Gothic Rock | Post Punk | Wave & Alternative

13 Questions to Thomas Thyssen (Pagan Love Songs)

Thomas ThyssenThomas Thyssen

Pagan Love Songs

Darkness & Light

Post-Punk.com

Senior Press Promotion Manager @ Universal Music, Germany

DJ – Show promoter – A+R Consultant

What was the very first record you bought?

My very first serious record was “First and Last and Always” by The Sisters of Mercy, the blueprint of what was later being billed as Gothic Rock. The very first record I bought, but with the money of my late great grandpa, was Vader Abraham – “Das Lied der Schluempfe” . Yes, the Smurf song. Next question!

What is the most expensive record you have bought?

The legendary Minimal Electronics classic “The Cabinet” of the British trio Das Kabinette. I bought the 7’’ from an infamous record dealer in the 90s, years before there were any kind of digital downloads or file sharing platforms. I had to save up a lot of money in order to finally own this precious gem, a song to which I’ve shaken my booty to in underground clubs so many times in the past 25 years.

What are your 5 very favorite bands ever?

Phew, that’s a really tough question. The Sisters, of course. Without them, we wouldn’t be conducting this questionnaire today, I guaran-damn-tee you that. Followed by Skinny Puppy (up until “The Process”), Fields Of The Nephilim, Dead Can Dance and most likely The Chameleons.

Name 5 bands that have changed your life?

Again, Mister Eldritch and his band of hired guns simply have to be the first ones to be named. Hearing Dead Can Dance was jaw-droppingly inspiring. Diving head over heels into the world of Skinny Puppy was unbelievable. Seeing the Nephs perform in 1991, when I was a very young teenager with a very, very bad haircut, made me a believer while promoting two subsequent and sold-out shows with and for The Chameleons on their first reunion tour in 2000, after being an avid fan for many, many years, showed me that hard work can indeed pay off.

Name your 3 favorite Gothic fests?

That’s a tough one again. The so-called “Chaos-WGT”, the Wave Gotik Treffen edition in 2000, where the whole festival nearly got cancelled due to the organizers not being able to pay artists, crews, security etc., has to be in my personal Top 3. In these days, the whole Indie and DIY spirit was somehow still alive. The audience as well as some of the bands and DJs worked diligently together in order save the whole weekend. Ah, and yes, I broke my ribs while freaking out to Sigue Sigue Sputnik in the first row as well. The Herbstnaechte Festival on Castle Rabenstein in 2001 was one of my favorite festivals, too. So many great bands were on the bill, so many friends around, the atmosphere on the whole festival site was unique, the weather was great, the drinks were cool and yeah, we even dj’ed in a barn right next to the castle for the aftershow party alongside our dear friend Mark Splatter of deathrock.com. But of course the 90s have had their absolute highs and peaks as well. My old buddy Dave Drum of Vendemmian fame did so much for the scene back then, especially with his Sacrosanct festivals in London. And he’s still active today, alongside his significant other Sims. You can absolutely tell that everything they do, they do with passion and lots and lots of heart. That’s what I really like, cherish, admire and support.

Name your 3 favorite gigs as a musician and as a fan.

Fields Of The Nephilim live at the Philipshalle in Duesseldorf on March 31st, 1991. The Sisters Of Mercy live at the Stahlwerk, again in Duesseldorf, on January 22nd, 1998 plus the unforgettable, goosebumps-inducing reunion show of Skinny Puppy at the Doomsday Festival in Dresden in 2000.

Name the most 3 influential albums for you as an artist.

Vision Thing” by the Sisters, “Elizium” by the Nephs as well as the “Bites & Remission” collection of Skinny Puppy.

Describe yourself with 3 adjectives.

Driven, passionate, and hungry.

What is the most overrated Gothic band?

There are way too many to mention them all, at least in my humble eyes and ears. Or, as my mum always perfectly puts it: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

What is the most underrated Gothic band?

Play Dead. Listen to all of their stuff then you will know for yourself why.

In which band would you have liked to play live?

Joy Division, while they were touring in 1979 and 1980. I guess I do not need to explain any further.

Name 3 new Gothic bands that have caught your attention lately?

Lately” is an exaggeration, since all of the following bands have been on my radar for a rather long time already. Furthermore, I have to admit, that there aren’t too many current Goth Rock bands around that I really dig. Sweet Ermengarde are great musicians, especially live, top notch blokes on a personal level. The same goes for Aeon Sable, who are so diverse in their artistry and such lovely people. The Whispering Sons from Belgium are also a really cool Cold Wave-influenced Post-Punk outfit that I’m really looking forward to seeing perform live and meeting in person one day.

Gothic Rock or Post Punk and why?

Both. There’s no this or that, no black or white. It’s all about the grey areas. Why choose from two specific genres in music that are so deeply connected and intertwined? I cannot fathom a witty answer to that question. And, on top of that, I couldn’t care less about pigeonholing bands and putting labels on their work or their styles. Fuck that! Let’s enjoy the music while we still can.

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