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Gin Palace

Interview von: Matthias Rauch mit Meaghan Wilkie and Jon Free, am: 21.05.2005 ]

In unserer Reihe „Zehn Fragen an…“ knöpften wir uns dieses Mal das Londoner Trio Gin Palace vor, das beim Interviewtermin ihrem Namen in der Tat alle Ehre machten. Nicht unbedingt überraschend, dass ihre Antworten ähnlich simpel strukturiert wie ihre Musik daherkamen, doch zumindest kann man nicht behaupten, dass sich Gin Palace in der musikalischen oder sprachlichen Weite verlieren würden, sondern stets auf den Punkt agieren. So wie ihre Songs herrlich dahingerotzte Zweiminüter mit drei Akkorden sind, beschränkte sich die Band auch im Gespräch auf das Wesentliche. Damit ihr den Überblick nicht verliert: Wir sprachen über Ikea, die Yardbirds und die Komplexität eines Rocksongs.


Musicscan: What happened to your van? I heard your van broke down yesterday?

Gin Palace: John: Somewhere in South Germany, lots of snow, about 500 kilometers into the journey. Suddenly the gear box wouldnÂ’t go into any gears. We managed to come to a hold and we managed to get it into first, which is not really helpful on the Autobahn and limped into an icy field full of wolf foot prints with the moon rising and the sun setting. It only took them two hours to come get us with the giant truck and put the car on top of it, though, and we only paid 100 pounds for insurance for Europecar to look after us in Europe.
Megan: They then took us to an Ikea showroom, which was great. But then we had to wait at this bar, where they showed the Arsenal vs Munich game and there were about 100 screaming Germans and us talking English in the middle of it. That was a little scary, I have to admit.

Musicscan: Did you have any expectations or particular goals when you started the band?

Gin Palace: John: Yes, I wanted to drive to Europe and see a bit of the place and play some shows. I thought we would come out much sooner than we did. Not that I am complaining, I mean we went to a lot of other places. We went to America twice and Australia, which was something I thought we would never do.
Megan: Now we are in Europe, which is the thing he promised me in the first place.

Musicscan: So has it already come full circle for you? Are you satisfied with where you are as a band right now?

Gin Palace: John: Yes, more of it I say. I would love to go out exploring Europe doing band things.

Musicscan: Is there a difference in audience response compared to when you play in England?

Gin Palace: Megan: It varies more from town to town than country to country I think.

Musicscan: Do you read press releases about yourselves? Do you keep track of that?

Gin Palace: John: Yes I try to. Why do you ask? Did we say anything amusing?

Musicscan: No, I was just wondering if you are portrayed differently according to the country, since the British press is known to work a little different than the German press for instance?

Gin Palace: John: The record label came up with this press release about us that said that we were the most exciting thing to crawl from rockÂ’nÂ’roll swamps since the Yardbirds. That is all very well, but we thought if we played with people like Bob Log, a little more up to date would be useful. I always try to read the reviews that are not in English with the help of Babelfish, do you know that?

Musicscan: Yes, I am quite familiar with it. How do you write songs? I mean it seems like a pretty straight forward approach in your case.

Gin Palace: John: ThatÂ’s exactly it. One of us starts doing something and then we meet and the other ones have to do something and then it is a song.

Musicscan: When do you know that the song is finished? When do you know that it is a good song?

Gin Palace: John: When it gets too complicated. Just before it gets too complicated.

Musicscan: Do you rely on other people outside of the band to say if something works or not?

Gin Palace: John: Absolutely not. You know that you can do it and that you can do it well.

Musicscan: What makes for a good show in your opinion?

Gin Palace: Megan: Bottles of gin.
John: And an audience that is in the same state that you are in. A crowd that is up for it and not just sitting around.

Musicscan: Does it depend on how many people there are?

Gin Palace: Megan: No, not really. I mean if itÂ’s a huge gig with a lot of people, it is easier.
John: It is always better if the audience is closer to the band.

Musicscan: How do you feel in the rockÂ’nÂ’roll boyÂ’s club?

Gin Palace: Megan: Sometimes you play in squats and you have nowhere to hang your clothes and you always end up putting your clothes down in urine, which is always annoying. There are no mirrors with lights anywhere. I mean, it is not a terrible hardship. It is something I can quite easily endure. Other than that, I mean these boys are lovely.

Musicscan: ArenÂ’t you also confronted with sexism and people yelling stupid stuff?

Gin Palace: Megan: The only person who has ever dared to do that would never do that again and he is actually driving us now. We were just on tour supporting The Kills and he drove us around.

Musicscan: Do you feel like you have to proof yourself harder than guys do just because you are a girl?

Gin Palace: Megan: No, there are so many men in bands and it gets a bit boring listening to men all the time. It is very easy for a girl to make a different kind of impact.
John: I am pretty bored of seeing the generic four piece band with a guy in the front shouting, vinching or moaning or whatever. This is actually the first time, this happened, where they used my wife as a pin up in order to promote the show. We donÂ’t normally allow this kind of thing.

Musicscan: What are some of the most prominent themes for you on the album besides sex, drugs and rockÂ’nÂ’roll?

Gin Palace: Megan: It is about drinking. Sex, drunks and rockÂ’nÂ’roll.

Musicscan: Doesn’t that feel like a cliché sometimes?

Gin Palace: Megan: I donÂ’t actually sing about rockÂ’nÂ’roll at all.

  Gin Palace
  Artrocker Records