Rock One Mag #60 | Interview with Timo & David

14. prosince 2009 v 14:48 | posted by P.2K |  From Magazines
translated by dusk_till_dawn for universalpanik - forum

We quickly understood that Panik wasn't like the other ones. Sticking to their integrity, the sextette from Neumeüster never hesitated to make radical decisions.
Leaving their management to keep their artistic freedom, and that with the risk of having to start all over again. That's what Panik did, beginning of 2008, losing on the way their old name (Nevada Tan). But that is barely nothing compared to the announcement made this past November in a official letter. This one, without being crystal clear, is clear enough to understand that Panik is currently living in a crisis situation, quoting that "a part of the band doesn't have the energy to walk this way anymore". The decision is irrevocable, and it won't change. Today, Panik consists of two members : the singer Timo and David, the guitarist. Contacted soon after, the neo-duo accepted to open to us, but only under one condition : "pas de langue de bois" (means saying the real stuff / not a politicaly correct speech). That's how we jumped into a conversation where Timo and David spared nobody.

click on "celý článek"

The first lecture of your announcement sounds a bit like the death of Panik. But apparently, that's not the case at all ... Can you clearly explain what is the situation of the band to this date ?

David : You know, we lived and felt the last two years and a half like a real battle against the german music industry. We tried to give a special identity to Panik, but apparently we were wrong. We had an image that didn't correspond to us, and we were fastly categorized. People didn't wanted to hear our music and treated us like every other bands of the moment. Then, they realized that we were a real stage group, a rock group. But to keep on fighting to prove who we really are gets really tiring. You have to play again and again just so you can get a minimum of attention. And lets say that apart from me and Timo, the four other band members didn't have the energy to continue the fight anymore. This is the reason we can't persue the adventure in these conditions. Timo and I started the band, always made this music with our heart, and will continue to do so.

Do you know what the other band members have decided to do with their life ?

David : It's an excellent question. I don't know if they even know it. You have to understand that our life with Panik was very special and we never knew what would happen the next week. We lived day by day. All that I know is that Juri decided to take over a drum school. He told me that his life rhythm has become very different, because he already knows his program for the year to come! He just wanted to be free and be able to do what he wanted.

This decision might of have been more difficult to make since you are all still very young, and you quitted school not that long ago...

David : Absolutely. But everything happened like me and Timo had planned it, because we were imposed the image change that I was talking about a bit earlier. Today, for example, a lot more guys listen to Panik, and we are very happy about it. We are also happy to see that our album was in the top 40 of the sales in Germany. It's a proof that you can have success with a real rock album.

You seemed to have suffered from the comparisons to other bands that came out in the same time as you did....

David : Yes, this is also one of the many battles that we had to fight. We had to convince people that a young band could also make good music.
Timo : And above all do it themselves, not like most of the other formations that don't write their own music and only listen to their producer advices. I won't name any of them, but you know the ones that I'm talking about...

Your announcement was quite surprising since your album just came out. like if you didn't even have the strenght to promote it on stage...

David : Your remark is valuable for the other band members that left (laughs). It's indeed what they were missing. With Timo, we think it's a huge waste, because we hardly believe in the potentiel of this album. You have listened to it too, right? (talking at the reporter) You know it is a very good album that could've know a big success. That's what makes me the most sad. Because, in a way, it's like we didn't even gave it a chance.
Timo : It's the end of a period, and we can't do anything about it.
David : For all that, we never had the intention to stop. We will continue the two of us, in the same state of mind in which we started in 2003. We always were the most creative members of Panik, and in a way, it won't change that much.

It's even so a proof that in our days, it is very difficult for a young band to find his place in the music business. With a few step back and with your experience, what is your vision on the system ?

David : Aie ....
Timo : You know Lord of the Rings? Well, I would say that the internet is Sauron (Lord of the darkness), the majors are the rings, and that certain musicians are Frodo (The Hero) (laughs). You must fight so hard to continue your quest and reach your goals. But when the internet gets bigger and bigger, the fight only gets harder. ---->note from me, you gotta love Timo for comparing the music business to Lord of the Rings ^^

Overall, what have you learned in these last two years about the way the industry works ?

David : That you do things a lot better when you do them yourself. That's the most important thing. And if there's something that we quickly understood, it's that the industry is full of traitors, liars, and, excuse me for what is about to come, of assholes. That's why you must stay vigilant. As for us, we appear like an exception, because we always took care of our own music, which is not the case for most of the bands in the charts that don't even write their own songs. We don't want people to mess with our music.

Are you saying that you were cercled by sharks ? By bad intentionated people ?

David : Lets says that the music business is a place where sharks can swim in complete freedom (laughs).
Timo : Some people think they can allow themselves to advice you about wearing a yellow t-shirt or to disguise youself as an indien in your video because it's somehow "cool".
David : The problem is mostly the fact that the industry is in the hands of old people. A 45 years old guy can't tell us what is cool! It doesn't works like that (laughs) And it never will.

In your announcement, you stated that you didn't wanted to "prostitute" yourselves. Do you really believe that's how you must behave to succeed ?

David : Honestly, yes (laughs). A lot of musicians do it, but not us. Our old management tried to transkorm us, and we quickly understood that this wasn't good for us. There is a lot of lies in the music, or like we previously said, people that are going to tell you how to look, or are going to advice you about having your single writen by someone else. Our response was : "Sorry, but we are going to do things ourselves, and if it doesn't works, that's too bad".

Yet you are able to make good songs on your own!

David : That's what I also think. Thank you !

You admited that the easiness of getting free music on the internet also plays in your disfavour. Is it a way of telling your fans that they are also responsible in the current situation of Panik ?

David : I don't want to blame them, but it certainly didn't really helped (laughs). It's a part of the problem, not what created this situation. One thing is for sure, if everyone that have our album would have bought it for real, we would be in a much better spot in the charts! But I don't know if it would have changed anything in what we are living today.
Timo : The worst is, like Mike Shinoda said it so well, the kids are ready to spend five euros on a pack of cigarettes, but not ten euros for the album of their favourite bands ...
David : They don't have the right priorities, it's that simple.

On another side, there is a lot of gatherings in France of fans that support you. It must be comforting to be so surrounded...

Timo : It's completely mad. Our fans show us so much love, I receive almost 200 emails per day at this moment, it's awesome.
David : As a matter of fact, I was in France at the moment when the new was published on our website. I went ont the forum to see what was being said. There was so much reaction about it ... This shows once again that we don't only have fans in Germany, but also internationaly, it's gratifying.
Timo : Yes, some emails come from the United States, or from Russia. It's another reason why we decided to continue. Also for the strenght that our music sometime gives to the ones that listen to it.

And in that point of view, money is not that important...

David : It's exactly what we think! The contact with people is primordial, that's why I regularly stay awake 'till 3 in the morning answering emails that we get (laughs).

France holds a bid place in Panik's history, and I think that a lot of french fans need to be reassured at the moment. What would you say to them right now ?

David : I would tell them that, of course, it won't be easy for only the two of us to continue the adventure. For now, the situation is so new that we haven't really thought about it. We mostly concentrate on the December tour and on the Moscow show at the end of January. We also hope to play other ones, including one in France that we are trying to organize for more than a month. But at the moment, it's complicated because our CD isn't officialy out in your country. But on the other hand, we can guarantee you that if we come to play, it will be with every member of Panik.

Are you already thinking about recruting new members ?

David : No, not at all. We might think about it next year, to start again our concerts. But, for now, there's nothing less sure. On the other hand, we are working on a new song that we would like to release on Christmas, but nothing is confirmed yet. Furthermore, we have the strong will to release another album, even if we don't know when it will be. We will do it for the fans, to thank them for supporting us threw all these years. Timo wrote 90% of the texts and sung more than half of the chorus on the last album, of which I almost composed the totality of the music. And for the singing parts, even if Frank isn't in the band, Timo is not only a rapper, and I sing a bit too. It could work.
Timo : Some songs have already been composed at the time of the announcement. And even if the situation has changed, I think they are worth being listened to.

About this last tour in Germany, did you prepared something special ?

Timo : On the last show, in Hamburg, we will play four ... maybe five hours (laughs).
David : Of course, they will be surprises, cause it will be the last time that the Germans will see Panik that way. But lets say that for now, we practice a lot. We want the public to say that it was a hell of a good concert, a hell of a nice tour, and that they should have bought our CD (laughs).

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