THE GEE STRINGS - LITTLE BOB IS NOT DEAD
Your last record, Speed Soul Racer, has been released last month. Can you explain the title ?
Speed Soul Racer sounds great for an album title, we were just thinkin. It´s also a short and very fast album ...so it makes sense to us to use it as our album title…. But it´s up to you to interpret the story and the lyrics.
Seven years have passed since your last album, I'm So Gee !! Why have you spent so much time without doing a record ?
We were touring a lot after the release of I´m So Gee !!...and time seems running quickly... not that much time for rehearsals. And by the way we need lot of time to finish and work on a new song / new album. And Bernadette starts also playing in The Morlocks in that timeperiod with a heavy tour schedule for many years and also recording a 7 inch and a new Morlocks Longplayer some years ago. Check it out, if you dont have it , its called Bring on The Mesmeric Condition !
But have to say finishing our last record was a bit complicated and takes longer than expected. I try to make it short.....
All the songs of the album were actually ready more or less before the lockdown starts….I was actually happy to find more time during lockdown to work on the songs more and make it ready to record. Finally only one good thing about the Covid Times. But during the Lockdown, our bassplayer Nelson left us, we asked our buddy Mike from The Harakeerees to help us and fill in on bass, only for the Record sessions. The Record sessions in Besançon / France took a while, because it was not easy or impossible travelling to France during Lockdown always and the Covid infections turning around us.The Recording sessions at Cube Studio in Besançon went really well, BUT After the Recordings our spanish Drummer Viktor get homesick and he decided its time to leave Cologne / Germany and going back to Andalusia with his girlfriend. So, at that time the album was finish recorded we had no bassplayer and drummer anymore.
Anyway we continued with the album and choose Maxime Smadja at Chateau Vergogne in Paris for mixing our record, which was a very good choice by the way. Maxime is a very busy guy and we had to wait some months if he had the time for mixing our record...but we were not in a hurry because we had no bass player and drummer :) So we finished the mixing and get the Mastering from Jim Diamond with no time pressure. Finally it took a while for the coverartwork, because our fav. Gees Designer, the mighty Götz is a very busy guy too...but finally he found the time to make us a great Coversleeve. And now the record is out after a long whinding road and we are really happy with it. Thanks again Mike for playing the Bass and also recording the rest of the backing vocals in the long cold winter of 2022. We did a part from this in our rehearsal room with his fine equipment.
It seems it sells pretty well. How many copies were made on black vinyl and how many on splattered ?
400 Black Vinyl and 100 Splattered Vinyl. Our last tour was amazing and we sell a lot of vinyls....so in case it will be sold out in the next time our labels will do a repress quickly.
Why no CD ? You think they won't sell ?
We would like to have a CD Version from our last Album...because still some people asking for CD´s on our gigs (not too many, but a few)..but our labels are not into CD´s anymore....think the sales are very low in the recordstore and Mailorders...but if somebody want to press a CD Version we are along with that !!
You cover a song by Soda Fraise, called Rock N'Roll's. How do you know the song, is it popular in Germany ?
Absolutely NO ! Even in France they don´t know this song so often...its just a single B Side! I was introduced to the song from my friends from Peripherique Est. Great fast Punk band from Bruxelles / Paris! I always liked them and at the time they stopped the band some years ago, we tried to form a new band with some members from Periperique Est in Bruxelles. But the distance Paris - Bruxelles - Cologne was to difficult to handle and on top of that, during that time I joined The Morlocks and my friend Fred join Jon & The Vons and playing now in The Suttles... and at the moment recovering from a motorcycle accident in the summer... so all the best to Fred from here.
So, we are not the first band who covered this song I have to say ... I take it as a fine souvenir from the days in Bruxelles and Peripherique Est.
The recording took place in Besançon, like the previous LP. Why Besançon when you live in Germany near Cologne ?
Yess We already recorded I´m So Gee !! and a 7 inch before at the Cube Studio in Besançon. Feels like a second home in Besançon for us...it´s a small beautiful town and we had a half french line up for many years in Besançon (2011 - 2015). Buanax & Macst from The Irradiates / Hawaii Samurai. Before that we landed all together there in the Cube Studio with Scott Drake from The Humpers, now Guerilla Teens, because we (Buanax, Macst & Bernadette) were the Backing Band from Scott Drake on some Euro Tours. After that great Tour, Buanax & Macst continued playing with The Gee Strings for 4 years and recorded the I´m So Gee !! Album as the end of that Period. The distance Besançon - Cologne and too much bandprojects was too much at one point. Macst, our former bass player in Besançon helps also with some backing Vocals on Rock´n´Rolls on our new album. Cube Studio is a nice studio / landhouse outside from Besançon and its perfect place to record without distraction...so we decided goin back to Besançon for last Recordings....and it works really well again with the guys there Yann & Seb!
How long did it take to record the 8 songs ?
As I told you before, Covid and waiting for the right people for playing, mixing, mastering and design the record took a while. 8 Songs we did in 4 days really fast....after that we recorded the vocals and some overdubs in a second session some weeks later in Besançon.
In the same time, have you recorded other songs that are not on Speed Soul Racer ?
Only 8 Tracks this time ! Short and Fast - no Fillers !!
Will you release them later as singles, or maybe new songs ?
There is already interest in a french label to release Rock´n´Roll's as a french single...watch out !!!
Why have you changed the line-up several times (bass player and drummer) ?
As I told you before....our former drummer goin back to Spain...some are leaving of time limits...and it´s more or less like in a relationship...if it doesn´t fit anymore after some years, sometimes its better to stop and continue with a new fresh member in the band. Despite that changes, we are all still in friendly contact with most of all ex – Gee Strings.
You have finished a tour in France, do you have some good memories to tell us, or some funny moments ?
oh . too many....we love playing in France ! Lillers was great and very funny...small town near Nord pas de Calais chez les Schtis. L´Abattoir is the club with a lot of history of Rock´n´Roll and we slept in a real Chateau that night. We made a soundcheck and Ingenius Pop, our singer, saw a poster from Little Bob on the Wall and said to the Promoter....too bad that Little Bob is dead. For some reasons Ingi was thinking he is dead....the Promoter directly say to Ingi , Little Bob is not dead..I will call him to check that. He called Little Bob on the phone, (because he is a friend of him), " Hey Bob, here are some german freaks and tell me you are dead...one moment I will give you the singer " . So, Ingi and Little Bob had a nice funny phone call.
In general we know a lot of the promoters and Bands personaly in France , because they booked us already since a long time in France and we are good friends and there are always funny moments ...like with Bruno in Rennes, Raf & Fred in Limoges, Virginie and Lo Spider in Toulouse, Ludo, Lubna and Francy in Bordeaux... they always supported us during the years, lot more and finally Toma from Rockin Dogs Booking in Paris, our Main Booker for France now !
|Avengers & Runaways covers|
Now let's talk about your influences. Apart from the Avengers whom you have covered several songs, which bands have influenced you most ?
In the beginning of The Gees and the 90´s The Humpers was our favourite Band and we used to follow them on their first and only Eurotour. Later in 2010 finally we became friends and met in Hamburg during a Scott Drake Solo Tour and I start playing guitar for him for some Euro Tours. He also helped a lot on our new Record. If we had problems to finish a song during the Covid times, Scott was always there to help us and give us some good american advices :)
Avengers and Joan Jett / Runaways were also always an influence in the beginning of The Gee Strings. Lots of different influences, depended on the actual line up. In general we can arrange us all on the Sex Pistols, Poly Styrene, Dead Boys, Heartbreakers and stuff like that.
But we don´t live in the past ...these times are over and happy that are a bunch of new younger exciting Bands are present and famous these days and mixing the old influences with something new.
Have you shared the stage with some of them ?
Yeah, we played with The Avengers together and many other cool bands....we did a nice Germany Tour with The Buzzcocks (nice english gentlemen) in the beginning...The french TV Killers to name an important french Band ....and supporting Turbonegro in the early Ass Cobra days in a small german squad place was lot of fun and impressing.
Is it easy to play Punk-Rock in Germany ? Are there many clubs for that kind of music nowadays ?
Still good places.....maybe too much good places...because every band from UK / US / Europe like to play in Germany...so sometimes it´s overloaded...especially now during the after Covid time...so many Bands are on tour now...but we want not complaining about that....its´a good thing.
Which German Punk Bands do you consider interesting ?
Not so many Bands to be honest. In France you had a better Punk Rock history in 70´s and 80´s and still we like a lot of new fresh frenchy Bands these days. In Germany people are not so socialised with that kind of Punk Rock we play.
For Germany we like some early Punk Stuff from the 70´s , Pack from Munich, Big Balls & The Great White Idiot from Hamburg...some early 80´s stuff was also really good in Germany before "Neue Deutsche Welle" was coming, early Trio, Ideal, Fehlfarben and we also like Kraftwerk a lot. OK, Kraftwerk was not really Punk Band, but it was something special of course ...
View from France, Die Toten Hosen is the most popular german Punk band. What do you think of them ?
WE like the very early stuff, first Toten Hosen record Opel Gang is a german Classic. Toten Hosen music is different these days ....but there are nice guys with the heart on the right place. For example, I remember, Vom, The drummer has borrowed us good cymbals for a record session to our poor drummer, who has not enough money to buy good cymbals for one of the first records.
Do you collect records ? If you do, what kind of records do you collect? 45 rpm, Lps, others ?
Yess ! Not that much as in the past ...but still collecting 45 and LP´s. Alex, our drummer is our biggest collector...beside collecting 60´s Drumkids , his flat is also full of records he found on flea markets. By the way we met him also on a flea market last year in Cologne, we had no drummer and we ask him to join us! And ANYWAY We are really happy with the actual Line Up...Spanish Curtis join us on Bass this year...best friend of our former drummer Viktor and he already join us before some gigs for playing Tambourine.
Thank you very much for answering our questions !
Les Monstres Sacrés.
|On the run|