When I first met Steffen Berster last year, he was sporting thick-rimmed glasses and a Pink Floyd t-shirt, drinking Stella beer, and blasting Queen on a computer stereo. So when he told me he was a drummer/lead singer in a band, I knew I had to at least give them a listen.
And because Steffen is an interesting fellow with such good taste in music, we’ve decided to interview him for your viewing pleasure. (Listen to Out of Vogue’s “See You Again” after the jump).
RMD: What other band t-shirts (besides Pink Floyd) do you own?
SB: Puh, there are plenty. A couple of Pink Floyd shirts (from the Meddle and Animals era), some Queen stuff, and some from Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music. And, how could I forget, a Roland Kaiser shirt. He is a German Schlagersänger. Google him. Smart Guy.
RMD: Are all the Out of Vogue band members from Weimar?
SB: (laughs) None of us are from Weimar. We are just here to study this and that. Willi is from Berlin, Jakob from Gera, Aileen from Halberstadt, Johann from Leipzig, and I, as the only “western boy,” am from a town near Dortmund.
RMD: Who are your main musical influences?
SB: I guess our songwriting is a mixture of the best of the 70s (Roxy Music, Queen, Floyd, Deep Purple etc.) and the “worst” of the 80s (Modern Talking, Alphaville, Stock/Aitken/Waterman). When it comes to compositions we always try to recreate the past and combine it with current sounds. When it comes to lyrics, we really go for it – to an extent. When the song is really poppy and no-one will listen to the lyrics (most of the Germans won’t!), they are really a throw-away sort of thing. When the subject is deeper and more emotional, we of course put own memories and feelings into the “Out of Vogue- soup.”
RMD: Are any of the band members in other bands/projects?
SB: Yes, pretty much all of us are in other projects. Most noteworthy, our guitarist Johann is playing in a band called The Squibs, but they have now changed their name to EchoArea. Our bassist William does some cover-stuff, and I do as well.
RMD: What city in Germany has the best music scene?
SB: The bigger, the better. Berlin has a really big alternative and electronic music scene. But I would prefer Hamburg for its singer/songwriter stuff. Both fantastic cities, though.
RMD: Name some of your favourite German bands.
RMD: Where was the best concert you played in Germany?
SB: Location-wise, I would have to go for the “Zwiebelmarkt” in Weimar in 2011. The stage was positioned directly in front of the Nationaltheater and the Goethe-Schiller statue. It was cold as hell though, but pretty cool. (No pun intended!). The gigs I like the most are the ones where we can shock (new) audiences with our concept.
RMD: Do you have any upcoming concert/shows?
SB: The Emergenza Festival in Erfurt, Germany on March 23rd, and the anniversary of the Schützengasse in Weimar, Germany on April 7th.
RMD: Where can fans can buy your music?
SB: Who buys music these days? Perhaps it is the wrong way to sell music. Most of the people will download it illegally or copy it from a friend. Music became more of a vehicle for live shows and merchandising. So, when people want to buy/listen to our music, they should come to our shows (and buy the EP right there 😉 ), listen to our web player, or just write us a friendly message.
RMD: What album are you looking forward to in 2012?
SB: What about the long-awaited (but never to come) Roxy Music reunion? Hmm, perhaps our first album The Lonely Hearts of New York City? Who knows…
RMD: Who is your favourite Beatle?
SB: As a drummer, am I not allowed to go for Ringo? Hmm, I guess John. Paul is an amazing songwriter and great vocalist as well.
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