Thursday, May 08, 2014


The be-all and end-all for joining a band – interview with Andrew and Jan

Setting: 3.5.2014 tape release of “Ruins of Krüger s/t” at Occulto Fest (topic: indeterminacy) 2014 in Berlin. Record label: Kitchen Leg Records

Please introduce yourselves, the band, and tell me about your connection to the Occulto Fest.

Andrew: I play bass in Ruins of Krüger and I am also one half of Kitchen Leg Records which is our connection to the Occulto Fest. Tonight, we are releasing our first cassette of Ruins of Krüger. The co curator, the artist and scientist DuChamp, of this festival is the other half of the label.

Jan: I play guitar in Ruins of Krüger.

Andrew: We are 5 people in the band: two guitars, bass, drums, and singing. We have been playing together for almost 3 years now. We all know each other in various formations. So, there is a history of longstanding friendships and relationships.

Jan: That is very true. For instance I have known Georg, the other guitarist for 15 years which is a really long time. We have always made music together and are very experienced at playing together.

Andrew: Basically, this idea of friendship that pins down the band is very important to Ruins of Krüger since it keeps things together. Also, the type of expression we have is reflected in the comments we usually get from people. Ruins of Krüger has a solid identity which means that the whole is greater to them than the individual parts; it is an expression of music that is created by a real group where everybody has almost equal input.

Jan: The songs are made in the rehearsal room with input from everybody. So, there is no one person, like maybe a song writer, who dominates the band. You can also tell from how the songs come into existence: some of them are improvised; some of them are composed.  Either way the whole group process is very important to us.

What is the Occulto Fest for you personally about?

Andrew: Well, evidently, this is our opportunity to present our new tape. I do not know whether there is an occult aspect in our band, but on a psychic level, I am sure, yes.

Jan: I got to know the Occulto Magazine like three weeks ago and have not finished reading my two issues yet; it is quite new to me. The Occulto Magazine is based on a great concept. I do not know too much about the Occulto Fest yet. Today it’s the first time that I am visiting the festival.

Andrew: I was a DJ at the last festival, but only last year. So, my history with the fest is a bit longer. This is the fourth time they have done it.

Where do you draw your inspiration from and what is your background in arts and music?

Jan: I am an artist actually. I studied art in Karlsruhe. I have been making art and music all my life. Art and music go together and, for me, are one thing.

Andrew: In Ruins of Krüger the band members are sound producers, trained artist, graphic designers. So, there is a lot of Vielfältigkeit in our approach to music. Actually, we do not want to sound any particular way; it is just what comes out when play together. Like, we do not sit around questioning who we sound like or anything. We do not even talk too much about things outside like what we are listening to. Band names come up in conversations infrequently...if at all then maybe artists like Devo and This Heat.

Jan: Oh, I remember somebody mentioned Tactics. There are things that we all like, but I can´t really speak for the whole group. Some of us have a punk and indie background, but not everybody. Most of us really just like interesting music.

Andrew: Sure, there are overlaps. Most of us prefer music that is done in a particularly creative way…songs that not sound straight. If you produce pop music in a slightly lopsided way it can really change and become much more interesting.

How would you encourage young people who want to play in a band?

Jan: Just go ahead and do it; just get some instruments…

Andrew: I gave a piece of advice to a friend the other day as it is sometimes really difficult to communicate with the other people when you are trying to join a band. It can be very sensitive situation, often, when you have a group of people. For example, if one person has this vision and specific expectations as of what should happen. And also, people can be very sensitive regarding their art no matter what they are doing.

Jan: It is kind of a training situation for communication to be in a band.

Andrew: Very true, you have to really try to understand the other band members and not rush the judgment too quickly and sort of realize that it can be complex. Basically, you have to be sensitive to other members´ sensitivities. Sometimes, we hear from friends as we all hang out together, it can be a very difficult process. Especially since outside the musical context they may not always get along well.

Jan: We are even living in buildings that are attached to one another.

Andrew: To us, and I am speaking on behalf of all band members, it means a lot to be able to play in this band. I am super grateful just for the opportunity to play with Ruins of Krüger. For years, before I met the band members, I felt like I can´t really find the right people. If you are trying to join a band it can be very difficult as people may have different expectations or a certain idea of professionalism. Commercial aspirations and stuff like this…. I always felt like this was challenging because of the stuff that I wanted to do and because of what I am interested in. So, playing in this band is very rewarding as this is what I wanted to do all along.

Jan: Try to find people you really like and who you can communicate with. Go on an exploration trip with them together and figure out what you want to do together as musicians. Unfortunately, we do not have any advice on how to be successful. It is just fun and great to play and experiment with music together

Andrew: Your band should feel true to what you want to do really. To be able to do this with other people is very rewarding… especially when I hear from others how difficult it can be (or if I think of my own difficulties) to form a band. The idea of egos getting in the way seems to be a frequent thing. Just try the best you can to go in a direction where that goes pushed out a little bit…and see what happens in the group. It is a little bit like trying to dissolve the ego a little bit for a little while.

So, you are basically saying it is essential to have harmonious relationships with all band members, but it can be fairly challenging as everybody is an individual at the end of the day?

Andrew and Jan: Yes, yeah. Exactly!

Jan: You do not want to lose your identity; that is what I meant by “training situation for communication”. You will always want to contribute with your identity to the group.

Andrew: Some people get together and they might have some excitement and some idea …and that happens really quickly.  Then there is some disillusionment and it is over before it starts.

We chose a different strategy. Ruins of Krüger had been practicing for a whole year before we made our first actual show. It did not feel rushed and no one had an idea of when it was going to happen.  We just practiced once or twice a week and a whole year went by…which seems still quickly now in retrospect.

Jan: We had an instrumental gig early on as a test, but our singer joined us some 5 months after we had started.

Andrew: The way we composed and played songs, especially at the beginning…most of them were not easy to memorize. We made so many changes to them and sometimes we would get mixed up about which songs had which changes. And of course, in the meantime, we learned to play in this formation.

What is your next step?

Andrew: Nothing in particular and I do not know whether we have a gig lined up. It is always good to have something on the horizon to work towards. Sometimes you have off-periods, like when a band member goes on vacation, but common goals are important as they bring people back together to steady practice.

Jan: I want to make a video before we play our next gig.  I just have not picked a song yet.

Me: Okay, thank you very much for giving this interview. I wish you great night at OCCULTO FEST and much success for your upcoming gig.

Jan and Andrew: You are welcome. Thank you very much. Have fun at the fest.

Interview: Annabell Weimar

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hey everybody, last weekend we went to SCHWARZE HÜTTE - an extremely both chic and cozy bar-club near U2 Rosa Luxemburg Platz. We were flooded with joy and happiness since the premises are sparkly due to the many mirrors and lights. The reception lady is very friendly and cordial and the in-crowd was just a lot of fun. The cherry on the iced cake called awesome was presented to by DJ SCAR (George Sentos. Please check out his on-line dj-set.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Worried about the Boy

If you wish to gain a deeper understanding of the history of the British NEW ROMANTICS culture this one is a must. Please watch the BBC movie on Boy George and the famous Blitz Club.
It can be found on VIMEO.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Free Radio Berlin and Potsdam


Freies Radio in Berlin auf 88,4 MHz und Potsdam auf 90,7 MHz

Friday, November 02, 2012

Jule K. (comics, illustrations, paintings) - an interview on her childhood and her teen years.

Hello Jule, how are you doing?
On your blog ( can find out about your work as a comic artist starting from 2005.I am very curious about your childhood and teen years!
How would you describe your kid and teenage self?
For example, I am wondering which were your primary sources of influence as a kid?
Were you making drawings and paintings as a child already?
Regarding your family background, I would love to know whether there were numerous artists in your family and how did they impact your style?
I am very interested in how your teenage years influenced your artistic skills.
Who were the artists you spent your time with?
Which museums did you go to? What kinds of art / comic books were you reading?
Who were your TV / comic strip heroes?
Which bands were your favs?
Obviously, your art has a very strong connection to rock `n roll aesthetics. I am wondering whether you could please tell us who your favorite rock `n roll artists are.
I am also wondering about your readership abroad.
Which of your publications are in English?
In which shop can we order your publications abroad?
Do you work with artists who are just breaking into the comic market?
What are your personal words of encouragement for them?
I hope to hear back from you soon.
Thank you very, very much in advance.

Hello Annabell,
thanks. I´m fine. How are you?
Since my early childhood I loved drawing and painting. Mostly I drew people and horses ; )
My mother always told me, that my first word was „horse".
I also loved to invent stories. As a 9-year-old I wrote a book (of course a horse story ; )
I read very much as a child and teenager. Until the age of thirteen I was kind of a nerd. The art class in school was the opposite of an inspiration to me. I hated it. The teachers were only happy, when the students drew very realistic and I never liked that. Why should I draw the reality like it is? For that they invented photography ; )
I always wanted to picture the reality the way I liked it to be or like it seemed to me. My uncle was an artist, too. He painted landscapes mostly. Whenever he saw a drawing of me, he corrected it. I didn´t liked that.
I started to draw kind of surrealistic pictures with fine liners. Niki de Saint Phalle was one of my favorite artists. As a teenager I started to be very obsessed with music. My first LP was „Actually“ by the Pet Shop Boys and my first single was „Who´s that girl“ by Madonna. I always wanted to go out and have fun, but it was very difficult, because I lived deep in the countryside. As I was seventeen I moved to Bielefeld by myself, to graduate there. I went to an alternative school and we went much to demonstrations and we had to discuss everything.
Then I wrote another book. It was about love, sex, feminism, jobs and so on. I never tried to publish it. It was too autobiographic. I thought it would be embarrassing.
I didn´t know any special comics I liked then. But I decided to combine my two passions: Drawing and storytelling. And so I made my first Comic. I had no idea, how it was done, but I made it the way I liked it.
It was named „Charlottas Lottaleben“
I drew it in color and at this time color copies were very expensive. So I couldn´t publish it. My brother gave 3 comics to me as a birthday present and these became my 3 favorite comic artists: Julie Doucet, Peter Bagge and Roberta Gregory.
Before that, I didn´t know about the existence of comics besides superhero or children comics. Especially I love and loved Julie Doucet. I love her style and the stories. I became a big fan.
At this time I moved to Hamburg and met many other comic artists and then I published my first comic book.
I´m still very inspired by music. My favorite bands are Stereo Total, Moldy Peaches, Magnetic Fields and the Pet Shop Boys.
My pictures were often named after my favorite songs.
Unfortunately my Comics haven´t been published in English. But I hope, some day they will.
I would advise the young comic artists to draw like they want to and not to adopt another style.
It is better to make it how you really like it and to be unique. And it would be helpful, if you had other skills to make money with ; )
Best wishes, Jule

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Morlocks Scooter members of team - Interview (Berlin)

Dear Morlocks Scooter members of team!!
I hope you are doing great!!
Many thanks for the interview.

I am new to the scooter scene and all I know is that it has close ties to the mod / beat scene.
Well, you guessed right. The whole scootering (/scooterboy) scene originated from the (2nd mod revival) scene in the early to mid-eighties.In a way, the split from the "original" mod scene mirrored a development that took place in the late 60ies, when one part of the mod movement drifted towards hippiedom, while another part kept away from beads, paisley + long hair, and strived to go back to the sharp, clean-cut image of the early mods - those were the early mods, quickly to be dubbed "skinheads" by the yellow press.
Anyway, yes - the Gang is deeply rooted in MODism as well. The "Berliner Rollermods" were the core cell in 1984 of what later became the "Morlocks Scooter Gang". (Which makes the Morlocks Scooter Gang one of the oldest scooter clubs in Germany). Until 2 years ago, when we changed our colour (which is to say: when we got a new design for our logo + back patch) the old patch still read "ex Berliner Rollermods". Another Berlin gang that was sucked into the Morlocks Scooter Gang were the "Smart Boys Berlin - GangMods and Scooterists".
So, MOD – yes.. Beat - no. Beat is, was, and forever will be for paisley mods. The musical diet for scooterists is strictly SOUL. Maybe with a pinch of ska thrown in for additional flavour... ;)
Basically, I am wondering what does it actually mean to be a Morlock Scooter Member?
You are not only a member of a gang - back patch, club outings, parties etc. - but also a member of a very German "Verein". Since this year (after more than a quarter of century of club history) we are officially an e.V.,that is an "eingetragener Verein". So there are certain rules and regulations that apply to the Morlocks as to any other "Verein", as well as the gang code. Basically, were all scooterists, that is we own several each and ride at least one scooter. Which means no automatic, no plastic - Vespa or Lambretta. We're no scooter commuters (though we use every possibility to ride) but scooterists, spending as much time as possible on our scooters.
How do you spend your time as a gang and make it as unique and fun as possible
We meet at least once every month, although most of the club members are pals that spend part of their spare time together anyway. But we aim to meet at least once a month.Unofficial club home ist the Wild Style tattoo studio in Berlin-Neukölln, owned by Roland, our club president. Apart from that, there are the mentioned outings. And: We organize parties, concerts and niters. This started in connection with the annual "kick-down" on the 1st of May, when hundreds of scooters meet at the Winterfeldplatz and then take to the streets of Berlin.
At the moment, we try to establish events on a monthly basis - with bands or niters - at the Cortina Bob in Kreuzberg. We started in September with The Moving Sound (SWE) and newcomer Mods The Riots from Russia on the 21st, followed by the annual Morlocks party celebrating the end of the scootering season on the 28th. In October, we had a niter with D.J. Mario Montgomery (Downtown Soulville) on the 12th.
The next opportunity will be the 9th of November, where we'll have another niter, hosting D.J. "Screaming Jay" Füg, himself a scooterist, and one of the very few German soul D.J.s to be mentioned in David Nowell's "The History of Northern Soul - A Definitive History of the Dance Scene that Refuses to Die".
The last event this year will see another band - nearly all-girl punk/power-pop combo The Twitchblades on the 7th of December.
All events at the Cortina Bob, Wiener Str. 34, D-10999 Berlin.
Which are your favorite spots in Berlin?
Neukölln. Kreuzberg. Parts of Friedrichshain. Don't ask me to be more specific - or everybody else would rush there...;-)
What kinds of jobs do your members have at an event?
It varies. Of course, there is much more to do when you have a live gig than on a niter. We do have an experienced stage technician among us, so that brings a lot of proficiency into the whole process of organizing such an event. Apart from that, a sub-part of the gang ist the (in)famous "Morlocks Konflikt Team" - the name itself a pun on the police de-escalation teams. The Morlocks Konflikt Team provides security. Full stop. Mmh. Yes. Leave it like that...
Do you invite people from other clubs to your events? How is your international network set up?
Yes, we do. Meeting other scooterists is an essential part of a scootering lifestyle. We try to visit as much runs organized by other clubs as possible, and, of course, we invite others to our events. Unfortunately, Berlin was quite isolated during the 80ies, when the whole scene formed, so even today it's quite hard work to get other scooterists to come to Berlin. By now, there are some close ties to other clubs, especially from the north. But as a matter of fact, some of our closest friends are from Austria - we have close friendships with several Austrian clubs, out of which several personal friendships developed.
Do you have a lot of musicians, journalists and event promoters on your team?
Yes. Yes. No, perhaps. Seriously: We have people from all kinds of backgrounds. We have nearly everything - chef, tatto-artist, kindergardener, architect, engineer, stage-technician, builder, and, yes, even a journalist (me). Markus, who works as a stage technician, is also a professional musician - so, as I said, that brings a lot of professionalism into the process. Most other members have connections to the music business as well, and some experience when it comes to setting up events.
What does it take to be one of your members - what are the requirement for becoming an official member of The Morlocks Scooter gang?
The main thing is: You'll have to fit into the gang. I can't put it any other way. It doesn't matter who you are, or where you come from. No matter what sex, creed, or colour. Of course, you'd be required to ride a Vespa, Lambretta, or other non-automatic, non-plastic scooter. But that's it, mainly. For everything else will show. That is why everyone who applies for full membership is required to spend as much time as possible with the gang for at least six months, that is take part in every activity during that time - to give us a chance to see if the person in question fits in with the gang, and to give the person a chance to back out before it's too late... ;-)
Do you have some sort of code of honor which guarantees the members` loyalty to the club?
A: Yes, we do. We have a rule book - one of the requirements for being registered as an official organization - where all this is detailed.
But basically, there are two main reasons why people can be expelled from the club: First, in case someone acts against the clubs interests, which includes, for example, a certain kind of behavior that reflects badly on the club as a whole. Second: You never leave another Morlock in the ditch.
That's it.
I am aware that it is harder to attract women into the scooter scene. Do you have any explanation for why ladies are a bit more reluctant at joining in?
Well, a lot of clubs were reluctant to accept female members. For them, the stress lay on scooterBOYS. Some still are. That's why girls-only clubs like the HORNY NUT LOOPS formed in the early nineties. (Or SCHÖNE AUGEN SC today, or female racing teams like FAST FURWARD).
On the other hand, it's not a lifestyle that applies to many girls. Runs are noisy, drunken, dirty + sweaty events. The style itself (the uniform of sensible boots, MA1 bomber jackets + denim or leather vests loaded with patches) are not every girls - ahem - cup of tea. It's not the smart suits, flowing scarves of the parka-clad scootering mod...
So perhaps it's due to reluctance on both parts.
Markus, thank you very much for your answers. I hope to meet you guys soon on one of your fabulous events!