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Standstill

Interview von: Matthias Rauch mit Standstill, am: 27.10.2003 ]

Über Standstill brauche ich wohl nicht mehr viele einleitende Worte verlieren. Sie sind die Speerspitze des spanischen Hardcores und zeichnen sich vor allem aufgrund ihrer steten Weiterentwicklung aus, was sich sehr schön von Platte zu Platte verfolgen lässt und sie das Genre immer wieder nach vorne treibe und neu definieren. Ihr letztes Release war eine Akustik-EP, die nicht einfach in den normalen Singer/Songwriter Kanon fällt, sondern ganz eigene Wege geht. So wie Standstill eben. Wir sprachen über das Leben als Künstler, spanische Außenpolitik und was sonst noch bewegt.

 

Musicscan: When did you get the idea to record an acoustic album? Was that always in the back of your mind or was it quite spontaneous decision?

Standstill: Actually it was a spontaneous decision. We had to prepare an acoustic set for a show in Barcelona and when we had turned our songs into acoustic, we then realized that we liked them and we could record it. Nothing else. It is not the next step in our way to understand music. In the next album you will notice that.

Musicscan: I'd have to say that I was quite surprised by "The Latest Kiss" since I expected some of the usual unplugged material, but the songs are equally intense and diverse than on your "regular" albums. Did you approach these songs any differently than previous material?

Standstill: Even if we want to compose acoustic stuff, we have our style. We are searching for the intensity all the time, it's our way to understand music. Music is our life...and life is very intense, sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes full of energy, sometimes senseless and all the time changing. I hope that our records could reflect that.

Musicscan: Since there are no lyrics that come with the EP, I was wondering what you mostly deal with lyrically and what topics you tackled this time?

Standstill: Since 3 of them are old songs and the fourth is instrumental, it didn't make sense to include the lyrics. There's nothing new to say on this EP. The only sentence we wrote is something like "songs are never finished, they are just given up". Actually I can say that in my opinion some of these songs are much better (close to be finished) in the acoustic version.

Musicscan: I believe you all quite your day jobs or school to solely focus on your music. Has that step proved the right thing to do? Can you live off of the band? How do you make ends meet?

Standstill: Yes, it's true. Every band and of course every person has a different way to understand what the fuck we are supposed to do here, probably because of different circumstances. One day, while we all were working shitty jobs we had the chance to leave them. We started working with a theatre company from Madrid. We knew that the theatre play couldn't last very long (two months!). But we did it. Now we are still surviving from our music. That means touring so many times, to give up many material things that you can't buy anymore, to steal food, to meet so many people and countries, to have so many problems with your girlfriend (!)... it's not easy, believe me, but now I couldn't live any other way.

Musicscan: Please tell me a little bit about the Spanish music scene. In how far is it different to the German one for example? Are the shows outside of Spain any different for you?

Standstill: The first thing I should say is that the underground movement in Germany is much more settled than in Spain. I mean, more cities, better venues, better food and places to sleep. Maybe that's the problem for the Spanish bands, because they really can't play very much, even in Spain! That means that there are many really good bands that are completely unknown in Spain and of course outside of Spain, too. In Europe, every country has a different substructure and history, you can see it right away. And Germany the first thing you can see is that it is an open and receiving country, you can see it even in the bands' styles. Spain for geographical and historical and France for cultural reasons are not like Germany.

Musicscan: What makes for a good show and what do you hope people to take away from a Standstill show?

Standstill: I hope that they receive good music and good vibrations. One more reason to fight for your dreams.

Musicscan: How is political situation in Spain right now? There have been a lot of reports on police brutality against Spanish demonstrators in the news the last couple of weeks? Have you also been involved in some way? What is your opinion on the war and what do you consider reasonable steps against it?

Standstill: Spain is crazy. We've been in a dictatorship for more than 30 years and we still vote for the sons of those who were kicking us in the ass for so long. Our selected memory is a defense but sometimes could be dangerous. Nowadays Aznar tries to turn Spain into a little US, and he uses all his power to do it, and that means police brutality for example. Barcelona has been a clear example of a city against war. Demonstrations every day, fights, the whole city making noise with panfuls every day at ten...what for? Nothing. Liberalism has turned democracy into nothing.

Musicscan: Do you think that artists should take a stance on the subject or do you think that politics and art should remain somewhat separate entities?

Standstill: When you accept that politics are not representative you need some other voices. Artists, why not?

Musicscan: What made you pursue music instead of some other art?

Standstill: I don't know, because my parents gave to me a guitar instead of a camera when I was a child...

Musicscan: 3 favorite records, books and movies?

Standstill: Records: "Volumen II" - Soft Machine; "Repeater" - Fugazi; "No more shall we part" - Nick Cave
Books: "La sociedad del espectáculo" - G. Debord; "On the road" - J. Kerouac; "La insoportable levedad del ser" - M. Kundera
Movies: "Persona" - I. Bergman; "El espíritu de la colmena" - V.Erice; "Wings of desire" - W. Wenders

Musicscan: What can we expect from Standstill in the near future? Any new releases, further touring?

Standstill: We are composing the songs that we are going to record in January. It will be released in March. The songs will be in Spanish! And we are preparing our own theatre play that will be performed in April in Barcelona.

Musicscan: Any last words or comments?

Standstill: Thank you for the interview. It's really a pleasure to answer non-musical questions. It's a chance to say things that sometimes you can't transmit in your records. Thanks a lot. I hope to see you in June! Take care until we arrive.

 
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