Das hier liegt jetzt schon ne ganze Weile auf meinem Rechner. Aber jetzt ist die Zeit gekommen das Biest an die Öffentlichkeit zu lassen oder so. John Coffey ist eine fantastische und super sympathische Band. Ich hatte die große Ehre die Jungs zu interviewen und wurde dabei von den wunderbaren Menschen von ALEX Berlin gefilmt. Wir haben auch das Konzert gefilmt. Ich kann sagen wir, weil ich ne GoPro auf den Kopf geschnallt bekommen habe. Das war super.
John Coffey haben gestern ihre Homecoming Show im Tivoli gespielt. Das muss ne riesige Feier gewesen sein. Weil da bestimmt nicht alle dabei sein konnten die wollten, gibt es hier ein etwas älteres Konzert inklusive Interview mit der Band zu bestaunen. Das Konzert fand im Musik & Frieden statt und war eine große Fete. Zusätzlich gibts an dieser Stelle das komplette Interview zu lesen. Das heißt mehr als nur die Sachen in der Urban Music Folge. Alles, ungekürzt. Bäm!
Achtung (!) das Interview ist auf Englisch, ich habe zwar einige Teile übersetzt, aber ich hab ehrlich keine Lust alles zu übersetzen und bin denke ich auch nicht gut genug dafür.
Alfred (guitar) (A) (has a mustache)
David (vocals) (D)
Richard (bass) (R) (has no mustache, and a green hat)
Christoffer (guitar) (C)
Mod: How are you doing?
D: Doing good, we had a long day. But we are doing good?
Mod: Today I was a little bit of a social media stalker, you know because I am interviewing you and I thought I have to get everything I can. And you were held up by police and they weighed your van and they were like „naaaa“
D: Yeah, it’s actually a pretty short story. We drive this van for I think five years now, and we know it’s kind of over the weight limit. Especially with eight persons in it, with baggage. But we never got stopped by the police. We got stopped once, but they couldn’t find the scale to weigh us on. So they let us go. And today was finally the day we knew was coming. They stopped us and we were waaay too much over the limit. Like we were 1100 kilograms over the limit.
R: One of the police guys actually got really mad when he saw it. He was like NOOOO.
D: So we paid a big fine, we had to rent an extra car and we got here way too late and we stood in the cold for three hours. So yeah we had a pretty long day, but well that’s being in a band I guess.
Mod: You are in a good mood. For like I mean, that must have been a big fine and such big stress. And you are in a good mood.
R:Yeah, the tour has just started. So we are all pretty psyched still. Our voices are not that psyched though. Ah, yeah. It’s going really good. Yesterday was an awesome show, day before that in Münster was a sold out show and tonight it’s gonna be crazy, crazy times. So we are really in good moods, good spirits.
Mod: What is a day like for you nowadays?
A: A day on tour you mean? Well when we are in Germany we really love it. Because touring in Germany is really easy. You come to the venue, you arrive, you see carrots, the fruit, the chips the sandwiches, the Brötchen the everything and you’re really well taken care of and there is a big sound check. So it is really cool for us being here.
We start a day in a band apartment or a hotel. Have a lot of laughs right? That’s what we do. We laugh our asses off.
R: Then we have some eggs.
A: Then we drive, watch X-Files Season Number One. He is watching fargo. they’re both watching Fargo.
Mod: How do you split that?
A: We Have six Laptops.
Mod: Okay, and headphones of course.
A: So if your’re next question is gonna be, are you talking to each other? My answer will be: no. We are not talking to each other.
Mod: Is that important that you don’t talk to each other?
A: Yes. Because actually we look really happy, but we hate each other. No no no, we have really good times, we have an amazing crew amazing [could not make that out]
D: During dinners we got the custom to hand in our phones. Put them on a big pile and then we are not allowed to touch them for the entire dinner. Then we really have to talk. So I forgot your name, but we talked yesterday.
R: I usually don’t like talking to David. The lead singer. We don’t really connect. But it is really, on a spiritual level, we absolutely do not connect.
D: Nah, we have some fun with each other. But in the bus we only watch our laptops. We only watch series.
Mod: Okay, so you got X-Files now, Fargo. What is the best series you’ve watched in the van?
R: Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones.
Mod: Did you watch that one together.
A: Yeah, we had five seasons of game of Thrones in our March Tour when we were here. All five seasons, everyone was watching it together like … [mimics staring into a winter ridden world]
Mod: Does it happen that someone is watching something and he is scared? And screams or something like that.
D: Yeah, I watched some Horror last week, no a week before in England. We had an England Tour of nine days and I watched Creep- And I am not a big horror fan and I sat there going AHHH. Yeah, that happens.
Mod: It’s good that you are in a good mood. It would be very sad if you’d be depressed after something like that.
A: We are never depressed
Mod: Never depressed? Every day on tour you are always: „This is gonna be awesome!“ I mean there has to be sometimes when you are like naaaaah.
R: There comes a point in every day when it turns into „this is gonna be awesome“ But sometimes it takes a long time. Sometimes it is in the morning. It really depends.
C: It depends on how much sleep you get. So like the day before today we hadn’t had much sleep so today we are all tired. The voices broke down a little as you can hear maybe. So then you are in a mood. We rest all day so that we are ready to go on stage.
Mod: I mean there hasn’t been a month this year, where you haven’t played a show.
D: No it’s 135 shows in total this year. Quite a lot of shows.
Mod: That’s a whole lot of shows and not a lot of down time.
A: No, but the thing is. We love playing shows. And this year we had so many big festivals. Hurricane Southside, Summerbreeze, highfield, Pinkpop, Pukkepop,…
C: Go on!
A: We can go on and on and on. We had a sold out club tour at the beginning of the year in the Netherlands. In December we have another sold out club tour. Some shows during this tour are selling out actually. I mean it is the best you can do. We are really proud of the records and the music we have played. And to be able to perform it and keep adjusting it and making a cool live show, it is just awesome. Especially when everybody goes LOCO. And they do.
D: But this is Berlin. Aren’t people in Berlin just a little bit more calm?
Mod: I feel like the step they have to go over to go crazy is a little bit higher.
D: Capital City Problem. London has it, Amsterdam has it.
Mod: Really? I always see pictures from London shows and I am envious, because it looks so crazy.
R: That’s because you only see the pictures of sold out shows I guess. We’ve seen London in a different way.
Mod: But that must be a long time ago? Nowadays, do you still have shows that no one goes to?
R: It depends on the country really. Because Europe is very, well all the countries are very different. If you are big in Holland you are not really big in Italy. They don’t even know you. It is country by country you take over the world. It takes a long time.
A: But if you see Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. The people show up. But tomorrow, we go to Austria. We have only been there once. So the pre-sale is 50. Which we think is pretty much for Austria, for our second time there. So maybe there will be a hundred people maybe there will be 40 because not everybody wanted to give in his ticket. I don’t know. It really depends.
Mod: Does that bother you? Do you have that nagging thing in your mind going: „Maybe there is no one there tonight?
A: Noooo. The thing is: If you have two thousand people in front of you you can have a huge party. And if you have ten in front of you you can make a small party. But you do have to give everything. If we are like, “OH there is not many people”. What will the ten people who are there think? What will they think? Like „Fuck you asshole! I bought a ticket.“ They bought a ticket, so we have to have a party together you know.
R: And beside that obligation. It’s always great fun to play just for 10 people. A you got 15 guys, including us, going absolutely crazy, in a room of a couple square meters. That’s probably more insane than a show for two thousand people.
Mod: That is probably true.
R: Can be.
Mod: Can be. Huh. That going crazy part is a big part of your show and your videos and so on. There is a lot of crowds meshing together and running at each other and all that. I was just wondering, because I have never seen that from a stage perspective. Can you even take that in when you play your instruments? Do you have the time to look at the people?
C: Not always actually. Like sometimes I am just like, hair in front of your face, making spins and doing whatever. But sometimes there comes a point in the set, when you just wanna enjoy the crowd. So I always put my foot on the monitor. Put my hair back and then watch the crowd go loose. So yeah, you have to take your resting point in the set as well.
Mod: Do you plan that in, in the songs?
C: I have one song. Where they absolutely go mental and where I just wanna stand still and watch them go wild. That’s also fun.
D: What song is that?
C: Calamity. I just have to bang my head a little and then watch.
Mod: Do you ever worry about people? You make them do that stuff?
D: Yeah I always. All five of us, we always keep on watching what is happening. For example last month we played a show at Paradiso in Amsterdam, a pretty cool venue. And yeah it went really wild. And at some point, Chris, I think you said. Right guys, we really want you to go as crazy as you can, but just, we don’t wanna have any broken necks or legs. I mean, maybe noses are okay, but let’s watch that a little. I mean we wanna have a party. We wanna have everyone safe out there.
C: We’ve had some shows were there were broken legs or feet. At one show, a festival in Holland, there were three or four people that went with the ambulance. So that’s just not what we want. We want people to go crazy and stuff and enjoy it. But this is not how we want it. But mostly those guys are pretty drunk as well, so yeah.
D: The cool thing I think is that it always happens with a smile. Like people dance and going wild are just enjoying themselves. I have never seen any fights during shows going on. Maybe something a little bit close to it. But usually it is such a cool vibe and we really want that. I mean that’s the kind of bands I like. The bands that have their smiles with their loud music. But they kept the cool positive vibe.
Mod: Do you still go to shows?
D: Yeah. Quite a lot.
Mod: That are not your own.
A: No I don’t.
A: Because I am away 135 shows a year, from home. Sometimes a show. But no, I am playing all my own shows so I don’t have time to see any other shows.
D: I am gonna visit Ghost next week. I come back from tour and right the exact day after we are going to ghost and then we are stepping into the Tour van again the next day. I think you get spoiled with a lot of bands when you are playing festivals and stuff. You see so much bands just for free. Checking out one song and then going to another band.
C: Actually the two bands I wanted to see this year were Letlive and Turnstille. That was last week. For both shows I bought tickets and was sick. When I get home I get sick and then I can play shows again.
Mod:I have the same thing going on right now. You build up you work and your body is like I can do this and when you get home it all goes down hill.
You were on tour with Dillinger. Did you go to their shows?
D: They made us watch. If we left, we got kicked after. No, we wanted to check it out. It was cool.
C: Pretty intense.
Mod: I mean Dillinger Escape Plan is pretty big, did you take home any tips? Were you like „uhm the way they do that, we are gonna steal that?“
D: We gave them a few. But.
R: They are pretty different. Like their bass Player is like „I am Matt, and I am staying right here.“ He is fucking amazing. Can I say that?
Mod: Yeah of course.
R: He is fucking amazing. But I move around a lot and I miss a lot of notes. He doesn’t. There are some different things going on there.
A:They weren’t specific tips. But it was just one big School of Rock which they gave us.
R: Actually Alfred and I saw them 15 years ago, when we still had our braces in. And we were like, Fuck this is ugly, we don’t like this shit. But in the course of time we learned to appreciate it. And then we saw them and were like WOW, that’s really amazing how they do that.
Mod: You just said you missed notes during playing?
R: Of course, everybody misses notes. Except Dillinger. Apart from Dillinger, everybody misses notes.
A: It is a choice. Either I go crazy and I miss a few notes, which nobody will hear, or I’ll just be boring like this [makes guitar sounds]. And I choose the first.
R: If you move around, you will miss some things. But come on that’s okay right?
C: Except for Ben Weinman, I don’t know how he does it. Like that dude jumps and saltos and I don’t know.
Mod: I’ll never forget that, how he, with no saying anything, he just jumps in knees first and he is caught. It is amazing.
C: People just expect it. Or they are paid to stand there.
Mod: You have to do that to get into the fan club.
I read some stuff about you all wanting to have your say in recording your music. Are you perfectionists in the recording?
R: Yes we are
D: We are all perfectionists and alpha males.
D: We have big mouths and we all want our say. I know exactly how I want something. He knows exactly how he wants some things. So we got in a fight like a couple of months ago in the rehearsal space. Not too bad. You wanna hear the dirty details? It ended up with him saying like: Fuck you man, bring some lines to rehearsal space then.“ And I was like oh shit, you got me then. So yeah, we are perfectionists and we really, we fight over music. We really want the best for our songs.
R: We all have our different views. So when it happens that we are all happy. Then it is good. But it takes a long time. Before we get to that point?
Mod: Does it have to be that everyone is happy or are there songs where you are like, I gave in on that.
D: Of course.
A: I mean I make alliances. So before we go into the rehearsal space I call Richard: „Okay I really want this and I will back you up on that.“ And sometimes with Carsten, I’ll back you up on this if you do this. Yes.
D: We are kind of the honest guys in the band. We don’t do that, so we give in a lot.
C: We will burn in hell.
Mod: So are there chocolates moving under the table?
R: It has something to do with bloodlines and this guy is easy, so.
That guy is really easy.
Mod: You are going to the U.S. to record the next EP? So are you going into that with having everything prepared?
D: I think 60-80%. Yeah
A: I mean Kurt Ballou, the producer, he is a guitar player. So we have multiple options of what we are gonna play there. Maybe we can do it like this and we can sit a whole day with that guy just being creative. I mean you do want the recording process to be a little creative. Let’s see what he has to say on the songs. Because we choose a producer, because we think that producer will add some value to the songs. So we keep things open. And if he says, okay guys, you are total shit and I am gonna rewrite everything, we will give him the middle finger. But he agreed on working with us, so I think he likes us.
Mod: Have you written all of these songs on tour or in the breaks in between.
R: We never write on tour.
D: We tried.
R: But it’s not working out.
D: We are too lazy on tour. I think we want to make some demos in this week during sound checks. So we do do some stuff at tours. but we really have to plan days besides touring. So besides all these shows this years we have kind of a lot of rehearsal space dates. So we really sit there and then look each other in the eyes, sober.
R: Well, but we got some nuts to crack this tour. Eventually we will sit down and discuss some lyrics and discuss some vocal lines and stuff. But the basics are there, we are ready to go to America. We are going anyways.
D: Muuurica, fuck yeah!
Mod: Is that your next goal? To conquer that space?
A: No, I don’t care about the states.
D: I don’t care about the states either. I don’t like Americans at all, actually.
A: I do like Americans, but no, I mean Europe is pretty enough. We wanna play in the states of course and we wanna do a few tours. Which will happen. But we don’t have an illusion, that we will conquer the states you know. Just a few shows, a few tours, awesome. Bye bye go back to Europe.
R: That’s the thing, why go to America.
D: When you have Russia.
D: We are going to Russia in the spring.
R: No man, I was talking about Germany.
Ahhh, kissing ass.
Mod: Smart move.
R: It’s an honest move.
Mod: But you are going to Russia. You have two shows in Russia.
D: Moskow and St. Petersburg.
D: We have a night train inbetween and we have two off days.
Mod: What are you expecting?
A: Crazyness. Russians can be quite crazy. So we are expecting some crazies.
R: We are going in February, so it is going to minus 15 or so. Yeah, I’m bringing my snow boots. What about you Chris?
C: I expect Vodka.
Mod: But I mean the time in the US has to be somewhat limited right? I mean you are coming back.
A: A week.
Mod: After a week. So you can’t really allow for hard core fights and such things. You have to go in with a plan.
Mod: So do you do that in the bus? Do the Alliances and stuff while he watches Fargo.
R: No actually at home, I just call him.
A: I mean because we are not playing together, recording it probably. So when we are not in a vocal session he can do whatever he likes and same goes for guitars and everything.
R: But the most important things that need to be settled, have to be settled before we go to the studio. And then it is just okay. There is always a margin and stuff. It always works out. It’s always better than the last one. If everything works out like we planned it’s gonna be a great EP.
Mod: Okay, when is that gonna be out?
All: March 5th.
Mod: Wow, you have a real for real deadline.
D: The thing is we have a homecoming show in Utrecht, so we thought why not release a real nice 10 inch there.
Mod: Alright, you are hungry, I’m hungry. So I brought some quick hits, I call them. So I am gonna try to get your names right. Which one of you was Alfred, I am gonna have to ask again.
I had to go through this whole transcript at least twice in preparation for the TV-Show, since I would get them confused regularly.
So let‘ see. Let’s start with you David. What is the best food on tour? Where, what?
D: I think everybody is really psyched for Burgermeister now. We did that a couple of months ago and it is great. It had my stomach turning for two days, so then you know it’s good.
Mod: Okay Chris, what is the best beer in Europe?
C: Hmmm, I think, it’s a beer, it’s our own beer. We made our own beer, a friend did that. He made an IPA and a heavy blonde.
Mod: Let’s see. Alfred, what is the favorite drink of all time?
A: Club Mate.
Mod: Alright, Richard, what do we have here, first thing to do after a show?
R: Pop a beer. I don’t smoke anymore. So pop a beer.
Mod: How many beers do you drink on a good day?
R: Two or three.
D: On a good day?
R: Me two or three. Ask him Carstens Questions. Our drummer is getting a tattoo right now by the way, so that’s why he is not here.
Mod: Chris, pancakes or waffles?
Mod: David, the perfect song for a rainy day?
D: The Christmas Album by Michael Bouble.
Mod: Alfred, a song that has to go on every mixtape and do you even still make mixtapes?
A: Every mixtape? Here I go again on my own by Whitesnake. I don’t make Mixtapes.
R: Ask me a question.
Mod: Okay, what music would you play if you werent legally allowed to play John Coffey music anymore?
R: Metallica before 1991.
D: That’s a good answer. In every interview there is one point where they say: Metallica before 1991.
R: Give me another question damn it.
Mod: Your favorite movie of 2015, do you even watch movies anymore.
R: A lot.
D: Pitch Perfect.
R: Fuck no, no no. I think it is gonna be, shit, you answer that.
A: It is Everest.
R: Oh yeah I saw that one, it is a good movie. And Terminator Genesys. Love Emilia Clarck. Emilia.
Mod: I don’t think I have anything left. Did I forget anything?
R: I think you covered it pretty much.
I think you very complete. You were very cool. I hope you enjoyed us?
Mod: Absolutely. Would you be so kind and stay for a station id?
Das Interview wurde ein wenig bearbeitet um es lesbarer zu machen.
This Interview has been edited for readability.
An der Stelle ein gigantisches Dankeschön an die ALEX Berlin Crew, an John Coffey, an Arnoud von V2 Records Benelux, an Stefan für die GoPro Korrektur und fürs Festkleben und an alle die ich vergessen haben könnte, bis zur nächsten Sendung!