Girls Under Glass

Interview with Volker Zacharias by Markus Pan

Who are current members of Girls Under Glass and what roles does each perform?

Volker is the singer, guitar player and main songwriter, Axel plays guitars and produces, Hauke is the electronic expert and is doing the mixing

Describe some of the creative techniques used to achieve specific aspects of Girls Under Glass recordings

Hauke found his own midi-to-data-converter, called the Mac Harms-16. In the german high-tech-press this thing was announced as the best of its type. So people from Die Krupps, Klaus Schulze and other VIP-musiscians bought this. Hauke is a real crack.
Apart from that we use very normal equipment. We own more than 25 synthesizers (old analog stuff as moog) and lots of new shit. We use special-built guitars (Sirius guitars and basses, I have 2 unique special versions of a sirius guitar and a sirius alien slam bass). You might remember Sasha Konietzkos (KMFDM) machine-gun-bass. That was also a sirius. And G|nther from Ministry plays a Sirius as well. But everybody has his own very unique model.

Describe some of the processes involved in composing and evolving soundscapes

We press a button on the synth and like virtual magic a sound comes out of the machine. Its that simple. And we try out several sounds until we have one that we like. That's it. The whole song and the voice makes the atmosphere and the soundscape. Its a natural thing. It's just a 1:1 copy of our emotion played by instruments and packed together in a nice 4 minutes song.

What images illustrate your visions of a "New Dark Age?"

I don't have a "new dark age" vision!! I have a vision of my private future and that is looking pretty much positive.

How do environmental and social stimuli of Florida influence the developments of Girls Under Glass compositions?

WHAT? I have never been to Florida. If you want to invite me let me know. I will come. Great idea. It will have a big influence on the next record then I bet.

What changes in the music industry have caught your attention most during the '90s?

Things became more and more professionel and better organized. For us nothing changed music-industry wise because we always stayed with small indpendent labels instead of changing to major companies. The so called independents became much more influencial and professional. So these days any tiny label can do a no.1 hit in Germany. Thats justice, or what?

When not completely focused upon Girls Under Glass, what do you do to support yourself?

I play music with Trauma (that's definitely dark!!!) and Cassandra Complex. Apart from that I work for the music industry and do marketing for bands.

In what ways will Girls Under Glass live performances differ from its recordings?

Its much more agressive and loaded with emotions. And we decide about the loudness, not the customer. That's a good thing because I think sometimes you have to feel music physically to leave a certain impression. That's cool. We still love to play!

Please describe the themes employed on recordings by Girls Under Glass

Most of the lyrics are very personal. It's like a self-therapy for me. In the earlier years I was less concentrating on myself and therefore I reflected more social stuff. Every thing that pissed me of was written down on a paper and I used for the music. Nowadays I reflect more things that are in my head, in my heart. So lyrics become more personal. It can be about love, about loosing somebody, about inner-balance, about feelings, thoughts, experiences...anything...the mind is an unlimited creative pool.

What would you like to accomplish through Girls Under Glass into the dawning of the new millennium?

What happens happens.

What other recordings, outside of Girls Under Glass, have been released by its band members? What other side projects are currently being developed?

As I said before me and Hauke are Trauma, Axel is playing with a Wolfsheim-guy and they have their band called Neustart. Axel is also sound-enigneeer for bands like VNV Nation, Covenant. So we are all more or less deeply involved in other bands and generally in music. Yes, and of course I am playing guitar for Cassandra Complex since 1990 and we just finished a new album called "Wetware".

What will you entitle the next release by Girls Under Glass and when will it be available? Who will be distributing your next releases?

I have no idea. First of all we release a new EP in the states via Van Richter called "Frozen"...yes the Madonna song!, which is our US-label. And Van Richter still thinks about releasing the latest album "Equilibrium" in the states as well. Hopefully that happens sometimes in 2000. Meanwhile we will work on a new album that might be ready in the late autumn this year and after that we will see....

Any re-mixes from previous releases?

They are on the "Frozen" EP!

Where else might readers find releases by Girls Under Glass available for purchase?

In Germany! And of course you will can find nearly anything you look for in the net. Thats the way the music business will develop. Tracks on command, Internet label, MP3 charts and so on. We are already there...through the Van Richter website So go there and they will organize anything for you you wish to have.

What are you looking for now in terms of new musical influences?

We influence mostly ourselves these days. Everybody has made more than 20 records with several bands in his life so the question of new terms is just a question of progression. We can't decide about this before we just do it. Of course we try to make a masterpiece of record. But who knows... we just have to start at the right time, with the right people and right ideas. And nobody can plan this. It's just there and than you have to take the chance.

Which shows have you seen during the past year that impressed you the most?

Nine Inch Nails in Berlin was great, Skunk Anansie was awsome, Tea Party was great as well... hm I think thats about it. That were the killers of the year.

Looking back, what mile-stones have been most notable for Girls Under Glass?

Every record is a milestone on its own. Many good things and many bad things happend since 1986, but there is nothing that impressed us

What particular interests might you explore along the route of this next tour, if opportunity permits?

No idea.

What new opportunities would you seek and develop to advance the music of Girls Under Glass?

We work with different guest musicians and had very good experiences with working that kind of way. That's our way to get fresh impulses and influences in our music. Therefore we never needed a producer. Every GUG-album is 100% our own baby, from songwriting to production an mixing. We will introduce some new people we will work together with for the next record. It will be a bit more acoustic again (less electronic). We might use some tribal instruments (african drums) and we will work with real violins. That will give new aspects to our normal electronic-based sound.

What changes have been made in Girls Under Glass during the last year?

Last year we only gave four concerts. The only change was that for the first time we were seven people on stage, because we wanted to have a real big, huge sound. It was good. So we got a new band-feeling. Thats why we will integrate more other musicians for the next record.

What songs have been in development since last year?


Considering other musicians with which you have performed in the past, what experiences seem most memorable for you and what have you been able to draw out of those experiences and into Girls Under Glass?

See above mentioned answers.

Where will you be traveling during the course of your next tour?

No idea. We don't do the booking. We prefer to concentrate on bigger festivals than playing one club show after the other. For 2000 we have no concert plans at all.

What gear are you using to develop music for Girls Under Glass?

I mentioned it before.

Which musicians have won your admiration in the music industry and why?


Besides performing live from one gig and tour to the next, what other forms of media will Girls Under Glass explore in the future? And, if applicable, have you already begun to explore beyond the routines of 'record & perform'?

No idea.

What new goals will you focus upon now?

No idea. We just do another record and see how it is. Hopefully it will be the best one.

What more would you like to share with our readers?

Sorry, I think you had enough questions. I am getting a bit tired and I think I said enough.

How can music enthusiasts best contact Girls Under Glass for more information?

They should send a mail to: Van Richter does a great job answering all communications for us. Also visit their website at for all GUG information and updates.