FIRST OF ALL THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR TIME! YOU HAVE BEEN IN BUSINESS FOR A LONG TIME, WHEN DID IT ALL START AND WHY HAVE YOU CHOSEN TO BE AN ARTIST? ANY CRUCIAL EXPERIENCES? I don’t know if a person really chooses to be an artist. For me it’s something I HAVE to do. Maybe some people choose but I can’t say I know many people who fit that category! If I don’t write and if there is no music in my life then I am only half alive. As for crucial experiences, I take my inspiration from everything that happens to me and goes on within in the world around me…and maybe beyond… AT THE BEGINNING YOU COMPOSED SOME VERY HARSH AND AGGRESSIVE SONGS LIKE „OUR DARKNESS“ OR „SLEEPER IN METROPOLIS“. NOW YOUR LYRICS HAVE BECOME SOMEWHAT SMOOTHER. ANY REASON BEHIND THAT? As well Sleeper and Our Darkness I was also writing a lot of differant things at the time in a lot of differant styles – but I agree, my writing has „broadened“ over the years. I hope I still have the fire inside of me from that period but I think as I’ve grown older and gone through so many experiences that it has found a differant means of expression. HAVE YOU EVER IMAGINED BECOMING SO SUCCESSFUL WHEN YOU DID START? I had no idea that I would ever achieve such success! Success is though, of course, relative and in the music scene can be a very fickle thing. However, I have managed to maintain a career over 25 years now LOOKING BACK AT YOUR CAREER, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD DO THE OTHER WAY ROUND IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO TRAVEL BACK IN TIME? Probably! But I’m not a great believer in regrets! I think we have to learn from our mistakes as best we can and move forward! WHICH ARE YOUR PERSONAL FAVOURITE SONGS? That’s a difficult one to answer! It changes a lot, but I guess I am very happy always with „Echoes Remain For Ever“. SOME GERMANS ONLY SEEM TO KNOW YOUR „HITS“ („SLEEPER IN METROPOLIS“ ETC) AND NOT YOUR GENERAL WORK. DO YOU FEEL ATTACHED BY THIS FACT? I am delighted that people in Germany are familiar with ANY of my material! I think the success of my acoustic projects show what a very versatile and broad-minded audienceI have! HOW WOULD YOU CLASSIFY YOUR OWN STYLE? I wouldn’t! REGARDING CONCERT PICS OF YOU ONE COULD COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT YOU ARE BASICALLY A SAD PERSON, IS THAT SO? Oh dear! That certainly isn’t the intention. Often on stage those expressions are of nerves or concentration! I never tend to be sad on stage – though of course performing takes me through a lot of emotions. I try to fill my life with as much light and happiness as possible, but of course, like every body, I have times of sadness too. YOU HAVE BEEN TOURING LATELY. HOW WAS THE INTERACTION WITH YOUR FANS? ANY FUNNY STORIES OR CATASTROPHES IN YOUR TOUR LIFE YOU LIKE TO TELL? Interaction with the fans was great! As for funny stories and catastrophies, tour life is filled with them – a lot of them unrepeatable!!! IF YOU HAD FREE CHOICE, WHICH WOULD BE YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE FOR A GIG AND WHY? Well, it’s a pleasure to be asked to play anywhere of course and on my upcoming reading tour I think I’ll be visiting some wonderful venues! However, having visited Ludwig’s castles in Bavaria and seen the theatre that was built in one of them …. that would be a great place for an acoustic concert! LET US TALK ABOUT YOUR ACOUSTIC ALBUM. WHAT WAS THE IDEA BEHIND THAT? ARE YOU TOTALLY CONTENT WITH THE RESULT AND HOW WAS THE RECORDING PROCESS LIKE? WHY BRATISLAVA? Considering that „From The Heart“ was taken purely from a DAT recording I am very happy with the results. I had grown very tired of electronic music and wanted to play live using acoustic instruments. It wasn’t the first time I did an acoustic tour. I did an acoustic tour in 1994 and recorded „Psychometry“ during my Berlin show. Playing in Eastern Europe is still quite a complicated process to co-ordinate and we just agreed it as part of the deal that rather than taking a fee we would take a live recording of the show. As the Bratislava concert was at the radio station the technical possibilities made it a fairly simple process. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS IN THE NEAR FUTURE? Well, at the beginning of February I am doing something I have never done before – and that’s a reading tour!!! Just me and my book! I find the prospect quite daunting but Jeff, my manager, contacted a number of promoters when my book came out and the response was very positive. I’ll be reading my poems and some of my favourite poems by other writers (in English!). It will be interesting to see who the idea appeals to (if anyone!!!!). The audio version of my book comes out in February also. Then later in the year I am doing some shows and festivals. Some featuring my acoustic set and some featuring my electronic material…with some special guests!!! Then who knows – maybe I might even write some new material if the muse finds me! HOW IS YOUR SITUATION AT THIS POINT OF YOUR CAREER? YOU HAVE BEEN QUOTED TO HAVE TRUSTED THE WRONG BUSINESS GUYS MORE THAN ONCE. EVERYTHING OK NOW, DO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR MANAGEMENT? I have been through so many learning curves, that I must have been full circle at least twice by now!! Yes – everything is VERY fine at the moment. I keep things very close to me now. In Jeff, I have not only found a wonderful guitarist but that rarest jewel of all, an EXCELLENT manager! IN THE 80IES YOUR AUDIENCE MAINLY CONSISTED OF (DARK) WAVE FANS. NOW IT HAS BECOME SOMEHOW MORE MATURE AND INTELLECTUAL (WITHOUT SAYING THAT DARK WAVERS ARE STUPID!). WAS THIS A NATURAL EVOLUTION OR JUST COINCIDENCE? DO YOU HAVE ANY PERSONAL PREFERENCES? As I have said in my book. The ultimate for me as an artist is to bring people together in what ever small way I can. I am more than happy to see 18 year olds, 50 year olds, black, white, „Dark Wavers“ Whoever, at my shows. My material is there for everybody. YOU DID A COLLABORATION WITH BLANK & JONES. HOW DID YOU MEET AND ARE YOU CONTENT WITH THE RESULT? I was very happy to meet and work with Blank and Jones! It was time for me to exploit myself for a change! The success of the projects with B&J enabled me to finance projects that no record company was interested in. As for „The Hardest Heart“ – I was very happy with my lyrics! ARE THERE ANY PLANS FOR OTHER INTERESTING „CROSSOVER“ PROJECTS? IS THERE A MUSICIAN OUT THERE YOU DREAM OF WORKING WITH? At the moment I am extremely happy working with the guys – Jeff, Murat, Niko and Jann. I tend not to make to many plans. I like things to evolve organically. As I said, in the Summer I shall be doing a few things but I’ll just wait and see how it goes. If there was one person though, I would really like to do something with, then I guess it would be Belgian composer Wim Mertens! WHAT IS YOUR GENERAL OPINION ON COVER VERSIONS? That’s another tricky question!! I guess if somebody can add a new dimension to something, without taking away or detracting from any of it’s original qualities, then I think it can be very interesting. YOU CONVERTED SOME POEMS OF RAINER MARIA RILKE INTO MUSIC (ON THE „JUST AFTER SUNSET“-RELEASE). WHAT WHERE THE REASONS BEHIND THAT? DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL CONNECTION TO THIS AUTHOR? Only in as much as I am very moved by his poetry. His imagery and emotions. At the time I had so little of my own to say and he said everything. I wanted to show how timeless and how musical his poetry is. I only hope Martyn and I handled it with the delicacy and respect it deserves! HOW LONG DOES IT USUALLY TAKE YOU TO RECORD AN ALBUM REGARDING THE WHOLE CREATIVITY PROCESS FROM COMPOSING TO PRODUCING? Well, at the moment it’s taking about 9 years!!! (Since the release of „To Love and be Loved“). It all depends on the situation – who I am writing with, what the time constraints are. But generally I like to work in the studio as quickly as possible. It can really kill the momentum if there are lots and lots of technicalities to deal with! DO YOU LIKE GOTHIC AND INDUSTRIAL MUSIC IN GENERAL? I like and dislike music of all kinds, so it really depends. Does „The Caretaker“ fit into that category? CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR BOOK? HOW HARD WAS IT FOR YOU TO CHANGE FROM COMPOSING TO WRITING? I’ve always written! I guess this was rather a differant way of writing though! I found it quite difficult initially but I think that comes from having to look so deeply into the past. As I said earlier, that’s something I don’t like to do. But it was a very special thing for me to do and to achieve. It is a thankyou to my German audience and a way of showing me what my life has been about up to this point. YOU STATE THAT YOU HAVE BEEN SOME KIND OF AN „OUTSIDER“ IN YOUR TEENAGE YEARS. DO YOU KNOW N O W WHY THIS HAS HAPPENED? IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE THAT THIS HAS BEEN ESSENTIAL FOR YOUR LATER SUCCESS IN SOME WAY? Who can say? That’s a psychobabble person’s job! Maybe again it is something to do with being a writer. To some degree I think it is essential for an artist to be an outsider, a watcher. It can of course take on various degrees! WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS REGARDING THE ARTISTIC AND FINANCIAL SUCCESS OF YOUR BOOK? „Expectations“?!? … that’s a word I have trouble with! Of course I would love my book to sell thousands of copies…but I really have no control over that. As I said above, it is primarily a thankyou to my audience and a record for me. However, I have to admit that I really feel a sense of achievment in seeing it published! THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR TIME AND GOOD LUCK WITH ALL YOUR PROJECTS! Best wishes to you too and all your „readers“!