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Belle & Sebastian
BELLE & SEBASTIAN
 


Ein Interview mit Stevie Jackson
und Chris Geddes

Während wir den gut gelaunten Ton- und Lichttechnikern bei der Arbeit zusehe, gehen wir noch mal durch, was wir wissen wollen. Ein wenig aufgeregt sind wir schon, dreht sich doch seit einiger Zeit bei uns in Kopf und CD-Spieler alles um die sympathischen Schotten. Sind sie wirklich so niedlich, wie sie sich in ihren Videos und auf der Bühne präsentieren? Werden wir sie alle erkennen? Oh guck mal, da ist Sarah Martin...
Auftritt Stevie Dreads (Tourmanager), bei dem wir spätestens jetzt wissen, dass es sich um einen Künstlernamen handeln muss. Er führt uns in den Backstage-Bereich und fragt, wer gerade Lust hat, ein Interview mit uns zu führen. Stevie Jackson (voc, git) und Chris Geddes (key) sind es. Sie entschuldigen sich, dass sie nebenbei Suppe essen und lassen sich von uns befragen und fotografieren.

Ob sie sich denn auf Hamburg freuen und schon ein wenig Sight-Seeing machen konnten, wollen wir als erstes wissen.
Stevie: I´ve not been here for ten years. No had too much time to look around. I came a few years ago and hung around a bit. I´ve not really been back since so I´m quite excited to be back.
Chris: I got up quite early this morning, going cycling round the lake. What is it called? The big lake? (Alster) I have a little kind of folding bicycle that just goes in with the luggage on the bus.

Also hieß es früh aufstehen?
Chris: Yeah. I didn´t manage any excitement last night. Just went out for dinner, had a really huge dinner and then was back in the hotel by midnight.

Rough Trade hat passend zur Tour die Suche nach der "Most catastrophe waitress" Deutschlands gestartet, nachdem das aktuelle Album nach einer Kellnerin benannt ist, in die Stuart Murdoch sich angeblich verguckt hat. Wir fragen Stevie und Chris nach ihrer persönlichen "Catastrophe waitress".
Stevie: The waitress that comes to my mind is the one that I was in love with. And that was sort of catastrophic for me. So I did think of her to be a catastrophe waitress. But I guess it was me. I was a catastrophe, not her. She was actually quite efficient when it came to bringing my coffee and my soup.
Chris: It wasn´t her efficiency that attracted you to her in the first place?
Stevie: I mean, yeah. She was just awfully pretty.
Chris: It was probably the combination of efficiency and good looks.
Stevie: Yeah. Exactly. And she was kind of quite quiet and quite stern. But one time I actually met her when she wasn´t working she was really really funny. And that´s when I knew I was falling for her. But in reality we never got...

Sie waren ja beide selbst mal Kellner. Und was war das Schlimmste, das ihnen dabei widerfahren ist?
Chris: Just having to go to work every day. It was all just uniformly bad. I definetely prefer being in the kitchen, scrubbing a while, chopping stuff up rather than having to walk around and take orders of people. The working atmosphere was always much better in the kitchen rather than on the floor.
Stevie: I feel the same way. I would never be a waiter. It looks terrible to me. I was always in the kitchen. Scrubbing. I worked in many restaurants. I prefer that. I was a catastrophe kitchen porter. Well actually there was a bar and they promoted me to cook. And I was just the worst cook. I had some kind of catastrophic meals. And then they send me back to the sink and said: "Stay there."

Sozusagen vom Tellerwäscher zum Popstar. Wie im Märchen. So klingt auch häufig die Musik von Belle & Sebastian. Sie scheint viele Leute emotional zu berühren, bringt sie sogar manchmal zum Weinen (so selbst miterlebt beim Haldern-Festival). Was macht die Musik aus? Oder sind es die Texte?
Stevie (LACHT): I think, at the Haldern Festival we were so bad, people were crying. We were totally blowing off stage by Notwist. They are really good. But I`ve never actually seen anyone crying.
Chris: I´ve seen couples getting quite passionate. I´ve seen the odd look of rapture. But I´ve not ever seen anyone quite cross the line. Obviously if what we do means a lot to people, then it´s really flattering and it´s really good that there is a kind of connection between the band and the audience when we play. I think it´s a combination between music and lyrics, but certainly the lyrics say a lot people.
Stevie: There´s a line in "Fox in the snow" where I get a wee tear in my eye sometimes. That´s my favourite song. (Fox in the snow, where do you go to find something you can eat?...)

Und selbst schon mal auf der Bühne den Tränen nahe gewesen?
Stevie: I don´t remember ever crying on stage. I´ve been in tears coing off stage. Tears of frustration, of anger. I remember we´ve done a gig in Brussels in 1998 and I think I was crying at the end. I thought we were just the worst band in the world. That´s the one time I remember crying.

Aber von Chris gibt es noch die Geschichte übers auf die Bühne kotzen...
Chris (LACHT UND GUCKT VERSTOHLEN AUF DEN BODEN): I´ve thrown up on stage not during the concert though, but during the soundcheck. I was probably crying at the same time as well. It was years ago, one of the first shows we did, Christmas 1997 in Manchester. We did three shows over two days: Saturday night, Sunday matinee and Sunday night. Some bright spark thougt it would be a great idea to have the aftershow-party after the Saturday night-concert. That´s when I got really wracked on a Saturday night and had to be back into soundcheck, because the gig was really rubbish.

Nach diesen Peinlichkeiten räumen die Jungs erst mal mit dem Vorurteil auf, selten auf Tour zu sein: Sie sind eben nur selten in good old Germany. Warum, weiß niemand. Zur Frage, was das Publikum auf den verschiedenen Kontinenten unterscheidet, hier der Weisheit letzter Schluss:
Stevie: In my experience, the warmer the climate the wilder the audience.

Belle & Sebastian

Zurzeit gibt es viel Neues und Aufregendes aus der Glasgower Musikszene. Was halten sie von dem rasanten Aufstieg von Franz Ferdinand?
Stevie: I thought they were amazing. Their first song from maybe a year ago it was like an art happening thing. And just the fact that it was an art happening made it seem really exciting and good. I´ve known the singer Alex for years and always thought he was really charismatic and really cool looking and a good singer. I´ve seen his previous bands a lot, but when I saw Franz Ferdinand I thought it was the best band he`s ever been in. It sounded really good and it looked really good. I thought from the start that they would be pretty successful. But I didn´t realize that they´d be the biggest band in Britain. They´re huge. It´s amazing.
Chris: It was pretty mad how fast it´s happened. But that´s what they deserved.
Stevie: It´s good when that happens in pop music, when something just happens fast. It´s quite exciting.
It´s funny, cause they were supporting us in Britain in Dezember. And the tour finished and maybe like two weeks later they were the biggest band in Britain and it happened just like that. I´ve not actually seen them since they became popstars, so I hope they´ll talk to me.
Chris: In the space of three or four weeks they went from opening for us to having a number three single and a number one album and being on the cover of the NME like every week. But we are happy for them.

Ist Glasgow zu einer der wichtigen großen Musikschmieden der Welt geworden (mit Bands wie Teenage Fanclub, Mogwai oder eben Belle & Sebastian)?
Chris: No I don´t think it is. I think a lot of good bands have come out of Glasgow but I don´t think anything has ever happened in Glasgow which has fundamentally changed the whole nature of music. Like Detroit or New York or Kingston/Jamaica. Or even Kraftwerk. Something of that degree of importance. I think there´s a big difference between there being like some good bands from somewhere or there being like some kind of major turning point. I don´t think Glasgow is contributed to that. It´s maybe the way I look at music, but most of the stuff that´s happened in Glasgow, come out of Glasgow is just little off-shoots, just little footnotes to the march forward of musical progress.
Stevie: There´s always been bands coming from Glasgow geographically, maybe because a lot of bands don´t move to London. It gives things a distinctive feel to it. But it´s just a place. There isn´t really any direct musical vein going through it all. It´s quite a deverse bunch of groups, like all the Chemical Underground groups - Arab Strap, Mogwai and all them - and you could maybe chart a vague course from Teenage Fanclub to us, but it´s a big vague..

Nachdem Belle & Sebastian anfangs lediglich ein Schul-Projekt waren, schlug das erste Album ein wie eine Bombe. Wie ist das Klima innerhalb der Band? Oder ist Belle & Sebastian immer noch eher ein Musik-Projekt, das jederzeit auseinandergehen kann?
Stevie: It would be a shame to split up at this point because after the initial getting together there was a long period of uncertainty and unhappiness. For a few of us. Well, personally speaking, I nearly quit lots of times. But I just kind of came through it all and it feels really good at the moment. We're playing lots of shows and the vibe in the band feels quite good I think. And because we made a better record as well. So the challenge is there to continue, to try and improve. So for me the last couple of years have been an upswing. I can grow with that a bit longer. I don't really want to go back to being a dish-washer.

Belle & Sebastian

Und dann natürlich noch die Frage nach den musikalischen Favourites und Einflüssen.
Chris: At the moment it's a band called the Heptones, a sort of Reggae vocal group. They made records for the 60's right through the 70's. They're on top of my favourites at the moment. My favourite new stuff is the new Stereolab album. It's really amazing. I saw them in Glasgow a couple of weeks ago. I didn't think the concert sounded quite as good as the record. It was a kind of emotional scene without Mary.
Stevie: My favourite? I don't know. I think at the moment I like some contemporary black music, like R'n'B, Soul Sounds. I like Mary J. Blige. I love Brandy. I know it comes as a shock to you. I think there are a lot of bands that are played most days. I think it's very rarely as days goes by that I wouln't put on an early Rolling Stones record or even just a couple of songs. I was kind of obsessed when I was 16 and it's never really left me, it's never really gone away. I mean, we've all got lots of records. I love the Beatles and Bob Dylan and I love Country Music. The thing that I've been playing most is just a compilation tape a friend gave me and I don't even know who half the bands are. And I bought the Franz Ferdinand album. I really liked that.

Tja, und bevor er nochmals eine Lobeshymne auf Franz Ferdinand anstimmen kann, kommt Stevie Dreads und beendet unser Interview. Wir hätten noch stundenlang mit diesen beiden sympathischen Typen quatschen können. Um das kurz klarzustellen: Stevie Jackson ist in echt genauso smart und schick wie im Video (Sein Auftritt in "Wrong girl" ist nicht gespielt!) und Chris Geddes ist einfach nur süß.

(Interview: Sabine Zaeske, Text: Torben Deinert)

Net: www.belleandsebastian.co.uk

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Belle & Sebastian
"Dear Catastrophe Waitress" CD
(Rough Trade) 2003





















































Belle & Sebastian






































































Belle & Sebastian