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Werner “Zappi” Diermaier
李桐慧 Anla Lee
Anla - A; Jean-Hervé Péron - J; Werner “Zappi” Diermaier - Z; Maxime Manac’h - M
A：演出中你播放了一些不断重复的句子，比如“圆形是美的（rund ist schön）”，还有中文的“这条路是正确的”。这些句子是什么意思呢？
所以，如果我说“rund ist schön”，那是因为它的发音——“rund - ist - schön”——它里面包含了不同的声音，而我喜欢这点。至于哲学层面，它的确如此，一切圆的东西都是无害的。你看，这是一个角，如果我的头撞上了它就会很疼，而如果它是圆的那我就不会受伤。圆形是美的。再比方说，怀孕的女人……当她们孕育一个新生命的时候，是圆的。很美。圆是永恒的。它无始无终。这就是为什么我选择了这个句子。其实这个句子是我们让阿飞录的，这样听众们就能听得懂。因为或许你们中的一些人会说英语，但有一部分观众是不懂的。我希望确保他们能尽可能明白我们所表达的东西。
J：在Market Hotel……是的，在布鲁克林。我们邀请了Ysanne Spevack。她演奏小提琴。我们是在洛杉矶认识的。你知道，现在有了网络和电话，沟通变得更加便利了……我记得了，啊哈。她住在布鲁克林。我们是在洛杉矶认识的，但她住在布鲁克林。我们来布鲁克林演出，所以可能我就邀请了她。
J：因为他是我们很好的老朋友。我们是在1994年相遇的，在旧金山，我们参加Table of the Elements的同一个展示会。当时我们正在进行美国巡演。灰野敬二当时还年轻。我们在旧金山表演《It’s a Rainy Day》的时候，他直接跳上了舞台，然后发出“Whoooo！”这样的声音。自那以后，我们就有了某种共鸣，某种联系。他某种程度上可以说是疯狂的。他是一个伟大的艺术家。我想我们也是有点疯狂的。所以我们有共同点，灰野和faUSt之间有一些相同的东西。
Z：那是在加利福尼亚，在一个沙漠里，我们每个人站在一个山丘上。我们把这场演出命名为“Long Distance Calls”，用非常简单的乐器，或者就只用人声。灰野只唱；我则用一根金属管，把它扔到空中然后再接住它。我记得在山丘上，灰野就站在我旁边，有一次金属管砸到了他头上……不过没事，这对他来说不是什么问题。那里非常非常热。我记得在90年代，灰野总是戴着墨镜。永远都戴着，无论是在室内还是室外。而在沙漠里，烈日炎炎的，他却没戴。
Lyrics : Jeanne-Marie CC Varain
Ring, dig a Ding Ding Dong
Baaa, dada Ding, dig a Ding Ding Dong
Wa, Raaa, dada radada
Ding Dingaling Ding Dong
I am a prophet from outta space
Bringing my reality
Down to earth
Some may wonder, some may walk
Ring, dig a Ding Ding Dong
Baaa, dada Ding, dig a Ding Ding Dong
Wa, Raaa, dada radada
Ding Dingaling Ding Dong
You are asking all these questions but never listen
This may be a game and you will never know it
I teach you the rules in a language you never heard before
Ring, dig a Ding Ding Dong
Baaa, dada Ding, dig a Ding Ding Dong
Wa, Raaa, dada radada
Ding Dingaling Ding Dong
Do you really believe in anything else than power of RAAAAAAAAAW?
君は RAW: 生、裸、未加工の力（raw power で剥き出しの力）以外の何かを本当に信じているのか？
Ring, dig a Ding Ding Dong
Baaa, dada Ding, dig a Ding Ding Dong
Wa, Raaa, dada radada
Ding Dingaling Ding Dong
I have seen this street before
I have walked this alley back and forward
Watch me dance
Watch me fall
I am the Ghost
J：你知道Tony Conrad吗？他过世了，愿他安息。他是创造了“minimalism（极简主义）”这个音乐流派最早的那批音乐家之一。但这东西本身并不是他发现的。没有任何人发现了任何东西，它早已存在了数百万年。极简主义无处不在，蒙古人、因纽特人，还有他们之间的……因为他们没有很多的乐器，却有很多的时间。他们必须玩儿点什么，免得死于无聊，而他们又没有足够的乐器，因此他们创造的音乐就非常简单，极简。不过Tony Conrad、The Velvet Underground、John Cale等等的各路人物把它发扬光大了。所以说，在krautrock里面我们也有一些minimalism——这就是刚才Zappi所说的，比如一些非常简单的节奏，“do-boom-do-doom, ku-chi-ka-doom-doom, ku-chi-ka-doom-doom…”，又或者是一个单音，“boom, boom, boom, boom…”。总之，这已经足够触发你内心的某些情绪了，剩下的就都在你的脑子里进行——是你在创作这个音乐，我们只是扣动了扳机。有一些音乐人会在这种循环里面加入任何他们想要加的东西，因为里面空间很大，你可以放很多东西进去。（作为听众的）你自己的东西，还有音乐人的。
Z：在我们年轻的时候，在我们十六七岁的时候，或许有吧。就我个人来说，我多少是有受到这类音乐的影响的，是的。那时候人人都在听The Rolling Stones啊。或许你不是吧……
J：哦不，不，不。派对啊，跳舞啊，出去玩的时候啊，作为一个人，是有的，但作为艺术家的话，就是另一回事了。当你去蹦迪，你知道，你想跳舞，你想尽情玩耍，你不会想艺术创作。但作为音乐人……当然，我也听过各种各样的摇滚乐，并且我很欣赏他们。我不是那个意思，你知道。像Gene Vincent、BB King，还有所有那些真材实料的艺术家们……像Elvis Presley之类的我就不好说了，那是另一回事。
J：在那个年代有很多好的艺术家，比如说David Bowie，他是个伟大的人物！再比如说Frank Zappa，他的摇滚乐充满智慧。我受到过影响，我想faUSt里的每个人都是如此。受到某一些艺术家的影响，我承认。但是，针对你的问题，我得说，我们没有受到英美摇滚的影响。恰好相反，我们决定要避开他们的结构和他们的歌词。Captain Beefheat，Frank Zappa，都很好。都是很好的人。
J：Maxime在我们的Avantgarde Festival上演出过，我们实际上是在那认识的。后来我发现他有来协助音乐节的准备工作，就像志愿者。他最开始就是我们的Avantgarde Festival的“黑奴”。后来他说他也玩音乐，并用一些玩具和噪音玩了一段，我才发现：“嘿，这家伙是个艺术家！”他也做一些视觉艺术，还有……总之，我们的友谊不断加深，然后我们就邀请他和我们一起演奏了，这很好，因为他会演奏hurdy-gurdy，又会视觉艺术，他也很强壮……
 Table of the Elements：一个由音乐制作人兼平面设计师Jeff Hunt创立于1993年的美国厂牌。
 Avantgarde Festival：Avantgarde Festival是由Jean-Hervé及其家人创立并策划的前卫音乐节，举办地为德国的席福尔斯特。现任策划人为其女Jeanne-Marie。
A: Thank you very much for your show. We are honored to have faUSt to perform in our festival. We have listened to your albums a lot, but it’s the first time for many Chinese fans to see your live performance and it was really impressive.
J: Thank you for inviting us. We are also very pleased and very honored to be invited so far away from home. Thank you.
A: During the concert, you played the recorded sentences such as “rund ist schön (round is beautiful)” and “this is the right way / this way is correct” in Chinese repeatedly. What’s the meanings of these lines?
J: Well, on one hand, they have philosophical meanings. On the other hand, they don’t have any meanings at all. It’s Dada.
So, if I say “rund ist schön”, it’s because of the sound — “rund - ist - schön” — there are different sounds in it, and I like this. And as for the philosophical aspect, it is true — everything that is round does not hurt. See, here is a corner, if I hit my head, this will hurt. But if it’s round then I won’t get hurt. Rund ist schön. Also pregnant women… when they are giving new life, it’s round. It’s beautiful. Round is eternal. There is no beginning, no end. So, this is why I have chosen this sentence. Actually it was our friend Fei over there. I asked him to record this, so that the audience can understand. Because some of you people speak English, the others in the audience may not. I wanted to make sure that they can understand as much as possible of what we are saying.
As for the other, “this way is correct” or “this is the right way”, there is a bit more Dada philosophy in it. And it’s also encouraging. It’s motivating. Whatever way you go, whatever way you choose to go, in music, or in life, or in politics, or at work, whatever way you choose, it’s good to have in your mind, “This way is the right way. It’s my way. It’s the right way.” So, it’s a positive thinking.
A: I saw some videos of your live performances. You often invite other musicians to join with you, like some local musicians, graphic artists and dancers. We found out whoever you cooperate with is strongly “faUSt”. What do you think of it? And how do you choose the artists to cooperate with?
Z: It’s true that everybody from our guests has a bit of “faUSt” music in them. Sometimes the guests come to us and ask to play with us. Mostly we have an idea because we know about the artists’ music and we ask them to play with us. Which videos did you see?
A: The live at BBMix Festival, also the Market Hotel live. And some other recent videos.
J: At the Market Hotel… Yes, in Brooklyn. We had Ysanne Spevack. She plays the violin. We met her in Los Angeles. You know, nowadays with internet and telephone, communication is easier… I remember, aha. She lives in Brooklyn. We met in Los Angeles but she lives in Brooklyn. We were going to Brooklyn so maybe I asked her.
Z: And one girl, Christine, a friend of mine. She lives in Brooklyn, also a singer of a band in New York. She visited us and I asked her if she wanted to sing a song with us. So Jean-Hervé told her about the story of the song. So, yes… I like to do this. She came up to the stage and sang a little, maybe for three minutes.
J: So most of time it is spontaneous. Spontaneousness is very important in faUSt.
A: Why did you invite Keiji Haino as your guest this time?
J: Because he is a very good old friend of us. We met him in 1994 in San Francisco. We were on the same showcase from Table of the Elements. We were doing U.S.A. tour. Keiji Haino was young at the time and he jumped on the stage when we were playing in San Francisco, when we were doing “It’s a Rainy Day”. He jumped on stage and went “Whoooo!” like this. And since then, we have had a certain sympathy, a certain relationship. He is crazy in a way. He is a huge artist. I think we are also a bit crazy. So there are parallel, there are common things between Keiji and faUSt.
A: Could you talk about the first cooperation with Keiji Haino in Death Valley?
Z: It was in California, a desert. Each of us was standing on a hill in the desert and we called this performance “Long Distance Calls”. Very simple instruments or just voice. Keiji was just singing. I had a metal tube. I threw the metal tube in the air and then I caught it. And I remember Keiji was beside me on the hill, and one time it fell on his head, the metal tube… But it was OK, it was no problem for him. It was very very hot there. And I remember Keiji always had sunglasses in the 90s. Always, inside, outside. In the desert the sun was very bright, but he didn't wear them.
J: He is like a contrary man. When there is a lot of sun, he doesn't wear sunglasses. When it’s night and there is no sun, he wears sunglasses. Maybe it’s also Dada.
Z: Yeah, very funny.
A: We think that your live performances are very different from your albums. From the recent videos we see that you used unusual equipments on stage, like gas bottles, cement mixers, stones, kettles with boiling water… Why do you do this?
J: Well, first of all, I would like to say that I think artists don't realize exactly why they are doing things. It’s something visceral. It’s something that comes from the belly or from the heart, but It very seldom comes from the head. It’s not a calculation. Of course some artists do that but certainly we don’t.
But in the mean time we have discovered there are some reasons behind this. When we have the knitting ladies on stage, there are many reasons for that. Psychologically speaking, we like to put people off-balance. The audience should not feel “this is normal”. They should think, “What’s happening? What’s this? This is not normal.” And then they are attentive. They are off-balance. It’s not normal life. So, “We must listen, we must look.” So it’s a bit of a psychological trick. But also it has a very deep impact. The knitting ladies remind you of something primal, of when your mother was knitting and the world of you when you were a child was all peaceful and you felt secure. There was harmony because of this knitting. It’s like when cows are eating and the smell… you feel, “Oh, this is peace. I feel good.” So this is why we use this. When the audience came, they were all excited but they saw no faUSt, only knitting ladies, peaceful. They would focus.
You were talking about the cement mixer. Cement mixer is also full of symbols. Very strong and symbolic. It is like eternity, because with the cement mixer, you can build houses, build civilization. They go up, they go up. And then, boom, after time, they all collapse. Civilization disappears. And then they grow again. Home is a huge civilization. They are all over the world. And then, boom, they collapse. Genghis Khan was huge, all over the world. Collapsed. They come again and they collapse. It is eternity. The cement mixer does that. It turns and turns and turns and turns… make houses, they fall, and make houses again. Eternity. So. I could talk more about the cement mixer, but I won’t. And also there is a difference between the cement mixer — being very hard, very brutal , very industrial, and the knitting ladies — very soft, very domestic.
For the gas bottles, it is for two reasons. Optic, a bit of danger. But mainly it's for the sound. He (meaning Maxime) is the expert of gas bottle. He loves the sound of metal, he likes rough sounds. He is always combating with industry, with sound, with metal, steel, machine… He likes this very much, Maxime. The other side of Maxime is hurdy-gurdy, very soft, very complicated, refined.
Z: The tools and equipments we use in the concert now is lesser than in 90s and 2000s. We used a lot more tools to make music before, like steam hammer, jack hammer, engine cylinder and so on. It was for the sound. For example, a engine cylinder, “throoom-iiiillllll” (imitating the sound), and it makes fire. The sound is like people crying. So people would think, “Should I also cry?” It’s like crying in a very high tone. You can do it just with this tool. Also for the optic effect, because there is fire, spark. The main reason is the sound. I think since three years ago, we always have the cement mixer, sometimesthe engine cylinder, but no more very big machines to make fire. It is too dangerous. It is more forbidden to use on stages now then ten years ago.
J: For the reasons of health and safety. No sparks, no fire, no gas, no nothing. So they want faUSt, they want the devil, but they don’y want the danger. So we have to find the middle way. And I must say, here in China, in Shenzhen — it was our first concert in China — we did all to come back again. We have noticed that the promoters were taking risks, because you accepted everything we asked for. Cement mixer, “OK, we’ll do it!” Knitting ladies, “OK, we’ll do it!” Gas bottles, “Yes, we’ll do it!” And everything, everything, “Yes, yes, we’ll try!” So, a huge THANK YOU to the festival, to B10 Live, for your very efficient and friendly cooperation.
A: We would like to do our best for the performance as well, since it was your first performance in China and it was also very important for us.
J: It certainly came this way. It was perfect. We are very, very, very happy. Very happy. And it comes from the heart. All of us.
A: Thank you. During the interview with Keiji Haino, I’ve asked him questions about why he has asked us to play the CD of Mischa Elman, a Russian violinist, before the show. The music was very peaceful and he said that he wanted the audience to go into a peaceful mood and then to watch the show. It’s a little bit in common with what you’ve just said about the knitting ladies.
J: It’s very in common, yes! It’s the same. First create peace and focus, so people are prepared for chaos, for happiness, for joy, for exuberance, for absurd… Yes, it was a good idea of Keiji.
A: You’ve mentioned that you think “theatre is normal life on stage”, is that true?
J: Yes. That’s right. Yes! Ah, you remember this. I say that. That’s very true. When you put normal life on stage, it becomes theatre. When you put theatre on stage, it’s normal. And we like absurd. We like Dada.
A: There was a song you performed with Keiji on the stage. We know that its lyrics come from a poem written by your daughter. We also asked Keiji about it and he thought the lyrics are very interesting. You have also mentioned that you’ve let your daughter to organize your Avantgarde Festival. Could you talk a bit about your daughter?
J: Sure. Jeanne-Marie was… When she was a baby, even when she was inside her mama, inside my wife, she was already with faUSt. She was already touring with us. So, she knows the avant-garde. She knows faUSt. She knows the festival. All her life. She was born with it. Even in 1994, when she was 4 years old, she came with us and did the whole tour.
And Keiji Haino fell in love with the baby, with my daughter. And she was, “Oh, Keiji, Keiji”, following him all the time. In New York, in the knitting factory, Jeanne-Marie was really sick. She had a fever. Keiji Haino threw everybody out of backstage, said, “Go, go, go, go! Only Jeanne-Marie.” Jeanne-Marie and Keiji. And he would hold her hand like this (holding Zappi's hand), the whole time. So, anyway… Yes, so Jeanne-Marie understands this kind of music. For her, it’s natural. That’s the way she was born.
Now she is 26. She is an accomplished art student and doing her master’s now. As we’ve being doing the Avantgarde Festival for 18 years, we are a bit tired of it. It costs a lot, a lot of energy. Well, you know this. The Tomorrow Festival. It costs a lot of energy and money. So we said, “Jeanne-Marie, you take over the festival and you do it your way.” And she does it the way young people do now. Not in one place, at one time, now they do the Avantgarde Festival in many places, in different times of the year. Small festival, everywhere, different times.
And as for the poem, it’s called “Harlekin”. Harlekin is a fool. She wrote this Dadaist poem and I know Keiji has translated it into Japanese. When we did this piece at B10 Live, he sang it in Japanese and I sang it in French. I think it’s a very good poem, Dada, and also Fluxus.
A: We like that poem, too.
J: Thank you. I will say that to Jeanne-Marie. I will transmit all these to Jeanne-Marie.
A: What do you think of your performances on 14th and 15th? On 14th it was faUSt with the guest Keiji Haino and on 15th it was Tomorrow Improvisation Unit.
Z: For the faUSt show, it was our style. We made a setlist, but the whole show was not really on the setlist. There were changes. It was a normal faUSt show. What we did in the US tour was nearly the same, but…
J: The same spirit.
Z: Yes. The show and the music is very different. No show is like the other one.
And for the 15th’s, I think it was Keiji Haino’s idea. Keiji wanted to play this as a band show and he gave signals to us when to play — not what to play, but when. He did it very explosively. I remember one time he was playing guitar softly, and suddenly “NOW!” (in a very loud voice) The spirit went to each musician so everybody was “BOOM!”. Explosions. He did it well. It is the first time I played when another person said, “Now you play. And now you stop.” This is the first time in my life for 50 years I’ve been doing it.
J: I have tried many times to tell Zappi, “It would be good if you were playing now.” And he said, “No, I play when I want to.” “It would be good if you would play this sort of…” “No! I play what I want!” Never. And I knew him for 50 years and I have tried many times. And here comes Keiji and says, “You play.” And Zappi…
Z: Yeah. It works. I can do it. Sometimes. (all laugh)
A: On the stage, when Keiji was pointing to you, you needed to react right away, especially when Jean-Hervé was doing the vocals. We are wondering how could you react so quickly?
J: Well, somehow we are professionals and it’s not the first time we do this. On the other hand, I like to tell stories very much. See, I have five children. So, in my life, I have told many many many stories and I like to tell stories. Maybe someday I should write stories or tell stories for children. Keiji knows that, too. He wanted to be some vocal and he wanted another one, because vocals are very important in music. It’s not about the words, not about what you are saying, but the frequency of your voice. It’s different from other instruments and it touches people. It touches them somewhere here (heart), not here (head).
Z: It’s a kind of direct instrument, directly into people’s hearts.J: So, for me it’s easy. Before I went on stage, I chose a subject in my mind. I chose a big toad being in love with a frog. And then, that’s it. And the rest is a story. It’s easy. It comes, it comes, it comes, it comes…
A: It’s interesting, although we don't understand much French.
J: It doesn't matter. It’s about the frequency, the phrase, the expression… Words don't matter.
A: Yes. You’ve mentioned that there has been not many audiences for faUSt in Germany since the beginning. Did you have any expectations or thoughts about your first live in China, as it’s a very different country?
Z: Yeah, it’s true in Germany there has been not much interest on our music since the beginning. I don't know why. Some people say it’s because it is music from our own land so it’s not so interesting as music from other nations. But I don't think so. Lots of German bands had success. I really don't know why. Nobody knows why. Maybe it’s because we were first produced in England. Maybe that’s the reason. We were in England and we were much bigger in England than in Germany in the first years.
About China… I don’t know what can be done in China. I don’t know the laws. Is it forbidden to make fire on stage? Or will it be easy? I don’t know. I know Japan. In Japan it’s OK. We can do what we want in Japan. There’s no problem. China is a bit another thing, so I didn't know it. But I was surprised it’s very free. I didn't expect that it is so free in China. I felt very free here.
J: I didn't have any expectation, because I knew nothing about China except what we heard in Europe about it. Of course we’ve heard all kinds of things about China. I’ve heardhere about your festival. You are inviting artists that are a bit progressive, a bit avant-garde, all these. So, um… there was a bit in my head: how far can we go and how much can we talk? Then I realized when we arrived here, as Zappi was saying, it was easy. You can talk with people. You can do all kinds of things, you know. I didn't see one policeman here who might arrest us saying, “Your papers, please.” And I didn't see anybody, “You don't say that or I’ll put you in jail!” This is the kind of thing and I apologize for this, but it’s real. This is what many people think of what China is that you are not supposed to talk, not supposed to do this. And we were — as Zappi was saying — very very surprised how free it is here. This is what we thought.
And also people are extremely friendly. In Germany or even in France, if you walk in the street and you see somebody you don't know and you just smile, people get suspicious. “What do you want?” Here in China, old people, young people, women, men, children… when I pass I like to smile, and I smiled to a lot of people, and they always, always smile back. Also when I first arrived, I wasn't sure where I’ve put my passport, money, or telephone, and very soon realized that I could leave my money here, my phone there, my jacket here… Always somebody would come and say, “Oh, you forgot your thing.”
This morning — that was why I went away very quickly — my phone. I had forgotten my phone. I asked a lady who spoke Chinese to call my phone, hoping somebody may pick it up. She called and immediately there was somebody saying,“Yes, I found the phone. Where do you want to go?” We said, “We live in the hotel here.”“OK. I’ll be there in two minutes.” I mean, you try to do that in Germany. Maybe you will get the phone back, and maybe you won’t. And if you leave a lot of money on the table or things…
Z: For 90% it’s gone.
A: It’s the same here, actually.
J: Is it?
A: You were lucky.
J: Oh, OK. You are destroying a dream!
J: But anyway, this is the impression I will keep.
A: Different cities, different cultures. Shenzhen is a very young city. It’s open.
J: Yeah, OK.
A: In the description of your band, we can often see “krautrock”. Although we’ve seen from some of your interviews that you don't like this definition, as promoters we sometimes just use it. Everybody is using it and they say you are the best of this kind of music or something like that. What do you think of this?
Z: I really don't know what “krautrock” is. It’s complicated for me to say which is krautrock and which isn’t. Many people say that music composed and played in Germany in the 70s was krautrock. But I don't think so. For example, people say Kraftwerk is krautrock, but their style of music is very different from ours. So why is this krautrock, and our music also krautrock? I don't know. I don't need this word, “krautrock”.
J: Yeah. It’s a bit of an insult. “Kraut” is the way the British people called the German people during the Second World War, you know, because in Germany we were supposed to eat a lot of sour cabbages, which was not true. It’s only true in south of Germany. But anyway, it’s a bit of an insult. That is why we don't like this. It’s like it would be an insult if we would say “slit-eye music” talking about Chinese music. It would be offensive. So, we try to take this with humor and we even made a song called “Krautrock”. You call us krautrock, OK, we are going to “krautrock” you! So, that’s the story about “krautrock”. I would prefer to call it experimental music. But “krautrock”, yes… And certainly it’s OK for the promoters to use “krautrock”, because it is something everybody understands in the press. So, it’s OK to call it “krautrock”. It’s not the best idea, but it’s OK. It’s totally OK.
Z: I’ve asked an Englishman what he thought is “krautrock”, and he thought it’s the music with a melody like a loop, and in this loop you make many noises, different noises. Maybe this is krautrock.
J: Do you know Tony Conrad? He passed. May his soul rest in peace. He was one of the people who created a genre of music called “minimalism”. He didn't discover it. Nobody discovers anything. It’s been here for millions of years. Minimalism exists everywhere, Mongolia, Inuit, in the between… because they didn't have many instruments but they have lots of time. They had to play something not to die out of boredom, and they didn't have many instruments, so it was very simple, minimal. But Tony Conrad, The Velvet Underground, John Cale and all those fancy people made it popular. So, in krautrock we also have some minimalism — this is what Zappi was saying, like very simple beats, “do-boom-do-doom, ku-chi-ka-doom-doom, ku-chi-ka-doom-doom…” Or may be one note, “Boom, boom, boom, boom…” So, it’s enough to trigger in you some emotion, and the rest is in your head — it’s you making the music, and we are just giving you trigger. Some of the musicians put whatever they want in the loops because it’s empty and you can put a lot in it. Yourself, and other musicians.
A: Do you think you are hippies?
J: I am.
Z: In the 60s I thought I was a hippie, but then in the middle of 70s, I thought I was not a hippie. Hippies are not really true.
Z: Hippies were lying in the 60s.
J: F**k you, man!
Z: Many hippies said, “I am so free! I can do whatever I want!” But in their minds it wasn't true.
J: Well, I forgive him. Because I’m a hippie and hippies are forgiving. He doesn't know what he was saying. He doesn't know about hippies.
M: I’m not a hippie, absolutely not.
J: So I’m the only one.
M: I definitely like hippies. But Jean-Hervé you are not a hippie.
J: I’ve got a hippie jacket. I’ve got a dog. I like to walk barefoot.
M: But you are more positive and more intelligent than a lot of hippies.
J: OK. OK.
Z: You don't have free love.
J: I’d love to have free love.
Z: You’d love to “had” free love.
J: OK. See, that’s why it is a very complicated question. So, most of the time when somebody asks questions to us here, I say yes, he says no, I say hello, he says bye-bye. And we are 50 years together.
A: That’s why you are together for so long.
A: Do you think your music has been influenced by the rock music of England and America in 60s?
J: Uh, no… Yes, influenced in way that we didn't want it. No. No. We are not influenced by English and American Rock 'n' Roll.
Z: When we were young, when we were 16 or so, maybe. For myself, I’m a little bit influenced by this kind of music, yes. Everybody was listening to The Rolling Stones. May be you were not…
J: No, no, no, but for party, for dancing, for having fun. As a human, yes, but as an artist, there is something different. When you go to the disco, you know, you want to dance, you want to have fun, you don't think about creating art. But as a musician… Of course I’ve listened to all kinds of Rock 'n' Roll and I admire them. I’m not saying so, you know. Gene Vincent, BB King and all those true ones… I’m not sure about Elvis Presley and all these… different stories.
Z: But we don't try to play this kind of music.
J: There are a couple of artists from those days, like David Bowie, man, he was a great guy! Respect. Or Frank Zappa, he made very intelligent Rock 'n' Roll. I am influenced. I think everybody in faUSt is influenced. Some artists, yes. But, to answer your question, no we are not influenced by the Angelo-American Rock 'n' Roll. Quite on the contrary, we decided to avoid their structure and their lyrics. Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, good. Good people.
A: Somebody said that rock music as an art form was already dead in the 70s and now the technology and internet is killing the imagination and talents of the musicians. Now all the music is for entertainment. What do you think of this?
J: Uh, there is something true in your question. That is interesting, yes. The means of producing music and sharing music has radically changed. Just like everything in life, there is yin and yang. There is the positive and there is the negative. The cold, the warm, etc.
The digital world has the danger that anybody can create music, which doesn't mean that these music will be interesting. But you can. You just go on a Bandcamp or whatever you call that, you hit a few things and then, “boom”, you’ve got a song! So this is possible. But is it good music? I’m not sure. On the other hand, artists who are really dedicated to music, who are conscious of their responsibilities… Artists have a responsibility towards their audience. It’s not only having fun. It’s about having responsibilities. You are sending messages. It’s like talking to children. If you say wrong things, they will believe you. So, make sure you don't send shit to people.
Digital means of production have enlarged the possibilities. You can create new sounds. There are more instruments at your disposition, and in a very small place — in your computer. You can have a flute. You can have a whole string orchestra. You can have the sound of the snow falling on the top of Himalaya if you need. It’s all possible. You have them all. It’s good. It’s not killing the imagination — if you are an artist, if you are a dedicated artist.
The internet, uh, sure, it is a danger for the artists, because everybody now can download our music for free. But it’s cool. That’s the way it is. Because they listen to our music. Maybe someday they will want to have the haptic. They will want to have the real thing in their fingers, see the real picture, you know, see the CD, the LP. You may have noticed there is a renaissance of the vinyls. In Europe, we sell much more vinyls than CDs. Like ten years ago, we only sold CDs, nobody wanted the LPs, “No, that’s old school. We don't want this.” Now it’s the contrary. Do you have this in China? Yes? So, it is a new thing.
And also the great thing is that we artists, like he is from France, he is from Austria, I live in Germany…. but we can exchange. I can exchange tracks with anybody in the world.
Z: But that’s a different feeling to play digitally. For example, you can record breaking a glass. You have it recorded in the keyboards and you push the keys and the sound comes out. But it is much more fun on stage. Take a real glass, take a microphone, and crush it on the floor. It’s more fun to play.
J: Yes. In general, reality is more touching than virtuality. Look at Facebook, you know. I have… I don't know, 6000 friends. I don't have 6000 friends. I’m happy if I have two friends in reality. My dog, my wife, my children, Zappi, Max, Fei…
Z: My car.
J: “My car and my tea…” (singing) So, you know what I am trying to say. Reality and virtuality. I’m sure we are going more and more towards virtuality. When I walk in the streets, everybody has a phone. They are walking together, but I have a phone, he has a phone. This is reality, but we are in virtuality. And I think that’s the future. And that’s bad. It’s going to nowhere.
A: We know that Maxime likes to play some strange instruments. Could you introduce a little bit about that?
M: Firstly, I play electronics and guitar on stage and I sometimes play hurdy-gurdy, sometimes with a little bit of effects. It’s an old instrument created 1300 years ago in the middle of France, but you can find some other versions in the east of Europe. It’s a sort of violin with a wheel on. And it creates some drone sounds with different strings, but you can make a melody with this instrument. It’s a very particular instrument because it sounds very traditional, but when you put microphone inside, you can have some imitation, like crying voices or shouting voices, sometimes like a violin, sometimes like noise. Hurdy-gurdy is very very special and typical, and I’m very happy to have broughtin this instrument with the music of faUSt.
J: It’s very new in faUSt. It’s a new spectrum of frequencies.
M: I’m a bit influenced by the violin of Tony Conrad. He played the violin like one tune but doing for one hour. With hurdy-gurdy, I can do the same. I have a long, long, long tune mixing different drones, different tonalities, different tunes… It’s a instrument with great possibilities.
A: You are the new member of faUSt.
M: Yes. I’m from France and I’m a visual artist. I’m also a painter and I make some sound installations. I’m a musician. When I was young I listened to a lot of Rock 'n' Roll, krautrock, faUSt, Tony Conrad, Japanese and American music. I met Jean-Hervé and Zappi in 2007. After a few years, in 2010, they proposed me to play in events and concerts.
J: Maxime played at the Avantgarde Festival. This is where we met, actually. And then I discovered he came to help to prepare the festival, like volunteers. He was the Avantgarde Festival’s “slave” at first. And then he said he also plays music and started to play music with toys and noise, and I discovered, “Hey, this guy is an artist!” And also making some visuals, and… So, our friendship grew and went deeper and deeper, and we invited him to play with us, which is great because of the hurdy-gurdy, of the visuals, his strength…
M: I’m a good worker and they smelled it.
Z: And I like it when they two are speaking French and I don't understand anything.
J: That’s the best communication.
A: We come to the last question: what’s your impression on Tomorrow Festival?
J: What I can say about Tomorrow Festival is, “Thumbs up! Up! Up! Up!” It’s great, great, great! Please don't stop doing it and try to keep it this way, not to make it bigger, which in my opinion would be a mistake. The way it is now seems to be very perfect. It’s efficient and technically perfect, and it’s still in team. It’s still family. It’s perfect. I can only repeat, “Thank you! Thank you!”
Z: I like that no more than two bands are playing in one night. I hated it when I was in another festival where there were several bands in one night. It was too many. So it’s easy.
A: Thank you. We will keep on doing this.
 Table of the Elements: An American label founded by music producer and graphic designer Jeff Hunt in 1993.
 Avantgarde Festival: The Avantgarde Festival takes place in Schiphorst, Germany. It was founded and curated by Jean-Hervé along with his family and the current curator is his daughter Jeanne-Marie.
文本信息 Text Information
来源 Source：采访录音 Recording of the interview
编辑 & 翻译 Editing & Translating：尹思卜 Midori Yin
校对 Proofreading：李桐慧 Anla Lee，陈力思 Johannes Dan
特别鸣谢 Special Thanks：杨波 Yang Bo