1. That’s a nice picture you used for the cover-artwork. It´s obviously shot by Anton Corbijn, isn’t it?
A: Yeah, it’s not bad. (laughs) He knows that I’m crazy about the Bunnymen. And he said: “Yeah, well. I’ve done it before.” He said: “Why not? It’s nice.” He says: “It’s nice for me to do it again. It’s nice for you to have, have something that, you know, reminds you of what you really, really like.” That’s a big honor for me, you know, Anton doing that thing.
2. Is that how you tricked him into the project?
A: No, no, no. He was asked if he was interested in shooting the band, and obviously the first thing he said was: ”No, I don’t – as you know – I don’t any new bands anymore. I’m not doing that.” And then he said: “What’s the name of the band again?“ And when the guy said: ”Well, it’s Moke”, he said: “Yeah, that’s that band that… they like Echo & The Bunnymen, right?” He said: “Yeah, well” – “Yeah, yeah. Alright, I’m gonna to do it. I’ll see if I have like a free day somewhere, and I’ll do it.” That’s the, that’s the reason: He saw us on TV, and he saw me saying that I was a big fan of the Bunnymen, and that’s why he did it.
3. It´s in the tradition of “Porcupine” and the famous Joy Division-shot he took – where Ian Curtis turns around, while the band walks on with their backs to the camera…
A: Yeah, he wanted to ah… what he did with this, with this shot was that ah… obviously he did some other shots ah with us. He did some photographs of us standing in the snow just on an open space. But when he decided to do this one, we were just walking through the woods, and we did some shots. And he said: “Well, let’s go down that way, but just stop along the way till someone… And then I’m gonna take some shots.” I knew when he was doing that… I knew that this is going to be the album cover, because this is not really, you know, we couldn’t really use this as like a promotional photograph or whatever. So I knew he was going to do that, it’s really good. It’s also in Germany. It’s in Stuttgart. So when we were playing with… that was the only time he could… we were playing support to Amy MacDonald. He came over during one of the shows. He said: “That’s the only day I can do it.” And we said: “Well, we’re actually on tour at that time. We’re in Germany.” He says: “That’s fine. I’ll fly in. And on my way in ah I’ll have a look.” And he did. (laughs) He looked out the window as the plane flew in over the city, and he thought: “I like the look of that.” So we had a driver picking him up, and he said to the driver: “I saw like some woods or whatever, take me that way.” So he had a great look around, and he came back and said: “Guys, I found a really nice spot I think we can get some, get some nice pictures.”
4. Did he do the video as well?
A: No, he didn’t do the video. We asked him, of course: “Can you do the video?” And he said: “Well, I’d love to, but if I’m really, really honest: It’s a miracle I’m actually here today doing the photographs.” Because he was working on two ah, two films at that time. So he has two movies coming out. He says his time is completely jogo block. And he had to get some stuff ready for the, for the Depeche Mode tour as well when they were gonna do… he was still doing that stage. He said: “I’m really jam packed, jam packed.” But he said: “Let me know, we keep in touch.” He knows the guys that were doing all the layouts and stuff for us, so he sees everything, and he said: “You know, I’ll have a look and if I’m not happy with something or if I think maybe you should try this and that, I’ll let you know.” So he’s still been in touch. So it’s really, really nice.
5. But he must be really expensive?
A: He’s pretty expensive. But I think ah for us he ah… you know, because we’re also… it’s a Dutch band, and because he’s sympathetic to the cause, he said: “Yeah, well…” I don’t think we paid the normal price. In fact, I’m almost sure we didn’t pay the normal price. (chuckles) No, it’s really, really nice of him to do. Really, really nice.
6. You got the Dutch discount then?
A: We got the… I don’t know if it was. I think we got the Bunnymen-discount… (laughs)
7. It’ll be interesting how they react. I mean, there’s so much Bunnymen on this record – it’s almost like your version of “Ocean Rain”. Is that what it’s meant to be?
A: Well, I’ve never shunned away from the fact I am a big Echo & The Bunnymen-fan. And ah, I think obviously with the style of music we play, with the guitars and stuff, if you put strings on it, it’s obviously going to go, it’s going to go quite close to “Ocean Rain.” But I think technically, if you look at the songs, we’re definitely a little bit different to the Bunnymen, because they have like, they have like a certain way that they approach a song. And I think we’re a little bit different. I think we’re probably poppier than the Bunnymen ever were. But it was always something in the back of my mind: We didn’t wanna make “Ocean Rain” again. That was never, that was never the plan. But it was, it was definitely something when we said, when we were speaking to the guy who was gonna do the recording: “When you think about a band, a guitar band and strings, we don’t think ELO, we think more ”Ocean Rain“. Something like that. Just giving him a general idea, it’s more Scott Walker than it is, you know, than something… Andy Williams or something. It’s a little bit more that. So that was, that was needed just to make sure that when we were doing the production that it was going the right way.
8. However, your voice is pretty similar as well…
A: I think we… well, actually ah, we’re quite similar with… my voice is lower than Ian’s voice. I know that for sure. But the type of stuff that he likes, he also likes, he’s crazy about Lou Reed, he’s crazy about Scott Walker, he’s crazy about David Bowie, and that’s all sort of stuff that I really… I’m a really big David Bowie fan. And you find out when you, you know, when you like one band and you start reading about them and the guy says: ”Yeah, well I’m inspired by this guy“, you go and check it out. And then you realize: ”Hey, this is really, really nice. And then you find out that he inspired someone else, and then when you find out that the… yeah, the circle is just sort of like goes around and around. So I never tried to be Ian McCulloch. But it’s something that… it’s always been a band that have inspired me to make music. So I think it’s a, I still try to be myself, be very honest with what I do. But I suppose in some ways that, that’s what happens. If you listen to people quite a lot, it’s going to influence the way you sing of course.
9. Once you retire you could always start a Bunnymen cover band…
A: I think it’s difficult for the Bunnymen even to earn some cash at the minute. So the Bunnymen cover band (laughs) is not really gonna be a big pension investment. But ah… yeah, you never know. They’ve actually just released a new album and ah, I was a bit surprised it wasn’t as good I hoped it would be, because I actually quite like the “Siberia” album, I thought it sounded quite nice. And I thought you heard on the new one that they probably had to cut down somewhere on the budget. So that’s, I thought that was a bit of a shame. But ah, it’s still yeah, it’s still OK, still OK.
10. I heard you got “Rescue” on your cell phone. Is that true?
A: I’ve changed it. Because everyone is driving me crazy about this Bunnymen thing. And I’ve had a couple of things, and my telephone goes, and it’s got “Rescue” on it. And it’s just like: “Oh, no.” So now I have something on my phone that ah… I have “Dogs Of Lust” from The The on my… which´s got a lot… not everyone knows that. (laughs)
11. So with all the touring you did way into 2009, when did you find the time to write some new songs? I mean, you must have been glad to be home and do nothing – at least for a couple of weeks…
A: Yeah, a little bit… we didn’t really have much time to do nothing. We were basically… we were working quite a lot ´cause as you said we, we played for quite a while. But this album was being in the makings since, I think, 2008. And I’ve just been working on and off when I’m at home. I have a little recording thing so… Just recording, and we’ve been rehearsing and trying stuff out when we could basically. That was it. So we had to, we decided we’d do everything in sections. You know, we’d record a couple of songs at one week, and then maybe a couple of months later we’d do it again. That was the plan, but it never penned out. We, we did one session right at the start, then we did 4 songs ah… and then later, because we didn’t expect it to stay really busy with playing, but it just kept going on and going on. So we had to block everything into one big last block to do the rest of the album. And so it was, it was OK, it was fine. We made sure that we had like one month of rehearsals before we went into the studio just to make sure that everyone knew exactly what, what we were doing, and it went fine. But you always look at the calendar and you think: “Oh, we have like easy couple of months.” Then the shows keep coming in, and then we had to go to England, and we had to do this, and then you just look at your whole calendar and you think: “Wait a minute! It’s like, it’s crazy.” You think you have 4 weeks, but basically it cuts it down you have like 9 days in between all the other stuff you have to do, and it’s like… “Pfff!” But we managed to get things done. It was, we still had a clear view of what was going on. So that was really, really good.
12. And the view was not to make another “Shorland”?
A: No, definately not. We wanted to… well, the thing is what we learned ah… the biggest shows we’ve actually played at a venue inside have been in Germany, because we, we played with ah… well obviously we did the Paul Weller things, and Paul Weller was playing, I think, there were like 4000 or 5000 thousand people. But when we played ah the Keane stuff and the Amy MacDonald shows, they were a lot, they were a lot bigger. Those venues went up to like the 7000, 8000, 9000. That’s a lot of people. And when we were playing, we realized that the sound of the band was quite big, but we were easily able to fill the venue. You know, the sound it was… some bands they just the bigger the venue gets, it just falls away. Sometimes you want to see a band playing in a club with 300 people, and it’s fantastic. But if you put them in a big hall then nothing, you know, it just dissolves into nothing. But we found that our sound could easily fill the big venues. So it was something that we ah, it was something we wanted to keep. We said: “The sound of the band, the way we’re pushing it now, we need, we need to keep that, keep that going.” And it was always my intention on the second album to use strings, anyways. Cause it’s always something that I always really wanted to do. And the thing is: You never know if you ever, if you get the chance again. So I thought, because the first album has been so successful, now is the time for me to use the orchestra – in a way that I still have control.
13. Plus there’s more keyboards this time around, isn’t there?
A: A lot more keyboards, yeah. Just giving Eddy a lot of more space, because basically what happens is: My guitar comes down a little bit, because the first albums got 2 guitars, left and right, just going basically the whole time. But I think Eddy he’s able to translate the idea that I have in my head with the song and put something on it that just gives it a little bit of a different dimension. I think that’s ah… that’s really, really good. That happened on the first album quite a lot. So I thought the second album I’m gonna give him a lot of room and see what he wants to do. So we, we talked about it quite a lot. He says: “I’ll do this here, but this other line that we have and which worked really well, we’ll leave that for the orchestra.” So we were working the whole time, knowing that we we’re gonna work with a string section, and thinking: “Well this, this space we’re going to do this bit, so and then we’ll, we’ll keep that, you know, let the orchestra build up, put in the harmony bits, just keep on going.” So we were always working in the back of our heads with the idea that the strings would also go on top of it.
14. To make this your arena album?
A: I think it would actually work really, really well in an arena. We have a big sound. So I think ah, the bigger the venue is and the bigger then the more you really ah get to hear the album the way it should be heard, that’s what I think. Although we have played small clubs in Holland – we just finished a sold out club tour. I think we played something like 26 to 27 shows, and most of those clubs were round about 1000 people, but there’s a couple in there for which are like 400. And of course, when we played really, really well, but you realized: The bigger the venue, the more the band is more at ease and you get, you get the big sound, you know. So I think we’re really looking forward to play in Germany, and hopefully we can do some bigger shows, because that’s when the band really comes to the… no, it does the band justice if they give it the big venue.
15. Will there be orchestrated shows as well?
A: Well, we hope so. We’re planning on a, on a… when we do the promotion for the release of the album if we do like a couple of shows. We already talked to Universal and said: “We’d love to come in and do what we did in Amsterdam – we played the album with the orchestra. That would be fantastic. So we’re looking into that at the minute, but I think, I think it presents the album in a way that the, that we want to do it, then it should be really, really nice.
16. However, the title track is about the Irish Genocide. Why are you still picking up on that topic, when ”Shorland“ was in fact your Northern Ireland record?
A: Yeah, it was my thing, yeah. That’s very true. Well, number one is very simple: You can take an Irishman out of Ireland, but you can never take Ireland out of the Irishman. And this song is not in any way meant to be political, but ah, what happened was: I was, on one of the days that I was free I was painting (laughs), painting my living room, and I had the television on in one corner. And there was a documentary that came on, and it was about the famine in Ireland and how… And more specifically about people having to leave on these death ships, these boats that had to go to America, and it was horrendous the conditions that people had to face at that time, you know. Because number one: You had to choose between two evils – do I stay in my own country and die of starvation? Or do I, do I get on this boat and take the chance of going across this huge ah expanse of an ocean and hopefully make it to the other side. And a lot of people didn’t make it because the boats were just full of sick people. So they were throwing the people overboard, there are reports of these boats sailing in a convoy, and behind the boats just loads of sharks, just following the boats. Because they knew on the whole journey that everyday 1, 2 or 3 bodies were gonna come over the side, so it was enough food. So when I thought about that then this sentence came into my head: ”The Long And Dangerous Sea.“ And I just thought how difficult it is sometimes to, when you’re faced with a decision that you have to make and which other way you choose, it seems like you’re going to lose. So that’s, I really, really liked the sentence. It’s very graphic and it, I think it’s, I think it conjures up the image of the album, and the band that I wanted. I want something very, very big and visual. So for me it worked really, really well. So the first thing I had for this album – before I had anything else – was that sentence. It was the title of the album. And that afternoon I sat down and I wrote, I wrote that song ”The Long And Dangerous Sea“, because the whole imagery was still fresh in my mind, and it just came very quickly, came very natural. And at that time it seemed, it reflected quite a lot of what was happening in my own personal situation. So it was a bit, a bit of both. Seeing myself in a, in a different light, you know, knowing that sometimes I have to make these decisions and, you know, I suppose it’s a, it’s very poetic to look at yourself in that way, but it was what I did at the time. And I’m actually quite pleased with the outcome. I think it’s, I think it’s a beautiful song.
17. Maybe you should have met Anton on a boat then?
A: Yeah, that’s true. But at the, at the… when he did the photographs he was, he was talking about some stuff, because he hadn’t heard any, he hadn’t heard any of the new stuff, and I told him it was going to be the title of the album: ”The Long And Dangerous Sea“. And he said: ”Ah, that’s fantastic. That’s just going to be so nice with the picture.“ Because it’s, he said, he really, really liked the contrast. He said: ”The title of the album, but you guys being in the woods – it’s like“, he said ”it’s just throwing everything; it’s throwing you into an open hole“, that’s what he said. He said: ”If you look at it, you read it… if you don’t see the image, and you see the title, you expect something completely different.“ He said that’s really, really good. So I thought I liked it, it’s like, you know, the way we walk, it’s like you’re going into the, you know you’re going down a little, a little path in the woods, and you don’t know where it’s going.
18. How does ”Switch“ fit into the collection? I mean that track really stands out, doesn’t it?
A: Yeah, it’s different from the rest of the album. That’s right, because we, we wanted to do something ah really poppy. You know, something that’s fuller, that is just full of little hooks. That was the plan with that song. So the whole thing just got the, it start with the keyboardy hook thing, then it has another guitar riff thing, and then you even… the way the rhythm guitar is played, it’s, we decided to go for something like that and see if it would work. And I think we’re, we’re really pleased with the way, the way it sounds when we’re done. It was really good. But I agree it’s not, it’s probably one song on the album that jumps out compared to rest. Because there are some strings and stuff on it, but it’s more a keyboard-y based sound.
19. Is that your most commercial?
A: I think it’s, yeah, I’m not too sure because it’s, a lot of people… I think at first listen you think: ”Alright, that’s the one, that’s the one that springs out. You remember it right away.“ But I think at the end of the day ah a good song is probably the most commercial thing you can have. Something that’s really, really good. And there are a couple of really good songs on the album, and ”Love My Life“ is probably my favorite song on the album ‘cause it’s just a beautiful little melody and something that, it’s just a simple little sentence that says a lot to a lot of people.
20. In that particular song you’re saying that you can only enjoy life if you find someone who is with you at all times, or who you can share it with. How does your girlfriend feel about that?
A: For her it’s difficult, because basically what you’re saying is that ah… you really, really love what you’re doing, but it’s, you know, sometimes it’s something a little bit more. The whole album is basically about reflection and, and leaving things behind and having to make decisions and it runs through the whole, it runs through the whole album: Difficulties that you have in relationships and stuff. So it’s a very, very personal album for me, and of course for her, because she understands every word that’s being said. So I always find that a little strange because, you know, even though you’re speaking very openly and it’s a very personal thing, to a lot of people they just put it on and they just hear something, you know, coming by or whatever, but ah… Yeah, it’s difficult, but I think through the years she’s got used to me being quite open with things. So I guess it’s just part of the ground, it just comes with the territory, you know, I’m not someone ah who hides behind a chair or whatever. I say the way I feel at that time, and I just write it down. I try to be honest, which is something, you know, that… which was something that Paul Weller said to me. He said before I wrote the ”Shorland“ album, he said to me: ”I really, really love your voice.“ I think I had mentioned this before, he said: ”But if you, if you want my advice, if you want my real advice just be honest, be honest with yourself and dig deep. And that way when you’re singing something, it will mean something to you. And if it means something to you, it will mean something to someone else.“ That’s the advice he gave me, and that’s, I just tried to stick by that the whole time, basically.
21. Have you split by now?
A: Yeah, though I can’t really… yeah, it’s… no, it’s fine it’s fine. (laughs)
22. And what made you write a song about Palestine? Or is that similar to your upbringing?
A: It’s very similar to my own situation, upbringing. It’s looking at those kids on TV and seeing the look in their faces and ah and just basically recognizing that look. You know, because I remember my own friends, and then when you’re on the street, and you just see that little bit of fear in their eyes. You see it on the TV. Those kids, you know, standing with their arms in the air, but you still see it just like, just seems like a hopeless situation. It seems like it hasn’t changed. I’ve grown up looking at these kids on the street doing this, and it just keeps going on and on. And if we’re being honest: The way the news is being broadcasted into our homes, 24 hours a day, we don’t really care anymore. We look at something and we can go: ”Oh, that’s terrible.“ And then it’s like: ”Oh, is my coffee already done?“ Nobody really cares. And no matter what they, what they keep telling us, we’re almost, we’ve almost got a deal, and we’ve almost got this. I just thought: ”Well, you can say whatever you want, but nobody cares and nobody’s really listening.“ You know, it’s, it’s sad, but it’s just a sorry state of affairs that we live in. That was the only thing I asked the band: ”Listen guys, are you sure you want this song?“ It’s just saying something, it’s not taking a side, but it’s just saying something. Are you sure you wanna go with that? And they were OK. They said: ”Yeah, it’s fine. We’re OK with that.“ So…
23. Is that your Bono moment on there?
A: Oh… (chuckles) I think Ian would hate that – me having a Bono moment. (laughs) I hope not, I hope not. But I mean, it’s something that the, it’s a song that a lot of people really, really like. I don’t know… Maybe it’s a little, it’s something that’s a little bit different to what we usually do, it’s a little emotional maybe, it’s a little melodramatic maybe, but it just seemed right. It fitted the, it fitted the moment at that time.
24. The last song we need to talk about is ”Ghost“. Is that social commentary on the profit hunting mentality we´ve all developed over the years?
A: Profit hunting, yeah. Well, I think everyone has their own little situations and that just basically moves all around. You always the feeling that you’re being in one form or another, that you´re being used. And this was something I hate, you know, because you try to do things right, and you try to make sure… we work with 5 guys, so we try to do everything, you know, straight down the line as a unit. And you just see other people, you know, poking around and taking this and taking that, and it’s just like: ”Wait a minute, we’re the ones that are doing all the work.“ And, you know, I hate all of that. So sometimes it just really pisses me off, and I think it was just a moment that I was a little angry and it just, it just came out. It’s like, you know, someone’s always hanging around somewhere in the background, there’s always something that’s happened, and you thought: ”I should have changed that, and, you know, it’s always just hanging about.“ So that’s maybe, that’s the little ghost in my closet that’s still hanging around, I think.
25. So that song is about the music-industry?
A: I think it’s about probably, most of it’s about the way I live my own life and everything that happens, the music industry, the effect that that has on us as people, and the way we have to address our own personal lives with our own social… no, our little social network. They’re also effect indirectly by what’s happening, you know, to us. So it’s just, it’s a whole thing that it’s sometimes sleepless nights, you know, will affect your girlfriend because ah, she can’t get any sleep because you can’t get any sleep because some other guy’s pissing you off with something. It’s like, you know, there’s a little chain. And it’s sometimes, you know, you just get fed up with the whole thing and it’s just trying, trying to take it. It’s just basically telling me and telling the other guys: ”We have to take control. You need to make sure nothing slips through your fingers and just keep, keep be alert“, you know.
26. Because it completely absorbs you?
A: The band is a-draining, you know, because it’s something we have to work on 24 hours a day. Ah… it’s something we really, really enjoy doing, you know, it’s what we wanna do. It’s our job, and we’re lucky enough to have a job that we really enjoy. But some parts of it are just not nice. But I’m sure that’s with every job. You have… there is some things that I hate, but it has to be done. And sometimes you have to be, you know, you have to draw a line and, and sometimes that’s not nice to do. But you have to, you have to keep, you have to try and keep things in shape, and sometimes you have to, it’s not nice to be nasty, but sometimes it’s nice to be nasty – if you know what I mean.
27. Meaning: There’s lots of pressure and high expectations with this one?
A: We didn’t really; we didn’t really feel ah… Everyone has asked us that question: ”Is there a lot of pressure on us for the second album?“ – Whatever. We never really felt that, because to be honest: We were, we were on a high. We have a gold selling album in Holland. We had, we’d done some fantastic shows in Germany, which we, you know, it’s been really, really good for us. So we were going into this album like knowing the sound that we had on stage that’s the sound we want to create. But we were very focused and we knew exactly what we wanted, so we didn’t really… the only pressure we had was to make sure we as a band really liked the songs. That’s it. But ah… we were really, really looking forward to recording this album. It was like that was our focus. We have a lot of shows right up until then, but in that month, that’s when we’re doing the album, it was fantastic. Really, really good.
28. Well, the last couple of years must have been a blast – if you look at all the things that happened to you. Like you’ve played all the big festivals, and became friends with really interesting people like Karl Lagerfeld. Does he still supply you with free clothes?
A: Yeah, we still have contact. I think Karl is gonna be ah… well, next week it’s Paris. So he’s probably, you know, getting everything ready for his Paris show. So ah… but I’m sure that… We went down to Paris last year to see him. That was really, really nice. I had a front row seat. But I’m sure if we can arrange something, you know, if we could meet up in Germany that would be really, really good.
29. What is he like?
A: He’s actually, the picture you see of him, you think: ”Who is this guy?“ That’s exactly what he looks like, exactly what… And, you’d think… But he really is on the ball. I thought, you know, I made the, I made the stupid mistake of saying to his, his PA: ”Does Carl really know who we are?“ And she looked at me and said: ”What?“ She said: ”He knows everything. He knows everything. He would be very insulted if you…“ – ”Oh, oh my God. I’m very sorry!“ And, yeah, he knew everything, he knew everything. It’s really good. Apparently he has like a, he has all these little suitcases, which he takes with him. And they’re full of IPods. His people are just downloading music for him, and he always works with his IPod, everything… He’s crazy about music, crazy about it. And he listens to everything. All really strange stuff, he’s not pinned on one sort of thing. So that’s really, really good.
30. Who would have thought?
A: No, it’s really strange. But I suppose ah… being creative it’s, that’s what keeps him young. And I think ah… obviously music, staying in touch with that, that’s all very important. I think it’s just gives him the idea that he’s still, you know, still working with what’s happening at the minute. It’s easy for him to slip into a cocoon and live in his big fancy house somewhere in France and just, you know, not really, not really do anything apart from designing, not really checking out what’s happening in the rest of the world. That way he probably would become too isolated, and not be in touch with what’s actually happening. So I think the music is a way for him to keep in touch with what’s fresh and really happening. Apart from, you know, being in fashion I’m sure if you’re stuck in the fashion world the whole time – at where he is – it would drive you nuts.
31. So he sends you bags of clothes?
A: Bags of clothes, yeah. We have like a… there’s a showroom, which we go to and they basically… with every collection. And you basically just have a look and you go along and you go: ”I’ll have this one. Not that one, but this one“, that’s the way it goes. He likes his boys to look good. (chuckles)
32. There was a funny article in the Herald, where you were bitterly complaining about the Dutch sense of fashion. How comes they haven’t kicked you out of the country yet?
A: No, not yet. Luckily that magazine was for a plane, for the KLM. And ah… most of the people on the plane were probably foreign. So, you know, I think they would probably have a good laugh. And maybe the Dutch probably thought: ”Who´s this guy? What’s he talking about?“ I don’t… maybe they couldn’t see the sense of humor. But I think most foreigners, who come to Holland, will know exactly what I’m talking about. That’s… I don’t think their fashion sense is not great, but ah… I must admit: It’s getting better, it’s getting better. Well, that’s probably due to the fact a lot of big stores, you know, now are almost in every capital city in Europe. So almost everyone has the same sort of shop. So now the styles are changing, there’s certain things that are available, which didn’t use to be available.
33. So they are becoming more civilized?
A: More civilized. Well, I think that ah… you know, they have like Scandinavian stores, and they have English stores, which means ah… the whole fitting of the clothes is a little bit different. But you still can’t, you know, you can’t really change them 100 percent, you know. It’s fine. It means that they probably like it the way they are. It keeps them Dutch. (laughs)
34. Plus the haircuts obviously?
A: The haircuts. Well… ppppfff… that’s probably, they probably have the worst haircuts in the world, I think, you know. Well, there’s nothing; there is nothing they can really do about that.
35. What keeps you in Amsterdam then? Wouldn’t London be a better choice?
A: Have to go to London. Yeah, London’s really, London’s really, really expensive. I was there when I was younger, I tried living in London, but it was just a nightmare. And most people ah… apart from it being a nightmare when it… if you had a little bit of money in your pocket, it was fantastic. It is a fantastic city, but it’s so expensive, it’s hard to believe how expensive things are. And I just basically… I took a break in Amsterdam, and most people in Amsterdam are foreign anyway. And it was just like for me, it was just like a really relaxed suburb of London. (chuckles) So I thought: ”Well, this is actually, this is actually OK. This will do me fine, I’ll see how it goes.“ But I have to admit: In the last year I think, I think… well, now I’m back in Berlin, I think it’s like the 10th time I’ve been in Berlin in like a year. I really, really love Berlin. It’s, you know, there are a lot of people moving to Berlin now, you know, and have done in the last year or so, cause it’s a real, it’s quite a happening city, and it’s got, it’s got a really, really good vibe. People say it’s a bit like uhm… New York used to be in the 1980s, that sort of vibe. But you never know, maybe I should move to Berlin.
36. Well, I thought you must be working towards releasing an album in the UK someday soon?
A: We’ve had offers, but we haven’t been happy with the offer, you know. So it’s, you know, we’re sort of like, I suppose we’re just… we’re waiting for the right moment. That’s the whole thing. We have learned that there’s no point in releasing an album if there’s no backup. If, you know, we can’t really do really good promotion, whatever. Nothing’s gonna happen. So it’s not enough just to get your name… be a little barcode somewhere, and have someone in a shop can order or online, can order your album. It’s, its not enough. We need to back it up with shows and with promo. So that’s why we’ve been, we’ve been waiting to see what happens. And our focus at the moment – apart from Holland – has obviously been ah for Germany, ’cause we’ve had such a really a good time here. That’s what we’re really looking forward to. And we, obviously we think if we can, if we can really get into Germany and the German people really start to appreciate us in a big way, I think that will be an open door for the rest of Europe. That’s what we think.
37. Even though Germany is a difficult market to break?
A: We like to, you know, put the band on stage the way we like to do it. So we have people come to the show that they, they don’t feel cheated. That they see some, you know: ”Alright, we understand what this band’s about and we…“ So that’s our plan, and ah that’s… and to do that, it costs a bit of cash, but ah – as you know – we’re a band that we like to invest, you know. What we have, we’ll put back into the… it’s not like, you know, it’s the only way we work: Everything we earn, we put back in, because we try to get bigger and better. And also we’re investing the whole time. So if that means somebody’s saying we did the show with the Nightliner thing that worked out cheaper for us. ’Cause we were doing… it was only of another 9 shows that we did, so we had to go all the way around. So if we were driving ourselves and doing hotels, it would have worked out ”X“ amount of Euros. And then we said to the Nightliner guy: ”Alright, this is how much we’ll pay you for that.“ And he said: ”Yeah fine, OK we’ll do it." And it was cheaper. So that’s the reason why we turned up with the Nightliner.
38. So what makes a Moker? How do you become one?
A: Well, I don’t know. To be honest we are… our fan base is pretty broad. We have kids like 13, 12−13 years old. Maybe even younger. But we also have people from 50, 55 in the audience. It’s a, we have a really, really broad spectrum of fans. And to mention the dirty word, the U2 word, I think that’s… if you look at the U2 audience, I think that’s very typical of our audience. I think it’s, like I said I’m a big Bunnymen fan, but the Bunnymen’s a little bit more obscure they… you know. Ah, that’s of course we have some people from that audience, but they’re also going to the U2 show. So I think commercially we, we probably have a, we have a really, really broad audience. Which I think for to try and sell an album is really, really good for our record company – if you want to sell a lot of albums that’s the best thing you can have. So our appeal is broad, and I think what defines it, it’s probably someone with very good taste. (laughs)