We Are Modeselektor (2013) Movie Script

We are probably the most popular
pop duo from Berlin.
This is Basti Szary
and this is Gernot Bronsert.
And we have known each other for
quite a long time, round about
Wait, let's do that again:
Do I actually look into the camera
or do I look at you?
For the first time I met
Szary was over there,
by the chimney.
That's where our first school was,
where we went together.
And I have seen one of his binders once
with his name written on it in graffiti.
It was on the table of
the teacher in the music class
and it said Sebastian Szary in
graffiti writing and I thought:
Woah. Cool dude.
We both grew up east of Berlin.
One town is called Woltersdorf,
that is where Gernot is from.
I, Szary, am from Rdersdorf.
Early childhood memories
are quite happy ones.
You biked around a lot,
and spend a lot of time on the water.
The entire region is crisscrossed
with canals and lakes
and there was a lot of forest.
Basically, you spend a lot
of time out in nature.
Until Techno arrived.
Woltersdorf is kind of a spa town,
you could say.
It's like a place of pilgrimage
for all the people from Berlin
who want to put their feet
in the water at the weekends.
Rdersdorf has always been quite industrial.
Here, where we are now,
used to be the limestone-open-pit mine,
the cement-chemical plant,
so this was kind of where the industry was.
Woltersdorf had no industry at all.
They maybe had an industry of gastronomy,
but not really.
That used to be the difference
between Rdersdorf and Woltersdorf.
That the world of electronic music
in which we work now,
that that works for us
is due first and foremost
to certain circumstances have led
to the possibilities that we had.
It was definitely an important period here.
When I got to know Gernot, know properly,
with hanging out afterwards...
With getting naked!
With getting naked was:
It sounds late,
it was 1996.
I was working in construction back then.
I was up on the roof and had to nail.
A friend passed by, I don't even
remember who else was there.
Anyways, Gernot stood there too and he said:
'Ey, Szary, when will you finish,
come down for a moment. '
And I said: 'Half an hour to go. '
And you guys waited
down there and I came down
with my chapped hands and a blue nail
from hitting it with the hammer.
And then we drove off.
I think we went to my place, my shed.
In any case, we chilled out
and listened to music.
- I had records with me.
- You brought records.
This is where it all started.
I can show you,
to trace out the dimensions
...a slightly ruinous attic.
Anyway this used to be my studio,
it was full of instruments.
Keyboards, drum machines, Atari.
Back then it was still pretty clean.
The shed was originally a workshop,
a storage for building materials
that his Dad put there and
at some point we started to use it,
rebuilt and insulated it,
took out some pillars,
put down a concrete floor
so we could have parties in it
and were able to sleep over.
It was like, at about 10, 11, 11.30
in the evening the party up there started
and music blared,
basses were turned up
and those basses permeated
through all the walls.
So I came out to the shed in
my nightgown at midnight and said:
'Turn off the bass,
we can't listen to it anymore,
we can't sleep!'
Well, that's how it was.
When it comes to music you
couldn't see it coming with Sebastian.
He was experimenting a lot,
had new ideas everyday,
but none of them was music.
He couldn't really sing either.
He got a "satisfactory'
I think in musical education.
And for being able to read sheet music,
since no one in the family
plays an instrument,
he couldn't do that either.
Well, but with that music today
you don't really need that at all.
Basti listened to the radio.
What was it?
DT64, Monika Dietl as well
and he tape-recorded it all and analysed it,
and that was electronic music,
I don't know what you used to
call it back the exactly.
Immediately after reunification it was like that:
I finished school after ten years,
without the A-levels
and went immediately on to do the apprenticeship
in the concrete factory in Rdersdorf
and earned my first money
that I went on to spend immediately
every Thursday in a record shop called Hardwax.
I still lived at Mum's place.
And at some point I wanted to know:
How do you make that kind of music?
A relatively short time later you knew with
what kinds of devices you made that music.
There were only two of them:
TR 808 and TB 303.
Of course, some time later you
had a whole armada of devices.
In those days you still ordered
the devices by telephone somewhere.
Until then you could keep it secret,
but then came the package.
And you also had to pay the postman.
I was just shocked
and thought that cannot end well.
It cannot end well with all the records
and equipment and keyboards and
what else the stuff was that he bought.
It was pretty upsetting for me.
However for him it was his hobby
and very important to him.
We drove to Berlin,
to Tresor in late 1990, early 1991,
and then also to Frankfurt/Oder, to Rauen...
...wherever we had enough petrol to go to.
Influenced by that Techno hype
that had been growing in Berlin as well,
we tried to establish our own
stinking cellar in Rdersdorf.
Since there were so many vacancies,
they had in the old buildings
We are in one of those areas right now,
this is the Seilscheibenpfeiler,
an old building in which in the 19th century
the lorries filled with limestone
came up from the pit
to be put onto ships
or over into the cement plant.
So right there were three empty houses
that were completely broken-down,
without windows, roofs partly collapsed.
And since it was my way to work,
I cycled to the cement plant every day,
I passed the houses every day,
and some day I went in there
and had a look and thought:
Perfect, here in this basement
we should really have a party.
So me and my friend, Thomas Richter
I drove there, didn't call,
back then you actually met in person.
And said: 'Come on Thomas,
we have to clean up the basement. '
There was lots of coal dust
and old metal shelves.
So every day at about 3 pm, after work,
we started sowing the shelves
apart with makeshift hacksaws.
and nobody noticed
even though it was really loud.
Then we shovelled all the stuff out
and then came the D-Day.
So, today is the 30st October
and Seilscheibenpfeiler happens
for the last time this year,
so let's go up there and have a look, right?
Come on!
It was completely dark in there.
There were two floors.
A House floor.
And a Techno floor.
A Gabber floor.
There were only strobes and haze.
Those were great parties.
People got excited.
And in the end the feeling was:
It was pure.
Pure Techno.
I perceived the Seilscheibenpfeiler parties
and the following parties
from a completely different perspective
than Szary for example.
I was a guest.
I could look more objectively at the result,
at what a party can do to young people,
what it did to me.
We did some live acts then as well.
Didn't prepare anything,
just go, take the machines,
any sequence and off you go.
People were happy,
I was happy, too and I think
it was still terribly boring.
Basti however was great,
you could dance with it
and it was really balanced.
He had breaks too,
where the music was quiet
and there were just strings.
And from my side that was rather envy:
How does he do it,
that's what I wanted to know,
but he didn't really respond.
So. The morning after:
The only survivor of the party
and the only one who
at least does some work.
The rest fucked off again.
I know that I was here twice.
Then the whole thing moved
and this nave boys-shed-construction
site-Techno-mixture developed
into some type of hype
and it inspired lots of people
and there were more parties,
in the potato silo amongst others,
where it was really dusty
and you couldn't stay in long.
Then there were parties in the Z1,
the cement plant one,
in an old coal-pulveriser
where it was also incredibly dirty
and then it became more official, and bigger
and then some money was invested
and the whole thing moved
to the Kulturhaus in Rdersdorf.
Here we organized the bigger raves
in Rdersdorf from 1994 onwards
- the really official ones.
There were lots of people involved,
and lots of people in the end
means obscure accounting.
We had to pay tax for example.
Until then: What?
Nobody ever did it before.
And it worked for a while,
was quite nice,
but then a certain greediness
from certain people set in,
and the group split.
It stopped fairly soon afterwards.
I think in late 1995
we had the last party here.
So basically, it kept going for 1 years.
Before I started getting into music seriously
I also did other things,
like skateboarding and spraying graffiti.
I also went to school in Berlin.
But when I witnessed
the first Techno parties here,
that touched me somehow,
it did something with me.
It was so overwhelming that after
that point there was nothing else for me.
Gernot and I always
went to the parties together,
then spent the time separately
and in the end went home together.
That's how it always went.
It was fascinating to experience
this new type of music
basically around the corner,
kind of in the middle of the forest
and Gernot was always crazier about it
than me or other people and wanted to
experience it with every fibre of his body.
Our Gernot could not yet walk properly
when he started to bang
his wooden toys in a rhythm
and sing really like a jazz-musician:
'There was a man,
who poo-pooed in his bed. '
In different kind of rhythms
and he was still very small then.
We thought that he was going to be a musician
- even the minister said during his christening:
'He'll be a great musician!' -
so we send him to piano lessons:
Big fiasco.
In about 3rd or 4th class I was
proud owner of a Technotronic tape,
I went to bed with it
and woke up to it in the morning.
I was listening to it non-stop
and after some Techno socialisation
and underground parties where Szary was too,
I started to get more into it
and basically had my first
DJ gigs at home in my bedroom.
I think Gernot's parents always said:
'Just do it. '
His Dad is a scientist,
he always sat downstairs in his office
and Gernot was playing music upstairs
and that was alright.
I think they rather encouraged him
to do what he really wanted to do.
My father once threatened me with
a wooden slat because I made so much noise.
He was working in his study,
he always had to write a lot,
and I had the music really loud in my room...
Something was being built in the staircase
and there were these slats,
and Dad got really angry
and stood there with a slat, all distraught.
What surprised my parents I think was,
that after weeks of slaving away on building sites
while I was still in school and on summer holidays
I just bought a record player with the money.
And the next summer holidays
I did the same to buy a second one.
That was a bit hard to understand.
And then I had these two record players
but no money left to buy records.
I had about 40 records,
I still remember that,
and I always put them up in a way that
I can see them all and I knew them by heart.
Then I saw in videos
that the Scratch DJs put labels on them,
but I didn't know why, but I still put
labels on my records too, because it looked cool,
and then I understood what they were for.
Szary was DJing in the Z1 at that time
and also played his own tracks
that he produced back then
and Gernot admired that,
but Gernot was nobody
who just took for granted:
'He is the DJ now and... '
This type of looking up
to someone he never did,
he was rather interested in:
How do I get there,
I want to do that too,
and what's the fastest way to get there.
After school I had absolutely no idea
what I wanted to do,
To be honest I kind of screwed up in school
due to too many out of school activities:
Then I decided to go to Berlin to university
of applied sciences for social pedagogy
and to do a degree as
child care teacher for five years.
The cool thing there was
that it was full of guys like me
who didn't really know
what to do with their lives,
but most of them were musicians.
That's where I met the most musicians
and people interested in music.
Amongst others I met Gordon there
who also works for us, for Monkeytown
and goes on tour as well,
and with him I had a band called Illuminati,
that was my first band before Modeselektor,
I already knew Szary then.
I don't actually know
anything about computers.
With Gernot it was obvious that he had something
to do with music when he came there,
or rather we both had
something to do with music,
so it became a topic quite soon.
And since we did a lot together,
not just at school,
it was also a subject matter
it was always present.
We are in Brest.
In Belgium.
In Austria.
PITCH Festival.
Bloc Festival.
Somewhere in Brittany.
Denmark. Roskilde.
Down with that, down.
Today a big concert in Eberswalde-Finow
with Major Lazer and A-Trak.
Such a Modeselektor track
often sounds quite simple.
And that's why they make such
an impact in the live version,
because it's clear music,
that's to the point.
And that is the highest quality
music can have in this kind of context.
Somehow we are the band of course,
but we do have a pretty equal
footed relationship with the crew.
We talk about the tracklists together,
and they really have become our friends.
You get to know each other really well on tour.
You are very close all the time,
and very often in extreme situations.
Are we allowed to smoke here?
She said we don't have to put the seatbelts on.
It's not that bad.
Whether it be the journey on
the sleeper bus or a flight:
Shortly before departure
I always send a text message
to my wife and my mother:
Every time?
And I also send a text message saying:
'We arrived safely. '
They are short phrases,
but they really calm down I have noticed.
Guys, the gig starts.
Will I go to the bathroom again or not?
I'm not sure.
Yes, I am nervous.
I am worried again,
that nobody turns up today.
Leave me alone, I am nervous now.
- It is always like that.
- Ey, it's enough, leave my buddy alone.
- It's always like that.
- Gernot, Gernot, it will be alright.
My wife is totally important to me
- she is my earth anchor.
When I do some remix
for this and that band with Szary
and come home and euphorically
want to tell her what a great remix I am doing,
she just nods at how great it is what I do
and then hands me the shopping list
and sends me off to get some milk.
It is really cool to have a family,
because it connects you to reality,
the reality that is important.
We never were the Jacks-of-all-trades
who jumped from one groupie to the next
and went to one
after show party after the other,
it was always more like
we kept a little Shire within ourselves.
Our nice little Shire
with little sheep and cows
and little monkeys of course.
In the end, we are two
We are country bumpkins in a way.
Don't know, it's...
I just want to prove that
you can create a lot out of nothing.
That you can achieve
a lot with little means
and we always try to convey
that everyone else also boil
their damn tea with only water.
I moved to Berlin early 1998,
to the Mitte district
in an incredibly large flat share.
First of all I went to school in Berlin,
and then there was also
a lot going on in Berlin already.
And then I had to cut
the cord with my parents.
So we lived in that flat share
for a while and lived of Kebabs.
Above us a flat with the same layout
was up for new tenants.
It just happened that
I told Szary the flat was free
and he moved in with
three friends from Berlin-Buch.
Also three musicians.
It was a real musician flat share up there,
everyone had a tiny studio in his room,
and we became neighbours.
There was always a lot of movement
upstairs and downstairs,
and usually you met at Szary's place,
who always refilled his coffee pot
and already knew how
to make a really good espresso.
Our circle of friends grew
much bigger all of a sudden.
First of all, we had the biggest flat,
then we constantly had parties,
it was like the pivotal point,
because we had the space for it.
During that time we met most
of the friends we have now.
It was a great atmosphere.
I think that influenced the guys a lot, too.
There were 15 people in one spot,
who were all very creative in different areas.
We had a puppeteer,
the Pfadfinder, musicians,
I came from a classical background,
always did my vocal exercises.
It was a wild mix.
Labstyle came in 1998
and was in the Kurvenstar club once a week,
it was really important
for our musical development.
Our motto has always been:
See with your ears and listen with your eyes.
And then we had two floors
in this tiny club that had two rooms,
so we always had two bookings.
One at the front, at the bar,
and one booking in the back.
Szary and I used to be the main DJs
together with Skate,
still with Paul Kuhn back then
and Krsn.
And the Pfadfinder did some visuals
with VHS tapes and video projector,
that was quite funny usually.
They piled shoeboxes full of VHS tapes
and then off they went.
Wait, what I find really cool
is to just fall like that.
Yeah, great.
Do it again.
Kurvenstar, Labstyle for us was
like a playground most of all,
a playground we had built ourselves.
We all had no idea really, no future vision,
we just wanted to do it.
We were keen on doing it and
invited everyone to observe us doing it,
or to get involved themselves,
or invite all friends
just to have a good evening
and it didn't have a commercial outlook.
We just wanted to have a playground
where we could play out
all the stuff that we had in our heads,
because we are all children
of the 1990s Berlin Techno
and wanted to realise the ideas
we had in our head.
Every Thursday we completely
changed the whole place.
It never looked the same.
It was extremely eclectic.
There was any kind of electronic music,
a lot of non-Techno and non-House.
In my memories it was the coolest series
you could have imagined.
They had an audience that they themselves
had educated and that never eloped them.
I didn't know that from any other club night.
They could play Bonzai Rave Techno
and then abruptly switch over
to Otto von Schirach type of noise,
Hip-Hop or whatever.
Nobody else could do that,
as far as I remember.
Some day we left Kurvenstar
for the WMF Club,
so in the end there was
quite a healthy growth.
Then there was the Labland DVD,
because after two years or so we thought:
What we generate here is nice, but transient,
because its only ever for one night,
so let us cement it
and put into one product.
So we sat down with Modeselektor
and produced an audio-visual album.
I think that the continuity in the collaboration
between Modeselektor and Pfadfinderei
is something very special.
It has been going on for
a very very long time
and I would say the equal status that
we accredit to each other is very important.
The trust into the genre,
the chapter that you describe is quite large,
and that definitely gives
Gernot and Szary security
and we have repeatedly gotten
good inspiration from it as well,
to create something new.
At the moment
we are in the so called ALL,
that is short for Allende Club.
it used to be a youth club
in Berlin-Kpenick.
In this house I used to work on
a job-creation scheme from 1998 to 2001,
it was called SAM
structural adaptation measure.
Looks a little different.
Different colour.
Formerly the studio was...
Here used to be a wall.
And this was the studio area.
I knew Szary from DJing,
we always played in the ALL
on Wednesdays for example,
or in the Blaupunkt Bar in Mitte,
at the same time as Kurvenstar was taking place.
And he always seemed like
the most fitting guy for the job,
because his social streak always
showed that he was a good choice.
The core job was
to take care of a room
to which the youngsters could come
with their ideas, to make beats
- it was mainly a Hip-Hop background here -
to record their raps and create mixtapes.
Szary always used to mix
all my important projects.
That happened, because he is
and always has been an ace in that area
and we all knew that and we
- I don't want to say
kneeled in the dust before him -
but we all said:
'Can you help us with this or that? '
And it was like that back then too and particularly
the experimental bands loved recording with him.
And he also had the assignment
from the youth club,
so he was employed to do it.
We're like locusts here.
So now we found it after all.
There are no titles on this unfortunately.
And this is the very first Elektroheadz.
From the year I think also No, 1999.
Same basic principle: Bands, young artists
or musicians who were still going to be musicians
came to my studio
and tried themselves out.
I went to school in Berlin-Kpenick.
That's how there was
a connection to the Allende club,
because it was the central point
for all the DJs, skateboarder,
graffiti artists, bands, whatever.
During my pedagogical education
I did a year long internship here.
In the years 1998 to 2001 during this job,
we did normal stuff with the youths,
usually when Gernot
was working here as well
it was like that:
Let's stay on a bit after finishing time.
And usually we went home
at 5 am with the first metro.
So, basically we used
the studio ourselves,
because we did not yet have our own studio
to try out our ideas.
Many of our friends, other musicians,
Siriusmo for example
who was from the same
background as us, came by.
We just hung out a lot and tried out a lot.
And stayed up all night.
At that time there was not only the ALL,
we already had a weekly thing in the Kurvenstar.
It was like a parallel universe what we had.
We had our own,
but never our own studio,
and that's what we had here.
And above all it was that we had...
Think about the responsibilities.
We didn't have children yet, no company,
we just lived the moment.
- I don't miss that life -
somehow it was the complete opposite
to the relatively organised thing we do today.
It was also exciting.
This is how we really learned to make music.
By dealing with things for a long time.
Technical things, sound and so on.
It was learning by doing.
There was no concept.
We didn't have a release in the back of our minds,
but it was just trying things, experimenting.
This is how our way
to work has developed,
in this room here
if you want.
I believe this is where the
name Modeselektor was created.
We already had this Roland Space Echo
in this studio back then
and it was like:
Well, what are we going to call ourselves.
It says Mode Selector there, let's take that.
For me the beginning of Modeselektor
was like a transition phase.
Basti and Gernot were
DJing a lot together
and at some point it was established
that they make music together.
I noticed that there were
two completely different characters.
Basti as a relatively quiet,
even-tempered guy.
And Gernot who brings in all that energy.
The incredible thing is that that
was brought Modeselektor forward,
because if Gernot hadn't been there for Basti,
Basti would have probably worked his way up
with smaller not quite as intensive things.
Gernot I think was the one
who pushed Basti as well.
I think at that time there
was a special spirit.
It was the generation of the kids
who grew up after the reunification,
who had their childhood
during the past GDR years
but then sort of came into
this emptiness of the reunification,
who grew up in a bubble.
Back then there was this sort
of lawlessness and we just did things.
"Where Modeselektor and their notebooks arrive,
aggression is pre-programmed.
In a purely musical sense of course.
So the two former Public Enemy fans
create rhythmical sound fronts,
whose heavy basses
occasionally might alarm the police.
As it happens last year
in the Berlin Club Central. "
You met more and more people,
and those people noticed:
Ah, they are called Modeselektor,
they make cool music,
they have to release something.
That for example took a very long time,
until we finally gave our first demo
to Ellen Allien from BPitch Control.
To the boss.
Took about a year.
I think it started in the year 2000 or so
one of the Pfadfinder told me
a lot about Modeselektor.
That they have a few buddies
who make great music.
And at some stage I said:
Yes I'd like to meet them, they can drop by.
I can't even remember if they did drop by.
Anyways, I heard them at some event
and thought they were really interesting
because they have a lot of energy together.
And when I looked at them
in that small venue I thought:
Wow, they are really behind what they are doing.
They love that music, that is their life.
I had not seen guys who
got so into it in a long time.
And then they gave me their first tracks,
or one anyways,
and I think I even asked them:
'Don't you want to do a record on BPitch? '
And that really took a while,
until that was there.
I rang them a few times,
and they came to the office
and I asked:
'Guys, what's with the record? '
We rented a small room there,
that was maybe eight or nine square meters,
in the same house,
and it was triangular.
Pretty good for a studio.
Or bad?
Who knows?
Back then the acoustics
weren't that important to us,
and then we made our music there.
So we were always
in touch with BPitch anyway,
because it was in the same house.
So one thing led to another.
Then we gave her the demo CD,
but that track was really bad,
we got no feedback.
Then we kept talking,
and we got four tracks ready
and she promptly released them.
That was our first EP 'In Loving Memory',
BPitch Control Number 042 in 2002.
The record is called like that
because a good friend of mine and Szary
who we went to E-Werk with a lot,
died around that time:
Enny, rest in peace.
He was a really cool guy,
but he was very sick unfortunately.
And I always liked the idea of putting on
something like a combat gear on the subway
and come out of a manhole cover
into a destroyed world.
Listen, we just put them on now temporarily.
We stay like this and walk in with the things,
and walk through the train
and you go ahead.
We walk through the masses
so we get the reaction of people.
Coz they will shit their pants
thinking it's a robbery or anthrax or
Come on
When Modeselektor came to BPitch it was
not like I discovered them as a super A&R
who got the artists off the road,
it was more a kind of family thing in a way,
a network that emerged
from the same musical interests.
You could say that Ellen used to have a...
I don't want to call it a mothering role,
but she definitely educated
us young rough artists in some way.
Ellen Allien from BPitch was definitely
very important for Modeselektor.
Just by giving them a platform.
It was already an established label.
And Ellen realized things
that the boys wanted
and basically gave them
complete artistic freedom.
She did smooth the way for them.
Also through her international contacts.
I don't know if the guys
would have been positioned
internationally so early on without BPitch.
She took them on tour as well.
The label had an international position.
That was definitely important.
At that time, most people wanted Ellen,
so we tried to have BPitch nights
where they also could play.
But there were some
promoters from the start
who wanted the music of Modeselektor,
who wanted to book Modeselektor.
There was a small world tour in May 2006,
four weeks long.
With an Around the World Ticket.
I would not be allowed
to book that anymore now,
but back then it was my first big thing
and for Modeselektor it was also the first big thing.
I would almost argue that
the success of Modeselektor
was based first and foremost
on the live shows,
because they got
so big at some stage.
Of course the life on tour
is a great motivation.
It's still great
to say on Friday: 'Bye!
Daddy is back on Sunday,
or Monday, depending. '
And then you are
in a parallel universe,
on the tourbus, on the plane...
There's the crew, it's really fun.
I really like knowing nobody
can see me through the dark glass
and it's comfortable,
you really get mad with all this flying.
All those airports, you don't have that here.
You can go directly from your bed into the club.
It's great.
The only thing missing is chicken
flying directly into your mouth.
Hubi! Get up!
I get woken up by this person,
me being a nice guy
who has bloody fingers
from scratching on all the doors
making it possible for you to play.
Nobody wants to hear you really,
I always have to beg:
'Please let them play.
I know it's not your taste,
and people don't really like it either. '
Nobody needs to know.
Here we go again.
I have to go along with it.
When Szary always wears such shit
I have to go along.
Else I am just being labeled as a nerd.
You have to ask Szary.
I think round about 450 or 500.
During our career.
It doesn't sound like a lot,
Gernot would probably say it's the 700th.
What, 850?
I guess it was 850.
I won't tell what.
I thought it was great today.
I knew it somehow.
You know the feeling, when you open
an old book and you find something
that you used as
a page marker a long time ago,
and it reminds you of so many things,
and you get the smell from that time?
That's what it's like with
a good gig in a club,
at some point you
get that feeling again,
only that today Szary
is jumping in the crowd.
You always have
to look at the ways as well,
because there are so many bars and I thought:
Dear god, if I stumble over that...
And I was really scared that
they would carry me into it.
It was really euphoric.
And it's so cool
how it tickles on your back.
The hands.
It's really cool.
And on your arse.
Nice scandinavian rock.
The ice age brought those here.
Szary and I are
a very well-balanced couple,
this is so to speak my second marriage
that I have parallel here.
And he has this inner calm
and I always say he has a lot of steadiness
to listen to the things that come out of me
and to process them and then
he has a proposal for solution.
I often know very quickly how things work,
but its often more superficial.
Even if it sounds ridiculous,
but this old Ying-Yang game,
one can do something the other can't
and we complement each other.
In the studio for example,
technical things.
Or our taste in music.
We both search
in relatively different areas
and with the result
we influence each other, so to speak.
We do have a plan for Modeselektor,
where we definitely want to be
in the next five years,
or if you can talk
of the next ten years even.
That is based on our live shows
on the one hand.
How many things we want to produce
and how will our labels do in ten years.
Nobody knows
how things will develop.
But we want to continue on
with the music.
That is important.
Not dissapear.
And keep the monkey up.
A very good day
ladies and gentlemen.
We are here at a historical place,
the Germany Valley
as you can read here and see there.
In the beautiful state of West Virginia,
in the United States of America.
We are from Germany, too.
And we are searching for the only place
on this planet that is called Monkeytown,
and it's a historical fact that it exists,
or existed.
And now we are going to look at it.
We have just been to Monkeytown
and have just talked to what are basically
the last inhabitants of Monkeytown.
We are a little bit speechless now
and will drive back for now.
Monkeytown exists.
We started our label Monkeytown parallel
to our involvement with BPitch Control,
and we wanted to be fair
and put the deck on the table.
We said to Ellen:
'That is a label that is purely for Siriusmo. '
That was the plan, originally,
just to keep the coolest musician
in Berlin in the family
and to get this family thing back
because we are really close friends with Moritz
and that was really important to us.
I knew in advance, because
we had talked about it quite often,
that they had the idea to found a label
and asked me if BPitch would help them with that.
And I thought about it for a while
and then said:
'No, if you want to create a label, then go do it. '
And I knew from looking at Gernot
that he is a man of action,
he likes to do things himself.
He knows so many people, has friends
and the guys can do a lot themselves.
When I see now what they are doing,
it's right like that, I find it wonderful,
I play a lot of their stuff and there is energy in it
and it's also good for Berlin.
That is important.
There are not that many labels
that only started in recent years
and are so successful
and have so much energy.
And they share their success with others,
like I did too,
and still do.
That is music.
And then everything developed
really quickly and it still does.
It is still a process and
that is what's so exciting.
The process within the band
wasn't enough for us anymore,
we wanted to release
other people's music, too.
I always had the feeling that in this whole
environment of Modeselektor and Pfadfinderei,
and in the past also BPitch,
into which I came,
that the whole family thing
was really important
and I was received with
a lot of warmth and really liked that.
I think it is like this until today,
it's kind of all amongst friends.
When you need someone to work with you,
that is usually a person that you trust,
and the only thing that comes in
from the outside as a new impulse
is music from the outside,
since that is important.
It would be wrong just
to muddle with your buddies.
We do that too, and it's great,
but to do it exclusively would be a big mistake,
because where would you get your influences from.
I wanted to introduce my dog now.
Our dog!
That's Ilnchen.
Ilnchen, say Hello.
Ah, great.
Ilona is both our girl.
We actually wanted
to have a doggy as our logo.
Then somehow
the monkey came into play.
Martin from Pfadfinderei invented that.
I had the idea with the three monkeys,
I wanted to change that idea a little,
since the EP was called 'Turn Deaf!'.
And the monkey in the middle
was supposed to block his ears
and the monkeys left and right
where supposed to shout in his ears.
Since I didn't want to sketch so exactly
I just made the head rectangular
and thought:
Now you have to draw the monkey very precisely,
so it looks like a monkey and only
drew the main part of the monkey face.
I didn't think about it really.
So this is how the motif was created,
the record had its label
and the following album had
to happen with the monkey too.
Ever since that's been our logo.
There was no marketing firm involved thinking:
How can we create a logo for the guys,
so that all kids between 18 and 25
recognize it and keep buying it.
There had to be
Social Media and Multimedia in the label.
No, it was just punk shit,
and that's the reason
we kept the monkey.
We were really surprised
how much people love this monkey.
We noticed quite quickly, that everyone
wanted to have the shirt with the monkey.
And then it started: We got pictures of people
who had a tattoo with the monkey,
made shirts themselves,
made films.
I got a marble bust from a fan
with the monkey chiselled in marble,
its at home in my kitchen.
It weighs 25 kilo.
We got a monkey made of concrete,
we got a knitted jumper monkey,
we got monkeys made of plaster,
of putty,
as dolls, as masks.
We got paintings of the monkey.
Big graffitis.
This monkey really got a tour.
For me, a success is for example when someone
who I never met before says to me:
'With the song you made
I had a really great experience. '
Or: 'I asked my wife to marry me. '
Or: 'My kids love your music. '
When people give a serious and
honest feedback to what you are doing.
Irrespectively of the hype on the internet
and all the fast rivers that come and go.
When you just get a good feedback.
So, do you want more?
Do you want more?
You have to shout louder!
I think, that bands can only
be successful over a longer period
when people feel that
there is honesty in it.
That the artists also
live in a real world,
that they are present
and there is not a big difference
between the people who listen to the music
and the ones who make the music
- apart from the creativity.
In the end we are all just guys sitting
in their little cubbyhole and cobble stuff together.
And it's really nice every time you come out
of the cubbyhole and it is received with open arms.
I think Gernot and Szary
see that the same way.
That Modeselektor have become
so successful is also due to hard work,
it didn't come out of the blue.
Don't forget that they
have been around for a few years.
They went on tour for a few years,
played an incredible amount
of gigs for little or no money.
Always with fun, with ideas,
but it is a tough job.
The impressive thing
with Modeselektor for me is this mixture
of accessibility and radicalism
at the same time.
It sounds like from an add script,
but I think it is the base, their approach to music.
They are two clowns
who can rock ten thousands of people
because they rock their laptops
and they aren't afraid to play the clown
in front of such a big crowd.
At the same time the musical base
is really solid and also really inspired.
With their development
they have anticipated so much
that in the context of Arena-Techno
is day-to-day routine now
and basically it all came from Modeselektor,
only with that musical extra twist
and more sensitivity
for balance and experiments.
They managed to create a sound
that is compatible for the masses
and that is still musically exciting
and that is what I find sensational.
I think I see the last ten years as a climax.
It was one pure climax,
with many ups and downs of course.
Very philosophical.
I think as a whole,
this decade was very mixed,
and I cannot really say:
Of course the gig with Radiohead
at Wuhlheide was great.
That was definitely a climax of 2008.
That Radiohead had gotten
interested in us back in 2003 at all.
I have to agree with Szary there.
If you look at it there is no...
... it is not the Echo (music award)
or a concert in front
of so and so many people.
It's rather the sum of it all.
It's the motorway we are on,
with a fun car...
And lots of road works...
With lots of road works,
but still always going too fast
and so far without too many fines.
Exactly, great.
Thank you!