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tanzwut2011 05Interview with

Teufel (vocals) from Tanzwut

The German folk-metal band is finally back. For five years, the musicians have been touring, without releasing any new material. After almost all musicians left the band, it was hard to believe that any new album will follow. In September 2011, two albums ‘Weisse Nächte’ and ‘Morus et Diabolus’ were released. The whole story of this journey Teufel will tell himself.

Reflections of Darkness (RoD): It took you a while to record new album. What had been happening these five years?
Teufel: Some of the old members had lost their interests in the band TANZWUT and this kind of music. So it came to stagnation and other projects were preferred. For me TANZWUT meant a lot but in cause of the other projects I had not enough time to work on TANZWUT as much as I wanted to. My new colleagues are really into TANZWUT and now we can really go ahead. So the recordings for the new album really made fun and were finished quickly.

tanzwut2011 01RoD: And at the same year you released two albums. How did it happen?
Teufel: Last autumn we started the pre-production of the rock album. The actual recordings were done this year while winter and spring. The songwriting and recording went well so during mixing and mastering the rock CD we could start the medieval CD. This one wasn’t planned for this year but we simply had so much energy and didn’t want to leave the studio. So we took our favourite medieval songs and recorded them with our personal touch. Some new discoveries were added. The more complicated production was the one of ‘Weisse Nächte’. It’s because you have to write and compose the songs new. So this album had major priority. It’s always easier to recycle historical songs and arrange them new.

RoD: Why was TANZWUT separated into two bands: the rock band and the medieval band?
Teufel: The well known formation as a rock band, mixed by rock and medieval elements will be kept. But in cause of our musical background as vagrant minstrels we decided to do a side project of straight medieval music also. So we are more flexible and can play unplugged at markets or castles as well as at festivals or clubs with our rock project. These are our two faces as musicians and we don’t want to miss one of them.

RoD: What are your impressions of the album after a while? Have you noticed anything you would like to change?
Teufel: I wouldn’t change anything. Now we play the songs live and we recognize how much fun we have on stage and so do the people in front of the stage. Everything fits and we think it’s the best TANZWUT album at all. Just after a very short period of time the audience knows all the lyrics and is having party like they know the songs for years.

tanzwut2011 04RoD: It was told that the title song ‘Weisse Nächte’ was inspired by your Russian journeys.
Teufel: We have been to Russia for lots of times. Unfortunately not at the real White Nights. But anyway, the trips to Russia give us a kind of magic atmosphere which is fascinating. It’s an amazing fog which turns night into day. Strange things happen and consensus is: Live your life intensely and bizarre. Don’t be anyone’s subject and follow your heart.

RoD: In songs ‘Ein wahrer Spielmann’ and ‘Der Letzte Vorhang’ there are lines about the very last dance. How do you mean it?
Teufel: Both songs are about enjoining your life. The last curtain a symbol for the end. No matter if it is your life or a play at a theatre. So it even appeared at Shakespeare who saw the world and the life as a stage. There are lots people who waste their lives. The last curtain will fall anyway, and everyone will dance in his own way his own last dance. Probably we could give food for thought.

RoD: In which language is ‘La filha dau ladre’? What is it about?
Teufel: ‘La filha dau ladre’ is a traditional song from the 13th century and is written in an old language from the south of France. The lyrics as well as the melody are traditional and we have revived them. The song is about a tragic love between a knight and a girl which was banned into a leprosy colony.

RoD: ‘Eiserne Hochzeit’ became unofficial hymn of the Berlin FC. What are your feeling about it?
Teufel: I like soccer and therefore it makes me happy that this song became the unofficial anthem. I am from Berlin and it makes me proud that it’s still played at the stadium. We recorded the song more than ten years ago.

tanzwut2011 03RoD: Bagpipes become more and more popular. One of the latest examples could be the hit ‘Desert Rain’ by Edward Maya. What is your attitude towards it?
Teufel: As I started playing bagpipe for more than 20 years ago these instruments were rare and something special. There were nearly no instrument makers and if you had found one you had to wait a long time for your instrument. Today you hear bagpipes everywhere. It’s crazy how many medieval-markets and bagpipe players there are. It’s no problem to get a low-priced instrument and there are even schools which can teach you. So it’s not surprising that bagpipes are used in any style of music.

RoD: Do you watch over creativity of other German folk-metal bands? What do you think of them?
Teufel: Of course you recognize the other bands in your scene. Simply because you play the same festivals. We know each other for many, many years and we give each other respect.

RoD: Once you said you were a wandering joker. How old were you? What brought you on the road? What places have you visited? Have you ever had problems with police because of this?
Teufel: When I was 16 I started playing music on the streets and travelled through the country. Sometimes alone, sometimes together with other guys. Even beyond the borders of the GDR. I am from the GDR and so there were borders but I did it to Romania and Bulgaria where I’ve learned lots of traditional songs and instruments. Making music on the street was prohibited in the GDR. Because of that I had lots of trouble with the police and had to stay several nights in prison. After the fall of the Berlin Wall I travelled a lot and played music in lots of countries e.g. Mexico, China or the USA.

RoD: What are you plans for the nearest future?
Teufel: We want to enter the stages and want to play and play and play. We’ll work on the show and looking forward the upcoming festivals. Of course we’re planning new CDs but that’s not ripe for decision.

RoD: Do you want to add something?
Teufel: See you at Melkweg Amsterdam at December 28th or any of our other shows. Thank you!

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