Hey peter, thank you for given us
the chance for an interview. I’ll send you a shirt soon, just be a little
patient, thank you. so, there is also a question I got, do you have any
connections to promoters or venues in Sweden? it would be great for us to
play some shows in Sweden, if this would be possible! In this way Smalltown
Rockets Phil starts their interview….july-2010
-Ok...Vincenzo, the drummer, is an Italian...I guess
that´s enough! (haha) Well, he became a member in 2007 and he´s playin´ the
drums like a fuckin´ machine! Sometimes he´s kinda bit choleric, but just
give him some beer and everything´s gonna be allright.
No label right now?
-No, but we´re on a good way to get one. We asked around
30 labels (some in Sweden) to release "Mondopop". Some of them said that we
have to fuck off, but there are also some interested ones. So, we´ll see...
-Not really. We recorded a 4-track demo in the beginning
of the STR, but it was for promotional use only. We recorded in our practice
room without a heater and it was a cold december at that time! That was one
of the most awful experiences I made in this band. It´s hard to do a good
record when your fingers are frozen!!
-Ask four members and you´ll get four different answers!
We were young and stupid and we were looking for the most cliche-sounding
name we could find. There is not really a meaning in this name, maybe
because we´re from a small town or maybe we´re fans of Russ Meyer´s movies.
But at that time we were sure that the band would have a career like a
rocket! (haha) I told you, we were young and stupid!
Which groups are you being compared to?
-I guess that´s your job! But in my opinion there was a significant change in our music after Caro got into the band. In our early days my mother ran away when we started playin´ , now she´s standing in the front row, know what I mean?!!
Once, I remember a guy that told me that STR sound like a mixture between Social Distortion and the Hellacopters, but I´m sure that guy was really drunk that time! (haha)
Do you understand that reviewers compare bands to each other?
-I understand those people, because I´m one of them! I also think it´s good to be compared to famous bands when you´re not popular, because people can decide for themselves if they´re interested or not. The only problem that way, you have to be compared to GOOD famous bands!! (haha)
Please describe your music in three words?
What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?
-I´m not sure ´bout that, because I´m not sure what a lifestyle called „punk“ really means. Is it hangin´ around and wasting your time or is it limiting yourself and disaccepting everyone who is not a punk? Well, if yes, I can say that this is not my way. I just can say that playin´ in a band and listen to music- not just punkrock- is an important part of my life, but there are still some other things which seemed to be important too...
Can music change anyones life?
-Maybe in some cases. I just can talk for myself, but if I had never played in this band, there would be a lot of good times, nice people and places- important experiences at all that I would´ve never knew. So, for me it´s a pleasure that I discovered music for myself and I would like to say that I´m happy about that!!
How is life in Germany right now? I mean politically?
-I´m sure that some people will hate me for my opinion, but I think that most Germans have a life in prosperity compared to people living in other countries in this world! So none of them has a reason to lie heavy on.
Well, the STR are definitely not a political band, so we won´t give any statements concerning political systems or politics in general, neither in our lyrics nor in interviews.
But right on this place there is one thing I´ve to add: we hate racism and nationalism and we hope there´ll be the day those suckers will be history! That´s all.
Is there any good bands in Germany right now
-Yes, we got some! There is such a great bunch of that it is hard to list up all of them!!
What do you know about Sweden?
-I asked myself how a relatively low-populated country like Sweden could have such a bunch of really great bands and musicians. Then I heard that Swedish pupils have to learn an instrument in school and I guess it´s not the flute!? I´m not sure if this is true , but if yes, this is the best offer pupils could have in school. That´s really great!
Any good Swedish bands?
-I´m listening to good Swedish music almost every day! There are such a lot of good Swedish bands that for me it is way to difficult to pick out some favourites!
Many people download music for free, what do you think of this?
-For a unpopular band like the STR it could be a good thing, because more people listen to our music if they don´t have to pay for it. Maybe those people will come to our shows, because of discovering us on the www and listening to our songs by a free download. When I´m talking for myself, I would like to say that I never did an internet download. A record is not just a thing to hear, it´s also something to see and to feel. I like having a record in my own hands, to watch some pictures and get some written informations. That´s why I prefer Vinyl, the only media that will survive!
What shall we do about the downloading?
-I fear it´s a rolling stone you can´t stop. Bands like Radiohead release a complete album by download! That´s because people are not willing to buy it regularly. What should I say? That sucks! But maybe it´s a result of the modern, high-technologised society we live in. But I´m also looking forward- there´ll always be people out there who´re buying regular records because of being convinced of that!
How much does a group like Smalltown Rockets sell?
-There are some records we sold by a regular order, but I think you can count them on two hands. The most records we sell at our shows, on a good day ten on a bad day none! So, I´m not sure about that, but I guess ´till now we sold around 800 copies. So everybody out there, there are tons of STR-records which could be yours!
Have you been outside Germany and played?
-Yes we have! We played some shows in Austria and Switzerland and on our last tour in May, we played our first show in Eindhoven/ the Nethterlands. That was one of the greatest experiences the band ever made. People there were so generous and interested, we couldn´t believe that!!
I´m sure, the day will come when we´ll do some shows in Sweden and then we´ll see every single one of you! (haha)
Why do you sing in English and not in german?
-We decided to sing our songs in English. That sounds pretty much better. That´s all!
Which are the futureplans for the band right now?
-The most important thing is to find a label to release “Mondopop”. For the rest of this year we´ll play some particular shows in southern Germany and Switzerland. There are no concrete plans for another tour at the moment, but we talked about doing a tour in February 2011- we will see…
-I´m trying to become a better musician…
Where is the best place to have a concert?
-In that case I can just talk for myself. I prefer playing club shows. I like playing on low stages where people can stand in direct contact with the band. It´s hard to inspire the audience on an open air show if they´re not allowed to come close to the band and in the worst case the sun is still shining.
Please choose five bands live and alive to have a big concert together with?
-It´s difficult to choose out only five of a bunch of great bands, but ok, I´ll have a try: AC/DC- because they were the first band I´d ever listen to and I´m still inspired by Angus` kind of playing the guitar. The Hellacopters, because they showed the way for an armada of great rock´n´roll bands in the nineties- and also for us! Nicke Andersson for himself, because we´ll play a show together in November and that´s gonna be a great honour for us! The Stooges- I think they were one of the most energetic bands ever. Every band we played and spent a good time together until now!
Please rank the five best albums, five best concerts you have been to and five most important things in life?
-Puh…ok, Refused- the shape of punk to come, Zeke- death alley, AC/DC- Powerage, the Briefs- sex objects, Adolescents- Adolescents…these are some records I´m listening to periodically, you know?!
There are no favourite shows I´d been to. There´re still some that sucked, but if a band is givin´ all they can, I´ll like them!
Most important things? Yes, they´re still existing!!
Which are the most embarrassing record in your collection?
-That´s not fair! I don´t like people laughing about me! (haha) Well, I´ll try to be honest, I´m a proud owner two Bon Jovi records, These Days and Cross Road. Think whatever you want…
The record that people have forgotten and that more people radiostations should play/hear?
-Mondopop by the Smalltown Rockets…but you´re right, it is still not released yet. (haha)
-I don´t know!!
Something to add?
-Thank you for this interview and we hope to see you in Sweden one fine day…