Ever get the feeling youíve been set up?
Now there I was in the north London autumn, attempting to do an
interview with any band that happened to cross my path. I donít
mind Ė weíre in a pub, arenít we? Iíd just "done" Quickspace
when I was dragged along the road by the Bungalow/City Slang ruffnecks
to face German indie pornographers the Pop Tarts. Three girls and
a boy greet me, they seem nice enough. Hope they donít realise I
know nothing about them. Yeah, they seem nice enough, but they fight
got the worst album cover Iíve seen for many a year Ė why?
All: Thanks a lot!
Hendrik (drums): You have the worst T-shirt I have seen for
a long time (yeah, alright, youíve got me on that one). So
what donít you like about it?
Julia (bass/vox): Whatís so bad? I admit itís a bit "arty",
but I think itís nice.
H: Itís kind of a Francis Bacon with much more bust.
J: Itís very progressive.
It just doesnít fit with what
the record is.
Franzi (guitar/vox): What
do you think the record is, and what do you think the cover is then?
Because I think itís rather nice. Whatís your idea when you hear
the music, and whatís your idea when you see the cover?
J: Is it cleaner than the music?
Olga (guitar/organ/vox): Maybe we shouldíve put Adolf Hitler
with tits on it. We were looking for something which matches the
title, and actually I think itís nice.
H: It expresses some things we like, like...
F: America. Freedom. Individualism...
O: Itís slightly disturbing but itís fine, I think.
H: Liberalism. Boredom. New world order. Naked girls.
I was expecting some awful rock
record, so it took some time before I played it.
H: Thanks again, because
it is an awful record!
O: Well people in Germany quite like it. Some even say the
coverís the only good thing about it.
H: And also Germans have a problem with the title, what about
you? Some people...
O: There are always some people who have problems with what
you do. Next question.
Should I just go now?
O: Next question!
I think sometimes you sound a hell of
a lot like the Pooh Sticks...
The Pooh Sticks. Have you heard
Oh, fair enough. Well about 12
years ago there were a whole bunch of bands with a similar sound
to you, like, er, Talulah Gosh/Heavenly.
J: I like Heavenly, but I
donít know. I only know a few songs by Heavenly and a few songs
by Talulah Gosh.
O: But I think still itís like we donít try to imitate, or
get the sound or something thatís special from the bands that we
J: We have all very different backgrounds, and tastes in
music. There are some groups we all like, so itís just a mixture
of our different tastes.
F: But weíve got something in common in that we were born
in the 20th century.
But we havenít really had this
in this country for the best part of ten years.
J: Well maybe the Germans
are more slow.
F: A few people have said it reminds them of the 80s, but everybody
is different from then. And we donít mind.
H: And we donít care.
You can probably tell I donít know anything
about the band at all by the fact that Iíve only got two questions,
so if you could talk into the tape recorder for five minutes Iíll
write it up later.
F: Just make up stuff.
O: Donít you have any more questions?
H: We wonít let you go until after an hour.
J: What music do you like?
This week itís mostly hip hop.
J: Oh cool, so do I.
O: German hip hop of course. Itís really good, German hip
H: Sheís a fly girl! What is the sad part of your personality
listening to? We are more like an intellectual band, some things
we hide in our music. We read a newspaper yesterday and the good
thing about the German soccer team is that they donít hide anything.
F: No no no, that was not it. They said you never know
about the Germans because you never know about the small things
H: No, because you can be sure that there are no small
things that they are hiding.
F: No no no no no no.
H: What do you think about Digital Hardcore?
O: Is there anything else you want to know?
Mercifully I am saved by the call for the
band to get across the road and do their job. I retreat to the bar
with some naked lady playing cards they gave me. They all have ĎPop
Tartsí written on silver tape strategically stuck over the pictures,
crude but fairly inoffensive really, the cheeky little troublemakers.
Later on we do manage to have a conversation without winding each
other up, but what fun would that be to read?