Soulmate is a very promising band from Germany. Their latest record "Revolving" is very strong and should gain the attention of a wide audience. As I like it a lot I decided to do an interview with them. Here we go:
Hey Peter, please introduce yourself to the readers before we get to the interview.
O.k. let me introduce myself. I’m Peter - the singer of Soulmate.
Even though I like your latest release "Revolving" very much I have to admit that it also was the first piece of music I heard from Soulmate. So why not starting this interview with one of those boring standard questions, hehe: Please give me all the details concerning the history of Soulmate, when did you guys come together, have there been any line up changes so far, how many releases did you have before "Revolving" etc....
We started in 1993 with four members, playing Hardcore and released a vinyl single. In 1995 we presented our debut album “Soulmate”. After that we published a split EP with “Reno Kid” and in 1999 the EP “Nerd Soho” on Snowblind / Green Hell. In 2000 “In Summerstreets" on Superrock was released and some line up changes got started and were mastered. Since this time the composition of Soulmate stayed the same an now we are proud to present our youngest release “Revolving” on Make My Day.
As I said before I like "Revolving" very much, and it's one of the finest albums I heard in a while. What really surprised me was how damn professional and mature Soulmate sound on here. I heard that the band already exists since 11 years or something, so would you say that's the reason why you sound so unique?
Eventually it’s because we know each other for such a long time. Or maybe because we love the same kind of music..... or it is, because we are good performers ... I don’t know. – That’s us – that’s Soulmate !
As I only have a promo copy of "Revolving", what can you tell me about this record in general? I mean where and when did you record it, who produced it and are all the songs written before you entered the studio? In case there was a producer from outside the band involved, what kind of an influence did he have on the songs?
It started between 2001 and 2002. At this time we became acquainted with Peter Seifert “JEM”. We recorded a couple of demo-CDs together and he also visited us some weeks before the recordings for “Revolving” started in April 2003. We were only able to spend two weeks in the studio, so we had to try a lot of things before it started. It's good to have such a producer like “JEM” “outside” the band. With an objective view, to show us some different kind of lines or solutions. The first version of “Make it Work”, for example, completely changed in the studio. As we recorded in Düsseldorf there was this moment where we erased all the recordings of this song, because he said: "Let’s try it in a different way”. We agreed and started from the beginning! It turned out to be a good idea.
There are also some keyboard parts on the album, so who was responsible for them and will you bring these parts live, too?
Oh yes. You’ve only got the Promo-CD without this photo-stuff inside. It's our keyboarder himself.
What is the most important in your opinion to promote Soulmate and "Revolving"? Playing live as much as you can, having a promo agency like Starkult behind you, or having a song on the OX compilation?
I guess most important is playing as much as we can, especially after a new release. Also the print-, web-, radio-promotion of Starkult does an excellent job. Without this agency we wouldn’t be able to reach this wide audience. “Shining Star” on the OX compilation is also a very good publicity, of course ...
I think your music is very catchy and beautiful, but not in a way that it sounds like most of the bands that go in the charts these days, you know, "here today, gone tomorrow". I could imagine your music could appeal to wide audience, so did you ever think about shooting a video, e.g. for "Shining star", "Everything's in place" (two of my faves from the album)? I could imagine that the chances would be pretty high that it would be played, what do you think?
Because of the good resonance for “Shining Star” we actually got in contact with a guy, who did some great music videos for friends of us. Hopefully that will work out. We will see ...
In most cases, record labels, promo agencies and fanzines try to label a band as Emo, Old School Hardcore, Metal or whatever while most of the time bands don't like to be categorized. To please you, I won't tell the readers in what genre Soulmate belong but leave it up to you to describe your style, hehe. If you had to write a short review concerning Soulmate and the band's sound, what would you write?
...some kind of catchy Indie Rock combined with pop.
I always wonder how bands get together and stuff, so what was the reason for you to make music in the first place and to pick up an instrument? Any certain bands that influenced you in those early days?
For me it's having a great time with these five guys, make music, to sing, because I love it. Concerning any influences of bands I can say: My reason for buying a CD Player in ’92 was Pearl Jam’s “Ten”. I can’t deny that I love melodic singing.
I guess it's one thing to make music together with some friends, but it's another thing to try to get a record deal. When did you make the decision that now the time had come to have a release out and to send your stuff to record labels? How have the first responses been back then?
One day everyone of us had to decide: Do I attend the test I have to write at university or do I want to play some shows with some great guys and make OUR own music? All this happened without any great discussions ... Since the “In Summerstreets” we tried to reach some more than an “independent-record-deal”. I told you about the demo-CDs we recorded between 2001-2002. We tried to convince them, but it didn’t work out. So we contacted some other labels. We are proud that Jörg Timp at Make My Day contacted us on a Monday, after having heard our CD the whole weekend. The result is the topic of this interview...