Denmark is the home of many cool surf bands such as The Tremolo Beer Gut, Hot Rod Moses (RIP) and El Ray.
Germany, also, has (had) some mucho fine surfer dudes like The Looney Tunes (RIP), The Splashdowns, The Typhoons, The Astronauts (RIP).
So, how could you get the best of two worlds? Yes, Candidate #1?
"Aeehhmm, don't know."
Candidate #2, the ball's on your court!
"Form a surf combo consisting of members from Denmark and Germany? "
YES! 100 points for Candidate #2!
The Baywatchers did it that way. They released a CD and a 7", toured through every town with their spectacular tour van and toured, toured, toured. On their 2004 tour they made a pit stop in Magdeburg at the Surf-O-Rama and Caramba. It was fun watching this band performing their "crude" instro surf! In a wise presentiment that some (after show) events of that evening will disappear in a dim haze of beer and mystery, I prepared an interview with The Baywatchers per email. Read what Mr. Sebastian told us about the secret world of the Danish/German surfin' crew.
And always remember... Don't think twice when you get the chance to see The Baywatchers live!
Many aspects of rock 'n' roll life (especially on tour) are similar to the life of an actor. So, some of the questions concerning touring life are similar to questions from an interview with actor/singer David "Thee Knight Rider" Hasselhoff. These questions are in red.
Commandante: Does the name of your band have anything to do with the silicone monster TV series?
Baywatchers: I guess you refer to miss Pammy Lee Anderson from the "Baywatch" TV show and the answer would be: NO, The Baywatchers has nothing to do with those shows. The band name refers more to the job of being a baywatcher/beachguard than the TV show. One thing we have in common, though, is "pure entertainment".
Commandante: Do you have a favourite Baywatch actress?
Baywatchers: NO, they are all great, except for the one who doesn't shave.
Commandante: What is the meaning of the gridlock on your website?
Baywatchers: It's supposed to be a sniper's scope.
Commandante: Please tell me something about the German/Danish surf collaboration.
Baywatchers: Not much to tell. Guess we're the only surf band with this mix of nationalities. There's a few bands from Denmark who tour in Germany sometimes. El Ray would be one of them.
Commandante: Can you give the reader some hot hints about the Danish music scene (cool bands, clubs, labels...)?
Baywatchers: There are quite a few good bands from Denmark. To mention some: Capt. Jake & the SOB's - The Defectors - The Magic Bullet Theory - Barra Head - Nautilus - Jukebox Baby - Robot - No Hope For The Kids - The Movement - Tremolo Beer Gut.
There's not too many cool clubs, though, but to mention some it would be: Loppen, located at Christiania, Copenhagen - Stengade 30 and Ungdomshuset, both located Copenhagen north.
Labels: Bad Afro Records - Play/Rec - Crunchy Frog - Helicopter Records. Not any labels that only release surf, though.
Commandante: I read that you recorded an eight song CD in 2001. How can it be purchased?
Baywatchers: That CD contains eight studio tracks we recorded in 2001 plus three bonustracks recorded live at three different Berlin clubs in 2004. It is a DIY release which can be purchased at our gigs or over our website.
Commandante: Are there any other Baywatchers releases?
Baywatchers: Yes, the newest release is a 7" with four tunes on it. It came out beginning of October 2004. It's a DIY release, as well, so you won't be able to purchase it in every shop. We'll sell it at our gigs, though, and it's available over our website, as well. Besides that, we sell two different cassette tapes with live recordings and we are on two different fanzine compilations, OX #55 and BANZAI # 13 (not out yet).
Commandante: Any other recording activities planned for the future?
Baywatchers: Not really. We do that in last minute, like planning a recording session in two weeks before we actually hit the studio. We are, also, constantly poor and not able to pay the studio costs which cuts down on the recording sessions.
Live and Tour (Hasselhoff questions are in red.)
Commandante: What was your most thrilling live/tour experience (good/bad)?
Baywatchers: Hard question. The gig we did at the Koepenicker Kontrollverluste Open Air Festival where the girls from Team Plastique did a dance show with us on stage. At first it was raining, but it cleared up before we hit the stage. During our gig it started pouring down. We thought that everybody would leave. Most amazingly, they didn't. The gig at Camp Tipsy was really good because it was our first open air show and the atmosphere was so great hitting the stage at sundown, getting Cuba Libre served on stage, having a good crowd rocking out and buying all of the merchandise we brought. All the spontaneous gigs that happened on tour was a real experience. We had three gigs planned in Austria and three off days. We managed to play every day just because people helped us and liked us.
Commandante: Which might be surprising since quite a lot of things have happened in your life (on your tour) lately...
Baywatchers: It's surprising how much beer a person can drink on tour and it's surprising how strange it is to go back to daily life at home after a month on the road.
Commandante: Have you suffered from dropouts?
Baywatchers: No, but we all suffered from incidental blackouts, haha.
Commandante: What were you (The Baywatchers) afraid of?
Baywatchers: We were scared if our old van would break down or be broken into, if we would get problems at the border or if we would all lose our minds (which we did).
Commandante: In the past you used to become more successful every time you performed on television (on radio: www.hochschulradio.de). Are we going to get the chance to see you (to hear The Baywatchers) on TV (on air) more often now?
Baywatchers: The future is unwritten, but I don't think that The Baywatchers are a TV band, we are more a live act who enjoys being on stage kicking peoples asses until they start shaking that damn thing.
Sound - Influences, Musical Background
Commandante: What are the main influences for The Baywatchers sound?
Baywatchers: Wild Billy Childish, instro surf in general, punk rock, rock 'n' roll.
Commandante: Can you describe the musical background of the group members?
Baywatchers: Good question, we would probably bring: everything with Billy Childish, most stuff from Nomeansno, The Buzzcocks, Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd, Tool and whatever we would come up with in the last 10 minutes before the boat leaves.
Commandante: Okay, here's your chance to make the other musicians envious. Tell us something about your top quality instruments/amps.
Baywatchers: We use mostly old fucked up amps, nothing to envy there. Mr. Hoff plays on a Peavy transistor amp which can play pretty loud. He plays an old Fender bass. Mr. Hoin plays a Fender Jazzmaster, which is older than himself, on either a Music Man or Marshall amp. It is important that the reverb works and it can play loud. Mr. Sebastian plays a Tama Rockstar miniset with broken cymbals.
Commandante: Are there any cover versions in the live set of The Baywatchers?
Baywatchers: Yes, it happens that we do a version of Squad Car, because it was the first tune we tried out in the history of the band. Then there's Green Hornet and Branded. In the earlier days we did Walk, Don't Run and a couple of others we all forgotten about.
Commandante: Are there any other projects/bands related to The Baywatchers?
Baywatchers: Yes, there's a collectively run music bar in Berlin called Schokoladen where Mr. Sebastian and Mr. Hoff works. There's the Antigematics, a band waging war at the GEMA* for being bloodsucking capitalists. There's the other bands of Mr. Hoin: Robot, Joy Lieberkind, Nautilus, Dear.
Commandante: At last, the matter of conscience... I'm a fan of (Danish) beer, so which beer do The Baywatchers prefer: Danish or German?
Baywatchers: Tough question. The selection from German beer is far more various and developed, plus the price is better, so it's gotta be German beer. Not that we won't drink Danish beer when we are there, but we have a German stash in our van, just in case.
The questions were answered by Mr. Sebastian on behalf of The Baywatchers.
* GEMA is a national organization for "music rights".
PS: Thanks, again, to all of the people (51) who came to the show and thanks to The Baywatchers for rockin' the house!
© Commandante 2004
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