As we promised months ago,finally we share my interview to the hard rock&roll band ROCQUETTE.
Members of the group are gently answered to my questions and now you can read everything! This is the original version of the interview in english language for the people that follow us on foreign countries;later we’ll share an italian version of the interview, for our italian followers.
Thanks to the entire members of the band and to the abwesend management, that make this possible.
AUDIOFOLLIA music site-Rocquette interview
1/Hello to everyone! Your music is so fresh and exciting.You seem to continue the great
tradition of catchy hard rock&roll, but with a personal mood. What are the biggest
influences in your music?
Mel: Hi there! Thanks, we’re always happy when our music gets positive response. I
think there are influences from various genres, that´s what makes Rocquette a good
mixture of many different sounds which all of us band members like. There´s
Hardrock, Blues, Classic Rock, a bit Glam Rock or Pop or even sometimes Country.
If you listen through our albums, you might discover different influences at different
parts. That´s what makes it a good mixture in my opinion – as I always like to say,
there´s something in it for everyone!
2/Please, could you tell to “Audiofollia”readers a short story of your band
and the origin of your name?
Mel: In the early days, I was looking for a guitar player for my former band and that
was how I met Tom. We were already playing together but the old band transformed
because of the members who changed, so we decided to kick off a new band with a
new name – and it should describe the music we were doing, like including “Rock” in
some way, but also at the same time sound nice, catchy and melodic, maybe even a
bit feminine, given the female lead singer. In January 2005 we performed the first
show with a new brand and name: Rocquette.
3/Tell me about your new single”Pirates go”
Mel: I have family in South Africa, and it turned out that my cousin from Durban is not
only a damn good Rugby player, but currently playing for our local Rugby Team in
Austria. After attending one of the games, we loved the sport as well as the team! So
we decided to support the “Pirates” of the Rugby Club Donau Wien with a fresh,
original and catchy theme song. With some ideas for the lyrics and a little input by the
team – not only with specific phrases but also a fantastic and funny stomp and clap
session – we are now proud to present our new single “Go Pirates”. For us, it brings
along the motivation and excitement of a live Rugby game. We´ve put into sound
what we feel during the experience of watching our team on the field. It was such an
honor for us when it was played in public for the first time ever, over the stereo of the
stadium when the Pirates had just won the finals and were celebrated as the master!
Thore: There are some really good rocking guys in the fighting team from all around the
world, and we think it’s a good thing to gain some attraction for them and Rugby sports in
Austria in general.
4/And now I’d like to know something about”Superclean”,your recent acoustic ep
Thore: “Superclean“ is a nice production. Very, very spontanious and dynamic… Mel, Tom
and me had to prepare an acoustic show and decided to quickly record some of the songs.
Simple but not cheap… we wanted to catch the livelyness and roughness of a live set and
keep it throughout the whole recording and mixing process. Thanks to Tom’s skills as
sound engineer this did work out fine. And experimental in it’s way… for example: for the
song “Mhmmmargarita“ we wanted some four on the floor kick but didn’t want to use the
common bass drum from the set. So after two hours of trial and error we ended up with
me kicking a hardware case from the drum set. There even were some stands left in it
which produced that funny jingling noise you can hear on every kick, if you listen carefully.
Then after a couple of days Mel came along with thelyrics for “Smile“. After arranging the
song it was clear that this one got potential for a new single and we had to put it on the
EP. It just fits perfect and with it’s homemade Video we have completed the release of
Mel: Right, “Superclean” is the first acoustic recording that we did. Our fans and
friends kept asking us for some acoustic shows and recordings, and Tom had this
idea of a bonfire show in familiar atmosphere on his mind for quite some time. We
used our rehearsal room, which is at the same time our home recording studio, and
recorded the songs live. That was a great experience, because there is a different
kind of flow and spirit in it while performing all together in the same room and not
everybody on his/her own, one after the other. I think that way it´s much more fun! Of
course it can also be harder, everyone looks at youif you make a mistake… You
don´t only mess up your own but everyones take haha. I really liked the group
dynamics. It was also very interesting to interpret our songs in a new way, without the
huge rock´n´roll wall behind us. The fiddle was a wonderful addition too. And with
“Smile” we created a completely new version of us, thanks to Tom who planted the
catchy tune into our ears.
5/Is there a live situation that you prefer to another?
Thore: Not really, no. Playing a concert or at least in front of some people is one of the
best parts of being a musician. Good clean fun and exciting! The basic thing is to catch and convince the listeners no matter if it’s a big openair stage or a small pub. It’s a job as well and sometimes exhausting, especially when the stage sound is crap due to insufficiant or wrong monitoring for example.
Mel: Exactly, the cool thing is, even the smallest venue can turn into the hottest party.
I love to perform on stage, especially when I´m surrounded by people who enjoy it as
much as I do, singing along or dancing in front – or even ON – stage with me. I guess
it´s the same with you guys? No matter if it´s a tiny beer pub or a huge festival stage
– the only thing that matters is people having fun!
6/What is the song that you think can resume your sound, philosophy and style?
Mel: When you listen through our playlist, you will realize that there are many
different moods and feelings. It´s hard to name just one song that could characterize
Rocquette, because our music is very diverse. Let´s try it that way: If you want a hard
rock ballad, “Take a walk outside your mind” is good example. An up-tempo, footstomping tune with an important message is “Our fists against the dirty biz”. “Nothing
but Rock´n´Roll” is one of the songs you can jump and scream and workout in heavy
style. And our all-time-favorite is definitely “Mhmmmargarita”!
7/What do you think of the modern music scene and industry, in general?
Thore: Wow, difficult question. I think the scene is as lively as ever, no matter what kind of
music you are looking at. But the industry hasn’t got the potential to support all these
great musicians and projects. There is too much free music available for the audience and
the common listener of course is using free or at least cheap download and streaming
services as long as this is offered. Creating a good and unique song takes hours, sometimes days of work. Not to talk about costs for studio, promotion maybe or just to save the
rights. If you take a look at all this effort it’s simply not fair to get 0,00something cent per
Mel: I believe we now have a great advantage with the internet, so it is easy to reach
people and find fans all over the world. It is very important to us to make international
music, so the internet is very important for us. Ofcourse, as Thore mentioned, there
is many other music out there as well, and you need to stand out in some way,
otherwise your little creation is just missed between all the other stuff. The industry
has changed a lot in the past, and it feels like it´s changing all the time. I wouldn´t say
it is better or worse, it just means you need to bevery flexible and take risks and
efforts if you want to play your part in it as a musician. I personally want to add some
positive, motivating and thought-provoking pieces to the market, most importantly
some that are enjoyable and make people happy. I have my difficulties with negative
music, so I want some uplifting stuff for myself, and as it seems there are quite some
people out there who like that too!
8/I think that your music is full of passion and fun,but also with some introspective
moments.I’d like to know the arguments of your lyrics much better now:do you refer to
personal thoughts,imagination or what else?
Mel: The lyrics are mainly personal thoughts and experiences, yes. However, some
are born by imagination (like Jelly Baby for example!), and some are based on
someone else´s stories – for example “Wake Up (Voices of Fukushima)”, which is the
theme song of Show Udajimas book, where he interviewed Fukushima residents as
well as those who decided to leave the town. There are topics that are very important
to me, so I transform them into songs. I´m very grateful if a message then travels
through the world and someone from a foreign country gets back to me saying (s)he
feels or thinks the same. Stories are fun as well, but they can´t give you the same
experience. People also interpret lyrics differently. It´s so cool if you talk to people
and they find their own meaning in a song!
9/Hypotesis:a young band inspired by Rocquette wants to start a career….there are some
suggestions you must tell to these young kids?
Thore: If hopefully you already have a piece of a plan, stick to it! Set yourself goals and try
to get there in small steps. Divide the whole work,for example the web presentation, into
several projects. 1) recording a couple of songs, 2) foto shooting, 3) put it all together on a
facebook page (which will then be finished in 2 days). Don’t think too complicated and
don’t wait for anything or anybody. Then, stay in contact with your fans, and try hard to
gain new ones. Be polite to business guys, because you never know! And most important:
be and remain yourself and have fun with what you are doing! I think this should do for a
Mel: Thore´s right when he says, don´t wait for anyone! Follow your ideas, even if
they seem crazy and out of reach. Think out of the box, try new things every day, and
start over when you fail or get stuck. That´s the only way to go! If music makes you
happy, make music! And I would really love to meet those little or big persons one
day, maybe even on stage!
Tom: My one and only suggestion: Don’t give a f*** of what critics, A&Rs or others
say. Always keep doing what you love. Bands like ACDC or Iron Maiden have had
bad critics all the time. Don’t let them get to you.
10/Is there something you like to do when the bandis in pause,or your life is totally
absorbed by music?
Thore: Yes, to me it’s the “or“. I usually get pretty nervous when there’s nothing to play in
Andreas: I’m in the lucky position that I can study drums in Vienna so these 3 months will be filled with a lot of Jazz music. When everything works out fine I will graduate my studies in the end of January, which will be the same time where the band will reunite again, and I’m really looking forward to play ROCK again : )
Mel: Well there is a lot of music, either active or blasting from my speakers or TV or
at live concerts that we attend. Tom and me were invited to perform at the Art Party
in Sydney recently, where we met fascinating and amazingly creative artists. It was a
very diverse and colorful night, and it was a real pleasure for us being involved!
Besides music… We´ve got a sweet little dog called “Punica” which I miss incredibly
in the moment because I couldn´t bring her with me to Australia, as well as Uta, the
Noriker horse I use to ride, and also our motorbikes had to stay behind for the time
being. Instead of the snowboarding I might try myself in surfing on the weekend, and
today I tried Parcour for the first time, which is really really cool! I love nature and
animals but also books and socializing. Sometimes a silent moment can be very
enjoyable too. However, I also don´t want to miss out on the shows, it´s just too much
fun on stage with the boys ☺
11/How does it work, the composition process of your songs?
Mel: Usually I come up with some lyrics or a melodyfirst, or someone plays a very
cool riff or rhythm that gives inspiration for a new tune. Then we sit together and think
about the structure and arrangement (if not alreadydone during the first process) and
record a pilot track. At that stage, a lot of changes might occur. Everyone takes the
raw record home and comes back with constructive criticism. When we know where
we want the song to go, we start recording, and there might still be many changes
and reconstruction going on. Everyone in the band is very determined to produce a
perfect piece of art and we take everything we do very seriously, with the aim of
having fun with it and giving this fun back to the people at the concerts and the CDs
12/Use your imagination: you’ve got a time machineand you can go to an old decade of
rock&roll….Is there a year,an old mythical place that you would like to visit or some
inactive band of the past that you want to play with?
Thore: First stop 1957…I love the R’n’R music of the 50ies and early 60ies. Second stop
1975… Manhattan, New York, CBGB Club, almost every better known Punk Band did
perform there (Ramones, Patti Smith, The Stooges, …). Next stop 1984…I would like to
have a live set with David Bowie. 1995… having lunch with Dave Grohl and try to convince
him to travel to Berlin with me on June 21st 2002. The day “Die Ärzte“ did their 20th
anniversary concert in Kreuzberg
Andreas: …Two Words: PHIL COLLINS!!!
Tom: I would go back to the original Woodstock justto see Joe Cocker perform “With
a little help of my friends”. Or maybe only some years back just to see Gary Moore
live in concert…
Mel: I would at first want to watch Bon Scott perform with AC/DC! And there would be
many other concerts I would attend – I don´t even know which one first. I might join
Thore and Tom ☺However, I feel like there´s a really fantastic live music period
happening in the moment, we just bought tickets to watch four more shows and I´m
thinking of adding some more – so currently I´m actually pretty fine in our time!
13/Do you prefer to play a lot live or the studio creativity? Or is just the same for you(”two
sides of the same coin”like we used to say)??
Thore: No it’s not the same. Rather totally different, I would say. On stage you don’t have
the time to think about what you are playing. And interaction with the audience is in the
focus. Whereas studio work means a lot of reflecting about the lines you play and why and
how you play them in a certain part of the song. Not always. Sometimes we just let it flow
and we find it perfect. And if we still like it twodays later, it is perfect.
Mel: I love performing live, and the magic of the moment and experience with people
around – to me, this is the best ever. Recording can be tough sometimes, but I enjoy
most of it, especially the moment when a new recordis released, it is a great
experience every time.
Tom: I also think it’s a completely different situation. When you’re playing a live show,
it’s all about the moment. It’s about transporting and amplifying emotions and energy
to the audience. No one will hear that particular performance again, so it’s all about
the “now”. When you go to the studio, it suddenly changes. When you’re at the
studio, everything changes. It’s not anymore just about transporting energy and
emotions, it’s about doing so every single time the listener pushes the play button. It’s
all about to create a product that will satisfy the listener over and over. I would never
say that I prefer studio work over a good live show, but to be honest, the relief to
finish a record after 1 Year of work, having it out there and then even seeing fans
enjoying it… Man, I could do that every day.
14/Fast and direct for the people that don’t know your music:three reasons to see
Rocquette in concert!
Thore: Absolutely great singer, sensational guitar work, ultra tight rhythm section.
Mel: If you like partying, loud guitars and drums as well as good mood, you should
definitely give us a try! Just don´t come if you are looking for a relaxing, chit-chatty
tea-party kind of entertainment. You might be blown away!
15/Thanks for your patience and kindness…. Before you go, is there something
you want to say to italian fans?
Thore: We had some shows in October in Lombardia and Pavia, and really everyone we
were working with was extremely kind. And in this place I would like to send some very
special thanks to ABWESEND Management for all their efforts.
We loved the time we have spent with you Italians very much and we are looking forward
to get more shows for you.
Mel: Yeah we had such a good time!!! And thanks so much for taking the time and
doing this interview with us, great pleasure, and THANKS to you for reading this
whole thing until the end – make sure to hit LIKE on our facebook.com/Rocquetteto
receive the latest updates and show announcements in time! See you soon and
KEEP ON ROCKING =)