Girls Under Glass

by Squid

Give me a brief explanation of who you are.

We are a german band that was founded february 86 as a 3 piece band by Hauke Harms, Tom L|cke and Volker Zacharias. Singer Tom L|cke left the band after 2 records, so Volker became singer. We invited Cancer Barrack bass-player Axel Ermes to join in the band, so he did. We started as a very dark electro goth wave- something band and now we are a very dark electro goth wave- something-band. Hard to tell. We have so many different influences and interests that all records are quite a bit different. The last official album "Firewalker" for example was much harder and very electro-metal-industrial orientated (a bit comparible to KMFDM, we already worked together with 10 years ago).

What does the name of the band mean? You are, you're a bunch of guys.

It doesn't have a meaning. It's just a good name with a floating sound.

How would you describe the music that you play?

See first question

You've been around since 1986. How do you feel you've music has developed since then. How has it stayed the same?

We tried to create new albums and new music with every album. We never wanted to do something twice. Thats we we had just a weird development. GUG never stood for a certain sound. In the beginning we were totally goth, later we were called Electro-Wave-Pop-Band, then we were very much attracting to the industrial metal scene and now, with the last official german release "Equilibrium" we were going back to the roots again, because having new progressive influences in your music automatically means to work with loops, breakbeats etc. and we don't like that at all. By now I totally say that 80's music is much better, because there are just better songs. The production therefor was very simple and poppy, but those melodies....WOW! When I remember stuff like Gary Numan (I totally adore!!!), Human League, Depeche Mode and also guitar stuff like Dance Society, Play Dead etc. I must say I very much appreciate this kind of sound. These days I like all bands that are obviously influenced by the 80's as well, such as Paradise Lost, Massive Attack, still Depeche Mode, Type o Negative etc.

What do you feel you've contributed to the Industrial music scene?

Nothing, to be honest, thats why we think that we are much stronger in getting 80's wave combined with other aspects of music. In Germany GUG stands totally for its own kind of music. For the last 10 years nobody ever compared us with other bands but just with our own development and our own other stuff. Thats cool.

Is there a theme to your music?

Not really. It really depends on my mood I am in when we do a record. In between 13 years many things change, I growed up of course and don't sing ever and ever about the same stuff. Equilibrium is mostly about love and desire.

Why did you choose Nightmares as the title of this best of album? How do you view nightmares?

We didn't choose neither the name nor the artwork. It's Van Richters thing. He asked for ceratin songs, compiled the songs and everything else. We have to trust him that these songs are giving the best impression of GUG to the american kids. We just can't take care about whats going on 5,000 miles away from our home territory.
I think Van Richter knows what he's doing. When I got through the compilation a couple of weeks ago I was getting a bit proud again, because I recognized again that we are doing very cool music now for more than 13 years. There is lots of very good stuff on Nightmares and I think it gives you a good impression about the band.

How often (if ever) do you suffer (if you call it that) from Nightmares?

If you don't mean the record (he,he..) I haven't had Nightmares since my childhood. I still remember that dreams that were, in a way, very erotic. There was an old but very good lucking lady trying to kill me by strangling me. I had this dream for years and years and later when I grow up I started to like that dream , so suddenly it disappeared and never came back. Hm... weird shit!

You do a lot of covers. What do you feel is the purpose of the cover song? Are you trying to expand, or improve the songs you cover, or is it merely meant as a tribute? Have you ever gotten any reaction from the original performers?

Yeah, I was hanging around together with Gary Numan last year for a couple of days because I was doing the marketing & promotion of his last album. At some point I told him that I am the singer of Girls Under Glass. I was very much astonished when he told me that he knows us and likes us quite well. His fans in England sent him many GUG releases, because we were the first band that released an Numan cover. Still today lots of people think that this is the best Numan cover existing. I must say, I also like Mansons version of Down In The Park. Anyway: With the cover versions, mainly from the 80's bands we want to show our roots and how these roots are sounding in between other songs on a record. You hardly can seperate or feel the difference between our cover versions and the rest of the songs, because we try to give these songs maximum GUG influence and sound. Thats lots of fun. For us it is a way to show our respect to these bands.

What do you feel the listener should take away with them after listening to your album?

It depends on the album. I would be glad if the listener has a certain feeling after listening to our album. I hope that our music influences him in a positive way. And I hope very much that it touches his/her heart as it touches my heart. Because the songs on Nightmares are from different albums it will be hard to get a listener into that, because the stuff is too different. It works better with one album, because most of our albums have a special energy and mood.

This album is your first to be domestically released in North America. How come you've waited this long?

It's our second one. The last one "Firewalker" was released through Nuclear Blast/Caroline Records but to be honest, I doubt that they did a good job in the states, so you might haven't heard of this. Before we changed to Nuclear Blast we were on a very small indie-label that had the world-wide rights, but no contacts at all in any other territories. Thats why we changed the label. Now this is sorted out and I hope that from now on our records will be available in the states as well.

I'm assuming that you're a big fan of the movie Halloween. What is it about that movie that makes it stand out to you?

I am NOT a big fan of halloween and I don't think that it is outstanding in any way. Sorry, Horror films are not really my thing. There is some cool stuff, but Carpenter is only good enough for teenie-shockers. When I was a kid I found the film frightening. Nowaydays I can laugh about it. There are tons of better films on the market than any Carpenter-teenie-shocker. I hope you are not too disappointed. One of the best films of this year is "Matrix". I am more into that kind of action combined with a dark ambience. It's just MY film!!! And the best bands of 99 are "Filter" and "Tea Party". Now you know everything, don't you?