Interview 11/12/2009 With kind permission of The Libella Crew.
TV: Hi guys – thanks for taking the time, doing this interview. How’s your German in the meantime?
PPF: Not very good. I know enough german to live, so I’m learning.
TV: Do you feel comfortable in Germany?
PPF: Yeah. I’ve been here for three or four years now. I always felt comfortable in Germany.
TV: Would you please describe your new Solo-Album?
PPF: It’s a bit like the other solo-albums. It’s got some hard meteors-kind-of-things in it and two or three cover songs in our style that people might not expect. I always try to put a lot of variety on the solo-albums. Yeah, it’s gonna be twenty songs. We finished fourteen already!
TV: We are all looking forward to that.
PPF: Yeah, me too.
TV: Can you tell something about the release date?
PPF: Because of the record company changed a bit things got a little messed up. The first release will be the best-of album in February, which includes two completely new songs.
TV: I read the setlist, which is perfect in my eyes!
PPF: Yeah, I am really happy with it. The new solo album is planned to be released in May, followed by the new Meteors record in June.
TV: Is there a special thought on the running order on the CDs?
PPF: Yeah, actually. Not so much on the best-of. We did that chronologically. Everything we do is kinda tactical, like the show setlist. We start hard, gonna make a peak, then three or four slower songs, so people can rest.
TV: Some of your fa ns really adore you. Is that annoying sometimes? Did you ever have problems with a stalker?
PPF: Yeah, hahahaha… I don’t really think of fans as fans. I mean, I always feel a bit uncomfortably when people ask for an autograph. It may look like I don’t wanna do it, but it’s not. It’s because I can never understand it. Everybody I know came from the audience. So it’s not really annoying, just uncomfortable sometimes. You I am just like everybody else, a bit better looking and slightly less hard working. Some people can be annoying but alcohol makes people annoying. I know they mean well they think cause they know everything about the band that we can know everything about them and that is definitely not personal. I like to make my own friends like anybody else wants to do. And when they try to force it on you that can be a bit of pain. People that really know don’t want to know me for long.
TV: You told me one time that you have some kind of museum in the tower of power.
PPF: Yeah, we got a Meteors Museum.
TV: Is there any chance to visit this museum?
PPF: I think one day we will open it for friends. It’s up on the top and we didn’t finished decorating yet.
TV: How big is it?
PPF: The tower is 58 meters high.
TV: And the squaremeters?
PPF: 2.000. It’s a bunker from the war and the studio is in there because the wall is soundproof. We live on three floors. But there’s another five floors there, we don’t really go.
TV: What do you think about the influence of internet for the music industry and especially for your music?
PPF: I quite like it. I quite like the future you know. I love rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly and things from the fifties, but I also like my plasma telly and I think the internet is a great thing.
TV: It gives you the chance to reach more people?
PPF: Yeah, but I read a lot of shit on there. But then again I think the internet is great because I can say what I want and a lot of people hear that. I think it’s great, I’m not scared of it.
TV: What music really, really sucks?
PPF: I don’t like Reggae. It’s nothing personal. I just don’t like it. Anything where the bass drum is where the snare drum goes is a bit weired for me. I don’t like…
PPF: I don’t really dislike it. I just don’t know it. You invented it you Germans. I don’t like soft music. In my job as a sound engineer I can work with most things. I don’t like reggae or music without substance. You know? I can’t explain that. People think that we hate all other bands, I don’t hate other bands. I wouldn’t be in rock ‘n’ roll if I didn’t like bands. I just don’t like certain people.
TV: What’s your opinion about the newcomer bands in the psychobilly scene? Do you listen to their music?
PPF: I listen to everything. Even bands I don’t like, I study. You should always know your enemy. There are a lot of good bands. I work with some of them. They’re not always gonna be famous and maybe people can’t understand why I like a band, for instance like the Snakes. I look at bands for more than what they play. It can be a crap band but good people. Ah, I can’t explain that really. But there are some good bands – there and there are some crap-bands that really take the piss out of our rock ‘n’ roll psychobilly lifestyle. They don’t do us any good.
TV: Do you think they water down the rock’n’roll thing?
PPF: Some do.
TV: You don’t like the Beatles I’ve read.
PPF: No, I don’t like the beatles at all. I don’t mind George Harrisson when he did that, what was it called, Travelling Wilburys thing. That was okay because he did it with Roy Orbison. It’s just the concept of the Beatles I don’t like. They made music soft. They split the world. I mean the Rolling Stones took all the bad things and the Beatles made pop. I don’t like them for that. They’re overrated I think.
Wolf: Not many people say that.
PPF: I try to be honest. One of the main reasons people don’t like us. They like us or they don’t like us – it’s because if you ask me a question I will always give you a straight answer, ’cause I think that’s the point of life.
TV: What would you do if you were invisible for one day?
PPF: That’s a good one. I think I would hang around his house (Wolf) and see what happens when he gets out and what he’s doing the whole day.
TV: You really wanna know?
PPF: Yeah… I also would like to hang around some bands and find out what they really think about me. I mean I don’t care.
TV: You read a lot of books. What are you currently reading and what is your favourite book?
PPF: I read a lot of history. I did a lot of history in school.
TV: Is there a special decade?
PPF: Yeah, I read a lot about Julius Caesar and stuff like Napoleon. People say that I’ve a Napoleon complex. I read tactics. I studied tactics a lot when I was a soldier and I try to bring shit from this into my life.
TV: What about philosophy?
PPF: I got a philosophy but I doesn’t really suit anybody. It’s for me. My philosophy is that: If you like me thanks, if not fuck off.
TV: You just switched to I-hate-people-records. Is there any special reason? Why did you leave People-Like-You-Records?
PPF: They split up. One went with a big corporation and one stayed independent. For us it’s better to stay independent, because Psychobilly is an independent thing. I don’t like people to tell me what I can wear, what I can play, who I can talk to. I used to work with big corporations like Island Records and EMI. They give you a bit more money but they kill you in the end. I like to put my trust in I hate people because the owner is really a fan of rock ‘n’ roll and he tries really hard. And I’m speaking to the boss not somebody who works for the boss. For me that’s better.
TV: I’ve read once that you’re very good at fencing?
PPF: I am.
TV: How did you come to this kind of sport?
PPF: I started when I was twelve. I used to do boxing but I got fed up with getting knocked over. So I took up fencing when I was twelve or thirteen, then I stopped. When I was in the army, it’s kind of a thing they do there. And after that…
PPF: Yeah, they got competitions. Germany has very famous fencing companies. And eventually I won a lot of. I was in the area team. I won twenty, thirty medals for that. I haven’t done it for three years now.
TV: I also read that you used to give fencing lessons?
PPF: Yeah, I don’t like to talk about that. I could show some kids, kinda like community service. I was quite successful, and then I got old.
TV: How did the producers of Judas & Jesus come to your music?
PPF: Olaf, one of the producers, is an old fan of the Meteors from a long long time ago. He kind of disappeared for ten years. He just came back and said he was making a cartoon. He was a bit drunk and I remembered him as a being good Meteors lad, so was like – yeah, have a bit music for your cartoon. They, he, his wife and two other guys, worked through 375.000 pictures. Under a different name we’ve done a lot of big film and porn music and even some TV adverts. We’ve done a lot of porn music as well, under different names. And some TV adverts as well. I don’t normally put our name on there, but Olaf is one of us, so I am proud of that.
TV: What was the biggest mistake for your music career?
PPF: I think the biggest mistake I ever made was the three or four times I worried about what people were saying about me. I mean when we first started I was a nice guy and when people said I don’t like that mix it got a little to me, but I learned really quickly not to give a fuck.
TV: Would you please tell us something about the work in the Mad Dog Studio and who is running the In Heaven Studio in London when you are in Germany?
PPF: It’s actually just outside of London and I leased the whole church, studio, equipment and building, to a kind of rock’ n’ roll collective group of people. I can’t work in two places at the same time so they just do their own thing there and at Mad Dog we do it all ourselves.
TV: So, can you cook and which is your favourite meal?
PPF: Yeah, I can cook and my favourite meal is a thing called Stuart Fish. Which is kinda of a tuna, my father was at one time a chef. So I am a lonely child and had no mother. He went to prison a lot so I had to cook.
TV: Do you enjoy cooking?
PPF: I like to make a mess. I don’t really enjoy cooking. I like gardening. Yeah, I relax in the garden.
TV: It’s the fifth time for the Meteors to play here in Altenmarkt. Could you describe the atmosphere a little bit?
PPF: All I can say it’s always been good. I wouldn’t take the time to come here if I didn’t like it. I wanna say something negative but I can’t. Yeah, I am an expert at saying negative things, but…
TV: Is it a big difference to big festivals and big locations?
PPF: We’re a three piece band. Sometimes, like in America or Japan, we find ourselves on a stage were we’re so far apart and the audience is so far away. Even though we can play as good as we play. Even if I sold a billion records I would always play in places like this. Full contact is my life. I wanna think of something negative apart from the fact that you won’t give me the horse. That’s the only negative thing. Fucking horse. I would buy it. I got no bad memories from here.
TV: This is very nice to hear.
PPF: The sound is always good for us. That’s fantastic.
TV: I have three or four questions for Simon and Wolfgang. Hi Simon, since when are you playing the bass?
Simon: About, phew, thirteen years.
TV: And how did you happen to end up with the Meteors?
Simon: I came to the Meteors… a good friend of Paul and Hordi asked me.
TV: Before that you played with Speed Swing?
Simon: Exactly, before that I played with Speed Swing.
TV: How does it feel to be part of this band?
Simon: Great. You become a part of something. First of all, I’ve already been listening to their music. I always did and I’ve always been Psychobilly. That has been a great honour and of course it’s a lot of fun.
TV: What is more important with playing the bass – technique or feeling?
TV: What are you up to when you are not playing the bass?
Simon: I study and work out a lot.
TV: What do you study?
Simon: Industrial Design.
TV: What was your craziest backstage experience?
Simon: Definitely not. I can’t tell. Haha…
TV: And the second-most-crazy experience?
Simon: Not either. Haha…
TV: How much influence do you have on the songs that are being recorded?
Simon: It depends – sometimes more, sometimes less. That depends on how we record. Sometimes we go into the studio and there are things to record prepared, then you have the possibility to take influence through the instrument. And sometimes we just record songs together – just live – and there of course you have direct influence.
TV: Which song should be played at your funeral?
Simon: I don’t want to die. I can’t answer that now. I need a bit more time. I guess it should be something from Johnny Cash.
TV: Wolfgang, do you feel like a veteran of the scene?
Wolf: Of course, that’s what I am. But I don’t feel like that.
TV: Over the years, what has changed to good and what has changed to bad within the scene?
Wolf: I wouldn’t know right now, within the scene, but for us everything went well. For us the crowd always remained the same. It’s different in each country.
TV: Did a fan ever get on your nerves?
Wolf: Oh, there’s no way to really get on my nerves.
TV: What is your favourite song – live an on CD?
Wolf: Maniac Rockers from hell, Hate Train, many.
TV: Is there a special song you’re really looking forward to play?
PPF: As soon as the show comes I look forward to them all. Sometimes we’ve tried to change to put certain things in. Some don’t work on stage.
TV: Can you give an example?
PPF: Yeah, Power of Steel. It’s a brilliant song, but when we tried to do it live, it just doesn’t work. A lot of bands do all new stuff from their new album. Personally if I go to a concert and pay for a ticket I don’t wanna hear stuff I don’t know.
TV: I haven’t heard No Surrender for example.
PPF: No, we’re doing that tonight. We purposely don’t do it because our roadie loves it. Tonight I was gonna do it as a surprise.
TV: It’s one of my all time favourite songs.
PPF: The setlist is kind of fluent. I check the audience. I really think I understand this kind of audience. So I know more or less what I’m gonna do.
TV: You also played some kind of heavy metal festivals?
PPF: We play anywhere. If I find one psychobilly in the middle of that, that’s enough for me. If I can get on peoples tits. Fuck it!
TV: On this heavy metal festival – Are they cool?
PPF: Sometimes there’s a lot of Meteors people that I would call Wreckin’ Crew that never really come to gigs. All kinds of people that we wouldn’t recognize but people ride in and I see them all over our website.
TV: You saw other bands on the heavy metal festival – Did you enjoy it?
PPF: I don’t really listen a lot to it. I’ve seen ones I didn’t really enjoy . Tom Rollins – is that his name? No, Henry Rollins, I used to quite like a lot of his music. But the guy turned out to be a dickhead.
Wolf: Eingebildeter Arty-Farty.
TV: Any famous last words?
PPF: Fuck-Off. Not to you personally but to anybody else. Don’t listen to what people say about us, make your own mind. You’d be pleasantly surprised. Some of us have talent.
TV: Okay, that’s it. Thank you very much, was a pleasure for me!