Ragazzi Interview 2002

ragazzi: Your current album "Genuine American Monsters" was already released in America in 1999. Only after three years people in Germany can buy it. What are the reasons for the late release here?
Raymond: After the American release I got involved into so many other things that in a way I just forgot the European release. I was touring in America, having kids with my wife etc.

ragazzi: Where does the album title refer to?
Raymond: It's sort of an umbrella title for all the different kinds of monsters you can find in the American society, like e.g. serial killers. It refers to the other, scary side of the attractive and bright America. Obviously there is an attraction concerning the American culture. It is so fucked up, it's like the best and worst of things in one animal.

ragazzi: Let's go back in time now. What were highligts of your career and which parts of it would you rather forget?
Raymond: In the eighties I spent some years in Germany. When the wall came down I realised that it's a good time to go since the party was over now. I really loved that German period. I got into lots of experimental kind of music, started working with bands like KMFDM and Einstürzende Neubauten. It was relly vibrating and exciting. When I came back to live in London I was really disappointed about the limited music scene here. Nobody was interested in releasing music. So I ended up in getting involved in a project which brought me to Japan a lot.

ragazzi: It is quite unusual for a Western guy to work with Japanese musicians and labels. How did it come?
Raymond: I met Japanese musicians in London. So I got several contacts and travelled to Japan lots of times. Working there is more unconventional, so I was able to do more of the kind of stuff I was more interested in, this PIG type direction. Working with Japanese labels is really good fun. You have good promotions, can work with the musicians you prefer etc. Japan is a really interesting place to live.

ragazzi: Raymond, you have two big projects: PIG and KMFDM. Which is your main band?
Raymond: PIG is definitly my main project. You know there are musicians who play in both bands, PIG and KMFDM. So you can say that meanwhile these two bands got married somehow.

ragazzi: In the eighties you had a special kind of slogan: "Create terrorism instead of tonality". What kind of intention was behind it?
Raymond: I have never been really interested in the normal songwriting. I was more interested in combining different musical genres, e.g. electronic with Latin and Salsa sounds or orchestral sounds with pressing guitars.

ragazzi: Is PIG only your project or are there other musicians involved in it?
Raymond: I can play guitar and various things but I rather get fantastic musicians in. They play their parts and then I throw them out. So I can control the whole thing. I am responsible and I do not have to discuss or argue with anybody. I write all the lyrics and pretty much of the music as well.

ragazzi: Where do you find the inspiration for your songs?
Raymond: I get inspired by reactions against things. E.g. if I hear dance music I like to compose something which is complete opposite. Lyrically I get inspired by serious things like paintings as well as by all these awful cable TV channels and tabloid newspapers.

ragazzi: Genuine American Monsters sounds very open-minded. There are all different kinds of musical styles on it. Did this happen by chance or did you intend it?
Raymond: It just happens. Most people want something that is much more simple. Just one style and one genre until the end of an album. If I just wanted to sell as many albums as possible I would just try to keep it in one musical direction. But I have to change things to keep myself interested into it. Otherwise I would get bored quite quickly. So people often have difficulties with it. Labels and magazines don't know how to deal with it and record stores are uncertain where to put it. On the one hand it's great just to do things you like. On the other hand it's not too healthy when the bills come in.

ragazzi: So how do you do on the numbers then?
Raymond: In America we probably sell 30,000. With KMFDM we do a lot more sales, about 200,000. When it comes to Europe PIG has not released anything for years here, so I am really curious about the numbers "Genuine American Monsters" will sell.

ragazzi: Will you be in Germany for some live gigs?
Raymond: Yeah, but probaly as KMFDM with PIG. Hopefully we can do some shows next spring or summer. You can get a pretaste of our live performance if you watch the Live DVD (KMFDM featuring PIG) which will come out in the beginning of 2003.