Really-From: Doreen Williams
Well seems I was feeling incredibly bored I decided to type out the whole TD interview which was broadcast on Radio Derby this year!.I sent bits of the interview yesterday but I have now added the other parts,I hope there is a few people on the list that havn't seen it(Or I have just wasted 40mins of my time:). AF(Interviewer): Edgar.Jerome welcome to England and welcome to "Soundscapes" here on BBC Radio Derby, This I am sorry to say is about the only programme on UK radio that plays your stuff on a regular basis and I do feel the fact your music isn't seen as "radio friendly" is actually more the fault of radio than it is yourselves and when you look your albums sales theres no question that you do merit more airplay?. EF: What a shame! Uum! (sounds of muffled laughter). AF: I mean that for the most part you do rely on concerts word of mouth and really I suppose the loyalty of your fan base don't you?. EF: Thats more or less the case. You know it depends which places you go to. So for instance in America it's on a regular basis so that we get pretty well played on radio but you've got a different situation over there anyway. But's it true what you've said and various countries you know they havn't got special radio programmes for that kind of instrumental music. AF: Radio's never been very keen on instrumental music though has it?. EF: Except a few times. You know when you had big hits on film soundtracks or whatever. It's true it's very rare - it's a bit like good jazz it's just played at nightime. AF: You live and and work in America now-how has America influenced your sound?. EF: Not so much the sound - its maybe a bit more the surrounding which gives you a couple of kicks to get into a composing procedure lifestyle and social environment but we just live a part of the year over there- we still have studios over there and vienna and berlin so we try to work our stuff out in a very cosmopolian way. AF: I think you're bigger in America than you've ever been at the moment aren't you?. EF: That's correct yes. AF: You do sound more rock-orientated - did that just occour naturally or was that a conscious attempt on your part to make yourselves more popular in America?. EF: It occurred naturally because if you move away a bit from just the automatic computerised stuff that we did. like sequencers for years and years and years. and if you feel very open to any kind of naural instruments which we did at the same time but didn't use it that much - so now we've brought in guitars very heavly and saxophones and even other instruments which we frequently ask people to bring in and play during our sessions. At this stage we still feel very contemporary in whatever we do. AF: Edgar. Tell me what Jerome has brought to Tangerine Dream sinced he joined you?. EF: Fresh Air! (sounds of laughter). AF: In what sense?. EF: You see what you have. to cut that off right away from the very beginning is not the usual sort of father/son relationship it's sort of an ongoing procedure between two muscians who respect and like each other and we are partners on every leval of business and music snd so in most cases we do trust each other and respect each other and therefore it's very good to work with him - and he is accidentally my son but in the first place he is a good colleague. AF: Jerome. I presume you grew up with your fathers music so that it really became a part of your life didn't it?. JF: Yeah it it did Yeah I mean when I was born Tangerine Dream was just founded so I went to every concert and I travelled with the group so I suppose you could say that I was a very early member of the band. AF: You were(laughter) did your father always encourage you to play keyboards or was that a decision that you made?. JF: Oh no no that was my decision I mean synthesizers were all around me my whole life so it was inevitable that I tried to play on them. AF: And did you take to the instruments quite naturally?. JF: Yeah I think so Yeah. AF: Well I've got to say looking at your latest album I wasn't at all happy with "Turn Of The Tides" thats the album that came before this new one "Tyranny Of Beauty" because I think that it's a supreme improvement I mean how do you feel about the new album?. EF: The major difference as far as our production was concerned between Turn" and "Tyranny" was that we spent about three quarters of a year producing "Turn Of The Tides" and we spent about three months producing Tyranny Of Beauty" so whether or not it had a big influence the matter of fact is that "Tyranny" is a much more direct album it's a bit more I would say "rough" in terms of the way we produced it and set in all the guitar work and we wanted to make it a bit more rock orientated. JF Yeah it's more emotional than technical you know. AF: Yes I think so. Are you saying almost that you spent perhaps too much time on "turn Of The Tides" and it's got a rather over-produced sort of feel?. EF: You are correct that's what we felt afterwards. AF: Did you actually decide that you were going to make this new album in a much shorter space of time?. EF: We had to! (laughter) It's funny that a lot of things in our career and maybe quite a few of our colleagues who hear this will agree. a lot of things in anybody's career will happen coincidentlly or by accident or by you know by surprise. We had to move in because we had to move out again quite early and we had other obligations to follow and so we just had about three months to do it Therefore quite a few things that we would have stacked in regularly just had to be cut off. AF: So the pressure helped really?. EF: Somehow yes. You know. There are a few people around who need about two or three years to produce a record. Tangerine Dream always has been a band who need pressure and some of the best piecees of music we've done have been produced in one afternoon. AF: I do love the opening track in particular. "Catwalk" - was that an intention of yours to produce music for the Catwalk?. EF: You see it's a bit asoociated with what the album is all about - it's about the beauty in the so-called social enviroment- the way the people are treated to become very beautiful or beautiful enough to be part of a certain society and to have the advantages when they become part of this group of "beautiful people" and the entire thing of selling things or trying to look around to get the best possible item - everything has something to do with the beauty and the cover of a thing becomes more important than whats in the box. So thats the whole idea behind it and "Catwalk" is in fact written for catwalks. that is true and maybe on a tour we will perform it that way - that would be a funny thing anyway!! (Laughter). AF: So we are going to see some fashion models walk in front of you as you play?. EF: (Still laughing) Yes.yes I don't know what we will do - maybe put on some leather clothes and run up and down or stuff - I don't know. AF: Model the clothes yourself?. EF: Modeling yes!! AF: Lets use that track. Maybe as an example to show how you and Jerome work together - I mean you both write for the band and for the most part you do write together. So how do the two of you combine?. EF: Jerome is a better percussionist and because he started his music career as a drummer he is laying down most of the rythem tracks sometimes starting with the bass and then I very often get in with chords and stuff. Sometimes he is doing most of the basic work just himself - I add some melodies or he is completing an entire piece just by himself or we do it the other way round so I mean we just take the best part of each of us and then glue it together!. AF: Interestingly you have re-worked an old tune "stratosfear" was it going back to work on the old material for the "Tangents" compilation that led you to this new version?. JF: When we did the "Tangents" compilation I made the "Stratosfear" remix as a bonus track just for the "Tangents" album and when we sent the tapes to Virgin they said OK it's quite good but the "Stratosfear" doesn't fit with the other stuff on the records so it's maybe not the best piece to put on the "tangents" album. We still thought that it was a good track so we thought we would maybe put it on the next studio album which we did. AF: Edgar. how did you feel about those early albums like "stratosfear" on Virgin when you went back to remix and re-record all those tracks for the "Tangents" compilation?. EF: Hard procedure. Hard work because one would think that you would just go in and remix it or you remaster things or you do some overdubbing because some of the pieces had to be cut to become shorter for the compilation and so you had to move in with some excellent music and move out with some excellent music as well. You had to move in very deeply into the body of each single piece. and you had. at the same time to move into the period of time when you did the recording and all of a sudden to my surprise I was in the middle of the 70s because I had to catch up with the emotional side of it and I had all the memories of what happened between the three off of us at that period of time and how it was and business things came up and it's so funny how music ca trigger your human memory. Thats not always a very comfortable procedure in terms of going back and watching from inside again events from that period of time. AF: You say it was hard work remixing and re-recording all those tracks but would you say it was a labour of love as well?. EF: It's kind of a labour of love because I was part of the band at that period of time and there was part of myself already in the music. You know that you can accept yourself and you can respect yourself as what you are. On the other hand your consciouness has changed and you as a person and your personality has changed from all those years. If you havn't heard the stuff for many years all of a sudden you are in confronatation with part of yourself and so thats a funny process - I didn't know that it would be so complicated. AF: I'll always remember the first time I heard your music on John Peel's show - he played your first Virgin album "Phaedra" and music was never quite the same for me again after that. I mean it was a really groundbreaking release because it was the first successful electronic music album in this country.What do you remember of that particular time?. EF: It's good that you mention John because whenever I am in the world I try to give him a credit and I do it here again. Without John Peel we would not have made it here in Britain or anywhere in the world because he was the one who played us heavily a record called "Atem" many years years back on BBC 1 and so he was the guy who actually brought us not just into international music scene but but into the business as well. He is still around and I am happy about that and whenever I can I listen to him. That was a time when we really could take off because other countries did not want to listen to it so the fact the UK was the only part of the world who really wanted to listen to that kind of music and all of a sudden because of the success that we had over here things started spreading out all over the place. AF: So the UK and John Peel were very crucial to the success of "Tangerine Dream"?. EF: It was the key point,it was the starting line for all and everything. AF: And great credit to John Peel because your music was at the time was very brave. Certainly brave for the time because it was so experimental!. EF: Thats true. Af: And it was also a time of course when electronic keyboards were very bulky and really quite limited. You were playing things like VCS 3's Moogs and Mellotrons. Have you ever thought of going back to reproduce that sound and playing long improvised pieces once more?. EF: We definitly will do. You see we started out in 1970 with a concept and that concept is now somewhat closed with "Tyranny Of Beauty" so we went from being 150% improvising band to a 150% composing songs or instrumental pieces band. So now that cycle has closed and now we will move in a different direction which will include something which could be called improvisation but it will have a different level of approach. AF: Right. While you were working on "Tangents" was there any one album you returned to and thought "Um that was a good one" did one have a particular impression on you?. EF: You see the thing is that up to now including soundtracks we have about 52 records on the market,it's like having 52 kids you know which one you find ugly which one is the best which one is the one you want to carry on your life with. They are all there. We always say in our music that it is nothing more nothing less than a diary and follow it through all the years. It's part of yoyr life it's part of those peoples life who carried on with us and could identify themselves with what we wanted to do and wanted to say. AF: You were asked to list your top tracks for the "Tangnets" compilation and you actually put "Phaedra" at number 1. EF: Yeah thats true because it was not just the fact that we had a chance to record in Britain for the first time through Virgin records but it was also the situation that we had over there in Oxford. We went into a studio near Oxford and there was such an amazing atmosphere and it was such incredible surroundings you know. Being in the studio for a couple of weeks getting paid having the most advanced instruments on hand and just sitting there and doing what we wanted to do and no-one rushed into the room and said "Hey. wait a minute thats not commercial enough"!. Even if we went on on a different direction later on from Virgin to other companies that was the key point and I still thank the company very much for what they did at a very early stage in our career. AF: Let me turn to Jerome here. Jerome have you got a favorite Tangerine Dream album on Virgin or maybe a single track? JF: My favorite albums from the Virgin catalogue started with "Force Majure" and albums from around that time - I am not a fan of the old stuff like "Atem" I also don't like "Phaedra" or "Rubycon" very much.It's not my time you know I'm more into the newer stuff. I also like "Exit" very much and also the newer stuff like "Live Miles" although that is not virgin anymore! I would say that "Force Majure" and "Exit" are my personal favorite records. AF: Edgar. You are quoated as saying how ridiculed you were by the press when you said in 1974 that everyone would be using synthesizers on stage and you were proved right - what's also happened is that since the mid 80s we have in this country growing ambient scene and I know Jean Michel Jarre's publicists have been calling him the "Godfather of Ambience" some say it was Kraftwerk others say it was Klaus Schulze I think Tangerine Dream's influence was the greater. EF: I personally would say that Mr Jarre. Mr Schulze the Kraftwerk people and a thousand others can share their piece of "Godfather" themselves - I don't want to be part of it to be honest! (laughter) I don't want to call myself a godfather. For me it has a different meaning. But on the other hand it is certainly true that a lot of people all of a sudden rushed into the synthesizer business and tried to do what they can do. When I look at the British scene we know those guys like Aphex Twin, Orbital, and Future Sound Of London(I like them a lot) -that and some others is music that can be produced today. It could not have been produced ten years ago I would say.We might have been part of things in the early years but if you think about playing an instrument today who can sit arounf and wait for 10 or 15 years before he can play professionally at piano. I mean that time unfortuntely I have to say has gone. So all the youngsters want to rush out get an insrtumenthook it up and just become superstar and make their living from it,maybe its the wrong approach but what can you do - it's the spirit of the time. AF: You mention the Orb,Aphex Twin and Future Sound Of London. Are you aware of the more traditional electronic music scene in this country. I'm talking about musicians like Mark Shrreeve.John Dyson and most recently people like Andy Pickford and Node?. EF: I know them all yeah. AF: You do?. EF: From their music but Mark Shreeve I know as he was part of our career when he was on the same record label Zomba/Jive. I would say that what we need is what are doing right now. We need radio time because that's a more important factor. with our kind of music you can't go on MTV you can't go VH1 in America so it's very hard with concerts it's very hard to book a tour because people are very unsure as to what the sales will be and so on. So the only focus point where could trust someone to get people together is the radio. AF: Lets return to "Tyranny Of Beauty" - you don't often perform other peoples tunes but your version I think of Handels Largo works extremely well,What led you to record that?. EF: The thing is I'm very fasinated by by handels time in London. Some people may know that he spent quite a big portion of his lifetime in London playing for kings and queens amd so on and he had a mass output of music which has a typical British atmosphere - thats what it sounds like to us. Apart from that we always try to give remarkable credit to those people who somehow have guided all of us into a new direction of music. I have heard an interview with in which Jack Bruce the former Cream guiterist and one of the best bass players on this planet I guess. he would recall Bach as the best bass player of all time so you can learn from those classical composers: for instance if you do arrangements and listen to Mozart's music you know what what a real genius arrangement is. so learn from these people and then filter it through your own human system and make a new kind of music. AF: You have a permanet guitarist now I see and Linda Spa your saxophonist and flautist is also a permanent band member I believe. I understand you'll be touring together later this year in this country is that right?. EF: Not later in this year. We are starting later in this year the American leg of a world-wide tour moving over to South America and we'll be in Europe by March/April so at the moment it looks like we could hit Britain by about mid April next year. AF: So we've got to wait nearly a year?. EF: Just a bit less (laughter). AF: Edgar. I'm sure there are many Tangerine Dream fans listening and I meet a lot who say to me "you know I would love to hear Tangerine Dream as they were in the 70s and 80s" and I know there are some people who are not keen on the 90s sound.I mean what would you say to those people?. EF: Er. nothing less thsn the music is like a growing kid and if you have ever had a kid and the fid grows and becomes 25 or 30 you can't sit there and say "Hey,you were such a nice kid when you were 5 or 10 but now such a big strange body" so you see things are changing and as long as things are changing they progress and things can always turn out to be a surprise and it can be an adventure for those people who are creating and composing music. People should respect movements within the artists. It doesn't matter if you are a writer a painter or a musician. I cannot agree with those who would say that you must be confined in your work or that you must stay for ever in the style of what you became famous or very popular for. To those people we could say if you still have some money buy the re-masters available on Cd. they are more or less original or listen to some tapes but please please don't force us to step back into a time we've passed already and we all have passed that. AF: Your quoted as saying "Tangerine Dream is your own Dream" what do you mean by that?. EF: I believe that all of us all human beings on this planet have one dream in common and that everyone is searching for something but maybe we don't know what it is. Some people may find it sometimes in their lives. Some others won't but that's the thing which binds all of us and that's a dream for something which we can't explain. A lot of people we've met over the years all over the globe feel somehow like a stranger on earth like sitting on a long train moving into a wrong station and feeling that they are getting lost somewhere and thats the feel of the music and a lot of people can identify with what we want to say through muxic. Everybody should start from there in trying to find his own way out. AF: Well Eddgar Jerome it's been a real pleasure speaking with you. We've already played a couple of tracks from "Tyranny" "Catwalk" and "Largo". Could I ask you to select a track that you think worked particulary well on that album?. EF: We both, speaking for Jerome here and myself like "The Little Blonde" because it has s special meaning - "The Little Blonde In The Park Of Attractions" AF: Lovely. OK we'll play that and wish you all the best in your future career and hope to see you within the year here in Britain playing some more concerts,thank you very much. EF & JF: OK thank you. bye-bye! Well there you are the whole interview typed out, I hope you all appriciate it!