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Deathstars (II)
Interview mit Skinny [Deathstars], Oktober 2011, mailer



Ein neuer Drummer, ein neues Styling, eine neue CD und eine Tour mit Rammstein – wenn das mal nicht genügend Gesprächsstoff für ein Interview mit den schwedischen Deathstars ist. Es ist auch höchste Zeit, denn in den letzten Monaten schien es ein wenig ruhig im Hause der Glam-Metaller. Doch untätig war man nicht in jener Zeit, wie Bassist Skinny berichtet.

Hello Jonas, it was a bit quiet around the Deathstars during the last weeks. How did you spend the summer?

Skinny: Haha, Jonas, that was a long time ago. You must have found the passport I dropped at the Zillo Festival in 2004. I changed my name to Skinny legally right after that. My summer has been fantastic. I hosted the Trash Fest US in Philadelphia in July where I also joined the All Star Band on the last night. Then I took a plane across the country to my dear friend Davy Vain in San Francisco (lead singer of Vain, a band that I grew up with, and now Cat and I are playing guitar with them). He showed me all around the bay area, and on my birthday we had a road trip down to LA and met up with his old friends Steven Adler (Gn'R), Snake (Skid Row) and Sebastian Bach (Ex Skid Row). It was a lot of fun meeting some of my childhood heroes all in one place.

So far you've created three full length albums in the almost 11 years lasting band history. Why has the time already come for releasing a Best-of-CD?

Skinny: We decided to make this compilation as a closure of the many fun but troubled years we left behind us, and also to give the potential new listeners at the Rammstein shows a quick update on who we are and what we sound like.

How did you decide which of your songs will be part of "The Greatest Hits On Earth"?

Skinny: Some songs like the singles should be a part of the CD and also the songs we got the best feedback from. The hard thing was to choose our personal favorites. It's like filling a mirror with your ego, there's never a mirror big enough.

What is your own song highlight and why?

Skinny: That changes constantly. I really like "Blood Staines Blondes", because it's such a great live song. But right now my favorite is our new single "METAL".

Beside of "METAL" you'll find another unknown track on the Best-of. Old forgotten treasuries or very fresh stuff?

Skinny: They are both very fresh fruit picked out from the upcoming album.

Is it still in progress?

Skinny: We have some work left to do, but it feels like we have the album pretty much figured out. We're aiming to go back into the studio and finish the rest as soon as we get back from the tour with Rammstein.

"METAL" is a little foretaste. Why is the song worth for being a single?

Skinny: Absolutely. We had a wide range of songs, but by the time we started mixing, "METAL" felt like the natural single.

Into which direction is the next album heading?

Skinny: We get that question a lot and there's never a straight answer. We are always looking for new paths and try to experiment as much as possible. We always say things like "This is gonna be our hardest record" or "We need this kind of songs" and so on. But at the end you can't really decide what makes a song being a good one. I wish people would stop having expectations and understand that a musician always has the highest ambition of making the best album.



Back to the Best-of: Why is it not only a fill-in to bridge the time gab?

Skinny: You may look at it any way you want to. We have always put a lot of time into songwriting, and the studio sessions are usually very long. We want to be sure it's a great album that gets out there. We're never in a hurry and we don't think it's necessary to put out an album every year. With that said, I know, not everybody agrees with me, especially no record companies, because you're supposed to be seen and present all the time. Therefore I think this was a great idea to make a compilation of our past for people that never heard us before. It makes everybody happy.

On time to its release you'll be on tour with Rammstein – as already mentioned. How did this cooperation come about?

Skinny: We've been trying to make it happen for quite some years now, but it never came to it. Since we met up with them last year in Stockholm, we kept in touch and we all worked for it on both sides. Luckily this time we could make it happen

How do both bands actually fit together?

Skinny: I would say very well. I get very good responses from fans in both camps. I think it will be a win-win situation. Even though we may win a little bit more from them...hehe.

What are your expectations referring to this tour?

Skinny: I'm not a big fan of expectations. I like to see how things take shape. The only thing I know for sure is that the tour is almost sold out and that means a lot of people will be there. I also hope to catch up on some of my lost German.

Which fears do you have?

Skinny: I only fear things that you can't control, like technical problems or sudden tsunami waves.

How did the first meeting with Rammstein look like?

Skinny: As I said, we met last time they played in Stockholm. They invited us down to     their backstage, but it was pretty crowded, so I've only met Till and Christoph so far. I'm sure meeting the rest of the guys will be pretty dramatic with lots of flame-throwing and grenades. Haha!

Will you have stage fright performing in front of thousands Rammstein-fans?

Skinny: It's been years since I had stage fright, so I hope I will at least get a little butterfly in the appendix, that always gives you an extra edge.

What do we have to expect from the upcoming Deathstars-shows?

Skinny: We'll perform a high energy rock concert.

How do you prepare yourself at the moment for this tour? Do you regularly rehearse back in Sweden?

Skinny: Yes, for once we actually started rehearsing quite early this time. Except from that there are a million things to take care of: make sure we have all the equipment set and ready to go, make up, informing crew, paperwork, interviews, paying bills and so on. No matter how early you start: There are always the things, you think of in the last minute, that are the most important.

You recently announced your new drummer's name. How did the Deathstars and Vice find together?

Skinny: Vice was originally a friend of Cat. He helped us out already back in 2008 during the Korn tour being only 17 years old. He then went by the name of Thunder de la Renta. Since Bone injured his arm about two years ago, Vice has been helping us out on the drums.

Which criterions did Vice have to fulfill for becoming the new Deathstars-drummer?


Skinny: Just the simple fact that he was always there for us and that he's an amazing drummer.

I've just seen a totally new promo pic of you which reminds a little bit of the Misfits. Which image do you want to communicate with your new styling?

Skinny: These promo-shoots are taken from our latest video "METAL" where we play a gang who fights rivals from different territories. I don't think this is a definite look, we just wanted to try something else in the video. We wanted to look like Ramones from hell.

What does Skinny usually do when he's not around with the rest of the band?

Skinny: I do a lot of DJing, mostly in Sweden, but also around Europe. For a year I've been writing songs for a country music project that I'll be starting to record soon.

How do you prepare yourself for the long and cold Scandinavian winter waiting after the Rammstein-tour?

Skinny: Haha, I have very high hopes to take my family somewhere warm. I'm not a big fan of the winter, because lately it lasts from the end of October to late April. It's ok when there's a lot of snow and about minus 10 degrees, but I don't like the muddy city-streets.

And one last question: How would you complete the sentence "Music is…"?

Skinny: …indispensable.



Interview: Lea S.
Fotos: taken from deathstars.net/promotion
Website Band: www.deathstars.net

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(c) Zillo Musikmagazin / Ausgabe 12/11-01/12 / www.zillo.de
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