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Interview with


On the evening of 26th April 2007, our partner radio channel RADIO MORITURI held an interview with SUWAY TO SALLY singer Eric Fish before the show in Krefeld. Read what Eric had to tell…

Radio Morituri: This is Radio Morituri. We’d like to welcome Mr. Eric Fish of SUBWAY TO SALLY. Hello.
Eric Fish: Good evening!

RM: Just let me get started. First, we want to start with some nostalgic questions to describe some older details for your new fans - like the story about your first VW bus… do you still have that one or did you give it away?
EF: That’s a funny question. The bus exists only on photographs now and it appears suddenly from time to time when we are sitting together with a beer after a nice concert - and most shows are nice - and bring up old anecdotes. And then it appears regularly because it is a time warp like nothing else and you remember the old times and you compare with today’s travelling. That’s two different worlds. This bus made for us that we experienced lots of different stories: i.e. in winter when we had no heating or when you think of the times when the whole bands – back in the first years – AND the whole equipment including the whole backline was fitting into the bus. Today, we travel with a Headline, 18 people and a 50 ton truck. That just makes visible what you have reached and experienced and how long that way was. That’s always very funny and nice memories.

RM: I can imagine. I just have an additional question… why do you present the U in “Subway” as V? Does this have a special meaning or…
EF: This is a dependence on Latin language.

RM: Only that or is there a special background?
EF: That’s mostly a graphical background. When our first by an illustrator designed booklet was rendered, we had to decide for some kind of script nameplate. During this process the idea developed and still accompanies us until today.

RM: How did the idea to do a tour diary develop? Was this due to request of the fans or did you have the idea?
EF: I cannot remember anymore. I am just doing this for a while now. First, anyone of the band who wanted to write it, but some time no one else wanted to do that anymore. So, I took it over anyway and I continue with it for three or four tours now because I think first, that the reactions are quite interesting and secondly, I enjoy reminding anything again when I write down the day after what happened. I think that helps people finding us more likeable than we are anyway. ;)

RM: I want to come back to that. I dealt very intensively with your website, amongst other things with the forum you have on the site to make it possible for the fans to communicate among each other as the case may be to communicate with the fans up to a certain level. I just read some reviews according the tour diary and realized that there are only positive things mentioned. On the other side lots of users visit the forum as guest without any certain background. You said that it is fun to bring anything back into your mind. On the other side some fans say that you only feel constrained towards the fans.
EF: Shouldn’t we? Of course we should because that’s those people waiting outside the venues for the concert. I know this is no live interview, but people should know that. That’s the people we’re making music for. Music is no end in itself. Without the fans, without our listeners we were nothing. That’s especially my attitude and anyone can experience that very close if he sees me on my solo tour. It was always very important to me – during the shows and also afterwards – to be very close to the fans and do as much for them as possible for those people who bring us so much joy. That must be mutual based otherwise it is lopsided and you run the risk of losing contact. I feel what the world is doing outside the “seven-entity” (as the band calls itself), you know?

RM: Understandably, whereas I did not mean it from a musical point of view but only meaning the tour diary.
EF: I also did not mean it that way. That belongs to the range: service towards the fans. To the same range belongs the fact that we usually go to the merchandising stand after the concert to give autographs, talk with the fans or take pictures with them if they want etc. I see that as elemental need how to deal with your fans.

RM: Well, then we just go ahead with the interview. I would like to turn towards the band and production situation. I’d like to know if the work on the new album has started or will start soon when the part II of the “Nackt Akustik Tour” will be finished soon. If I am right, only four concerts with the one tonight are left.
EF: I think yes. We had our little small talk before the interview started and then I wanted to add that the time we are spending on tour now will be much more intense than usually. We took a small work station with us and basically, the demos are all ready and we are continuing working on them now on tour. We do – let me say a workshop – every day between 13:00 and 16:00. We sit together and work on the stuff. We even recorded four songs before the tour – even before the tour rehearsals – started in Hannover and right after the tour has finished we’ll continue with the recording so that the album can be released as planned on 26th or 27th October.

RM: Could you give us a first glimpse what the fans can expect on the new album?
EF: No, I don’t want to. I never did that. This question is asked again and again, but I don’t want to take away the eagerness. I only blab the title of the album. There are several discussions about that in the internet already and so you just can announce it. The record will be called ‘Bastard’. Anyone can think about that now.

RM: It’s no problem if you don’t want to talk about it. How is…
EF: Sorry that I interrupt you. But when I say all the demos are ready then I have the point of view that a song is a song and this one will not change basically during the production and recording process, but the “dress” of the song is very important too. You can wrap a song into a techno groove or you can instrument it very Spartan just with a lute. Some songs are not grown that far that we know about the “dress” yet. Basically you can refer that to the whole album that such concrete impressions of the album as end result do not exist yet. That’s why all what I could say about it would be pure speculations. Of course you bear a direction in mind, you know where the journey should go to, but it would be too much of a demand to describe that right now.

RM: Ok, I could read on your website where and when you’ll play live. There was also the “Tochka Festival” in Moscow listed. What do you think can you expect there? Except of fans in a really good mood…
EF: I really don’t know if they are awaiting us there. No idea! Band internally, I voted against playing there. Well, it is surely interesting to play in Moscow or i.e. in Mexico City. But we have so little time and so much to do that I don’t think it is very effective to give a concert there. I don’t know, maybe it will be extremely beautiful, but personally I am more reluctant. But I’ll gladly get disabused. All the other band members did like to do that and so, I have to go along with them (laughs).

RM: Yes, of course. Nothing works without Eric. So, we come to our next question. I recognized that you do not play any big German festival this year – no Wacken, no M’era Luna or Summer Breeze. Nowhere SUBWAY TO SALLY is mentioned in the line-up.
EF: That’s not really true. We are playing Wacken festival i.e.

RM: Oh! But you’re not listed on the website, I’ve seen that.
EF: No, maybe that’s the secret weapon of the promoter and when he will make it public some time he’ll probably sell another 10,000 tickets. Maybe he planned it like that. I don’t know. So far it is discussed that we’ll play two shows there – one acoustic and one normal show – and I would find that very interesting, but nothing is fixed so far. Besides that it is true that we don’t play the big ones like Rock am Ring or M’era Luna – I wouldn’t count the Summer Breeze among the really big ones – maybe you could count in the Highfield Festival that we do not play either. That’s always combined with the fact that you visit such festival usually every second year, that you are booked every second year. When we have released the new record next year, then it makes sense to play the big festivals again. But still there are some nice festival planned, like the Amphi festival in Cologne or the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig. There will be also 12,000 people in the hall. So, that’s not the smallest events we’re playing in-between. They also have their charm. That’s small festivals and we’re headliner so to say, uncrowned kings and you know then that most people in front of the stage are there because of you and that’s even a better feeling. Sure it’s great to play in front of 60,000 people at Wacken and you have sort of a feeling that all are your fans but of course they did not all come because of you. It’s another handling, another feeling. Each of them has its own charm.

RM: When I got it right, you say that there is a closer connection to the fans when you play on smaller festivals in front of about 10,000 people who came just for you instead of 60,000 like in Wacken.
EM: It’s exactly like that.

RM: I know that SUBWAY TO SALLY did also already play together with other bands. I’m remembering SCHANDMAUL for that matter. There was a smaller project…
EF: Project???

RM: Project is maybe said too much, but you played together.
EF: Well, on festivals you meet always other bands. And if there are ten festivals taking place you always meet the same bands. But what’s your point? What are you aiming for?

RM: What I am and some fans are interested in – after looking at you career for some years now – is the fact if you can imagine building up a project together with other bigger bands such as SCHANDMAUL or IN EXTREMO.
EF: That’s nonsense. Just the bands you mentioned together with us… we are ticking totally different so we would only argue of we would make music together. I regularly meet singers of other bands or “projects” as you call it, where you do a job as guest singer or so. That makes sense and I like lending my voice to a friend or a band for a good song – at least for bands that I like personally. But such an imagination no one had so far, sorry!

RM: No problem! You filmed several videos to your songs, the last video was, I think, the video for ‘Seven’. I recognized that the videos were mostly available at the internet, at least I had the impression, and not in the commercial music television like VIVA or MTV. I would like to know why?
EF: You don’t need to ask me therefore. (laughs) Of course you’re producing videos for release via the relevant media, but there are mechanisms and treatments that are as they are and I cannot follow their flow. We are simply not able to put any influence into it. I know for several acts that only money counts to buy the bands into the heavy rotation etc. We would never do things like that. Not due to economic reasons and not because of our definition of honour. Of course I can understand it somehow that you do not put a band like SUBWAY TO SALLY between BUSHIDO and the re-united NO ANGELS. You cannot send that, you know? I am hardened in that way. I don’t care about it. What I am able to experience here especially during the last years, you can call basically an expansion according fan potential feeding itself. Even though the print media stand behind us, especially relevant papers and Gothic magazines, radio and TV just does not recognize us. But anyway more and more people, especially the young people, are becoming fans and that’s much worthier and more enduring than video presence at MTV, so I believe. Insofar I am right with that and it fits. We have exactly as much people and exactly that kind of people in front if the stage we developed on our own and they developed us somehow and that’s how it should be, like in a big family. And obviously there is no need for videos in this genre. I am not filled with bitterness about that fact as probably two years ago because I closed that topic for myself.

RM: I also recognized that during the last of your shows I’ve seen. That was in Cologne and it was fact that from a seven year old child to aged people of about 60 enjoyed all you music. I also think that, let’s say commercial music, doesn’t transport that feeling and I cannot imagine such a mood at those kind of concerts like it is i.e. at your shows, that you get anyone onto the table and all are celebrating a big party together.
EF: It’s really exactly like that. Well, of course there are differences, I mean band being sent there and have a sustained fan basis. That’s for sure but within the typical video actors we know it is often the case that the bands are hyped by the big record labels and you see a song over hours, days and weeks over and over again… and then, I recognized that very often, just 800 kiddies run to the concerts in this first month and have now idea what to expect from the band playing. And often the band itself has no idea how to deal with such fan masses and maybe they just have a program filling one hour. There stand 800 kids, their parents in the foyer, and waiting for that one song they know and that’s it. Then they yell and scream, well, that cannot be everything! That’s the deserved negative payment they get. So, you really observed that right. It’s very different with us. There, a twelve year old song is welcomed as much as a brand new one.

RM: And anyone can sing along and anyone is happy about every song and don’t wait, as you said, for that one song they know. There is just this “give and take” during every song.
EF: Yes, and somehow I am living from that. And you can feel that.

RM: I understand it like this: It is an honour for the band if they are playing really old songs, let’s say from the album 1994, and the fans know anyway what it deals with, so the band can be honoured that the fans know these songs still, can properly sing along and you can feel the history the band was going through in a certain way.
EF: Short answer, yes! (laughs)

RP: Perfect, thank you.
EF: You’re welcome.

RM: We realized, that you don’t use that much English or Latin tongue on your latest albums. Is it because you don’t like it in English or Latin?
EF: We don’t use English since the second album anymore. That born out of the principle we decided to follow and it is also based in the fact that we always speak German and think German. That was the motivation for our decision. On the first album, most songs were in English but that was based in the fact that we started as a Folk / Rock band. Latin is used on and off in our songs. That’s also a question of creativity you show within one or another song. When a song offers the possibility, then we do it. But it has to fit and that wasn’t the case at the ‘Nord-Nord-Ost’ album. There, the songs were right as they were. Then you don’t search for Latin sentences you could just fit in somehow. A song will develop as it should. Sometimes it fits, sometimes not.

RM: As you could probably read yourself in your own forum, regarding the album ‘Herzblut’, there are still big discussions about the song 'Accingite Vos', exactly spoken about its translations. If you look at the translations, you get a lot of different suggestions what it could mean at the end…
EF: I am surprised about that because we have the translation already online of a long time now. I think you are able to find it on our website. There is a FAQ and there should be the answer for that question too, I think.  Of course there is a proper translation for that giving no room for speculations. But I cannot quite it ad-hoc. That’s not possible.

RM: Ok, we have quite some personal question now. Does this increase in popularity change your life a lot? Does is happen often that you are recognized at the streets and so, you cannot even go shopping in peace i.e.?
EF: That happens in such amounts that I more enjoy it. It does not happen that often that you are on the end of the rope; only from time to time so that you are happy about it. Besides that I don’t live directly in Berlin but a bit outside the city on the countryside. Than it happens when you go shopping; in the next shopping mall. Sometimes you have to do it even though I don’t like it, and then it happens that people ask you different stuff, but I like that. That usually does not happen in a stupid manner but in a nice way. Or if I walk through, i.e. Krefeld or Vienna, before a concert, than it also might happen. And as I said, I sort of like that. Than you feel good! (laughs) But I don’t want it to happen in a more massive way.

RM: Do you still have time for hobbies besides making music? I.e. when you are at home, are you doing something else or are you just so beaten by all the work you have done?
EF:  The problem at the moment is that you nearly have no time at home because it is so exhausting. Just an example: I released my solo album on 3rd March, toured until the end of the month, than we recorded parts of the new SUBWAY TO SALLY album in Hannover for two weeks, afterwards we had two weeks of tour rehearsals… nor we are on tour for three weeks, next week we’ll be back, going directly to Hannover to continue recording and than I’ll go to Denmark to record my chant there and than a flight back to perform at WGT. After the show there I’ll go back to Denmark… and now I can calculate how much time is left to stay at home. If there should be time anyone of us has his special way of relaxing. Than you just need to let go, even if that might be difficult. Maybe you have ten free days in a row in summer. But when it should be longer some time, I’ll go into the mountains for walking. That’s my way of settlement.

RM: Well, than I’d like to come to an end now. My last question: do you want to tell something to all those fans outside?
EF: No, I think that’s not necessary. What I, or better we, have to say we’ll say during the two hours of concert and I think the people will receive it as we mean it. Thank you all that you’re there for us and I also tank you both here.

RM: Oh, I just have another question. You also work as a solo artist. Does that come after SUBWAY TO SALLY? I mean are there dating problems i.e. when you have solo shows or do you argue about the lyrics, who shall write them?
EF: This is all a matter of coordination. All dates are booked by one manager, so there are no problems. But my solo thing comes always afterwards. This is fixed in my contracts. If there is an appointment with SUBWAY, like studio or Moscow, then my solo concerts has to be postponed or cancelled. And even though there were some discussions with my band mates at the beginning of my solo career about four years ago, so anything is discussed and fixed now because I think I gained even their respect after three solo albums now and because they accept what I do and all know that this doesn’t affect the success of SUBWAY TO SALLY.

RM: Well, that’s really it now.
EF: Thank you again.

RM: We also say thank you, it was a very nice interview.

Interview held in German by Radio Morituri, editorial work by Sebastian Huhn, translation by Daniela Vorndran.

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