Girls Under Glass

Rich Hobbs discusses with vocalist and guitarist Volker Zacharias about the recent Minddiver album, the current tour and the bands 16 year history within the Gothic and Electro scene. (April 2002)

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1. Girls Under Glass formed in 1986, and in that time you have produced 9 studio albums, 2 compilations and 1 live album. As well as considering touring and side project releases, that's quite an achievement don't you agree ?
[Zacharias, Volker] Oh yeah, 16 years is quite a long time. There are hardly any German bands who made it that long.  And of course additionally to that we are all involved in other projects such as Trauma, Drog! (new dark electro project from Hauke, Axel and me), Cassandra Complex (I am playing guitar there since 1990) and much other stuff. So we are definitely busy people ;-)..har,har
2. So looking back over this history, what has to be the most memorable occasion for you as a band ?
[Zacharias, Volker] There are too many. In a decade of 16 years many things are happening, our former singer Tom Lücke left the band after two albums in 1989, so under normal circumstances GUG wouldn't exist for more than 13 years now;-). Hauke also left the band about 5 years ago so we were very very close to splitting up, but after one year Hauke was back. And the most funny thing is that after 16 years we seem to enter the live-stages in countries we have never been before, like England, Poland, there is still lots of new stuff happening and we still have so many things to explore and experience. That's a very good feeling! 
3. Your latest album "Minddiver" has been the first release on your own label Aragon Records. How does it feel to have total control now, and will the other G.U.G related side projects be licensed to the label ?
[Zacharias, Volker] It feels fantastic! Of course it would make sense to release side-projects on that label as well, but we believe that there are always people who can do this kind of business better than we do, so we are open minded for any kind of collaborations. 
4. After the heavier NIN, KMFDM and Stabbing Westward influenced "Firewalker" album, your follow up "Equilibrium" returned to a darker 'back to roots' sound. With "Minddiver" however, you've again dabbled more with the electronic side and produced a more varied cross between the two. Can you comment ?
[Zacharias, Volker] You got the exact point. Firewalker was a step to the edge. Anything further than that couldn't have worked, so the natural reaction had to be to go back to our very roots, and we are convinced that Equilibrium is so much better than Firewalker, because that's the kind of music we CAN DO! From this point Minddiver is a more modern version, a more electronic based version of the Equilibrium idea. GUG always was an electronic band with guitars, and NOT a guitar-goth-band with some synths on, so in a way Minddiver is even more GUG typical. We tried to do an electronic album that sounds modern but also includes the warm, dark, melancholic atmosphere like the songs on Equilibrium. I think, we made it!! 
5. You have also experimented with vocal effects on the tracks "Minddiver" and "Frozen". It certainly wasn't quite how I imagined your interpretation of "Frozen" would sound.
[Zacharias, Volker] Not?? Anyhow: I think our version of Frozen is a masterpiece and it definitely was the biggest club-hit we ever had in Germany, so I believe it was the right way of doing it. 
6. Can you tell us about your latest single "Erinnerung", your first single release since "Die Zeit" from the "Crystals & Stones" album ?
[Zacharias, Volker]  Its NOT a single-release...its a promotion item we use mainly for the Clubs. Its a remix done by Rene of Living Dead Productions and Hauke. It's mainly supposed to show how GUG works in the electronic club scene. Its definitely a pure fan item, so the single will NOT be released. For those who want to have it, you have the chance to get it online via or at our concerts. That's all. And of course its very limited to a couple of hundred copies!
7. There are again guest musicians featured on the album, how did the selection come about ?
[Zacharias, Volker] Lacasa Del Cid is a good friend for many years and helped out live in the past. Because of his unique style we invited him to play some fantastic guitar licks on our album. Serena is the female singer of Care Company and...Lacasas girl friend ;-) So we just did some "family business" -) this time.
8. You are currently touring the "Minddiver" album. How successful has it proved so far ?
[Zacharias, Volker] Ähä question please !!! :-( The people are very enthusiastic, but it is obviously not the right time for touring. We are on tour with a very big production, tons of light & special effects and it costs us a fortune, there are definitely not enough people to save us from the ruin... 
9. May 26th will see you perform in the UK for the first time at the Gotham Festival. What are your expectations of the event and are you currently receiving much feedback from UK fans ?
[Zacharias, Volker] We are very proud to play the co-headliner before Clan Of Xymox, so we will give everything. Its our first and only chance to convince you english people from our live-quality. So we will give everything and expect you to give everything back!  
10. How has the response been from the US since 1999's "Nightmares" anthology was released on Van Richter Records solely for the N.American market. Is "Minddiver" planned to be licensed to the US, and have you thought of touring there yet?
[Zacharias, Volker] We are still looking for the right partner in the USA to do Minddiver. It will definitely not be Van Richter. Apart from that we got a license deal for Russia, we will release the album in Mexico and hopefully many other countries. Its not easy to find the right partners.
11. What was it like for you reliving the Cassandra Complex experience again after such a long break, has it made you both more determined to produce some new material sooner ?
[Zacharias, Volker] Yeah, Rodney and I will produce new tracks very soon. We have a cool idea for a 6 Track EP and we have also some new stuff for an album in common. It will take a while, but we are definitely active! 
12. What is planned for the remainder of 2002 ?
[Zacharias, Volker]  Exploring other countries by playing live and..we are planning to release a live-album that was recorded during our tour we just finished. It contains our most well known songs in new and very powerful versions. We hope to be ready for a release in late summer.  
13. Would you like to add any comments ?
[Zacharias, Volker] We are totally looking forward to meet you all at the Gotham festival in May. Lets have a party together !!!!