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Progressive Rock Interviews

Space Invaders

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Space Invaders from 2015
MSJ:

Can you catch the readers up on the history of your involvement in music – both individually and as a band?

Baal Brain:  I've been in German underground music since my childhood. Naming band names, only a few Germans heard of, wouldn't make sense. I play guitar with Space Invaders since this year.

Dirk Jan Müller: Listening to music since 1970, buying records since 1980, making music since 1983, recording music since 1989, releasing music since 1991

Paul_Pott: Once upon a time, or maybe twice… I’ve learned to play the trumpet. Orchestra stuff…Bought my first bass when I was 18. Played in several rubbish bands, later in several psych´and space bands across the German scene. Play different instruments in meanwhile. Some better, some worse… But my main instrument is the bass (my beloved Rickenbacker 4001, 1976)

MSJ: If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?
Baal Brain: Learn how to get involved in music.

Dirk Jan Müller: I cannot imagine that.

Paul_Pott: In 2009 I discovered film editing. I can imagine, that I made documentaries about animals and landscapes, or some weird stuff like Monty Python, if I wasn’t involved in music. But whatever I would do, it should be something creative. That’s important to me.

MSJ: How did the name of the group originate?
Baal Brain: No Idea

Paul_Pott: Before we had our second gig, Mike wrote me an email and said that we need a name. I made a list of names and Mike sent me his proposals. “Space Invaders” was the only name, which was on both lists. I remembered the Inner City Unit song, when I wrote this name on my list.

MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences?
Baal Brain: Okay. this is the part to name some famous artists like Jimmy Hendrix but to be honest: The most influence came from a DJ, who played music I never heard before (“You do right“ CAN), and some German guitar teachers, who instructed me how to work on six strings.

Dirk Jan Müller: Tangerine Dream, Richard Pinhas, King Crimson and many others from the 70s

Paul_Pott: I was early into bands like Hawkwind or Pink Floyd. I can say, that Alan Davey is one of my main influences. But I also like Motorpsycho’s work. The way they celebrate their music could also be seen as an influence to me.

MSJ: What's ahead for you?
Baal Brain: Practice some ideas on guitar after I answer these questions

Dirk Jan Müller: re-invent music

Paul_Pott: Keep the Space Invaders- motor running. And finishing my album with Robbi Robb. Maybe doing some solo stuff next year.

MSJ: I know artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?
Baal Brain: Alienfunk, Spacerock, Improrock, Krautrock..

Dirk Jan Müller: Space Rock (concerning the Space Invaders)

Paul_Pott: Improvised music to fly and travel into space.

MSJ: Are there musicians with whom you would like to play in the future?
Baal Brain: I'd love to play with the guys from Carlton Melton again. But not table kicker. Andy and Rich are badass kicker pros. 

Dirk Jan Müller: Edgar Froese, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison

Paul_Pott: It would be great to bring my studio project with Robbi on stage. Recently we played a jam gig together. We had DNS, our Space Invaders drummer, Joshua and Danny from Fever Dog on board. That lineup and two additional musicians would be great.

MSJ: Do you think that illegal downloading or streaming of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?
Baal Brain: It helps. 

Dirk Jan Müller: It helps sometimes, but it's disturbing, sometimes.

Paul_Pott: It brings publicity. So it helps. But I even discovered our stuff on a polish download page, where you have to pay for your downloads. And that’s a hindrance! If anybody wants to rip some MP3- rubbish… Okay, maybe he or she will come to a gig. Maybe he or she will buy a vinyl… But if other ones tried to make money with our productions, which we financed, I took all possibilies to prevent.

MSJ: In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them or posting them online?

 

Baal Brain: I ask the fans, If I get a copy.

 Dirk Jan Müller: Great! I used to do so in the past.

Paul_Pott: That´s okay. But I wish it was an unwritten law, that the band, which has been recorded, gets a first generation copy! So we hadn’t have to download our own stuff (which takes a long time in my village on the countryside) and got a better quality than MP3.

MSJ: If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?
Baal Brain: Singers! They are exhausting. 

Dirk Jan Müller: Dieter Bohlen (produces crap since 30 years)

Paul_Pott: (laughter) Dieter Bohlen was the one, I was thinking about, too.

MSJ: If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?
Baal Brain: It should be the band(s), you're already in. 

Dirk Jan Müller: I would like to see live the bands I am/was involved, but with me in the audience and on stage at the same time.

Paul_Pott: Space Invaders with the current lineup. Or the Paul and Robbi live band.

If it should be something exotic:

Simon House – Mellotron (Because of his great work in Hawkwind)

Me – Bass (Because everybody should be part of his imaginary band)

Pierre Moerlen – Drums (Wow! Never heard such a great drummer again- except Alfonse Mouson)

Steve Hillage – Git (extraordinary style- made for Space rock)

Keith Kniveton – Synth (the best FX- man, Hawkwind ever had)

MSJ: If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view who would be playing?
Baal Brain: Motopsycho, Burn Pilot, Carlton Melton, Seedy Jeezus, Ax Genrich & Band, GNOD aso.

Dirk Jan Müller: Genesis (with Peter Gabriel), Agitation Free, Ash Ra Tempel, Pink Floyd

Paul_Pott: Space Invaders, Electric Orange, Knall, Weltraum And maybe some other bands like Syd Barret´s Pink Floyd, Motorpsycho, Monomyth, 3rd Ear Experience, Farflung,…

MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
Baal Brain: Gov’t Mule : Kind of Bird (Sco-Mule) Evil Teen 

Dirk Jan Müller: Hypnosphere (three albums), This Will Destroy You (live album), King Crimson - Earthbound, Redshift - Life to Come

Paul_Pott: I just buy vinyl. My latest is “Supersonic Scientists”, the “new” album by Motorpsycho.

MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?
Baal Brain: Memories Enki Bilal 

Dirk Jan Müller: Minette Walters - The Dark Room

Paul_Pott: It’s a while ago. It was The Misadventures of Mr. Wilt. It’s ribald, but it’s great!

MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
Baal Brain: Memran (anarchistic) Festival in Cologne is bringing up some artists with very new music ideas. 

Dirk Jan Müller: Ash Ra Temple, Michael Schenker

Paul_Pott: It was the Sky High Festival in Frankfurt. With 3rd Ear Experience, Fatso Jetson, Fever Dog, My sleeping Karma, Planet of Zeus + Old Man Lizard

MSJ: Do you have a musical “guilty pleasure?”
Baal Brain: Soundsystem Tekno. 

Dirk Jan Müller: No

Paul_Pott: Just sins of my younger days.

MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
Dirk Jan Müller: I cannot remember

Paul_Pott: (laughter) Evil question! It was in 2006, when I was on tour with Vibravoid. They had this very tasty red wine in the club. So I drank two bottles on stage and when the gig was over I fell off the stage through a closed door. One guy of our support band said, that it was the best gig he ever had seen with us, because I was totally p***ed.

MSJ: If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?
Baal Brain: Friedrich Nietzsche, Stanislaw Lem, J.S. Bach. 

Dirk Jan Müller: Uschi Obermaier, Irmin Schmidt, Klaus Schulze

Paul_Pott: Udo Jürgens, Verner Panton and my grandma

MSJ: What would be on the menu?
Baal Brain: Falafel and ice cream

Paul_Pott: Vegetable soup, pork filet, my grandma’s chip potatoes, pepper sauce, panacotta and Maibowle (a regional drink from my area).

MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?
Baal Brain: Life is chaos to surf on.

Paul_Pott: My hovercraft is full of eels.

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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