"Living Targets", produced by ex-Faith No More bassist Billy Gould is one of this years most under-rated rock albums. Built around a classic rock pop sensibility reminiscent of the likes of the Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World and company. Its just another achievement for the Beatsteaks, who played their tenth ever show as support to the reformed Sex Pistols and command sell out audiences of 1000's over in their native Germany. We caught up with singer Arnim to fill us in before they hit the UK in March.
Q: The new album "Living Targets". Its a step forward from previous releases. For someone who hasn't heard the previous two albums how has the sound progressed?
A: The last one was more wild, I think. This one is straighter and deep and the lyrics are better for me. We've grown as a band. For me, its still has a punk rock attitude but there's more concentration on songs rather than effects. Just simple good rock songs.
Q: As a German band, I'd actually say you're influences lie more in the American market. Would you agree that this makes up a considerable part of the Beatsteaks sound?
A: Were influenced by English and American bands alot. Were a rock band and its a big soup for me. We all like different things. I'm very much into hip-hop, our guitarist is straight punk guy and our drummer really loves big 70s rock....and you hear that. It was probably Duran Duran and Faith No More and obviously Nirvana that made me want to do this.
Q: You actually worked with Billy Gould on the latest album "Living Targets". What was it like working with one of your heroes?
A: We supported Faith No More and he really liked us. He really loved the last record and he was like "Ok, if you really want to send me demo's". So we sent him demo's and it was like "i'm coming".
You have to take care of your emotions. Sometimes it was like Fuck, its Billy!!!! But he's a really cool guy...he's down to earth and we learned a lot from him. He was like a teacher.
Q: Listening to the album, the song "Disconnected" really stands out. It sounds like early Joy Division and almost sounds separate from the rest of the album. Would you agree?
A: A big influence for us. We did some surprise tracks on the last album and I love it. Were not a band with just one sound and we want some different sounds and flavours. Its 2002 you know. Normally you call that crossover band...the best crossover band was the Clash. They did everything from Disco and that's a big influence too.
Q: When you think of German rock bands, you almost conjure up an image in your head. Was it a conscious decision to sing in English and reach out to other audiences?
A: I never listened to German music. I always listened to English and American music. We tried singing in German on our first album and it was really strange. The language sounds better for me. I love Germany and I live in Berlin. But music is English!!!
Our tenth show was with the Sex Pistols to 10,000 people. 9 shows before we were simply playing to our friends.
Q: I guess the final question is what next for the Beatsteaks?
A: We have a big tour in Germany. The Living Targets tour in February and March with River City High and Revolver and in two weeks we go and play four shows with Bad Religion.
"Living Targets" is out now on Epitaph
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