Girls Under Glass

by Tony

Tell about the history of Girls Under Glass

Ok we present to you the long chronology of the band:
1986 Girls Under Glass were founded by Thomas Lcke (singer), Hauke Harms (electronics & keyboards) and Zaphor aka Volker Zacharias (guitars)
1987 first record was recorded: HUMUS For this record Dr. Fluch joined the band and played the bass guitar.
1989 Girls Under Glass supported bands such as Fields Of The Nephilim, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and were just big stars in the german gothic-wave-scene.
1989 FLOWERS (second album was recorded). Members: Thomas Lcke (vocals) Zaphor (guitars) Hauke Harms (keyboards), Axel Ermes (bassplayer). Axel joined the band and was integrated into the real band-line up.
1990 Main singer Thomas Lcke left the band and Zaphor take over the singers part. Rodney Orpheus of THE CASSANDRA COMPLEX produced the third GUG album called "Positive" and started a friendship with Zaphor. PROJECT PITCHFORK were playing their first gigs as support band for the Positive-tour.
1992 DARIUS the 4th album was recorded. This is the first record recorded with a real drummer (Marcus Giltes, ex PINK TURNS BLUE). As a new guitar player Girls Under Glass welcomed Raj Sen Gupta.
1993 CHRISTUS was recorded, also with Raj Sen Gupta plus Markus Giltjes. For the following tour Raj left the band and Girls Under Glass were working with Robert Wilcocks of SLEEPING DOGS WAKE & COBALT 60.
1995 CRYSTALS & STONES was recorded as a trio again (Zaphor, Axel, Hauke). The band recorded this record in their new own studio. Die Krupps did a remix of Die Zeit, which became another big club hit in Germany).
1997 FIREWALKER was recorded. The hardest record GUG did ever. Totally inspired by the american industrial metal & electro music scene such as NIN, KMFDM, Stabbing Westward, Gravity Kills etc. Girls asked ex KMFDM drummer Rudi Naomi to join the band for the tour.
1999 The classic NIGHMARES and the first ever signing to a U.S. label...the Mighty VAN RICHTER RECORDS out of California. Contained the "Halloween" theme soundtrack by John Carpenter (U.S. club hit), plus new tracks, unreleased tracks, and remastered hits out of print or only available on import. The best representation of GUG to date in one package.
2000-1 The upcoming FROZEN release with the Madonna cover version plus new tracks,a duet with WOLFSHEIM and a remix by DAS ICH. One of our best efforts to date!

How do you feel you fit in with the scene as it currently stands?

We were the band that brought the public WOLFSHEIM among others yet we remain only with a cult underground status. Yet we make better records that have better production and accessability than NIN! After 14 years we continue to pay our dues even though labels like Van Richter do a good job marketing and promoting the end of the day music fans need to go out and buy the records. Unfortunately cold hard economics dictate everything in the music business. So to answer your question...maybe the greatest unknown godfather band for the genre!

I notice that KMFDM have remixed a couple of your tracks, your earlier music sounds more Goth to me, do you feel that you are more Industrial now?

At that time we had a different singer so our sound was different and compared to Sisters of Mercy and the many clone sounding gothic bands out there. With Volker taking over the vocals it clearly gave GUG their own sound that no one has been able to copy or even describe. So I wouldn't say we are so much more industrial than gothic but more of a progession of our own orginal sound.

Where do you feel you will going in the future musically wise?

We have gone back to our more melodic roots with our latest material. However all our songs are written and based on real life experiences. feelings and emotions so we can not predict the future. There is however great continuity within the GUG trio these days. We still also enjoy putting the GUG stamp on cover versions we are interested in.

Who are your main influences?

We are influenced more by 80's stuff. I mean, I can name you hundreds of bands I totally like and many new releases I think they are great. But they don't have any influence on our GUG stuff. Our musical roots are electronic bands of the early 80's such as Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, John Foxx, Simple Minds. But we also liked guitar-wave stuff like Play Dead, Dance Society, X Mal Deutschland, Cocteau Twins and that kind of stuff.

How do you like to come across politically? Is there anything that really drives you lyrically, for inspiration?

Every album has another story and of course in the last 14 years all members changed a lot, got much more experience with different things and influenced the albums in their certain way. Of course every album bases on a collaborational work. Every member has his special strength. Volker's big thing is writing melodies and arranging stuff.
They are very personal things and reflect his personal ideas on every theme you can imagine. Death, love, intrigues, politics, pain, peace, sex, me , us , them....
Hauke is very good in mixing the songs, while Axel is the main man for the production and for the sound-details in between the songs. Because of that seperation everybody had his free space to be very creative. Of course sometimes Volker's first idea of a song is different from the result and far away what he wanted to express, but very often we are positively astonished how much more potential came out after Hauke and Axel worked on the ideas. That works very well and I would say thats the secret why we still go on after 10 albums. We are not tired of doing music and creating things together. It's still a good feeling.

How would you promote yourself to say someone who's never heard of you before? Unbelievably I have a few friends who haven't heard of you.

We combine 80's wave music (inspired mostly by Gary Numan) with Gothic, Electronic Music plus guitars that are sometimes rocking, sometimes moshing, sometimes 80's inspired as well. Its very hard to give GUG a certain image or tell anybody what GUG sounds like. That means, its hard to compare GUG with any other bands. That was the case even when we started middle of the 80's, because there were hardly any German bands with that kind of sound at all. Because there were no other bands and we sounded very miserable. Journalists tried to compare us with Sisters Of Mercy (the only band they knew). That was totally wrong of course. Would you compare us with Sisters? It's a joke. It's miles away from the Sisters-sound (especially now). I think GUG gives new aspects into the whole wave and gothic-genre and opens frontiers between different scenes. We ourselves ar very open minded people and we don't want to put into a classical music-type-or-style-roster. And I think we do this with success because we are still very hard to compare with other bands.

What's your favourite drink?

German beer of course! We make the best beer in the world! Every town in Germany has its own special fresh beer.


Neuvelle cuisine

Have you anything else you would like to say?

Thank you for your kind interview. We hope to play in the U.K. sometime soon ...if people will support the scene there.