No More Interview by Tzina Dovve (DJ Lady Davinia)…
No More… A dark/minimal wave act comes to life on the German underground scene over four decades ago… Duo Andy and Tina travel back in time from their early beginnings and music adventures to their latest album and future plans… An interesting interview on what these German dark wavers are all about… No More… By Tzina Dovve (DJ Lady Davinia)…
Tzina: Welcome to Absolution… No More are an act/band that date back to the late 70’s with quite a few changes over the years to this day. How and when exactly did you form and what inspired you to begin this act/band to begin with. Who are the current members?
Andy Schwarz: Before No More, Tina, our drummer Christian and I were in a school band, playing all kinds of music but when Punk hit the scene and we wanted to go into that direction, the singer didn’t, so we started No More in 1979. I switched from bass to guitar and started singing and Tina bought her first synthesizer. We then also recruited a school mate, who hadn’t played an instrument before as the bass player.
Tina Sanudakura: We were influenced by The Stranglers, Blondie, Wire, early Ultravox, Adverts and the New York No Wave scene in the early days. The band changed a lot over the years, styles and members came and went. Now we are a duo.
Tzina: What is the story behind the band’s name? Does the title ‘No More’ have some sort of symbolic meaning to you? Why this name in particular? Can you elaborate…
Tina: It was inspired by the Stranglers song ‘No More Heroes’ but in order to say “no more” to a lot of things we dropped the ‘heroes’.
Andy: Now we’re covering Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ to bring it back together again.
Tzina: Your music is quintessentially dark with elements of early post punk and minimal wave in your sound. As veterans of this genre you have influenced many bands on the dark/alternative music scene. Who has been the main songwriter over the years? How is a No More creation brought to life and how has it changed from the early days to now? Where do you derive your inspiration from to write such melodies and what are your main musical influences?
Tina: We’ve always written the music in a collaborative way but Andy writes (most of) the lyrics. Usually someone comes up with an idea and we improvise in the rehearsal room until we have something to structure. It’s a bit different now because we work with the computer but we still write the music together and Andy writes the lyrics.
Andy: We write down a lot of ideas before we start. Writing, recording and production goes hand in hand. We hardly ever do any demos nowadays.
Tina: Art as such – films, music, visual arts – is the main influence of our work. We don’t let ourselves be influenced by a certain genre as we like what we like and in the end we sew it together like Frankenstein’s monster.
Tzina: No More have always been an active band with a vast number of releases under your belt.. Your latest album ‘Kissin’ In The Blue Dark’, a double album consisting of 29 tracks, was released just last October, 2022. What feedback has this album received by your fans and music press so far? What is this double album about and how content are you with the output of this work? How does it differ from previous No More albums?
Andy: The feedback, especially from the fans, is really great. Most agree that this is our best work yet. Although most people don’t even listen to a single album, people have written to us that they love listening to both back to back.
Tzina: As I understand your hit of 1981 ‘Suicide Commando’ was re-issued on vinyl last year (2022) as a limited edition. Do you have any plans to release any more of your early work for newer fans on vinyl in the near future? Do you believe there is some sort of vinyl revival happening at the moment?
Tina: I think the vinyl revival has been going on for a few years now and it seems that vinyl and streaming are the formats mainly used at the moment. With the release of a double CD we are (again) anti-cyclical.
Andy: I don’t know if we will re-issue early work on vinyl again soon but you never know…
Tzina: No More have also recently released two videos on YouTube for the tracks ‘Paris Blue’ and ‘Sleepers And Trains’ from ‘Kissin’ In The Blue Dark’. What are your views on music videos? Do you believe the visual side to a band is as fundamental as the music? Can you elaborate…
Andy: I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s part of the package. Image has always been important to popular music, sound and vision as Bowie put it. Videos are part of the imagery, but they also limit the listeners’ imagination a little, guiding them in a certain direction.
Tina: We love making our own videos because it’s very satisfying as an artistic expression but I don’t think ‘official’ videos are as important as they were in the 80s, for example. People are making their own videos now.
Tzina: No More have also been a very active live band with endless shows throughout the years. You recently played some shows in your home country during 2022 and have some more coming up. Are there any plans for shows outside Germany in 2023? Are there any particular cities you would like to visit?
Tina: We will only play a few shows in Germany during the first half of the year and then plan to play in France and Italy in the fall.
Andy: Maybe we will also go to the UK because we’ve only played there once so far.
Tina: I really would like to go to New York too.
Andy: And Bucharest.
Tina: You see, we are very eclectic in every way.
Tzina: What do you enjoy most about performing live in front of an audience? What is one of your fondest memories from one of your shows during your music career?
Andy: It sounds like a cliché, but it’s the energy that comes back from the audience on a good night.
Tina: When the audience becomes part of the show, it’s like an adrenaline rush. My favorite memory from an 80’s show is when we opened for the Sisters Of Mercy. Our publisher paid the crew 200 marks so that we could have full sound and light. It was magic.
Andy: A few years ago we played in a very small club in Metz. It was in the basement with a very low ceiling. The room was full and the audience started crowd surfing. There was so much energy. That’s what it’s all about.
Tzina: The past few years of the pandemic have been difficult, to say the least, on artists and the music industry in general.. How did this pandemic and lockdown days affect you as musicians? What are your views on the virtual world that bands found an outlet to share their music on social media during these days?
Tina: We didn’t do online concerts because there’s nothing that comes close to a real concert. That makes no sense. We used this time to write a soundtrack, make a cover album, a double album and to clean out our basement.
Andy: We took the opportunity to step back, reconsider and take a look at the rat race called life. We also completely shut down our social life because we quickly realized that this is a very dangerous virus that will have immense impact on everyone’s life for a long time.
Tina: I don’t think the music industry will be the same as it was before the pandemic.
Tzina: How do you view the underground scene today compared to when you began your music journey over four decades ago? Do you believe the scene in your home country differs from the rest of the world? Can you elaborate…
Andy: Perhaps the biggest difference is that we had to invent the future, improvise and find new ways. Ninety percent of today’s underground bands look back at someone else’s past while we looked ahead because of the unavailable technology back then. There are so many more options today. On the other hand, there are also a lot more bands competing against each other.
Tina: We try to do both, to benefit from the spirit and music that shaped us then, but also to find new ways to express life today.
The goth/dark wave scene in Germany was always bigger than in most countries and has stayed quite ‘popular’ because when East Germany merged with West Germany there were a lot of young people who joined this underground scene. It’s changed direction, but the ‘scene’ is still pretty big.
Andy: It’s not homogenous and I don’t know if it’s that different from the scene in other countries. People are people, right?
Tzina: When No More came to life in the late 70’s did you believe that the act would still be going strong after forty years or so. Is this how you pictured your act/band back then? In one sentence what does No More mean to you?
Tina: We didn’t think of such things at all.
Andy: No More is still an unfinished business.
Tzina: Thank you for your time… Anything else you would like to share with your fans?
What can they expect from No More in the near future?
Tina: To quote David Bowie: “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”
By Tzina Dovve (DJ Lady Davinia)
No More is on Facebook…
No More is on Instagram…
No More is on Bandcamp…
No More has an Official Website…