Earwix is a band which sounds a little like our Swedish garagebands which was around before and Earwix have been taken up that line… this interview was done in the end of September 2014.
Please tell me a little bit history of the group?
Benni Bronson: We formed the band in 2001 after listening to some old Ramones records. We had to undergo some line up changes first, before we were able to keep a stable line up. With this line up we recorded our first- now sold out – EP “Flying Pigs” in 2003. This recording was followed by the second self made record “...come like a raging bull”. Shortly, after this we had to do another line up change and a new bass player entered the band. So we went to the studio to record our first full
length CD “Eating Rats”. Due to some private issues we had to undergo another line up change and a
new drummer and, shortly after this, a new bass player, Rookie, joined us. Eventhough we had a lot
of changes we were still able to spread our Booze Rock across Germany. In 2012 our drummer and
one year later our long time guitar player Locken Johnson left after we had recorded the “Fear the
Moustache” EP. Longtime friend Slick joined the band who already did some replacement gigs for us
Vocals: Benni Bronson,
Guitars/Backing Vocals: Slick
Guitars/Backing Vocals: Lazy
Bass/Backing Vocals: Rookie
Please tell me a little about every member in the group right now,
age, family, work, interests and something bad about everyone?
Bronson: Haha...I guess we're all perfect gentlemen! We are all the best age, from 25-34.
I am 31 and I'm becoming a teacher. We got 2 child care workers, a warehouseman and whatever
Slick is... I think we all share the same interest in playing Rock N Roll and having a good time
Slick: Yeah, I’m the Whatever Man hahaha… And our drummer’s calculation of times is whatever,
Earwix…what does that mean?? Are you satisfied with your name? Which other names came up when you talked about a name on the band?
Bronson: Actually, there was no other name. We were drinking one evening and took a dictionary to look for a suitable name for a Punk Rock N Roll band. We found the entry “earwig”, which is a small insect, and thought this name would be perfect. We changed the spelling a little bit because an 'x' seemed to be more ROCK. So the baby had a name. Later we found out that one of ALICE COOPER's first bands was called “The Earwigs”. I still think the name is perfect for us!
Your influences goes way back in time, am I right? Hellacopters?
Slick: Yeah, of course, Zeke and the whole Scandinavian rock explosion during the 90s had a really big influence on us. For me personally Guns N Roses was the band that started it all and made me wanna become a guitar player. But I quit guitar for several years as a teenager but after seeing a concert of the Backyard Babies on TV I picked it up again and that’s when rock n roll got really serious for me. We’re all fans of good music in general. We listen to all kinds of stuff from John Lee Hooker to Johnny Thunders to Mötley Crüe to Slayer… AC/DC, Motörhead, Ramones, Springsteen, New York Dolls, Elvis... And even rap. NWA, Cypress Hill or the Beastie Boys. Too much to name… Our record
collections are endless and we all just enjoy listening to good, well written, soulful and energetic
What´s the best thing with playing live?
Bronson: Mhh...The adrenaline, the booze, the crowd (no matter how big it is). The most important
thing is to bring the energy of our Booze Rock to the people, playing as wild as possible.
Slick: Every audience and every performance is different so you never know what to expect at one of our shows. We’re bursting with energy, put everything we can into our live shows, love to meet new people… and we’re party animals. It’s always fun to hammer down some drinks with the audience and turn up the night.
And where is best to play?
Slick: Nowadays it’s really hard to get a lot of gigs in Germany and we’re definitely a live band… not a studio band. So, every gig is great. It doesn’t matter if it’s a festival or a shitty little club in the middle of nowhere.
Bronson: We play wherever there's an opportunity to do so. Of course we like to destroy bigger
stages more than small pubs, but as long as there are people willing to rock out we will deliver!
How is it to play this sort of music in Germany?
Slick: Germany still has a very functional rock scene. If Slash or Motörhead come to town it’s sold out but it seems that a lot of people don’t come to shows of smaller bands anymore. A lot of clubs have not enough money to pay for a live band especially if they know that there are not enough people at a rock show to cover all the expenses for their staff and all that. So it’s not that easy to get a lot of shows with the kind of music that we play. And of course you have to cover your own expenses, too.
How would you describe your music in three words?
BOTH: Gluesniffin’ Booze Rock
What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle? I
know that you´re not punk but there´s element in your music..
Slick: Well, for me the Earwix are way more punk than hard rock, to be honest with you. But punk…
It’s a weird thing. The punk movement originally was anti establishment, anti rules and all that but it
seems that nowadays within this scene there’s more rules than anywhere else. “It’s not punk to look
like this”, “It’s not punk to use facebook to promote yourself”, “It’s not punk bla bla bla”. You know.
For me, punk is just “do what you wanna do”. Follow your dreams. Have some backbone and don’t
care about what other people think. That’s exactly what the Earwix are all about. It’s not trendy, it’s
not compromising. It’s what we like and what we wanna to do.
How do you see on downloading, mp3 and that stuff?
Slick: Well, the digital world offers a lot of possibilities for young bands. If you know how to use social media platforms you can do promotion by yourself that would’ve have cost millions of dollars 15 years before. But the mp3 thing… It kills real albums. Physical albums. Music is most important but there’s more than just music. The artwork, the booklet and all that. It’s a whole art form.
Bronson: I'm not that much into that downloading stuff. I like to have my vinyl or CDs so I can enjoy
the artwork and the lyrics. I think that music, the artwork and the lyrics form a union so you can get
more into the songs than only click them on your playlist. You need to take your time to listen to the
whole record to get the right feeling and the atmosphere.
How is it to live in Germany now? Politically?
Bronson: I like to live in Germany. It's quite nice here, but - and I think that this is not only a German problem- the right-wing-parties are getting more and more voters and influence, which is quite alarming. It is important to show flag against all those right-winged, conservative, nazi fuckers!
Is there any good bands from Germany now? Is the punkscene
big?? The garagescene?
Slick: There’s no real scene for this kind of music anymore I would say. But there’re still a lot of rock
fans in general here. But still there’re some great bands in Germany. Last year we’ve played with a
band called Nitrovolt from Cologne, Germany. They’ve became good friends of us after that and
they’re amazing. AC/DC meets Metallica’s “Kill ‘Em All”. Super fast AC/DC I would describe it. And
one of my favourite bands that I’ve listend to a lot during the last month is “Reverend Backflash”
from Austria. I played with them, they became good friends as well. Great songwriters. You definitely
should check them out. And of course our longtime friends SUPERCOBRA. They are from our
hometown and sound like german Hives I would say.
Bronson: There are some great bands here in Germany: Supercobra, Bastardo, Smoke Blow, Boozed just did a reunion show, Road Rage, The Cellophane Suckers, Nitrovolt and many more.
What do you know about Sweden?
Slick: Besides the music… IKEA hahaha
Bronson: Great country for music, ABBA, blonde girls, Astrid Lindgren...and all the other nice clichés ;). Besides these things Sweden has a beautiful landscape but alcohol is too expensive.
Have you heard any good bands from Sweden?
BOTH: The Hellacopters, Backyard Babies, Hardcore Superstar, Entombed, Graveyard, Bullet, Babylon Bombs, In Flames, At The Gates, Witchcraft, THE HIVES… So much great stuff. ABBA! It seems that you guys can’t write bad music up there! And who deserves a single mention: Nicke Andersson, the spearhead of Swedish rock music! Sweden is one of the most important countries for Rock and Metal!
Your lyrics, who does them and what influences you? Not in
Bronson: The lyrics are my job. Mostly they are about the pleasure of being in a Rock N Roll band,
beer and babes! There some lyrics about relation-problems, beards or about fictional characters like
monsters or other insane beings. There are also lyrics to show the senseless of war or discrimination.
I think the English language fits more to Rock N Roll than German and so we'll keep it.
Is there any subject that you never will write anything about?
Slick: It’s Benni Bronson. Any direction is possible for this guy hahaha…
Bronson: There is nothing I would not write about. It just has to fit our sound and style. It is hard to
imagine that we will do a love song. But who knows...!? :)
Politic and music, does it goes hand in hand?
Slick: I don’t like to write about politics… But there’s definitely a place for politics in music. Some
bands are good at doing this stuff, some bands don’t.
Bronson: I think it depends on your intention. Of course you can use your band to promote your
political position and try to get the people re-think their own opinion... There are some great political
bands which are fighting against racism, ignorance and stupidity!
Best political band/artist?
BOTH: Rage Against The Machine and MC5
Do you think that music(lyrics and so on) can change anyones life, I
mean people who listens to music?
Bronson: I don't think you can “change” someone with your music but you can show new views on
certain topics. You can show the people new sides of things. It is not important that they share your
point of view but you can make 'em think about it.
Slick: Definitely. It’s not really about “changing”. But it can help you to get through a lot of hard
times. Or maybe it’s the soundtrack for a certain chapter in your life. Music is something that can
have a really big impact on someone’s feelings.
Are you releasing all your record yourself, not on a label? Is it
important for you to get out a real record and not only digital?
Bronson: We're still looking for someone to release our shit. For us it is important that people get
their music the way we like it...CD or (hopefully soon) vinyl! If people come to a show they should
have the opportunity to take some good music home. So it needs to be available for them.
Slick: It would be great to have a label that really would help us get our music out on vinyl or cd. A
label that helps us getting gigs, helps us putting on a bigger show, funds us to pay our expenses for a
studio and all that… But I think the model of “the record label” has changed so much during the last
10, 15 years. It’s not like in the golden age of music anymore. The era of Zeppelin and the Stones is
over. Then labels were really helping’ an artist to develop. They really did build them up. Nowadays
it’s all about a single hit or one good selling album. Fast $$$...
Is there any new material on its way?
Slick: I guess we’ve written more than half of an album. I’ve joined the band last year and I am
constantly writing new stuff. I have tons of ideas and riffs laying around. We’ve just premiered two
new songs at our last concerts and hopefully will release a new record in 2015.
Please tell me a funny thing which have happened during your
career and under some gig?
Bronson: There are MANY funny stories: One has to do with a burlesque dancer, the not-using of a
toilet and the love a man had with himself...I think I leave out the details!
We had one show where the damage of the stage, drums and lights was 5 times high the money we
got for the gig...We always have a lot of fun on the road.
Slick: Our drummer got lost for about 13 hours in Prague… That show was fun. All of us were already drunk when we started to play and Bronson was more than half of a song too late on stage. I had to sing the first half of the opening song while wondering where he is. Later he told us that he couldn’t close his bullet belt. Hahahahahaaaaa. GENIUS
How does your audience look like? Which people do you miss on
Bronson: Mostly there are all kinds of freaks: Rockers, Punks,Billys and Metalheads.
Please rank your five favoriterecords, five favoriteconcerts and five
most important things in life?
Records (at the moment) Thin Lizzy-Live and Dangerous, The Hellacopters -Payin the Dues, Iron
Maiden – Iron Maiden, Ramones – Rocket to Russia, Motörhead- 1916 (but there are many more...)
Concerts: Black Sabbath Live 2005 (original line up), every The Hellacopters Show, Zeke Live in Kassel
200?, every Iron Maiden show, Turbonegro Live Reunion in Bielefeld (2003 I think) (and many more
Things: girlfriend, friends ‘n’ family, band, music...
Slick: NO RANKING.
Records: Guns N Roses – Appetite For Destruction, The Hellacopters – Payin’ The Dues, Backyard
Babies – Total 13, Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers, Iggy & The Stooges – Raw Power
Concerts: Backyard Babies (2004), Thin Lizzy + The Supersuckers (2011), Eric Sardinas (2012), Clutch
(2014) , Kvelertak (2013)
Things: Friendship, my guitar, leather jackets, noodles, beer
Is it boring with interviews? Which is the most stupid question you
ever have got??
Slick: I pass that one...
Bronson: I like interviews: I like to read them and I like to answer them. I think it is a good chance for bands to present themselves and/or tell funny facts or nonsense (Turbonegro hurray!)
The most stupid question is... mmmmh...
Do you understand that reviewers always compare bands to other
bands? Is that disturbing when you try to something own?
Bronson: Comparison is useful if you want to check out a new band and you get an idea how they
Slick: We didn’t reinvent the wheel. We’re a classic, punky, dirty rock n roll band so there’re a lot of
bands that play kind of the same music that we do. So I guess comparison is a natural thing. It’s an
honor to be compared to The Hellacopters but I really hate when people then think we just listen to
this kind of music and that’s why we sound kind of similar. As I said earlier we listen to a lot more
then all that…
Futureplans for the band?
Bronson: We need to write some more songs and then -hopefully- we'll release a new record soon!
Bronson: I'll have to leave my hometown due to some job issues but we will keep our BOOZE ROCK
Slick: Become a better songwriter. More than becoming a better guitar player. I really wanna develop as a songwriter.
Bronson: Long live Rock 'N' Roll!!!
Slick: All rock must punk – all punk must rock! Cheers to Stevo ;-)
Something to add?
Slick: Please, yes please, help keeping rock n roll alive. Go to shows, buy CD’s, click the like button on Facebook. It seems silly but you can help smaller bands survive in this fucked up music business
Bronson: Thanx a lot for the interview :)