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 THE TWANG IM INTERVIEW, Frequency Festival (15. August - 17. August 2007)                                                                

(von Thomas Hochwarter und Michael Tanki)

ĄIf you come along and slap me, Iíll fuckiní do ya!ď - Martin Saunders im Interview.

How do you like our beer?

[with a can of Ottakringer] Too early to say because itís my first one of the day. But itís a good-looking can, nice and cold Ė yeah, itís a nice beer, man! Iíll tell you at the end of the day when I had about ten of them.

Youíre the Birmingham City fan in the band, right?


Yeah!


So, youíre in the Premiership again.


Yeah, what a good feeling! Donít get me wrong: Championship football isnít bad, itís nice to watch. But the Premier League is the place to be! You gotta be in it, man! Well, weíve got a good manager, weíve had a great team last season, so we deserved to go up but letís see how weíre doiní this time because it is fuckiní tough in the Premiership.


Martin: "The reason the NME wrote about us
is because weíre good.
"


Are you gonna stay up there?


[hesitating]
YeahÖ [convinced] Yeah! Just about.

Is there a lot of banter around football within the band?


Not really, man. I mean, if City would beat Villa 4:3 there would be some, but apart from that itís not a main part of our lives. Of course you crack some jokes and as football is so important to people, itís easy to wind people up. But there are more important things to talk about.


What do you think about Birminghamís reputation Ė which isnít the best. A lot of people say itís quite boring, thereís not much to do. It is also often described as not very attractive and you hear that it can be quite dangerous to live there.


I donít know man, to me itís home, soÖ When you come around in England Iím sure youíll find out that Birminghamís not that bad Ė itís good for shopping and for going out. You canít compare it to London because thereís everything, and itís much bigger too. But at the moment thereís a lot of money put into ĎBrumí. Iím going back there soon, and Iím really looking forward to it.


So you didnít start to make music to get away from there.


No, absolutely not! You donít do it because you want to get out of where you from. You do it because you love music and you want to be in a band, right? I donít think that it makes a difference where youíre from. The first day I get off Iíll go back to Birmingham.

"If you start bad-mouthing me, Iíll put you right!"

Do you feel the same kind of spirit with band like Oasis or Kasabian, this lad rock thing?

I donít know, man. I mean, obviously weíve got a lot in common. Honestly, Iíd say that our music sounds quite different from them. I mean, itís an honour to get compared to bands like that because theyíre good. I donít think we sound like Oasis, I think we sound like ourselves. In some ways we sound similar to some bands, in some ways we donít Ė but it all comes naturally! We donít sit together, thinking about how we would like to sound.


Is it important to you what the Gallaghers say? I mean, to me it seems that Serge and Tom [from Kasabian] try to please them and desperately wanted them as mates.


I donít know, really. I mean, Noelís a fuckiní legend! He changed the way of so many people thinking about music. And when a legend says he likes you, you think ďFuckiní hell, weíre doiní alright!Ē And weíve heard one or two stories that he likes us so weíre cool with that! But itĎs not like we go out and try to impress somebody, but if we get to meet Noel and have a drink with him, thatís fuckiní great. The other night we went out with Peter Hook [former member of New Order] Ė I mean, thatís just incredible!


How important was your first NME article, how important is your attitude, what about MySpace Ė or is it just the music?


All of the things you said go together, Iíd say. I mean, we know weíre good but being in the NME helped selling tickets at our first tour. When they write ďgo watch this bandĒ, this definitely brings some people to do so. The NME still has a missive influence, though, now it seems theyíre a little bit off us, so weíre doiní it for ourselves now. After a couple of tours we proved that weíre good enough anyway. And the reason they wrote about us is because weíre good.


Iím a backing singer Ė I just canít
 play an instrument!


Did you ever had a night out without having a fight?


No.


Really?


Well, thatís the NME who makes you think that, because we donít fight. I mean, if Iím in a pub and you come along and slap me, then Iíll fuckiní do ya, but Iíve got no reason to fight without an incident like that. Iíd say Iím the same as most blokes. You go out for a drink and to have a laugh, donít ya? I mean, we donít go out to have a fight, weíre not fuckiní hooligans, man. Weíre normal fuckiní lads who do normal things.


But was this image which was created good for you?


On one hand it wasnít because itís just wrong. On the other one, people got to hear about us that way which was good for our music in the end. After all, recognition for our music is the most important thing. Since our albumís out, I think we showed that weíve got it.


Do you think the Brummie accent is the hardest to understand?


Not at all. Can you understand me?


Yeah. But do you talk slower when giving interviews to foreign press?


Not really. I mean, Iíd put in some slang when I talk to my mates, but thatís all. If you go to places like Newcastle, for a start Ė I mean, I fuckiní canít understand a word they say! The Brummie accent is the reason to get a lot of stick but I donít give a fuck, man. I never thought about changing it or find a different voice.


Is there still the same kind of rivalry amongst London, Manchester and Birmingham Ė as far as football, music and lifestyle are concerned?


London and Manchester have been much more successful with music and football. But Birminghamís also a big city, man. Weíre located in the middle and are a little bit left out of this whole thing but I donít think itís a competition. Maybe Northerners and Southerners got a little bit but weíre smack banged in the middle, so we donít give a shit. To me it doesnít make a difference where people come from. I donít think Iím better than someone because he comes from London.


Is there something specific about the Midlands mentality or the peopleís characters?


Itís hard to say because I never really sat down and thought about it. Perhaps thereís something, I donít know. Maybe itís the thing that we havenít got no competition Ė weíre not bothered about lads in the North saying ďAh, them Southern fairies!Ē and Southern banter about the North. We donít care, if ya know what I mean. I donít know, manÖ We just do what we do!


Did you ever walk off from an interview?


Yeah. NahÖ Not at all, not at all! Why should I? I mean, if youíd start bad-mouthing me, Iíd put you right. We know that the press is a big part of what we do. I mean, weíre coming here and all the interviews weíre doiní promote us. So, you donít walk off from something that does you good, do ya? Unless youíre a bit of a twat. I never had a reason to Ė but I donít know what you next question isÖ



Nothing nasty, no worries! Did you already realize the success you had so far? I mean, now you are the one who is onstage.


Yeah, some things are different Ė to play gigs, get free beer. But Iím still a fan as well. Today, for example, I wanna watch The View although I think theyíre playing at the same time we play. The only band I donít get to watch is Ė us.


What a shameÖ


Yes, it is. But Iím still a fan of music, thatís important. We just love music, man.


How did it come that youíre one of two singers onstage?


Well, the other three were already playing gigs. One afternoon, I popped in when they rehearsed. I had nothing to do, so they asked me if I wanna have a sing. I had a sing, and from then it just when on until now. Philís the better singer than me but weíre mates. So, heíd never tell me to fuck off. It happened naturally, now weíre writing songs together. We didnít plan it to be different or something.


But it definitely makes you more interesting as a band.


Thatís what a lot of people say. There are a lot of bands with two singers, but probably not two singers that donít play instruments. I mean, look at Oasis. Noel backs Liam when he sings.


Except songs he sings himself, or exceptions like ďAcquiesceĒ, a very special case.


Thatís true. So, Iím a backing singer rather than a main vocalist Ė itís that I just canít play instruments!


But youíre comfortable with this state?


Yeah, Iím pretty happy man Ė Iím in Austria, drinking beers and having a good time Ė so itís not a bad situation, is it?


Is it your very first time here?


Yes, it is.


Did you know anything about Austria before?


ErmÖ to be really cheeky, I donít know anything. Donít know, man. But I really thought about it. Then I remembered that Gerhard Bergerís from here.


Thatís right. But the most famous living Austrian is, without any doubt, Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Ah, yes, heís from here? Sturm Graz! Does he own the club?



No, he doesnít. but the stadium was named after him Ė until they realized that he wonít change his opinion on the death penalty.


Really?


Yeah. Heís Republican, soÖ


No way, man! What a bastard! What a fuckiní nutcase, man.

  Review / Interview / Fotos
  Thomas Hochwarter, Michael Tanki

   Copyright: www.britishrock.cc


 britishrock.cc - music zine austria                                                                                           Copyright 2007