Joy’album. A successful mixture of 90s electro year rock, with an en-laced feel from impounding fabrik bass and then lifted up with EBM technik.

It’s just gone past midnight on a hot Monday morning at Amphi Festival in Cologne. The Labyrinth of the Stattenhaus venue is quickly remembered, as Hermann (tour manager) takes us into the dressing room. After a performance that neared disaster with monitor failure at the beginning (also happening to Front 242 on Saturday), Die Krupps are lounging backstage. A combination of improvised percussion and determination, until the issue was fixed led to a successful performance.

So now it is time for me to answer the deep questions of...

Intravenous Magazine: So who is the best cook out of the lot?

Bradley: Totally not me! I’m a great cocktail mixer.

Marcel: I think Bradley is the best cook, but I’m good on cocktails.

Bradley: I'm a big bourbon fan, you should try ‘The Derby’. Really good bourbon like Basil Hayden 2oz, a spoonful of maple syrup & 1 Oz pineapple juice and a pinch of nutmeg. The Moscow mule I've been drinking a lot of recently.

Bradley’s Bar:
Moscow Mule
  •          Vodka
  •          Shot of lime juice
  •          Top off with Ginger Beer

Bourbon X

·         2Oz Basil Hayden's
·         1tbsp Maple Syrup
·         1 Oz Pineapple Juice
·         Shake it!
·         Dust with a pinch of Nutmeg

IVM: You should try an Islay Mule…
·         1part Islay peated Whisky
·         2 parts ginger beer
·         1 part lemon juice
·         Serve on ice cold.

or a Pain Killer.

Marcel: What is a Pain Killer?
  • 2-4 oz. of Pusser's Rum
  •  4 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. cream of coconut
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  •  Grated fresh nutmeg
(At this point I am assuming at least 50% of the band is surviving on alcoholic calories)

IVM: Do things like tonight's monitor sound failure irritate you?

Jürgen: Honestly I think you can use things like tonight to your advantage. If you keep the crowd informed, involve them and improvise, then it will work in your favour. I know it wasn't our fault, but issues can arise now and again.

IVM: What was the aspect of the 'Machinists Of Joy' album?

Jürgen: Essentially to bring out a Die Krupps album for all of the years, the only element we didn't include was the noisy part of the first album, all the rest is there. But now we are going to branch out again. At the moment new stuff is formulating, but we think some time in spring next year we'll work on it.

IVM: You are currently based in Austin Texas, when you are coming back to the continent do you feel the culture difference?

Jürgen: The only two places I've really liked on the continent are London and Moscow. But Austin is the best city in the world. It’s like the San Francisco and New York of the South, all mixed into one. Austin is the oasis of Texas and is really the music capital of the world, there is nowhere I’ve seen with  such a variety of live music, clubs and bars.

IVM: When did you first start coming over?

Jürgen: At the end of the 80s and then I moved to NYC in 1991 and then I saw Austin and found everything. The down town area has it all in one place from an industrial, reggae or rockabilly club, it’s all there in one place! The nature in Austin is like the South of France and if you love good food, you will be spoiled all the way!

IVM: What makes Berlin not cool any more?

Jürgen: Berlin was cool when the wall was up, it had a special flare, I really liked the atmosphere, it was like whoever did not want to get the draft went to Berlin, and so it was very artistic. Nowadays it is just a big city without a centre. Nuremberg is more of a medieval town with a huge castle enclosed with walls you should definitely go there. We actually were asked to play infest this year, but this is two weeks after Mera Luna and we can’t be touring 24/7, what’s it like there?

IVM: It’s a cool end of summer festival in the UK, it’s cheap to go to and very laid back. Everything is on the University of Bradford Campus, and includes a good turnout good variety of electronic orientated bands. Also has possibly the best Karaoke players the scene has to offer!

The corridor begins to resonate in low frequency. The last band downstairs, has come to the closing chapter of its performance. Looking back Jürgen finishes off speaking to a passing by music artist departing into the evening.

IVM:  What would Die Krupps do in a Zombie attack?

DK: Get up on stage and do a performance, see maybe if I could get some back vocal from them.

The interview has ended and so has Amphi. We trace our steps back through the West German structure returning into the Statennhaus theatre.The skeleton that once enveloped the Stage, has begun its deconstruction piece by piece, though the floor is still warm from boots and high heels.

The first glimpse of Die Krupps was at Amphi 2008, the blast of their metal pipes to' Der Amboss' hooked me to them, and seeing the history of the machine years continue on in success, just as Amphi has from then.

'The Machinists Of Joy' is available now via Synthetic Symphony / SPV. For more information on the band, including tour dates and future releases, please visit their official website.

Interviewed by Dominic Lynch aka DJ LX-E

Photography: Daniela Vorndran

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