Stockholm Syndrome legt los
Interview geführt von Arne Heinen
Hier ist nun die schriftliche und gekürzte Version eines Gespräches, das ich am 13. 05. 2004 mit
Danny Dziuk und Dave Schools von Stockholm Syndrome in der Lounge des Park Hyatt Hotels in Hamburg führte. Gekürzt deshalb, weil das Gespräch über 40 Minuten dauerte, und inhaltlich auch Themen berührte, die nicht unbedingt mit der Band zu tun hatten. Wie das eben so ist, wenn man ins Plaudern kommt. Es hätte auch noch länger gehen können, aber der Manager John Byrne unterbrach uns, da die Band zum Soundcheck in die Fabrik musste.
Am Anfang führte ich das Gespräch auf deutsch, da man mit Danny ja nicht englisch reden muss. Als nach einer Weile Dave dazu kam, ging es auf englisch weiter.
Arne: Hallo Danny, schön, dass du da bist und dir die Zeit für dieses Gespräch nimmst. Zuallererst einmal herzlichen Glückwunsch, und zwar für den deutschen Kleinkunstpreis 2003. So in einer Reihe mit Hildebrand, Richling usw….
Danny: Polt nicht zu vergessen. Da bin ich sehr stolz drauf.
Arne: Zum zweiten, Glückwunsch dazu, dass du mit den Jungs unterwegs sein kannst. Ich finde, das ist eine grossartige Sache, so als Deutscher. Wie kam es eigentlich dazu?
Danny: Soll ich die ganze Geschichte erzählen, oder die Kurzfassung?
Arne: Vielleicht die kurze Fassung, da wir sonst vielleicht noch morgen hier sitzen.
Danny: Also gut, die Kurzfassung ist folgende: Ich hatte ungefähr um 2000 rum ein gutes Angebot von einer Plattenfirma in Berlin, und eines Tages kam jemand von Ulftone in ´ne Kneipe rein, den ich nicht kannte, und fragte mich, ob ein Typ namens Jerry Joseph für uns (Danny Dziuk´s Küche) Vorprogramm in der kleinen Berliner Junction Bar machen könnte. Ich meinte, im Prinzip schon, was macht der denn? Er erzählte mir von Little Women, dass David Lindley Songs von ihm spielt, von den Jackmormons und seinen Sologeschichten. Und dann habe ich gesagt, ob wir nicht besser das Vorprogramm für ihn machen sollten. Nein, das wäre schon in Ordnung, und so lief es dann auch.
Jerry hat das, was wir gemacht haben an dem Abend, so gut gefallen, dass er Ulf in den Ohren lag, er müsste uns unbedingt haben. Ungefähr drei, vier Monate später kam dann von Ulf der Vorschlag, ob wir nicht mit meiner Band, der akustischen Version, zusammen mit Jerry für ein paar Tage ins Studio gehen könnten, um zu sehen, ob das zusammen klappt. Genau das haben wir dann gemacht. Und dann hing Jerry noch ein paar Tage länger in Berlin rum und hat bei mir zu Hause so fünf, sechs Songs einfach so ins Mikrophon gespielt. Ich hab das dann dazu verwendet, um daran weiter zu arbeiten. So ist dann die Platte entstanden, die wir jetzt erst rausgebracht haben. Diese "Oil" Platte. Eigentlich wollten wir nur Outtakes von unserer Band rausbringen, für die Leute, die nicht so lange auf unsere nächste Platte warten wollten. So haben wir dann unsere Outtakes und die Jerry Songs auf eine Scheibe gepackt. Die ging dann letztes Jahr nach Amiland. Und dann kam irgendwann zu Beginn des Jahres 2003 ein Anruf, dass Jerry mit Dave Schools und John Byrne nach Berlin kommen würden, um als Stockholm Syndrome in einem kleinen Club namens Kato zu spielen. Er fragte mich, ob ich nicht meine Orgel mitbringen könne, um mit ihnen zusammen zu spielen. Ich stand bis zum Hals in Arbeit.
Ich kannte weder Dave Schools noch John Byrne, und dachte mir nur, der eine ist der Manager und der andere der Bassist. Die armen Jungs, die sind ja hier in Europa völlig verloren. Und da Musiker alle Brüder sein sollten, sagte ich halt zu. Ich war ganz nett, und hab´nen tierisch guten Gig gespielt, nur aus Verzweiflung, oder aus ner Leere heraus. So nach dem Motto: Ist doch eh scheiss egal, mach das Beste draus.
Nach dem Gig erzählte mir Jerry, dass sie in einem nicht gerade billigen Etablissement wohnten. Und ob ich am nächsten Tag Zeit hätte, mit ihnen essen zu gehen. Das Haus war mir dann doch zu edel, so wie hier. Da gehe ich normalerweise nicht freiwillig rein in solche Dinger, und habe es dann gelassen. Aber zwei Wochen später kam dann der Anruf, ob ich nicht auf die Bahamas kommen wollte. Auf Grund des Gigs im Kato und der "Oil" Platte.
Arne: Bis dahin wusstest du nicht, wer Dave Schools und John Byrne sind, welchen Stellenwert sie haben?
Danny: Wir hatten uns zwar getroffen, und Hallo und das Übliche gesagt. Aber das war es auch schon. Vielleicht war das auch ganz gut so, sonst wäre ich vielleicht nervös gewesen. Keine Ahnung. So war alles schön frei.
Arne: Du wusstest also nicht, was da alles auf dich zukommt. Ach guck, wer kommt da auf uns zu?
Hello Dave! Nice to see you. I´m glad that you take some time for a talk.
Dave: How is the german part of the interview going?
Danny: I was just telling how I met you in Berlin and I didn´t know who you were, who John was.
And the next thing is that I got this e-mail, inviting me to Nassau.
Dave: You got a phone call from me too. I told him: I promise nothing, and he said: I´m in.
Arne: Dave, how you get along with the german kid?
Dave: I think we get along very well. Cultural differences probably make me annoying to Danny, because I always asking him very specific things about german idioms, translations. Like myself he is a big fan of Bill Hicks, a famous american comedian, a social satirist, with a special kind of humor. So we share something. I also ask him a lot about german philosophy. We get along pretty well.
As far as a musician, he is second to none. His role in the band is sort of the boxstops with Danny as far as what´s the correct musical thing to do in any given situation. You know, not so much as arrangements are concerned, but more tone, emotion, feel. His approach works in two ways.
One, because Jerry loves him and trusts him as a friend and a musician.
Arne: You can see that on stage. The communication between both of them is....
Dave: Exactly, and that´s something that the band is.., you know, we are just now getting on our feet as far as communication on stage. But the second reason it works, is because of your actual spirit of music. The spirit of your training, of what you are musically, is not really Rock´n´Roll per se. It´s more soundtrack, cinematicst work. That is often used to describe instrumental music, that is a little deeper than just music without words. You know, I like the soundtracks for movies that haven´t been made yet. For movies that we imagine. So, his approach, if you listen to the record, the keyboard parts are very seldom clichee. In a few cases I forced him, like in "Tight" or "Couldn´t get it right" the organ glishes (?) , they are very american R & B, and I feel like in certain cases, that´s a signpost for how the listener should be directed and interpreting the music. But in other cases, I´ve suggest listen to the keyboards in "Shining Path" or "White Dirt". They paint pictures, they are beautiful, and they are not what your average Rock´n´Roll keyboardplayer would choose to play. Which makes them something very special.
Arne: In my, and other people´s, opinion, Danny is not loud enough on stage.
Dave: Turn up ! (laughing) But this goes hand in hand with what I just said about Danny. You know, with that approach comes a deep listening as opposed to a lot of musicians, especially rock musicians, they don´t interpret, they play on impulse, and part of that is why Rock´n´Roll is so good. It hits you in your sex region, in your butt, in your heart. But part of this band is to go a little bit beyond that. And so, sometimes people pull back. It´s because they are thinking what to play, and what is the right thing to play. And it takes a long time to develop of telepathy on stage. Those things become automatic. It just takes the band playing together, it´s like a marriage, a relationship and it´s compounded by the number of people on stage. Jerry and I as a duett was pretty easy to work out. The honeymoon is over and the work begins. This is a five piece band. A sort of the honeymoon was making the record in the Bahamas, having it be good and then getting it out on stage and go rah, rah, rah in Berlin. You know, and then the honeymoon is over and it´s time for the relationship to grow. How do you make room for each other? No relationship is always easy. It takes time to find room for each other. We are just in the beginning. I think, anyone who has seen the band right now, even though they may not get best quality performance, but the trading for that is something pretty rare. What you see is the humanity of a band come together in front of your eyes. Which, as a jamband fan, you should relish, it´s something that you should enjoy. We don´t want to be percieved as a jamband right off the bat, because it sets up a group of expectations that we are not able to fullfill yet. On stage, improvisations is gonna be last thing to follow the pace, because we are more concerned with the performance of the songs and getting the melody across, the energy of the songs. Even at this point, some people will say: the guitar solos are too long...
Danny: Like me (everybody laughs)
Arne: There was an article in the Plauen newspaper about the Malzhaus show titled : Loud like hell, good like heaven. They also say that there was never a band as loud as the Stockholm Syndrome before. It was a very positive article.
Dave: That´s good. That´s kind of what we are trying to do.
Danny: Quasimodo was the same. Was it?
Dave: Yes! Someone said in a Berlin paper review about the Quasimodo show: It started out excellent, then went to headbanging, and then ended up excellent. So, we must be a heavy-metal sandwich.
Arne: Dave, when you go back to States and play there, what do you think, how will be the reaction on specific songs like "American Fork"?
Dave: Well, you know, on one hand, you have to assume that they gonna listen to the words and process them. Let me just backtrack and go back to the loudness thing a little bit, because perhaps Europeans think american bands are so loud because they are. In America, in bars, the people don´t really come to hear a band they don´t know. They come for the scene, for the drinks and they talk. And they can talk really loud. So, consequently, american bands turn up and say: Now you pay attentions of me, because we can play louder than you can possibly talk. So, they come to Europe, where, what I´ve noticed, the audiences are universally affording the musicians with much more respect. And they come to listen. So, they do remark that it is often too loud.
As far as your question goes about "American Fork", I have to pose the question to the people in America: Are you gonna bother to listen to the words and process them? American Fork is not anti-american. The point of view from which it´s written is : We are Americans, we are holding this fork as consumers and it´s like a list, a litany of...you know,.how can you be an American and not notice these things that are going so horribly wrong or so horribly hypocritical. You have to stand up, you are the one with the fork, you´re the one with the power. All of us are, as Americans, to notice these things and what to do about them.
Arne: So, it´s up to the people to change things....
Dave: Exactly. Because I have to still believe in democracy. As an American, I have to. I can not give up on it yet. I was taught. It´s part of my job as an artist to, not asurely to bash Bush, but to raise questions. I don´t want ever be considered someone who is telling someone else what to do. The most I can tell them is to research, educate themselves, ask themselves questions and then follow their heart.
Arne: My thought is, that the most people who will come to the shows in the States, will be people from the jamband scene at the first time. Usually, the bands from the jamband scene don´t make any political statements. It´s more about love and peace and having fun. Like Panic or the Grateful Dead. They never made political statements except: Take care for the rainforest.
Dave: Exactly, take care of your own...
Arne: Now you are one of the first bands in that scene with a political statement. How will they react? Will they crucify you for doing this, the press, the media?
Dave: I don´t think so, because we don´t tell the people what to do. We are just telling that you have to be part of the process. And that requires education. You can´t just blindly follow. You have to ask questions. You have to research to arm yourself with facts. If you don´t like what is going on in your country, you have at least to vote to do something about it. If you are o.k. with it, it´s fine, but it´s your duty. It´s our responsibility as artists to tell that.
Arne: I hope that it will work for you and that they will not crucify you.
Dave: It´s part of our role. We have chosen it. We will see. I think the song raises value questions.
What is going on? Ask yourself. Do you support it? OK. If you don´t, be aware of it.
Arne: Dave, let´s talk about another band. What will happen with Panic next year?
Dave: Ahh, we are gonna start touring again.
Arne: In Europe??
Dave: (smiles)I don´t know, if there are plans to come to Europe right away. You know, due to the cancellations of the last two tours, everybody is pretty itchy to get over here. We really enjoyed it the last time we were here, and we wanted to come, but we were advised against it after 9/11, and the next time we were scheduled, Mikey got sick. So, we are ready to come back, but part of our deal with ourselves, as far as taking this break, was, not to discuss any plans until it was already 2005. So, I would imagine that there will be an US tour in April.
Arne: And George is still in the band?
Dave: Yes, George is still in the band. George is the heart of gold we needed, you know. I think that it would have been a big mistake to hire someone who was gonna play like Mikey. Because, first of all, no one´s gonna play like Mikey, period. We would become a tribute band of ourselves and that would drive all of us insane. It´s like Judas Priest hiring the top Judas Priest tribute bands singer to replace their singer. It´s not like Baseball. These tribute bands aren´t the farm system to pull out the great players out of that to replace the real stars.(laughs)
Arne: Is an Europe tour possible in 2005?
Dave: More likely 2006. Hopefully 2005. I can´t promise anything. But I know that we all really want to come back. We miss our german friends. I´ve been lucky, because I´ve been able to come over here and see all you guys. I love it over here. I´m making more friends in foreign countries, which makes them more hospitable when you see a friendly face.
Arne: I think that is is a lot more easier here, because you are not standing in front of masses of people. Not thousands but a couple of hundreds.
Dave: Exactly. And I like that I can experience both. I like the intimacy of the clubs over here and it was the same thing when I started to play with Gov´t Mule. They were playing small places, bars. It was enjoyable to be that close and see the enjoyment on people´s faces.
Arne: But that has changed for the Mule
Dave: Gov´t Mule is getting bigger. They are, and that´s good. That´s what I was hoping would happen. I wanted them to be able to overcome Allen Woody´s death with grace and move on.
Arne: The Deepest End project was really a phantastic thing as you can see on the DVD. That was something!
Dave: It was a long day for me. Panic headlined the Jazzfest fairground main stage that day. Got off stage at 7:30pm. We played a 3 hour set without a break in the hot May sun of New Orleans. I ran to the hotel to take a shower and to put on clean clothes and was down at the Saenger Theatre from about 8:30pm until 3:30 in the morning. So I played the first part of the show, and then the encore.
Arne: And Warren was on stage 7 or 8 hours?
Dave: If you include the soundcheck, yeah (laughs). It was a long concert, for sure.
Arne: Are there already plans for coming back with the Stockholm Syndrome?
Dave: Yes. There are plans. We love it over here, and you deserve it. Like you said the other day.
Arne: It looks like it is time to leave now for the soundcheck at the Fabrik. Thank you Danny and Dave for your time and thoughts. And we hope to see you soon again.
Dave: We´ll see again!