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SLAM #110 mit Interviews und Storys zu HAYLEY WILLIAMS +++ TERRORGRUPPE +++ HANK VON HELL +++ MERCYFUL FATE +++ EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN +++ PRIMAL FEAR +++ THE GHOST INSIDE +++ DANCE GAVIN DANCE +++ u.v.m. +++ plus CD mit 11 Tracks! Jetzt am Kiosk!

THE DRESDEN DOLLS


Nothing but a dream...

Ort: Das seit Wochen ausverkaufte „Flex“, Wien, Österreich.
Gesprächspartner: THE DRESDEN DOLLS
Berufsstand: Musiker (Amanda: Gesang, Klavier; Brian: Schlagzeug), Performer
Album: Ihre selbst betitelte Platte wird landauf-landab als „Brechtian Punk Cabaret“ beworben

Abseits der Sixties


Zahlreich oder besser zahllos die Bands, die ihre musikalischen Wurzeln in den 60ies verorten. Nicht so die DRESDEN DOLLS: Mit ihrem Aussehen und Auftreten, mit ihrer Musik versprechen Amanda Palmer und Brian Viglione eine wandelnde – besser gesagt tourende – Reminiszenz an die „roaring 20ies“ der Weimarer Republik.

Amanda: „In the 20ties there existed german, french and even new orleans cabaret. It was an incredibly artistic, liberated, exciting, risc taking time where most artists wished they`ve been, because there was something really happening. We are pulling something back from the past, things that we resemble and that we apply.”

Es geht hier nicht um eine konkrete Wiedergabe einer Zeit und ihrer Verhältnisse, es geht um das Gefühl, den Geist, den wir zu spüren glauben, wenn wir uns mit der Musik oder Kunst einer gewissen Ära beschäftigen.

Amanda: „Lots of journalists asked me about why we are affected by the music and art of the twenties. There are many bands who reference to the 60ties and no one really ever asked them why they are doing it! It is basically the same thing: An idea of a certain time that we all share.“

European Rebellion

So weit so gut. Aber warum ausgerechnet träumen von good old Brecht und seinem deutschen Landsmann Weill? Wie kommt eine Ami-Rockband, weitab der neuen deutschen Welle, zur Dreigroschenoper?

 Amanda: „I think americans in general have this romantic idea of european cabaret, art and music, that is as far from reality as the idea of european kids o  american Indians and Cowboys. I discovered Kurt Weill when I was 17. When I heard it I thought: `Oh my god, where does this come from?` This was the kind of music I wanted to play!“

Die DRESDEN DOLLS wurden vor rund vier Jahren in Boston gegründet, zu Halloween, um genau zu sein. Was auf einer Kostümparty begann, mauserte sich schnell zu einer Band der etwas anderen Art:
 
Brian: „We started to gig in spring/summer 2001, in small coffee houses, art galleries and slowly we made our way into the rock club scene and started to play in bigger clubs. Amanda had lots of contacts, because she was in the performing art scene. The Boston art scene is an quite open-minded community, they accepted us from the beginning. I think if we had gone straight into the rock scene it would have been slightly more difficult for us to gain our confidence, because we were so different from all the groups performing at that time.“

Tortzdem wird Amanda nicht müde zu betonen, dass sie eine Band und keine künstlerische Performance-Gruppe sind:

Amanda: „I think that a lot of people expected from the way we looked that we would be this really over- thougth, artsy, conceptual band, but we are not. We are a rock band, who happened to dress in costumes.“

Und außerdem: „We did not come from the goth scene like many people think. But they definitley came on board and they were some of the first press to write about us and find out about us. I think obviously the image made this instant connection, but funny, because our music is dark, but not what you would generally find in a gothic record store nowadays: It is not electronic, not industrial.“

Brian: „I think it’s this element of being outside the norm which attracted the goth kids. It wasn`t necessarily the lyrics or the look. They definitley thought: `They are one of us.`“

Amanda: „They saw us and thought: `Freaks!`“

Mittlerweile ziehen diese Freaks nicht nur Künstler und Gruftis an: Das Publikum reicht vom Gothic-Kiddy bis zur Kreuzschwesternschülerin, von Punks quer durch die breitbreiige Spezies der Alternativgemüsebeet-Konzertbesucher bis zu Avantgarde-Snobisten: Eigentlich ein unglaublicher Rummel um Newcomer, deren Videos nicht gerade auf „heavy rotation“ rennen. Ich erkundige mich: „Since you started to tour through Europe there came many euphoric reports from the media. Was there a big increase in the audience?“

Amanda: „Yes! Our first tour was september, the second one was december, so this is our 3rd European tour and in between we toured the States for 6 weeks. We toured Australia, New Zeeland. We have been definitley away more than we were home. The only city we played every single tour is London and we started with 200 people, next time came 500 people and last time there were 700 people. So it is growing very quickly. It is great.“

Brian: „The internet has been one of our greatest assets, because kids on the chat forums and web rooms are constantly talking about music, sending each other mp3s. Before we signed the label, we already had hundreds of fans all over Europe and everyone just through the internet.“

Also, nix da mit dem bösen, bösen Downloadtum: Freie Musik macht manchmal auch Stars.

D wie Europa

Auch der ungewöhnliche Name sorgte für steigende Popularität – sowohl auf dem neuen wie auf dem alten Kontinent:

Amanda: „The political situation in America is devestating, it is so terrible, the amount of censorship and repression that everyone is feeling with the „patriot act“ and all this laws which are basically just stripping freedom away bit by bit. America is so huge and decentralized that it is hard to feel the resentment and movement. This is the one thing I am always concerned about. From here looking to America it must seem really bleak and depressing, but there is a lot of movement against the government. There is also an artistic movement and tons of musical movement against the government. The fact that I came up with this band name and the fact that it had a European city name in it was very important. It is hard to put it into words, and I don`t really think many Americans understand why they feel that way, but there is something about saying „my music is European“ and „my aesthetic is European“ means that it is more intelligent than it is american. You know, there is this idea that more European means ‘more cultural’.“

Also funktioniert der „american dream“ auch vice versa. Klar geht das „uns Europäern“ runter wie Honig. Aber im Ernst: Sind „wir“ kultivierter? Und: Gibt es einen Unterschied zwischen der „average american audience“ und europäischen Konzertbesuchern?

Amanda: „It is interesting, like the parallels have nothing to do with the country, than more with this kind of urbaneness. I think what we found is that there isn`t so much difference between the American and European audience as there is between the big city audiences and the more suburban country audiences. And that`s the same whether it`s in Europe in a small town or in America."

Brian ergänzt: „I think people in urban areas anticipate more pretension: `Ok we have seen this kind of thing before, how are you special?` Kids in smaller towns are just happy for the fact that something is happening where they live.“

Und zum Abschluss Amanda: „One of the things that is very cool is that there is a similarity in how different people in our audience are. You get these young kids, then punks, the goths, and also older people. And this is true in Berlin the same way it is true in San Francisco or Italy. It is this weird range of people, which is just great.“

Schön, wenn man sich gegenseitig so lieb hat. Das breit gefächerte Publikum dieses Abends dankt den Auftritt der DRESDEN DOLLS mit frenetischem Beifall. Schön, wenn Freaks dem Begriff „deutsch-amerikanische Freundschaft“ eine so ganz neue Bedeutung zu geben vermögen.
 
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