Girls Under Glass

Interview with Axel Ermes by David Richards

Lets start with Nightmares, which is a US only release (any plans to release it in Europe?) What was the idea behind this collection, seeing as you had already released Firewalker last year here? You do a cover of Halloween, and have done other covers (like Down in the Park, ), how do you pick the songs to cover?

We don't know anything about plans to release Nightmares in Europe. the collection was done to give a kind of overview of our previous work to the US market. Of course 12 years are not easy to be put on 1 cd but we think the collection is well done.
We pick the cover versions mostly because we like the original songs and think that we could add some spirit of GUG to them. In the case of Halloween it was a suggestion of VANRICHTER, and we also thought this would be a nice idea.

GUG is descendant from an early German goth band, and the label goth seems to have followed GUG even though the band is more electronic and danceable at times. How do you feel about that term and how would you describe your music?

Goth, electro, wave, industrial. We don't really like this idea of clear definitions what kind of music we make. This feels a bit like signing a contract : okay, you are a goth-band, so you have to wear black clothes and write dark songs. Don't smile, goths don't like that!!! We always did what we wanted to do and in the last 12 years our fans had to listen to many different styles. But the most important thing for us is that WE like what we do... "we don't care, we don't give a fuck" (from the song WE DON'T CARE)

The line-up if GUG has changed a lot over the years and is, to be honest, confusing. Who has been the core of the band?

The main members of GUG have always been Volker Zacharias and Hauke Harms. Since 1988 also Axel Ermes is in the band. All other members come and go. At the moment we have a very good live-band, where e.g. Rudi Naomi (ex-KMFDM) is drumming. Lacasa del Cid (ex-AURORA SUTRA) does the acoustic guitars.

Tell me a little about all the side projects and what their purpose is.

TRAUMA is a project to focus on the more atmospheric and slow songs. NEUSTART concentrates on german lyrics and KRAFTWERK type music. It is pure electronic without any guitars or stuff like that. KILLED.BY.FRIENDLY.FIRE is also pure electronic, but very aggressive and more in the tradition of DIVE, SUICIDE COMMANDO. THE CASSANDRA COMPLEX is not really a sideproject, because this band exists longer than GUG but Volker & Axel played many concerts with them in the last 7 years. TRAUM-B is a kind of GOA-act. very psychedelic, trancemusic...

What is your impression of the US Music scene now, do you think there is room for GUG? What do you hope to accomplish over here?

We don't have any idea of what's going on in the USA. We don't care if there is room for us. But if there is enough room for aliens or mexicans why shouldn't there be room for us...? We will see...

Do you plan to tour at all in the States?

We would like to... but this is very expensive. Most americans don't know where Germany is and that there is no more Kaiser. "Yes, we have over here (hey you stupid idiots : WE INVENTED THEM !!!)" and it costs a bit to bring band and crew to the States. If anybody gives enough money we will come to tour the States...

What can we look forward to from GUG in the near future?

At the moment GUG are planning a concert on top of the Eiffel tower in Paris (France), but it is very complicated to deal with the french government because they do not speak german or english...just french. we will see...