- InterviewerTim Williams
Thomas Adam of De/Vision was in conversation with Tim W.
You formed in 1988…..How did it all get started?
Thomas Adam: “We grew up in the 80’s, bands like Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Front 242, Duran Duran, Talk Talk, Eurythmics, The Human League, Yazoo, Fad Gadget, Anne Clark, Nitzer Ebb, to name but a few, were our heroes. It was the beginning of a new era in music. Synthesizers gained centre stage. We were absolutely fascinated by those strange noises, it was a whole new world of sound which was very creative and different and ready to be explored. All those bands I mentioned and many more have always been a great inspiration and all of them influenced the way we understand and define electronic music. Yet I wouldn’t name a particular band as a main influence, I would rather say that the sound of this era inspired us to start making music.”
What were you aiming at and to achieve with the way you produced your music?
Thomas Adam: “Like any other band we wanted to be famous…we dreamed of sharing our music with people all over the world, that’s why we have decided to sing in English. Music seemed to be a possibility to escape our boring small-town lifes.…after 25 years in the music business we’re still waiting for our big breakthrough, but that’s another story…;)”
What was the first moment with De/Vision you were really proud of?
Thomas Adam: “In 1990 we released our first single “Your hands on my skin”. This release was very important to us because we didn’t have a record deal at that time, which means we were responsible for everything. We rented a small studio in our hometown, recorded a couple of songs, a few hundred vinyls were produced, we took care of the distribution and so on. It was a very expensive adventure but in the end it was worth the risk. The single was quite successful in the electronic clubs, not only in Germany”.
“When we formed the band in the late 80’s we were a bunch of unexperienced boys who tried to be a band. The way we approached music was raw and rather naive, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Today we are older and wiser, I hope. We developed as human beings, which affected our music. We gained technical expertise, our song-writing abilities have improved…Nowadays we are much more professional in everything we do. Our music has become more serious and mature. When I compare our first album with the last one for example, I must admit they are poles apart, it’s like I hear two different bands. The old recordings sound pretty cheap, and of course they do. We had about ten or fifteen days to record the first album and we had several months for “Rockets & Swords”.
How do you arrange your daily life, families and De/Vision?
Thomas Adam: “De/Vision is the centre of our universe. The band demands a lot of time and energy, it is our daily work, just like our label “Popgefahr Records”. In January we released a single called “Save Me” of the American musician, singer and songwriter Garrett Miles (this song was a collaboration between him and De/Vision) and in April we released “Pieces of Machinery”, the new album of the german electronic band “Beyond Obsession”.
“Besides band and label we arrange our daily lifes like everybody else does. Steffen has a kid he must take to the Kindergarten every day, I must walk my dog three times a day…and every once in a while you spend some time with your girl…”
The 2014/15 tour : How has it been so far?, how do you feel you have connected with your fan’s – has it been a celebration?
Thomas Adam: “The tour was great, it was our 25th Anniversary tour…although it was pretty exhausting, we all had a lot of fun…we played many shows in Europe and America. My impression was that the fans enjoyed the concerts as much as we did. We played many popular D/V songs we hadn’t played for years, so the fans were very happy indeed”.
You are clearly established in the electronic scene ? Where do you see yourselves in the electronic scene of the last few years?
Thomas Adam: “Yes, we are. I know there are many bands out there who attract a bigger audience and sell much more records than we do. I know that not everybody out there loves what we do but after more than 25 years in the music business, even those people who do not like our music should at least accept that we exist and that we have always tried to uphold the spirit of electronic music. In recent years we met many musicians all over the world and many of them told me that our music has been an inspiration for them. That shows me that De/Vision had quite an impact on the scene. But I have also realized that synth pop is not as popular anymore as it used to be. Future Pop is the flavour of the month, bands like VNV Nation…but nevertheless we have found our niche and as long as we have an audience there is no need to complain…”
Your audiences are clearly dedicated to you but what would you both say are your greatest accomplishments?
Thomas Adam :“The fact, that we have survived more than 25 years in the music business is probably our greatest accomplishment. Despite all the ups and downs in the music market we are still here”.
You have a wonderful catalogue of songs writen and built up over 20 years – are you planning any new material, if so, what is inspiring this and when might we hope to hear it?
Thomas Adam: “Yes, we started to work on a new album which will be released in 2016. Our last album release was 3 years ago, so it’s about time we started. I don’t know yet where our journey will take us this time but I am confident that our fans will not be disappointed. It feels like we are bubbling over with ideas…”
How many times have you played in the UK over the years ? What have your experiences of playing in the UK been like?
Thomas Adam: “I don’t remember exactly…I guess we played around a dozen times in the UK…when for the first time, I don’t know…we’ve never been on a big tour in the UK, we always came for a show or two… A few years ago we played a couple of shows with Mesh, that was probably our most extensive UK tour. The truth is, the UK has never been our strongest market. Our audience in the UK is much smaller than anywhere else in Europe, but that’s no problem at all because we know that the people who come to see us are dedicated De/Vision fans and we always have a good time together”.
What would you say to your UK audience?
Thomas Adam: “Hello everybody, we are absolutely looking forward to seeing you soon in Basildon”.
Tim: Thank you Thomas, we look forward to seeing you in Basildon in June.
BAS 2015 Concert Ticket Link: