Half a score and one year ago, a number of junior
deities sprang forth from Switzerland, the rock capital of the world.
Well, not quite, but the Young Gods were born. Now, five albums
later, the band have overcome the disadvantage of being a Swiss rock
group and are ranked as one of the foremost techno-industrial bands in the
"It was difficult getting gigs when we started out,
people thought we were crazy. Then we went to London and our
first single came out while we were there. The reaction to it
was good and when we went back to Switzerland the home town of
each member of the band was claiming the band as its own."
The musicians in the band are a product of a wide range of European
musical influences. From a psychedelic youth featuring Can and
Pink Floyd, through a punk adolescence, and the growing technological
elements of Killing Joke, Joy Division, and Einsturzen Neubaten
to today's techno scene, the Aphex Twin in particular.
"The techno scene at the moment is very creative, much more so
than rock music. It's very relevant to the 90's - faceless escapism,
people are fed up with attitude."Being classed as industrial
doesn't bother Franz but he prefers to be described as 'rock'
in Europe because they play gigs. Whereas in America he prefers
the tag industrial because "rock means Bruce Springsteen
and ZZ Top."
"It's all one music coming through the centuries
anyhow, so genre doesn't matter. The content is more important
than the style."
He says that the band like to go back to
the rootsy elements of the music and put question marks on it,
so people go "What the fuck is that. Basically we are the
gypsies of the nineties, we're just not living in caravans, we're
living in vans."
Asked why the band aren't overtly political
in their music Franz replies: "To me, three people in a room
- that's politics. Music that tries to be political always ends
up as and us against them scenario. But them is us."
He says there needs to be a balance. "People are
frustrated, they have to shout about things but take Rage Against
the Machine: you can scream about the madness of the world and all
the injustice, but then you're on Sony and all the benefits are going
into the development of weaponry. You see, there is a fine line
between being political and being an asshole."
Where he does get political is about his homeland and drugs. "
In Switzerland, there's so much repression, it's creepy, not obvious,
but clinical. The future is so organised, that's why people do drugs.
There's no freedom, so people always go over the limit."
Although understanding of the reasons for drug-taking, Franz says that
heroin turns you into an asshole. "Heroin is one thing you can't
control, it always takes over at some point."
Cocaine is kind of the same. LSD can be even more dangerous, though I
learned a lot from it. Hash is boring, but speed is cheap so it's
good. I only did Ecstacy once or twice, because it's so expensive - it
seems to be a snob drug.
"We have this thing though that you can collect in our mountains,
Psilocybin, the only thing I would consider keeping on investigating
"Magic mushrooms?" we inquired.
"Yeah, that's them," he replied with a laugh.
by Donnacha DeLong & Kenneth Foxe.