Last year in autumn, Felix Kubin‚s Gagarin Records label celebrated 15 years of its extraordinary existence. Therefore, a special fanzine called „Institut fur gegenlarm“ been created by Alexa D!saster, who also made a compilation of Gagarin Records and its sublabel Apokalypso. I was responsible for interviews with the artists. Here are some of my favourite bits and bites of the interviews.
Jurij Gagarin was first man in Space. Is there something you are first at?
David Fenech: I was maybe the first kid to watch humans walking on the moon on television! I was born the night before that historical event happened and I know that my parents were already watching TV. So now, I am a « kid of technology » with my thought on the Moon…
Do you think music is useful? And why?
Brezel Göring (Stereo Total): Music has the wonderful of power to make hard work look ridiculous and stupid.
Adi Gelbart: Oboes are good burning material for your fireplace. Deep-house records are decent Frisbee substitutes. Bass flutes are useful for fighting fleas.
Do you feel like a renessaince person? And do you remember the last day when you didn’t make any music, video, opera, score writing or anything like that?
Ergo Phizmiz: I sometimes dress like a Renaissance person, but more often than not I’m dressed as a bad-golfer. I don’t remember the last day I didn’t make anything, but that’s just because it’s the only thing I know how to do, particularly.
What kind of paranormal activity would you like to do?
Mark Vernon: I would like to record people’s thoughts with the power of my mind and then broadcast edited highlights through my ears. WAV or FLAC only. I’m not doing it if its just mp3 quality.
Stan (Vernon & Burns): I have ESP – Extra Sexual Perception. I can get aroused by anything – fruit, vegetables, rocks, supermarkets, the proceedings of the UN Security Council, the Fernsehturm, this interview. I also have a poltergeist in my pants. I only do paranormal activities.
Barry Burns: Stan wouldn’t know what a normal activity was. I would like the ability to see into the past. Or have the gift of being able to speak to the living. Maybe through a crystal ball. Or just in the street.
What is necessary while doing beat box? Are there any beat-boxer gloves or fitness for your tongue? Or anaerobic aerobic?
Mark Boombastik: You need at least one mouth. And its better if you have not lost all your teeth yet. A bit of practicing would be maybe good… Don’t lose yourself in skills – lose yourself in visons.
I created accidentally a system nobody else can easily play… if I’ll be dead one day, a person who would want to perform my songs like I did have at least has to learn to do beatbox and play the machines like I did. I’m like Bruce Lee – if you want to copy me, you have to invest a lot of time and energy to reach this skills and mistakes I have today.
Would you kiss Apocalypse on her lips, or do you prefer optimistic thinking about the future while dancing calypso?
Meryll Hardt: Yesterday I dreamt that Marcel Duchamp was in my living room. His lips were rose and when I kissed him I woke up saying „c’est la vie“. I guess it was apocalypse.
If you could open a space bar, how would you call it and what would you serve there?
Jesse Stiles: My space bar would be called „Force Restart.“ All the drinks would be named after computer keyboard shortcuts. We would have a drink called „Zapping the P-RAM,“ one called „Target Boot,“ „Empty Trash,“ „New Folder,“ etc.
What was your worse socially awkward situation while being part of Gagarin Records? And the best moment?
Peter Um: There’s been a few, mainly on the Gagarin 10th Anniversary Tour.
1) Once Brezel Goring’s disposable teacup fell out of the tour van into the gutter as the door opened and I picked it up, trying to be helpful in a wishy-washy Englishman kind of way. He grabbed it and threw it back out in this gesture of distilled punkiness and I was mortified.
2) On the last show someone (probably Brezel again) initiated some kind of impromptu jam session of everyone on the tour. Because I am a non-musician I couldn’t really improvise anything so after spending about 5 minutes trying to get Echokrank’s vocoder to work while everybody else noodled behind me I just resorted to shouting “Mannheim, let’s ROCK!” and it wasn’t funny at all.
3) In Hamburg we went to this bar where it was traditional to get really stoned. There was a Queen concert playing on the TV and I zoned in on the perfection of Freddie’s performer shtick, and then Mark Boombastik took me to task about the politics of the art of Queen, likening this particular televised stadium gig to a form of grand larceny. I was too caned to explain myself and I just kind of sat there shamefully like a stupid kid who hasn’t thought things through.
Lots of good moments though. The gig at the Golden Pudel where I was using a CD for backing and Felix was doing rewinds and fucking with the pitch control and I was trying to adjust my vocals whilst laughing. Also Ergo Phizmiz is a wonderfully silly fellow and I have memories of crying with laughter even though I am incredibly stressed and tired. And Echokrank playing for little kids in the Atomium was very special too.
Read also: Felix Kubin DVD out + Profil + Interview