German

The VISION interview

The legendary interview with Frank, right here for all those who don´t know it from VISION.

Interviewer: Markus Wöllenweber, Sabine Rausch
 

Markus:
What do the people of Arizona speak about your Rhenish accent?

Frank:
Meanwhile I´m speaking such a good all-American, so that I had to study anew a german accent for my vocals. 

Markus:
Why?

Frank:
We didn´t want to deny our origin.

Markus:
But Rob is a Belgian and as far as I found out he never was in the Rhineland.

Frank:
That´s right. And Billy is so to speak an american native. The rhenish accent was just very important for me.

Markus:
Why do you sing anyway? Your vocals sounds, begging your pardon, quite simple.

Frank:
Did you ever hear Rob singing?

Markus:
No, noone has ever heard Rob singing.

Frank:
There!

Markus:
And what about Billy?

Frank:
We are building him up very carefully. We don´t want him going used up soon. He shall become a great guitar hero. We keep him away from vocals, for not to become pretentious real soon now and not beeing showered with groupies.

Markus:
How about you concerning groupies?

Frank:
No chance! Unfortunately.

Markus:
Although you are the vocalist?

Frank:
Although I´m the vocalist.

(Three minutes of silence)

Markus:
Did you actually wander about with that cow piss or is this a PR campaign?

Frank:
I really sentimentalized, when I holded Rusty´s bottles in my hand. Those were at least a hundred years old. I got started with it, because I wanted to feel the spirit of the Wild West that Rusty had left there. 

Markus:
But who needs a hundred year old hair restorer?

Frank:
Who needs a three days old hair restorer?

Markus:
What was up with those two bulgarian female weightlifter? They didn´t really drunk that swill, right?

Frank:
Yes, they did! It was on a parking place towards Vegas, I saw two slender girls lifting and letting down their compact car. I went up to them and offered my help, but noone needed help, they were exercising. They were so greedy after that muck, that they bought all the bottles off me.

Markus:
I know, you don´t talk about it with pleasure, but how was it back then in Rotterdam? Your last fight in the cage.

Frank:
Yeah, my last great fight. I had no problems with that Freefighting, I was well prepared. There were some damn tough guys in Arizona, who stretched me to the limit. But until then I never had a match against one of these brazilian ghetto fighters. They don´t even look so dangerous, but you almost don´t stand a chance against them. It´s useless to you only to be bestial and ruthless. Additionally they have that st. anger innerly. Dammed up since their childhood. If you have been a well-behaved child like me, you never will remove it out of yourself. Never!

Markus:
And then the time at Lueder´s funfair boxing team.

Frank:
In retrospect the best days of my life, even if it was a hard job contractually beeing knocked out every day. But all guys of the funfair team were o.k., we had a lot of fun together at that time.

Markus:
If there wouldnt´t have been the affair with the "Nasally Sonya".

Frank:
That was much later on, after things were over and done at Lueder´s. I was just too old for this job, that´t the plain truth. Well, after that I still jobbed at Oscar´s Kinderkarussel. Before every lap I had to collect the chips from the children and turn them in over the counter. It sounds like an unpretentious job, but do it once for 8 or 10 hours, almost without any break.

Markus:
But you....

Frank:
Come on, do it! Do it once for 10 hours without any break.

Markus:
I once had...

Frank:
Almost without any break! Not only, you know, eh, I report for a newspaper and stuff, I´m also sitting the whole day and working. Bring it on collecting chips, then you will see, 12 hours, all along in one direction! 

Markus:
Under the Kinderkarussel they found hairs of the Nasally Sonya.

Frank:
All along in one direction!

Markus:
You don´t want to talk about the affair concerning the Nasally Sonya?

Frank:
Under Oskar´s Kinderkarussel they even found her microphone. But they couldn´t touch me at that time.

Markus:
There was no saliva sample?

Frank:
Saliva sample, fingerprints, DNA analysis, lineup, house search, evidence: negative. So what?

Markus:
There are photographs of yours, just from this period, that show remarkable scratch marks in your face.

Frank:
They didn´t analyze them. It was the result of a cat.

Markus:
A cat!

Frank:
A struggle with a cat.

Markus:
A struggle!

Frank:
With a cat.

Markus:
You had so much staggering contact with the law enforcement agencies.

Frank:
I was really not responsable for it.

Markus:
The curiosity was, that they caught you and accused you being a money launderer, but it didn´t last out convicting you.

Frank:
Money launderer, what was that supposed to be?

Markus:
I mean to say, all right, it´s a long time since...

Frank:
Exactly!

Markus:
The job at Lueder´s was a camouflage, right? You pretended being the poor bugger, but actually you passed counterfelt money.

Frank:
How are you talking to me, douche bag, why should I pass counterfelt money or bring anything into orbit. Who is predicating this?

Markus:
You tell me that I´m fudging a story, this funny money affair you were involved in.

Frank:
Nothing but a slander. Moreover it´s water under the bridge.

Markus:
Also the legendary "sulky affair", the most famous betting scandal in the history of the equestrian sport, they couldn´t touch you. All in all more than 30 sulky drivers were corrupted resp. blackmailed, not gonna bring the most promising horses into the top 3. For instance Manni DiNapoli was sentenced to 16 years in prison for it. The others not quite that much, but they turned you loose. How did you wangle it?

Frank:
I just was Manni´s bodyguard. I didn´t know anything about it.

Markus:
Haha! I´m laughing my ass off. The published surveillance videos of the ground show espacially one man at the counter, namely you. 

Frank:
For that you have to be good at figures, thereto I was absolutely unable. They meant that I was not competent.

Markus:
Mentally incompetent?

Frank:
Right. Ask the others, I was never good at figures before. That´s for sure. But, hey man, what an asshole, chatting me up I would be a blackmailer, then to be a money lauderer, would have, äh, äh, bad money....

Markus:
...were!

Frank:
What were?

Markus:
You were a money lauderer. Not any more.

Frank:
...I would have printed bad money...

Markus:
Not printed, but uttering.

Frank:
I swear that never in my life I did utter anything.

Markus:
You better don´t swear. You bought 30 Porsches and payed cash. That´s for sure.

Frank:
I bought some cars for a friend.

Markus:
30 cars!

Frank:
32!

Markus:
From one and the same car dealer. On a single day.

Frank:
When a friend askes you to buy cars for him and he gives you the money, wouldn´t you do him this favor?

Markus:
Yes I would. Frank, o.k., let`s finish.

Frank:
You better bugger off, asshole!

Markus:
32 cars! Porsches!

Frank:
So what? There are people on this planet, who have more than one or two cars, you don´t get it. 

Markus:
Don´t touch me, Frank!

Frank:
You´re bugging me. You are getting on my nerves. Don´t ever call me a money lauderer, scumbag!

Markus:
Money lauderer!

  
The publisher judges this behavior harshly. As it´s about a pending action, we don´t make a statement at this point.

The interview was continued one day later by our associate Sabine Rausch. 

Sabine:
Your boots are full of desert sand from Arizona and you temporarily live in New York. What actually gave you the idea to pitch your tent in the Westerwald?

Frank:
It has many reasons. In Arizona it´s too hot for me by now. The desert gets to me more than I would like to. And in New York the studio rents are too large. For a modest training room in Queens you have to pay more than fifteen hundred dollars. Moreover in the Westerwald there is - as is known - the best air in the world, that blows off your brain and you can think clearer. Never before I was as creative as there, least of all in New York. When you comes out of the subway, you first of all realize, that outside the air is not better as down there on the track. Then you know it´s about time to move to the Westerwald.

Sabine:
After you met Jürgen.

Frank:
We were just sitting at the diner where Becky Ramirez was serving. You know, the daughter of Francine DePalma from my first band project. Jürgen came in, he was underway with a large camper van and  took place beside me. We got into a conversation with each other and, you know, first this then that and so on and so on. Finally he provided us with this studio close to his home in the Westerwald.

Sabine: 
Let us talk about your music. You call it Junkrock. Well, actually not for people with good taste.

Frank:
Junkrock is like junkfood. It is not healthy, but it is fun. That is good enough to be happy. We refuse drugs and also all types of healthfull shit. 

Sabine:
How would you stylistically classify your music?

Frank:
At first Junkrock is no special style of music. Junkrock is an attitude. You can make the music that you wanna make, the main concern is that you don´t plan a technical overkill. Well, and stylistically, where are we standing now? Sam Shepard, you know him, that Sam Shepard, who had already produced The Whispering Tools and The Sideboard Brothers, he once told me, as I auditioned "Don´t give me your number", he told me "My son, stop this, it´s only muck". Certainly this was the best motivation to go on. But seriously, at that time we were great fans of The Outstanding Ovations, also you will discover the influence of The Blockflocks. And, of course, Linda and her girls, The Flaming Pitchers and, most of all, The Richfield Brothers.  

Sabine:
I would say, you feed your music with style sprinklers like experimental Krautrock á la Sentimental Spreaders or post-independant tootling close to The Long White Shadows or Never Alive Again. And isn´t therein psychedelicly aspirated neo-folk, see The Pretty Pathfinders, Mike Overstoltz or Riddle The Commerce? 

Frank:
It may well be so. Phil Spreader is a good friend of Danny Morganroth, the ex-drummer of Van Der Croos, who now is drubbing with Nessie Cartwright. Danny puts on some music of Phil, when we´re gonna drive to a baseball match.

Sabine:
They wanted you as the follower of Freddy. What has become on it?

Frank:
Brian called me and told me, they wanna get started again and for the tour they would need a new frontman. Brian said, I should only say YES and the deal is done.


Sabine:
Why did you refuse?

Frank:
I did not refuse, but suddenly I had low battery and I had lent my charger. When I got it back after 3 weeks, I immediately called back Brian, but he just had decided in favour of Paul. 

Sabine:
Too bad. Right?

Frank:
I don´t agree, who knows what´s the use of it.

Sabine:
I agree with you.
Back to your music. The "official" musical world, I mean radio, TV and so on, doesn´t really takes you seriously, although you have a huge following. What´s up there?

Frank:
We are an underground band. We don´t give a shit about that commercial crap. We are doing our own thing and we go through it. 

Sabine:
You have a remarkable large crew with all sorts of jobs.

Frank:
If you want to be totally focused on your music, you need people, who are running interference for you. Not everyone is getting money for it, most of them are working for free. Only some important guys are paid, security guards, catering and so on.  

Sabine:
Some of your texts look like a great piss take. Do you actually take yourself seriously? 

Frank:
No.

Sabine:
Be honest, Frank, is that comedy, what you are doing or is it a serious matter?

Frank:
What´s the dif? Are you able to get through the day in this world without humor?

Sabine:
But your slogan "don´t stop losing hope"  doesn´t really mean it, right?

Frank:
Can it be true, that this daily let-us-be-funny competition goes on and on and on and...

Sabine:
But losing hope, this is more existencial, in all seriousness, you can´t broadcast it. They still say "hope dies last". 

Frank:
Says who?

Sabine:
Pardon?

Frank:
Says who?

Sabine:
If you´ve lost hope, you can pack in!

Frank:
When I wake up in the morning, stand up and realize what happens there on this planet: war, murder, air pollution, tropical deforestation and so on and so on, then I don´t have a spark of hope, that this will end some day. And therefore I´m not gonna be talked into hope, that this condition will be improved, you know! Whether I´m hoping or not is only my own problem! 
Nobody is going to tell me, nobody, you know, nobody...

Sabine:
It´s OK, Frank.

Frank:
...nobody´s telling me, what I have to hope or if I had to hope or...

Sabine:
Lets change the subject.

Frank:
But not our recording!

Sabine:
Yes, of course! I don´t know what to think about it, is it spectacular or half-assed?

Frank:
That´s what I mean, noone gets anything. This sleekly ironed bullshit does no longer interest us. We went to Phil Perkins and stayed there in L.A. for half a year. In his studio you´re gonna find more cable than on a flattop. There is more digital equipment than in the headquarter of Microsoft. Rob and I faced each other and then we knew: we don´t wanna take part in this. And then, three weeks later, when we found an old alalog gadget on a flea market, then we once again faced each other and at that moment we knew: we´ve found it!


Sabine:
But this is the technologie of the Stone Age. Nobody still workes with it.

Frank:
Okay, even we are not getting by with digital support, that´s not so bad, but our slogan is: to accept four as an even number or something like that. 

Sabine:
I see!

Frank:
Standing up lately and then we´ll see.

Sabine:
What?

Frank:
Whether you´re up for recording or not. If not, never mind. Tomorrow is another day. Don´t hold your breath for weeks!

Sabine:
That don´t really sounds very professional.

Frank:
So what? Some day you´ll stand up in the morningand you´re up for recording something, then you´ll start very slowly and in the evening it´s done. So you just have time for a good film or a football match on TV.

Sabine:
That´s Junkrock?!

Frank:
That´s Junkrock!

 

Bild 1:
VISION front page

Bild 2:
The recording studio of Will Shandler in a steeple in Vermont. Experts contend that in round rooms the acoustics is exceptionally good.

 

 

 

 

 

that's Junkrock