Killerpilze are a German pop-punk band that can boast with incredible 12 years together in the music business. During this time they have recorded 13 singles and 6 albums (the last of which called “Grell” released in 2013). As anyone in the business, they had their highs and lows and after the breach of the cooperation with Universal, the guys did not stop, but started to work even harder in 2010, founding their own label Killerpilze records and striving for more than just being a teenie rock band. So far they´re doing great! We decided to meet the guys on their Russian tour to ask them a few questions about their attitude to music and life.
On all the posters for this show it was written that you’re the famous punk-pop band. Could you please tell what does this mean to you? What is ´punk-pop´? And where lies the punk attitude for you?
Jo: We think it is difficult to put our music in some kind of box and we love to have many different influences from many different music styles. So it´s not just pop-punk-rock, it´s more like rock music in general, but with many influences. But if people say that we´re famous pop-punk band, it is good for us.
Max: Some other guys say we are a rock band, some other guys say we´re a hip-hop band.
Jo: We think it is not so good to put music into boxes because everybody has different approach to music and everybody listens to different music and so we are really content when people stick to our music and really appreciate it, no matter if they say it´s pop-punk or rock-music or metal but of course there are pop-punk stuff and harmonic melodies and stuff, but we really like to have heavy guitars and melody. We listen to Metallica and Coldplay, so for us it is a good mixture.
So probably you could name any coming releases of 2014 that are the most interesting for you? Something that inspires you?
Max: Hmmmm! Next Coldplay record!
Jo: Foo Fighters album!
Fabi: We are interested in album that will be released in Germany by the band Kraftclub. It’s the second album and I’m excited what and how it will be.
Jo: Next U2 record!
Max: Next U2-album will be interesting and we would like the next Pharrell Williams record!
Fabi: Adele! I am excited for the next Adele record, because I think the last one was good.
Jo: And I would like to hear a new Metallica album. Maybe there´s another album coming this year.
And do you in some ways follow the bands that you are competing with for the audience? For example there are rumors that Tokio Hotel are going to release a new album this year as well. And basically whom do you consider your rivals?
Jo: First of all, we don´t think we are competitive to any other bands, because we have our own style and we appreciate it when the bands have success with the same audience. There´s no problem! We don´t have competition with any band. We love German band-culture. There are really many good bands and we try to connect with them, to record songs together, to go on tour together because we think the rock-music is more about a big community and it´s the way easier and better and everybody´s happier when we can work together and not just fight against each other.
Fabi: Share the audience!
Jo: But of course it will be interesting to hear a new Tokio Hotel record because they haven´t released anything for many years and we are obviously going into totally another direction because we´re on our own record label and we´re putting on shows every year. Like many many shows we played last year, like 70 concerts all over Europe. For us it´s always good to see what other bands do and maybe they can inspire us, but at first we want to develop and change our music style and get better and better with every year.
And is it hard for you to keep up with the time? Like you became popular when you were really really young and now you´re growing up and many things change. Is it hard to keep your fans´ attention? What do you do for that?
Max: We work 24*7 I guess. So we are doing this music thing the whole time, that´s our life and Jo and Fabi are on twitter and facebook and are connected to the fans and so we´re all the time in touch with our fans and I guess it´s not so hard for us to stay in touch with them.
Fabi: And it´s good to see that many many people from those first years, i mean 2006, 2007, 2008 come back again and even here, in Russia, where we were last time 6 years ago there are people coming. And it´s great to see too that the people are developing with us.
Jo: Since we split from Universal back in 2008 I guess, we are running our own record label since 2009 and we released 4 albums on it and with the last record ´Grell´ we finally got back into the mainstream. Many more people are listening to our music again and again, but the last years were really hard work, because we were on tour all our time and we tried to make all the contacts of the fans back, because many said ´oh, it was a teeny punk-rock band and i won´t listen to it anymore´. But now the fans see and many other new people see that the band has changed and developed and that the music has grown up of course. So it´s good to see that many people are coming back and many people from the early years are listening to our music again. So we are here in our 12th band year. And first time in St. Petersburg and it´s great success for us to see what we reach with our own record label and as you might know we call our fans a ´KP-family´ and it´s the great part of us and we give many very special things for them. We release youtube videos day by day and keep in touch with them by the internet and for example we´re running a big crowd-funding campaign for our new album together with our fans. They can make it possible. They may finance the album and it´s the great way to connect with people and for them to be part of our projects.
It´s really cool that you keep it going and you are aiming for the bigger and bigger projects, but maybe you know any bands that first seemed to have a lot of potential but then resulted in disappointment? Did you ever feel like that?
Fabi: I think it always depends on a record and on the music. If I’ve listened to a band 6 years ago and I was a fan there and meanwhile I didn´t call myself a fan and didn´t go on a concert, but the next record is great. Yeah, I know what that means.
Jo: For example Fall Out Boy. We listened to them heavily in 2006, 2007 and went on tour with them in Germany. Then they released 2 albums we didn´t like that much and after that they came back with the new album we really like. And it´s the way to get back to the band, to get access to he band again and listen to it. But as Fabi said it depends on the music and hard work. But we are the band that works really really hard. Yeah, it´s 24*7 for our music, for our fans, for good results. We try to get better and better on our instruments, songwriting and producing and all the stuff. I guess when you work hard and dream, you can make it. And it´s what we´re doing!
That´s really nice point. So you’re coming from Germany and probably you could name the events and places the people from other countries coming there should see by all means?
Fabi: Rock-am-Ring festival. Maybe Oktoberfest in Munich.
Jo: It´s a big beer fest. Maybe you know it?
Max: You should also visit the beautiful city of Munich.
Fabi: Almost as beautiful as St.Petersburg. Almost.
Max: Especially in summer. We have an English Garden – it´s a big big park, where everybody is sitting around, grilling, chilling, having fun, having a few beers and all that stuff.
Fabi: Maybe you should visit our hometown of Dillinge. it´s the tiny city, but we´re doing a big homecoming festival each year.
Max: And we have the best pizza in the world there. Really.
Fabi: Even better than in Italy. And I mean it!
Jo: And also you would like to have a look at Hamburg. It´s the great city in the North of Germany with the big harbor.
Now some questions that should be particularly interesting for your fan girls. What helps a girl to catch your attention?
Jo: Probably the face, the smile, the eyes. Of course it is the first impression and then she needs to be a ´cool guy´ to just hang around with and be funny. Have a good taste in music.
Fabi: Yeah, I think that´s important – good taste in music. And interest in music. Understanding what we are doing.
And maybe there is something, some traits of character that annoy you in women and you would like to change something?
Fabi: There´s nothing to hate about women. Women are better men! Maybe.. Max.. any ideas?
Max: You say the good things and I say the bad things? Maybe… if she can´t sing our lyrics.
Jo: Yes! She should change this!
Fabi: And if she is downloading music illegally. That´s bad. Always buy your music legally or go to Spotify!
Max, so now probably you could use the chance to say something nice. What is ideal romantic date for you?
Max: A romantic date?
Jo: THIS! Us. It has to do with the band rehearsal!
Max: With a girl? Maybe go to a good restaurant and then visit a pretty good rock concert. Dancing around and after that everybody knows what happens. It depends on the concert what happens after.
So now it´s all about famous holiday St.Patrick´s day. Did you celebrate it? Are you planning to celebrate it?
Fabi: No, we didn´t celebrate it, because I didn´t know when it is exactly. 14th? We celebrated it by coming to Russia. We were at the airport and drank some beer and that´s the way we celebrated it, but it was more that we celebrated coming back to Russia.
Jo: But we heard it´s the Irish holiday. In Munich we have some festivals and some communities come together and they come to the stage and it´s St. Patrick´s day. But people celebrate it by drinking beer?
Max: But we do it every day. Every day is St. Patrick´s Day for us!
What was the silliest question you were asked?
Max: The worst question was ´what do you have in the fridge?´
Fabi: So ´What do you have in your refrigerator?´ and we were like ´what?´
(Max)Why are you interested in that?
Fabi: Normal things, like everybody else.
Jo: It is also annoying when people ask us why our name is Killepilze after 12 years. So you´d better look it up on Wikipeadia. Thank you for NOT asking this question.
Welcome. So you´re saying you like being in St. Petersburg. So did you have some time to see around? So what did you impress you most of all?
Max and Fabi: The buildings, the historical buildings!
Jo: We had a sightseeing tour for 3 or 4 hours. I think it was only a tiny part of what you can see in St. Petersburg. But it was huge!
We visited the Savior-of-Spilled-Blood, and the Russian Museum of Arts, we´ve been to the Pushkin statue, to the big military boat and we´ve seen a lot of colors on your buildings, like blue and green.
Fabi: And we ate borsch of course!
Jo: And unfortunately we missed Hermitage. But we will try to visit it next time, because we KNOW that we will come back! It is pleasure to be here and we will try to include Russia in every tour!
Hopefully! Thank you so much for the interview!
Autor and Photos: Varvara Murasheva, Julia Andreeva, Marina Petrova, transl. K.Weber