LE : Hello Thomas. Could you tell us how you got together as a band and who came up with the name De/Vision ? Which were your music influences at the early periods of the group and were there any projects you took part in before DeVision was formed?
Thomas : I was the last one who joined the band in 1988. Steffen and I, we had known each other since the age of twelve or thirteen, but somehow we lost sight of each other and then got into contact again after a few years and soon I became a member of the band. At that time the band had 4 members: Steffen, Markus, Stefan and Thomas, two of them have left the band in the meantime. I don΄t remember who came up with the name, that΄s too far away. This band was the first time I got into touch with (making) music, I had never touched any musical instruments, like the rest of the band I guess, but they were already quite experienced with the keyboards.
Our musical influences were, of course, the bands of the 80ies, we loved these electronic beats, the melancholy of the songs, melodies that went straight to your heart, that was something we wanted to create with our music.
LE : Are there any producers that you haven’t worked with and you would like to do so? Do you think a good producer makes a difference and would you ever trust one and let him change De/Vision’s sound radically if he wanted to?
Thomas : I couldn΄t give you a special name, certainly there are some interesting producers but they΄re too expensive anyway, no, we are very happy with the producers we had so far, especially our new album sounds absolutely brilliant, Josef Bach, the producer did a great job, there is no doubt about it. I don΄t think it΄s important to have a big name, all you need is someone who does a good job, that΄s it.
It is not the job of a producer to change the sound of a band radically, this would be a bad producer indeed, we would never work with someone who wants to turn us upside down. Of course, our producer has influence on our sound but he couldn΄t do whatever he wants to, we talk about all the details before the production starts, his job is to emphasize the strengths of our songs, and not turning our music into something that has nothing to do anymore with who we are or how we feel.
LE : What’s your opinion about the way record companies deal with bands nowadays? Do you think that there are labels out there which could actually help a promising band to show it’s talent? What’s your personal experience from the deals with big labels.
Thomas : I think a big problem is that the willingness to support an artist or a band over years is more and more decreasing, a band has no chance to grow, record companies demand for overnight superstars, they even invent stupid T.V. shows to find superstars…that΄s the wrong way I think…We had no big trouble so far with companies, they would let us do our music the way we wanted and that was the most important thing for us. I can΄t say anything bad…
LE : Where do you stand on music distribution over the internet (mp3s – sharing programs) ?
Thomas : Music distribution via Internet is very interesting indeed, but only when it is done in a professional way by record companies or bands, where people/fans are given the possibility to download an album or separate songs and the artists and companies earn some money in return, that΄s fair and honourable, and by the way it enables bands to reach people all over the world, even in countries where their music is not distributed in regular stores. We are against free downloads because in the end this means the death for many bands. I΄m not talking about big, famous bands, they still sell enough copies, but still it is piracy, I mean smaller bands like us, we are dependent on every person that buys our records.
But that΄s the way it is nowadays, too many people want everything for free. I think that this kind of behaviour shows a lack of respect for the bands. If I really like and appreciate a band and their music, then I΄m willing to pay for what they΄ve created.
On the other hand we all know that CD΄s are too expensive….
LE : Have there ever been any periods of time when nothing seemed to inspire you to write songs the way you wanted? If yes, how have you been dealing with this matter?
Thomas : Of course, there have been times like this. I΄ve made this experience many times, especially after you΄ve spent 2 weeks in your room and all you did was trying to work, nothing else, no friends, no nothing, only focused on your work. Then you realize that it makes no sense trying to force anything. Then it΄s time for a break, I go out, meet friends, things like that, a hell of a night is all it takes sometimes and you΄re inspired for weeks….
LE : Which would you consider as your favourite De/Vision track? What about the albums you have released so far. Would you change anything – regarding the music and sound aspects – if you could go back in time?
Thomas : There are songs I like more and some I like less but I don΄t have a favourite track. You can compare this with food, sometimes it has to be vegetable, sometimes it has to be fish and sometimes it has to be chicken. It always depends on the mood you΄re in (or whether you prefer doner kebab or a burger the very moment you get hungry). Today you prefer a ballad, because it reminds you of an ex-lover or whatever, and for today this is the most beautiful song in the world, but tomorrow you need something else ΄cause you feel so different, there is no space for the ballad that was so wonderful and well-fitting the night before, so which song is better in the end??
I can΄t answer this question, maybe others can, I can΄t, I can΄t make this difference, but I΄m sure that Monosex, Void and Devolution are the best albums we΄ve recorded. Of course, there are always things you would make different if you look back, this is only natural but if this would be better, I don΄t know. If you take a look back you see everything in a different light because you΄ve made so many new experiences in the meantime but what we did was the best we could do at that time. Nevertheless, I wish our early releases had the sound quality, the power our latest releases have.
LE : Your collaboration with Green Court gave us some brilliant results. Are there any plans for future collaborations? Any specific bands you would love to work with?
Thomas : At the moment there are no plans for another collaboration with Green Court but we΄re involved in different dance/trance projects right now but we΄ll have to wait and see.
LE : How is Devolution doing as far as sales and the feedback of the fans are concerned? In the new album you seem to have chosen the road back to your roots, but in a more mature way. Which bands were you listening to when you composed the songs for this album? Your favorite tracks from the album?
Thomas : You always pray for higher sales….there are quite a lot of fans who dislike the album, they say we΄re getting worse but I΄m sure that most of the fans have realized that we are still D/V, I know the sound has changed a little bit since Fairyland but we still play the same beautiful and melancholic songs like we always did and I guess most of the people will appreciate this, all they have to do is to take some time for the album, not simply consuming it.
I really don΄t know to which bands we were listening at the time we composed the songs, that΄s not important anyway, because the music of others has nothing to do with us or our music, what is good for others is not necessarily good for you.
LE : Do you like touring? Which was the best tour you’ve had so far? Do you think touring is necessary for a band to be able to come close to its fans? Do you recall any concert in which you really had a hard time doing things the way you wanted and as planned?
Thomas : We love touring, it΄s so much fun…I think the most successful one was the Monosex-tour, but that doesn΄t necessarily mean it was the best one. Each tour is unique. Touring is an important element for a musician, this is when he sees how much his music can give other people. We always tried to be real close to our fans, we never wanted to be special, after each show we talk to fans, drink together and just have a good time.
LE : How is your feedback from the U.S. fans all these years? Any bands from the U.S. synthpop scene you could mention as really good ones?
Thomas : We are in contact with people from the u.s., they write via Internet and they΄re permanently asking when they΄ll get a chance to see us live but that΄s a question I can΄t answer yet.
I really don΄t know much about the american synthpop scene…
LE : It’s the first time you are coming to Greece for a concert. You have a lot of fans here anxiously waiting to see you. How do you feel about coming here? Would you like to send any message to your Greek fans?
Thomas : We are really looking forward to play in Greece, this will be very exciting I think and I really hope that we all, the band and their guests, will have a wonderful time, see you….peace