Interviewdatum: 03. Februar 2007.
ALLISON und BRETT, zwei der vier Bandmitglieder standen uns Rede und Antwort. In Deutschland sind „The Donnas“ nicht so bekannt wie in Amerika. Aber alle haben sie schon mal gehört oder gesehen. In den Filmen „Jawbreaker“ und „Drive me Crazy“ hatten sie einige Musikalische Gastauftritte und brachten in den Filmen den nötigen Schwung. Wo sie auftauchen fängt die Bühne an zu beben. „The Donnas“ haben Spaß mit dem was sie machen und trotz großem Erfolg, sind sie völlig normal geblieben.
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OBZ: Ihr seit schon seid vielen Jahren eine gefragte Band. Seit ständig unterwegs. Ihr seid viel zusammen. Habt Ihr da nie das Gefühl etwas im Leben zu verpassen?
ALLISON: Sometimes since we were in the band since high school I think we all wonder what it would’ve been like to go to college and graduate with some kind of degree in something, but for the most part I’m grateful that I got to see the world during those years and meet so many people who live rock the way we do.
BRETT: I don’t think we missed out on anything that matters. All of our experiences traveling and working in the real world far surpass anything I could have paid for at a higher learning institution. Not to mention I’d rather make money with my friends than spend it with strangers.
OBZ: Wie haltet Ihr den Kontakt mit euren Freunden?
ALLISON: We text on our cell phones a lot! Before we had cell phones we used to buy lots of those T-Mobile calling cards at gas stations all over Europe and get frustrated trying to use them on various payphones in nightclubs and at hotels!
BRETT: I love to write letters and I am always on the phone or texting.
OBZ: Wie finden eure Freunde es, dass Ihr so viel Unterwegs seid?
ALLISON: I think we don’t have as many friends at home as we would if we had regular steady jobs. We all have a few good friends, who are always there, but a lot of people think the travelling is selfish and that we’re never there for them so they don’t stay in touch.
BRETT: Our friends have always been very supportive and excited for us, it’s just that there weren’t that many of them, ha!
OBZ: Wie bereitet Ihr euch auf ein Konzert vor? Hat jeder von euch sein eigenes Ritual?
ALLISON: I don’t have a ritual, but I get nervous and try and relax before the show, I have too much adrenaline naturally when I get up on stage so I need to tame the beast beforehand. I like to be with the other girls alone Backstage, I think the routine of being around each other like a sports team while we’re all getting ready makes me feel more safe and calm.
BRETT: I like to warm up my voice and then write the first line of every song on my set list to help me focus.
OBZ: Was ist das peinlichste was euch je passiert ist? Auf einem Konzert? Oder auf einem anderen Event?
ALLISON: I think the most embarassing moments for me onstage are when an amplifier blows up during a song. You have this blast of loud amp power behind you making you feel so strong and excited and then all of a sudden it’s gone and you feel weak and helpless! Everyone in the audience heckles you and makes you feel even more awkward and you want to go hide, it’s like the dream everyone has about being at school naked except its real and there’s nothing you can do about it.
BRETT: Once in France, I got tangled up in a stage light and slowly fell to the ground, it was more embarassing than falling fast because there was more time for people to laugh at me!
OBZ: Ihr spielt immer Live. Ist das für euch besonders wichtig?
ALLISON: Live shows are the best way to connect with people immediately and show them what you’re all about. If you just listen to albums and read reviews, you can make up your own opinion, but it’s like making up an opinion of a piece of pizza only from magazine ads and rumours you’ve heard; you don’t know if it’s good pizza til you try it! So with our band, I think we are much more engaging once you’ve seen the show.
BRETT: People never really appreciate our band till they see us live, I think they assume we can’t really play our instruments, but we are really into practicing.
OBZ: Ihr hattet auch schon ein paar Auftritte in Deutschland. Wie findet Ihr die deutschen Fans? Das deutsche Publikum? Und wo gibt es das beste Publikum?
ALLISON: We’ve had some crazy shows in Germany! We have great audiences there, lots of support and lots of rockers in Germany. We’ve had a few shows where people were attacking the stage or someone got hurt cos it was too crowded, but the shows are always exciting. We’ve had some great ones in Stuttgart and Köln. I also love the food there, maybe it sounds weird but the food provided backstage like snack type food is really really delicious all over Germany! Great cheese and chocolate and beer. And I love pretzel bread and coffee at breakfast! I would say the best audiences so far have been in USA, UK, Germany, Sweden and Australia!
BRETT: The crowds in Germany are definitely energetic, our last show in Munich was amazing!!!
OBZ: Ihr habt die Musik zu den Filmen „Jawbreaker“, „Detroit Rock City“ und zu „Drive me Crazy“ gemacht. Wart auch in den Filmen zu sehen. Wie hat euch das gefallen? Wie ist die Stimmung bei diesen Drehs? Und würdet Ihr das immer wieder machen?
ALLISON: I like the movies, Jawbreaker is really cool and funny. We’re not IN Detroit Rock City, just a song on the soundtrack. I would do them again because they’re funny and part of our history. Making songs for movies is fun but being in the movie is kind of uncomfortable, so I’m glad that I tried it but now I know that I’m not meant to be an actress.
BRETT: Films are just another way to get new people to hear your music and I think our songs have lots of energy and that’s usually what they’re looking for when they pick songs for a movie, we’re always in the dance scene at the end.
OBZ: Ihr seid auch viel im Tourbus. Wie gestaltet Ihr eure Zeit im Bus? Dürfen auch mal Fans mit euch kommen?
ALLISON: We are very private on our bus because it is our home! We keep our belongings there and it’s our only safe place while we’re travelling to go to and relax. We keep it clean and comfortable, and we share it with our crew, so there’s not a lot of room for extra partying people. We like to sleep on the bus mostly, sleep all day and wake up in the afternoon for soundcheck!
BRETT: We watch a lot of dvd box sets and movies, also it’s nice to read in your bunk when you’re tired or listen to music on headphones.
OBZ: Schreibt Ihr eure Songs alle selber? Oder zum größten Teil?
ALLISON: We write all our own songs, all of them, but we’ve tried „co-writing“ with other songwriters before. On the first two Donnas albums we worked with our friend Darin Raffaelli on the songs, after that we wrote all the songs all by ourselves for years. Recently we’ve tried co-writing again, but I am not sure if any of those songs will be on the new album yet.
OBZ: Wie entstehen eure Songs?
ALLISON: Usually I get a riff or chord progression stuck in my head. I play it in my head like an internal iPod, over and over, and I get melody ideas over that. Once we have a melody I will try to create a backbone for the song and we all get together and write lyrics to the melody.
BRETT: We usually start with a riff or a melody or sometimes a title and go from there. A lot of times someone will have a musical or lyrical idea and someone else will already have an idea that goes well with it, so we just put them together.
OBZ: Worum geht es in euren Songs? Und wollt Ihr mit euren Texten etwas Bestimmtes ausdrücken?
ALLISON: We try to write about real things that happen to us on the road or at home while we’re waiting to go somewhere, but we also like to write about fictional characters or someone we knew once but created more of their life in our heads for the song cos they were interesting, what have you. Our message is usually one of fun and partying but you have to have variety so you don’t sound like some indie band who writes the same record over and over again every year!
BRETT: We just want to make people excited so we write about things people can relate to or that paint an interesting picture.
OBZ: Ist euch der persönliche Kontakt mit Ihren Fans sehr wichtig?
ALLISON: Yes, it’s very important for me to see in person who is interested in the music. Lots of times we meet the same fans and it’s nice to know you have their support when you’re having a bad day or your tired of travelling. New fans are exciting too cos you can really see with each new album how it attracts different people from the one before. It’s also inspiring to reach younger people who remind you of how you were in high school, to help them get the confidence to start their own band.
BRETT: Definitely, I get most of my encouragement and motivation from things people have said after shows and at signings, it’s really amazing how supportive our fans are!
OBZ: Was war euer schönstes Erlebnis mit einem Fan? Oder mit einigen Fans?
ALLISON: When young kids want to play in a band because of being inspired by ours!
BRETT: There are so many! But one girl who was afraid to fly flew for the first time to come and see us play, I thought that was really amazing!
OBZ: Was möchten Ihr euren Fans sagen?
ALLISON: We love you guys and we can’t wait for you to hear our new album, it’s gonna knock your socks off!
BRETT: I’m grateful for their support and that they don’t buy one album and then move on like a lot of people do. I think we really value their opinions and try to give them what they want every time we make a new record, and some surprises too!
OBZ: Gibt es für euch ein Traumprojekt?
ALLISON: Yes, I would like to be in an all female Motley Crue Tribute band or an all female KISS tribute band!
BRETT: I’d love to go back in time and write a song for one of the Nightmare On Elm Street movies.
OBZ: Würdet Ihr denn auch mal an einem deutschen Projekt mitwirken? Oder habt Ihr das schon?
ALLISON: Not yet but we havent been asked to join any German projects yet, we will always be willing to do something in Germany!
BRETT: We haven’t yet but of all countries Germany is one of the most likely because we have a good folowing there.
OBZ: Was ist das wichtigste in euren Leben?
ALLISON: Family, friends, good food and good music!
BRETT: Friends and music, what more could a person want? and family too!
OBZ: Wenn Ihr einen Wunsch frei hättet. Was würdet Ihr euch wünschen?
ALLISON: World Peace and a kitten for myself!
BRETT: I’d like a super power, I don’t even care which one.
OBZ: Bei wem möchtet Ihr euch besonders für die Unterstützung bedanken (Freunde, Familie, Band)?
ALLISON: Our families are extremely supportive so I thank them all and I wouldn’t be able to do any of what I do with out my best friends, my band!
BRETT: Our friends and families and other bands have always been supportive, I wish there were more bands to be friends with, but that’s rare so it’s really special when it happens.
OBZ: Was dürfen wir als nächstes von euch erwarten?
ALLISON: A big bad thunderous rock album.
BRETT: Our next record is gonna be awesome! Anthems!!
OBZ: Wann besucht Ihr mal wieder Deutschland?
ALLISON: Next year, maybe next summer or fall? I hope! Save me some Kinder Eggs.
BRETT: ASAP! I love the summer festivals and all the German audiences so I can’t wait to get back there.
© The Donnas.
© Dewey Darko.