Mind the building site! Here Alphaville
comes into being. Future music made in Germany. The shell is already finished.
Ready for moving in quite soon. Anyway that was the plan once. But then
everything came different. Alphaville land a superhit right with their
first Single "Big in Japan" and it was all over and done with the quietness.
Fans, curious people and of course many profiteers keep the wondering building
owners on the jump since then. POPCORN (that's the name of the magazine
where the article was printed) visited Alphaville and wondered together
with them a whole daylong.
Alphaville are above all the 3 boys on the stage. But there's much more in the background. The 3 boys are living in the Westphalian town called Münster in a chequered multimedia- commune with ambitious plans and ideas.
Marian Gold, 29, Singer, songwriter and mouthpiece of Alphaville. He likes Peter Skehern, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury.
Frank Mertens, 22, Keyboarder and rest- pole of Alphaville. He likes the extreme New Wave and classic like Bach, Beethoven or Dvorak.
Bernd Lloyd, 23, Keyboarder, he cares for the rhythm and the mixing. Lives in Bielefeld, where he's just doing civilservice. He likes Depeche Mode, OMD and Kraftwerk.
Ulli Sprick, 25, technique- tinkerer in the background. He's just tinker at a new Super- Synthesizer.
Ariane, 23, Marian's girlfriend and member in the girlband "girls next door", who want to realize a record still this year.
Julia, 23, "Girl next door". She's from Canada.
Stefanie, 23, "Girl next door". She's from Berlin.
Karin, 23, Bernd's girlfriend. She's living in Bielefeld.
Martina, 22, she cares for the Telephone and organisation things.
Guy, 21, Martina's boyfriend from London.
All together are the so-called Nelson Project (as well named after a movie which is about a disappeared rock singer named Melody Nelson) and want to do Music, film, photo and video things. They put the money that everybody earns with her/ his job together to finance new machines. The first Nelson result is Alphaville.
In the crowded living- kitchen of Nelson they welcome us with coffee and cacao.
Although they aren't already thirst for action this Saturday noon, the story of their success gushes forth yet. Marian is most ardent telling. If he leaves the room Bernhard continues talking. Frank, who prefers to listen lost in his mind, only answers if he urgently must do.
Years ago Marian moved from Westphalia to Berlin. There he gathers nearly 20 people to build up something creative. Many jumped off again as they noticed he's seriously realizing the plans. 2 years and a half ago Marian returned together with 5 people to Münster. They are living in 2 old building flats next door to each other which Ariana's grandmother owns. Of course they pay the rent for it. "We're digging us really in just in order to work very hard", Marian says. " With the local scene we have nothing to do". Bernd and Frank, who lived in this region and already worked with Synth- sounds for a longer time, joined one year and a half ago. Since then the team is complete. In summer 83 Alphaville presents their first demo to some Berlin Music Managers and experienced a triumph. " That's the music we were waiting for two years we've heard several times", reminds Bernd. " Hard to believe. We just worked for ourselves." By the way one didn't think quick enough - the discoverer of Nena: Jim Rakete. He refused to listen to the tape right in the presence of the Alphaville boys. So they took the tape again along. Finally Alphaville could choose which record company they wanted. The decided for the Budde- publisher and the WEA.
In January 84 "Big in Japan" was released. The song that tells about a broken love and the fatal connection between drugs and prostitution (" the song tells a drama that friends indeed experienced") pushed like a rocket up to the top of the charts. " We never expected something like this", Marian admits. The more was our happiness but also the challenge. Every day now Alphaville are in the soundproofed 20- square metre- studio in the cellar till 3 in the morning.
Visitors are welcome and invited to the "hour of fairytale". That's how Alphaville call it if they play new songs and test the reactions. The next single will be "Sounds like a melody". It's a love- story happens in the cinema, where the boy dreams himself and his girlfriend into the movie that's just on the screen. For the Album that comes in fall some songs are also already finished: "Forever Young", "Oh Jackie", "Lies", "Blauer Engel" - all in the typical melodious Alphaville- Sound and mostly somehow connected with movies, just like the name of the band. Alphaville is a Science- fiction movie, recorded in 1965 by Jean- Luc Godard. The computer Alpha60 governs a whole town in 1990. Eddie Constantine fights against. Alphaville makes their music just with Synthesiser and voice. Often they brood for hours in order to program new sounds that stage like a mosaic to a song finally. In a similar way they write the lyrics, mostly in English. "Our lyrics tells always very personal experiences and emotions - that's why it's easy for us to express the things in another language", says Marian. His unusual name comes from a polish grandfather. "In the English language it's easier to let the things open. The listeners must read between the lines".
Alphaville handled quite well with the first success. They didn't go crazy, behave how they really are. In the restaurant "Schürmann's" in Münster they are still working alternate in the kitchen, "because we really need the money". And they also don't try to hidden the disorder at home if there are some guests, even not the socks that drying at the radiator. At the floor hangs a lot of cloths of the whole team and the clothes- rod is dangerous bend. The one and only decoration at the walls is a poster of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust and a tourposter of New Order - the idols of the house. Two 15 years old schoolgirls, frightened a bit by "Nelson- dog" Nico (from a Berlin home for animals), asked timid for an autograph. Marian calms them down friendly and gets an autograph- card out of a box that stands on the shaky chest. Directly by the side of the carpet foam. That's Alphaville live! There's someone awoke in Münster. A whole nest full of talents from that we'll hear much more for sure. Alphaville wants to finish their album still in Münster. Then they plan to return to Berlin in fall. There they want to build up a kind of multi- media factory. The videos for their first 2 singles are just recorded in London. The start at the international market is imminent. And maybe Alphaville will make the Bluffer- saying of the year come true. Maybe they become indeed "big in Japan".
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