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Friday, 20 May 2011 10:25

Wired in #13: Wilhelm Tell Me

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Looking for music to dance through the summer nights? Thanks to our reader Julia Schulte, E&M is happy to present the four guys of the Hamburg pop band Wilhelm Tell Me! Make sure you catch one of their concerts in Germany and be ready for a night of dancy electro pop. Check out E&M's interview with their guitarist Frederik Deluweit and find out about the label they founded, the advantages of vinyl and why Beethoven is important for Europe.

E&M: There are so many stories about William/Wilhelm Tell - is your band name a reference to this Swiss national hero?

FD: Actually there was no reference to Wilhelm Tell when we first chose this name, it was just a coincidence. We always give new songs working titles until the lyrics are finished. One was Wilhelm Tell Me and our drummer Jan suggested that we should make it our band name. But we imagined an old lord in England sitting together with a friend in the early 19th century, who has huge knowledge about Europe, history and travelling the world, and asking him: "Wilhelm, tell me". It only really began to be seen as a reference to Wilhelm Tell once we started to do everything on our own, including our label, producing, booking, management. We try to be as independent as possible and to have full control over what we do.

E&M: All four band members are from Hamburg. Are there also other places in Europe that have influenced you?

FD: That's difficult to say and I can't speak for all band members. I really like the Scandinavian countries and the UK, they have nice people, a great landscape and good music. Since our drummer Jan is half French, France must have been quite an influence for him. We have already played shows in the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Austria and Switzerland, and we hope we can do that in other European countries very soon, so we'll see what impact that will have on us.

E&M: I'm sure there are plenty of Germans who appreciate your music, but in your bio you say you're convinced that your music does not really fit "conventional Germany". In what way do you not fit?

FD: I hope so, too. (Laughs) But I think it's unconventional to have English lyrics. There are not many popbands from Germany that sing in English and are successful in other countries, or even in Germany. The chance to be signed by a major German company is very low.

E&M: Why did you decide to release your single on vinyl?

FD: First of all, because we all love vinyl, so it was really for our own delight. Apart from that, we wanted to do something special for the people coming to our concerts. Since people really don't really buy CDs, we offer the vinyl for those people who like it as much as we do and there is a download code included, so you can also have it on your i-pod, if you don't have an record-player.

E&M: You founded your own label "Less Apocalypse Records", what was the idea behind that?

FD: We founded it because we love the freedom to do exactly what we like.

E&M: "You say party, I say WILHELM TELL ME!". Is the only indicator for great music is if it makes the crowd dance?

FD: Difficult question. In my opinion lyrics are really important if you want to be a good pop-band. You can't transport a message just with music, you need words for that.

E&M: Who's your favorite European artist?

FD: I love Phoenix. Great band.

E&M: What are your upcoming plans and projects?

FD: At the moment we're still writing new songs for the debut album. We'll start recording in June. We hope to be ready with this soon, so we can still release the album this year in fall or winter. We're going to play some cool festivals over the summer and then a bigger tour is planned for December.

E&M: And what do you do when you're not busy playing concerts and working on your new record?

FD: In fact it is our job. We do a little bit of other stuff on the side though, to make some money. Our jobs are: hot air balloon pilot, race driver and fire fighter.

E&M: Wow, sounds adventurous! So, what does Europe mean to Wilhelm Tell Me?

FD: We believe European countries should unite and work together in a better way than they do at the moment. We like Beethoven's dream from the 9th symphony, "Alle Menschen werden Brüder" ("All people become brothers").

E&M: Thanks for the interview Frederik!

For more Wilhelm Tell Me check out their website www.wilhelmtellme.com

Last modified on Friday, 27 May 2011 14:55

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