Who stands behind
the name Nocomment? How was this name picked up? The name was No Comment first
and now Nocomment. Why is that?
- Tom: We are three band members:
Franziska; female vocals, keyboards
Rene: drums, keyboards
Thomas: keyboards, production
- Rene: We picked the name back in 1989 when nocomment was founded. From the
original line-up Rene and Thomas are still active, Franziska entered the band
in 1997. Our intention to choose the name was connected with our approach to
lyrics. We wanted to tell stories in the songs, that are not commented, where
the audience should decide on their own, what's right or wrong, instead of being
told by somebody else.
- Franzi: The logo of the name no comment changed during the years. With the
new line-up from 1997 on we used it written together, because of the more and
more important internet-appearance, but both names are still valid.
When you started
in 1989. what was your influence at that time?
- Rene: I heard a lot of electronic music at that period of time, harder and
softer stuff, but the general idea was to create an unique sound for nocomment,
not to copy another band.
- Tom: I was into electro and wave-music at the time, but more and more unsatisfied
with the existing music, so we started to do it on our won way.
- Franzi: I was listening to Depeche Mode, Queen and U2, but also to some seventies
stuff like Pink Floyd.
You have been
involved with few labels: Subtronic, Vision, TCM. What kind of relationship
have you had with labels and what was the reason for Nocomment to change the
- Tom: We changed because the contracts had expired and we wanted to change.
It's hard to find a good indie-label nowadays, I can only tell a few in Germany,
including our new one nanopop..:-). Concerning subtronic it's not a secret that
they had a lot of good bands (like second decay, necrophilistic anodyne) and
sold quite good, but all the money didn't go to the bands or went into promotion,
but into new record-label-owner-cars....:-)...so that was reason enough to leave...
Why have you
decided to start Nanopop Records?
- Tom: We're into that business now for more then ten years and worked with
a lot of independent-labels with no comment or other projects. I understand
that they invest a lot of money and time in every band they release, but I generally
don't like the idea to release ten CD's and hope that one is successful....and
that's how most of the labels (and the major companies even more) work. It might
be ok from a business point of view, but in an artists view it's not. So we
decided to found our label nanopop in order to release less releases then other's
but to concentrate fully on them. And since we now have the promotion we always
wanted for the first time, we also have to chance to make this strategy successful.
- Franzi: In a way it was also the right point for us to start, we had all the
rights of all nocomment releases back and we didn't want to share them at that
point. We think we know best, how we want to promote nocomment. - Rene: And
we get a lot of feedback now, that was lost in former times, because we have
the direct contact now, that's also fun and motivation. - Tom: We initially
wanted to start a label already before the Bondage release, but then decided
to sign a record-deal again and to let the label do the work. At that time we
wanted to concentrate only on the music. But that's not enough anymore, sometimes,
when I hear some charts stuff, I think that good music is the least important
factor for a successful product...but there are enough other examples, where
good music and success are together...and that's what we hope will happen with
Will you release
some other artists on Nanopop or just Nocomment?
- Tom: We plan to release Nachzehrer, a german underground band later that year,
other things are not yet fixed, but from 2002 we would be open for other bands.
But as said before, we will work with a limited number of bands.
Your new single
I wont't cry is very melodic pop single. Do you expect to be on official German
charts or only on DAC? kind of music and authors do you like at this moment?
- Franzi: We'll see after the 05th of March..:-). We expect to be in the DAC-charts
with the single, but the official charts are very hard to reach. The charts
in Germany are also not very open for electronic-pop, it's more oriented towards
music from TV-stars or American artists. - Tom: The song itself has the potential,
that's what we heard very often, and what's made us to release it as a single,
but today not only the song is important, that's the problem.
Can you tell
more about your work with Jose Alvarez-Bril and Markus Reinhardt in Belgium?
- Franzi: This was the idea of Markus Reinhardt from Wolfsheim. He heard it
on a compilation and phoned me, because he liked the song and wondered why it
didn't became a hit. So he wanted to re-record it in order to make it a hit
now. It was just after their big success with the golden release of Spectators...so
we were really happy, that he wanted to work with us. Although Wolfsheim are
really famous in Germany he's still kind of down-to-earth and very friendly.
He asked the Wolfsheim producer Jose Alvarez and he also liked the song, and
so everything happened. We went to Belgium to record the song with them. We
learned quite a lot from him, concerning arrangements and technical things,
he's really a great producer. Markus is also very professional, he had very
good ideas for the song and has a lot of experience. I also think that we will
work together in that combination again, and it might be even earlier than some
- Tom: We liked the idea very much, because now it's a kind of new song, and
that's why we re-named it to "I won't cry". We wanted Markus and Jose to work
on their ideas, which was quite easy for us, because we did already a version
of the song and then it's easier to be open for new ideas. And they improved
the song of course.
8. How was to
work with Liquido singer Wolfgang Schroedl?
- Rene: The vocals are not yet recorded, but we already met and he's very nice.
We will record the vocals soon. The song is composed and the layout mix is very
- Tom: We want to release the song with him called "It's not too late" as a
charity single for children from Chernobyl in August that year and hopefully
it's included on our new album "underwater tales" that's released on May 07th.
(ex-Elegant Machinery) was also included one one duet on the new record. What
can you say about that?
- Franzi: We know Robert from the first Pleasure and Pain tour in Germany back
in 1998 where we played together with his former band Elegant Machinery. We
had the idea to work with him for a song of the new album, because we like his
voice and ideas very much. We often work with guest vocalists, so this is a
kind of bonus on every nocomment CD. Robert liked the song, and so he send us
his vocals. Everything was done per mail and e-mail...so a kind of virtual teamwork....:-)...
- Rene: There are only a few people in the music business that are really nice
and with which it's fun to work together, we had the luck to work with some
of them on the album.
- Tom: The song is a very straight electro-pop song, fans of this kind of music
will like it. We just finished recordings and are very satisfied with the results.
artists at this time, electronic and comercial?
- Tom: that's hard to say, I like Air quite much and heard that goldfrapp is
very good, but I also like Wolfsheim and Liquido, Second Decay, and a lot of
- Rene: I like the new Placebo, Massive Attack and look forward to the new Depeche
- Franzi: So do I..... I am very curious to "Exciter" from DM.
What kind of
music you and other Nocomment members listen to?
- Tom: We are all quite open to a lot of styles, but I can tell that we all
don't like Hip-Hop and Heavy Metal...
What do you
think was the best music thing that happened in 90-is?
- Rene: That's very hard to say, I couldn't even tell for the 80's. There are
a lot of very good bands, like the one's mentioned above..
- Tom: I think the most important thing that happened (and not the best) was
the whole internet-development. There are a lot of new chances but also risks.
Most of the older record-companies react like dinosaurs, so we hope we are faster
than they in that business. You can test us by visiting our homepages www.nanopop.de
and www.nocomment.de. Until May there's the possibility to download exclusive
songs from nocomment every month on www.nanopop.de. We think that the internet
helps to promote bands and not only to destroy earnings.
- Franzi: And now you know who's the business-men in the band...:-)
Do you have some
favorite artists that you would love to work with or play live?
- Franzi: We had the chance to work with some of them already. But the list
is still long...we prefer to tell it, when we worked with them...then the surprise
- Tom: I would like to work with Butch Vig, Brian Eno or Flood, they are all
great producers, but to far away at the moment.
You'we been around
for long time now. How do you see the electro pop scene back in 1990. and now
in new millennium?
- Rene: I think it was stronger when we started, but is also coming back now
and in the last years. In general music is more diversified, there isn't one
big trend like it was 20 years ago anymore. So the electro-pop scene will always
be a small part of the whole scene.
- Tom: The technical side of the music produced changed very much. Nowadays
it's much easier to produce in a good-quality, but this also makes it more and
more important to sound unique.
What can you
say about new album Underwater Tales and new upcoming single with Wolfgang Schroedl?
- Franzi: We wanted to compose a kind of pop-album, not in a sense of Britney
Spears, but in a more intelligent, unique way. That's the aim for all nocomment
songs, not only for the coming album.
- Tom: During the recordings we recognized that the songs are very catchy, but
also there are also a lot of "hidden treasures" in the songs. We think you need
to hear the CD more then one time to fully understand every song. Ok, there
are also songs, that catch you from the very beginning and won't let you go,
like the first single "I won't cry".
- Rene: In generally we always want to record the CD we would like to hear on
our own. Since we can't buy it we have to record it in our own. And so everything
happens...we don't have a masterplan, to become more pop-oriented or more dark-wave
or something like this.
- Tom: We also recorded in totally new situations. We've been to Hungary to
write songs in a kind of holiday-situation. Nice weather, you wake up, switch
on the synthies and start...and if it works fine, if not, it's a nice holiday....but
it worked fine..:-)
- Franzi: And we've been to Belgium in the Factory studio to record "I won't
cry" which was also a very nice experience.
- Rene: Concerning the upcoming single "it's not too late" we can't tell that
much now, instead of what we said before. It's hopefully released in August
this year, but at the moment we concentrate more on the single "I won't cry"
that's released now within the next days.
Where do you
see the future of Nocomment and Nanopop?
- Franzi: We hope that a lot of people like our new CD's. We made a very huge
promotion, the best we ever had for nocomment, and we had some very successful
people working with us, so we hope that these releases are also successful.
- Tom: And we hope that we play a lot of live-gigs in September. We plan a club-tour
in Germany and maybe in some other countries, too.
- Rene: Although we still work on the album "underwater tales" we already have
ideas for the next songs for an upcoming release...so there's even more to come
All the best
with new album and lot of success in your future work.
- Franzi: Thanks, very much, it was a pleasure to make the interview with you.
NOCOMMENT - Official Website
in February 2001. by Danijel Levatic for Elektronski Zvuk.
2001. Elektronski Zvuk