Ambrose released a magnificent album on Defiance Records called "Transatlantic Blues". Once again it was clearly shown that great music doesn't necessarily have to come from the US, even if some people still might disagree. But they should check out Ambrose and listen to some wonderful music. But right when I decided to do an interview with Ambrose I heard rumors that they had broken up. As Oliver, singer in the band, confirms, they actually had split up, but now they're back. So I thought "Now or never", and that's what you get. Go ahead now reading this inti, will you?
Hey Oliver, back from New York? How are you at the moment? Any introduction to start this interview off with?
Well, Iím fine and Iím stoked to be back home in good old Germany. Letís see what you got to offer now!!
Well I hope I can please you with my questions... There have been lots of rumors around Ambrose in the last few months concerning a split of the band, a whole new line up etc. Could you please comment on all this stuff? There actually was a split of Ambrose, right? Why and when did you split? When did you realize that you wanted to go on with Ambrose?
Well, everything was going downhill while we were in the process of recording the five last songs for our new album. Actually I donít want to tell the whole story but there were things that just didnít work for us as a band. We just didnít work as a band and thatís really difficult especially since each of us had a different point of view on how to work together. As things were getting really tough I really didnít want to continue playing in the band. Our drummer at that time was really into it and so was I but we just couldnít manage the problems we were facing with that line-up. I love all the former members but sometimes things are meant to happen in a different way. When we broke up I said thatís it. Kiss it goodbye!! So I decided to live with my girlfriend and moved to New York. While I was in New York Defiance released our record and the reviews were mind blowing. I was impressed and pissed at the same time. Now that things are going really good for the band we are no longer playing together. Then I got an e-mail from a guy (who is now the drummer for Ambrose) asking me if I wanted to start a band. He didnít know that I was living in New York at that time. But here was someone eager to play and do everything possible to have a good band and I thought to myself I want to play those songs but how can I??? Only by going back home to Germany. So here I am starting all over again. (I'm glad you made this decision - Stefan)
So what about the "old" Ambrose then? Are you still in touch with the former members and what do they do at the moment? Do you still get along well?
As I said I do love those guys, we just didnít work as a band. We do get along. We are grown up persons, we should be able to cope with such things!
And what about the new members, did they play in other bands before? Any known bands they played in? How did you meet these guys?
Well, they all played in various bands but basically no ďemo-backgroundĒ. But thatís perfect. The drummer as I said did contact me and he knew a guitarist. I knew a bass player and four persons make band at least in our case!
It seems that you are the main man behind Ambrose, because you write all the songs and stuff. Would you say that this is your band with a couple of other musicians or would you consider Ambrose as a "real" band?
Iím trying to make it a real band. Thatís what I want and it seems that we are doing a pretty good job for now. I did write the songs for ďTransatlantic BluesĒ but now the songwriting process is more a sharing of ideas that each of us have.
Will the new members be part of the songwriting process in the future or will you continue being the main songwriter?
They are a big influence and itís fun to work with those guys.
As you told me before, you were in New York for a couple of months. What did you do there?
I was trying to live there but I tell you itís hell. (Oh no, I wanted to go there in the future for some timeÖ Stefan). Itís hectic, loud, and so stressful. Nice to spend a couple of days but no place to live and work in.
On Defiance's website I read that you were offered to tour with Joshua in the US. What about this tour? Were you to join as a member of Joshua during that tour? Why didn't you play this tour in the end?
Yes, I got to know Dan from Joshua and we became friends. Their bass player couldnít play the tour because he had to go to school so he asked me to play and three days before I had to leave the States I made the decision to go back. But we will tour together in Europe soon.
Let's talk a bit about "Transatlantic Blues" which is a really great album in my eyes. You said before that the responses have been really great, so how many copies did you sell until today?
Well the responses are amazing and itís kind of a weird feeling when someone is praising your songs and actually enjoys them. I want to thank each and everyone of you who wrote about us. And if I could I would even tell you how many records we have sold but honestly I have no idea.
"Transatlantic Blues" was thought to be an EP first, but then it became a full length. What's the story behind this?
Well, EPís just donít sell as good and actually everybody was saying that the songs are so good that they should be on a full length and so we recorded five more songs.
What about new songs of Ambrose? Did you already write some new stuff and when will you record? Do you know already where the album will be recorded and who will be the producer?
We havenít made a decision whoís gonna record the next album but we are working on new material that we record in our home studio. I hope we will have a new record out by January!! (Yeah! - Stefan)
In which direction do these new songs tend? Any major changes compared to your previous stuff?
Well, the songs are tighter. There are more slow or midtempo songs but also rock songs like on the last album. Itís gonna be great!!
Did you or Defiance Records ever think about making a video clip for Ambrose? I mean Pale did a video that was No.1 in the 2Rock charts on German TV station Viva2, so what about Ambrose?
How do you know?? We are planning to shoot a video in the near future. I think itís great what Pale did. Those guys totally deserve it. The video is awesome and it shows that there are little gaps to sneak in in those industrialized days.
What about the relationship between the bands on Defiance? I think you are getting along good, aren't you? I mean at a show I attended (I guess it was during the last Elliott tour) Pale all wore Engrave shirts and you came up on stage and did a song with them, so do you help each other out?
We help each other. We love each other. We respect each other. And we sleep with each other (just kidding!!!) (Really? Come on, I donít believe you, haha Ė Stefan) No, seriously it is so nice to meet those guys because we are all like roommates living under the roof of the house of Defiance which is Roland and Hoffi.
Do you think there was kind of an "Emo Hype" (not only in Germany)? I mean Jimmy Eat World's "Lucky Denver Mint" was shown very often on music television. What do you think about people saying that this is something sellout like? I really can't understand these people, because a good song is a good song, no matter on which label a band is on. It was the same with Hot Water Music: Their new album is once again great, but some people seem to dislike that they're on Epitaph. What's your opinion about this whole "backstabbing" thing?
I would say if it is ok for the bands it is ok for me. Of course itís all about the money but thatís ok. If you are a musician and work your ass off you should get paid. Just because you are an artist doesnít mean you should do everything for free. (Right Ė Stefan) You have to live somewhere, you have to buy food and you canít be on the road for 10 years straight! So we are not in the position to talk about such things because we are not walking in there shoes. Major doesnít mean devil just because they want to make money. If you are serious about your label and wanna see it do good you gotta make money!! But of course there is big money and little money and there is greed. Donít be greedy and youíll love what itís all about! Music that you love!
Do you think that it is more difficult for German (emo) bands compared to American groups to sell records or do shows in Germany? I think things have gotten a lot better, would you agree?
At the moment Germany is a pretty good place to be in as a band! Donít think America is perfect. You sell more records because of the bigger population but concerning shows Germany rocks!!
I guess we're at the end of this interview. Did you like it? Do you want to add anything?
I loved it! If there are any questions that people wanna ask me please contact me through our website www.ambroseband.com. Thank you Stefan for doing this (to me!!), thanks to Defiance and last but not least thank you ... Love Oliver.