I made this interview just before Lithuanian postindustrial music festival SPEIGAS, and every time, when I tried to tell anybody how great the upcoming event will be, I found myself struggling when spelling one project’s name. “Feine something and something daheim”, — I used say to that person. “The title has something to do with fellows who like to drink and does not behave themselves at fancy homes”, — I try to continue with a slightly British-sounding accent. People would look at me strangely, then say they left their bags somewhere and start to go away backwards, then run away. In a way it was disturbing.
But fellow concert-goers shouldn’t be disturbed, at least not in this way. That’s why I asked Jürgen Eberhard some questions which picks the mind of a man, who for the last 20 years stand behind Feine Trinkers bei Pinkels Daheim project.
>>F.T.B.T.D. is around for quite a long time, and it is not easy to say what exactly changed in those years — possibly everything. But if you look into your carrier from a perspective — what would you say to younger version of yourself, the one who just started the project? Would you change anything if you had a possibility?
Ha, yes, of course. We used to stay together with my band boys at bars and did not have any plans to start a carrier with a band in this kind of music. I am not joking! We started our project Feine Trinkers bei Pinkels Daheim in the Blackforest 1989. And before we did it seriously, with 5 friends we had an idea to be a band in kind of wave and punk music. But nobody couldn’t play any instrument, so we were a band without guitars, drums etc. After some time Oswin and I bought a bass guitar and a synthesizer, but the sounds we created were really horrible.
But in this time the tape scene with networking existed. This scene was very interesting and opened our mind for other kind of music from all around the world. At that time, nobody had internet or email. So it was very great to get a small package from Japan or the USA with a letter and a tape. It was hard to get even a little bit popular. I think nowadays it is easier to find people who organize concerts and other stuff. At that time it was very important to have a history and avoid having many different projects.
>>From this comes obvious question — how else from your point of view industrial scene changed in the last 20 years?
I think, at the beginning of industrial, the scene was a kind of secret society ;-), it was very special and most people couldn‘t understand the main reason to do this sound or performances etc. It was more provocative, but it was in the end of the punk era. You haven’t had to wear swastika or uniforms to be a nazi. Nowadays the scene has split to different styles, such as rythmic industrial (for me it’s party industrial, it should be played only in tourist areas like St. Tropez, Honoloulu and Zermatt.). Then there is industrial for the academic nerds with big glasses (mostly played in very small galleries, where all people are sitting on hard chairs), military industrial and neofolk (this stupid sound is for losers, which one of you boys have the hipster uniform?). So in fact, we should go to the roots, but in modern way.
>>Do you see any really good new projects around?
Not really, because in the past I stopped listening to music intensively. And I think it is difficult to play live as a new group. Most of organizers haven‘t got enough money to pay them. So it is more a hobby for most of the projects.
>>At the beginning it was “Industrial music for industrial people”, and now what? “Slightly rythmic music for cat video lovers?”
Electric Saturday Night Fever on Speed.
>>Back to the F.T. B.T. D. — how did the project evolved, and where is it heading now?
The situation is different, because we started as a duo and at the moment I’m the only member, so it is easy to say F.T.B.T.D. does different things now. Sometimes it plays in concerts like Maschinenfest and after that in galleries or Universities of Art. One of the main ideas is to create sound with interesting material, which was never done before in this way.
>>How did you come up with a name which is so hard to promote when telling people how interesting the upcoming event will be? I red that you like when people try to interpret this German wordplay. Do you have your favorite version?
As we started our project, many industrial projects had evil names and they provoked with the band titles and outfits. It was a little bit ridiculous for us. We wanted our name to be very atypical for an industrial project. And we had some problems with it, particularly in Germany. Nobody wanted to see a performance of a stupid band with this fucking name. So in this way most people were very boring and conservative. The favorite version is “Elegant Drinkers at Snob’s Home”.
>>In live performances you use various kinds of instruments and gadgets. What kind of things you usually use, what do you prefer? Which instrument/thing you could call the weirdest sound source you ever tried? Why do you prefer performing this way? What do you think about everlasting “battle” (laptop vs. gadgets) in experimental music?
There are really many of them, for example, an old record player to create analog loops, wooden sticks, stones, bathing powder for children, guitars, harps, contact microphones and other things. For the last concert I kind of formed a small big band with insects. From the stage you could hear loud chirping of crickets, it was very intensive natural sound. I chose to do it because I don‘t like the idea to use laptops on stage, it is sometimes OK for some musicians to compose with it, but it should be forbidden on stage.
>>Together with B°TONG and 1000SCHOEN you are in the Secret Society. Could you tell something more about the concept of it? Or would it be breaking some kind of Secret Society rules? How did you start to play together in NID with Chris Sigdell and Oswin Czerwinski? Overall, do you recall when and how did you become interested in experimental sounds?
Chris and I had the idea to found the Secret Society. If you want be a member of the Secret Society, you never use laptop or computer on stage! And after mysterious examinations in our black forest center, one can become our new member. Some questions before I told that Oswin and I are the main members of F.T.P.D, but some years later we meet Chris in Basel. So Oswin knew him from a record shop in this town. Chris knew our tape NOSH released on Audiofile Tapes, USA and he was also interested to play with us. After this we had our first gig as NID in a water tank in the underground.