TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with frontman Alexander Veljanov of the renowned German gothic / darkwave band Deine Lakaien was done by e-mail by Panayiotis Papandreopoulos in January, 2006.
Deine Lakaien are indisputably among the greatest bands of Darkwave-Alternative movement. In a period that this music genre gradually decays (with some bright exceptions actually) how do you manage to remain flourishing and dynamic?
This year we will celebrate our 20th anniversary and I canít believe that Deine Lakaien are still around. I think the recipee for that is that we did not produce too many songs and albums in a too short period and we always took enough time to breathe and think and to develop other ideas and projects besides the group.
Songs like "Love me to the end" and "Where you are" are erotic masterpieces but many other of your songs have a deep sentimental background. From your musical style and in combination with the lyrics one could infer that you are deep thinking persons apart from excellent musicians. From where do you derive your (what is the main source of) inspiration for both the music and the lyrics?
That is a question we always were asked but never found a perfect answer for. Let me say it like this. Biggest inspiration for music is the love for music itself. Since the very first days of my life I can remember that music had an enormous attraction for me and I was fascinated of music like from nothing else. The second bit of the answer should be the everlasting struggle, loving and hating life itself, and trying to understand to accept the equal existence of absolute beauty and ugliness in this world. On our way to find real love and beauty we are damned to meet and fight also real horror. The history of music shows us always the same sources and questions for inspiration through all the centuries.
Every song has of course its own meaning, however in brief what is the general message (or feeling) that you want to pass to the listeners of your music?
We donít want to teach anybody, but we try to offer something that makes you think or feel understood. If somebody tells me that our music is too dark or depressive than I always try to convince him to spend more time with it and listen not only once or twice. There are all colours in it and you can find them. Resignation is no solution, there is always a way to pass through difficult times.
Recently Eric Burton said in an interview that while there is so much good music from all the world, from "above" they oblige us to listen to rubbish. What is your opinion about it?
That is not a problem especially with music. It is the same with what we eat or drink, under which circumstances we have to work for our living, the quality of holidays and traveling etcetera.
It is sometimes not so easy to find the good stuff but you have to invest some time and patience. The big medias dominate our information system and they are dominated by people who want only big and easy money. But who are we that we donít use our brains?
More than 2000 years after Aristoteles...
What is your opinion and which are your favourite, if any, groups of the international but mainly of the German Darkwave scene?
We know especially the bands from the first years, we met them often, some of them still exist like very nice guys from "Das Ich" and some donīt. Usually you canīt judge the music objectively when you know people, the sympathy factor is too important... The young bands I donít know that much which is normal, but you always meet people at festivals and get an impression. I must say that never before there have been so many so-called "dark" bands like today and I think it is going to explode soon. Strangely the only thing most of them have in common seems to be the colour black...
What is your response from your two appearances at Elfentanz Festival in Athens and from the April Skies tour in general?
It was a very nice tour and we realized that our fans are very devoted and not dependent from the mediaís opinion. Some people in Germany thought that our time is over but we showed them that they are not right. It was our best-visited tour in Germany of the last years.
Our first and second concerts in Athens were extremely joyful and in May 2005 we had a perfect tour end in Greece. Hope you will invite us soon again! Especially the European shows last year were very exciting and we realized that we there are a lot of countries to visit in the future.
Our next destinations will be Spain, Russia and Latin America.
You are coming from F.Y.R.O.M., a country with which Greece unfortunately (and stupidly according to me) doesn't have the best relations. How do you feel when you perform in front of the Greek audience?
I am not exactly coming from FYROM. Iíve got one German grandfather and one from the Macedonian area, who lived during his life in such different places like Bitola, Sofia and Kavala.
I hate that politics raped these beautiful regions for centuries and I hope that one day all the people in Southeast-Europe will find peace and discover the beauty and richness of their common culture. Alexander the Great had one great vision, not for Greek or Macedonian or any other people only but for all (!) people.
Do you consider the "Kasmodiah" album as a turning point for Deine Lakaien and what does this title mean to you personally?
"Kasmodiah" wasnít a turning point in our career although it was the most successful album and we finally had to deal with the situation to stand in the German charts between Madonna and Cher! The result was that many medias started to realize us for the first time and we had to answer many stupid questions from absolutely uninformed journalists. Not the best thing to spend your time with. The other important change was that we decided to change our live musicians after Kasmodiah, which was a very good solution.
The title itself is very important to me personally because it is written for someone very dear.
So, I hope that you can find some interesting aspects in my answers. Whish you all the best for this year 2006.
The interviewer wants to thank Panayiotis Xirouchakis, Michael Berns and Thanasis from Darkcell for having assisted him with the syntax and formation of the above questions and their accurate remarks.
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