By Kieran Webber
The Berlin based rockers Pabst have just released their sophomore album ‘Deuce Ex Machina’, a whirling, fuzzed out release that has an explosive energy. It’s a sound that they have harnessed on previous releases and is daringly catchy. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic we’re not able to experience it live. However, we were eager to find out more about the new album, the band and their influences.
Kieran: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! How have you all been?
Erik: This year so far has been a wild ride both in a negative and positive sense and this weirds me out. But at least I’m healthy.
Tore: Same for me, I would say it’s one of the oddest Years I had so far because there was a lot happening. To release our album during this circumstances is just one of them.
Tilman: I just had a few days off, so I feel a little less stressed than in those weeks before our release.
Kieran: How has life been during the lockdown? Done anything interesting? Learnt any new skills?
Erik: It’s been up and down. Number one task was to not lose your mind. I definitely got better at coping with shit and I also installed a video editing software, because what else are you gonna do?!
Tore: I was starting to play the drums again on my own , which I stopped for almost 4 years somehow. Except for playing shows with pabst of course. Maybe I learned to get a bit more structure into my life. But I am not sure how or if this is related to the lockdown somehow.
Tilman: I tried playing more guitar but failed miserably after two weeks or so.
Kieran: Your new album ‘Deuce Ex Machina’ is out in the wild now, how has the response been?
Erik: Response has been almost entirely positive so far, although some writers have been blatantly misunderstanding the record somehow. It was also the first time we switched ads on social media and that seems to have attracted some trolls.
Tilman: It’s kind of overwhelming now that it’s out finally. There’s still a lot of reviews and stories I have to follow up on. Also now that it’s possible to see friends again, we get a lot of positive vibes from them, which is probably the most important part of feedback.
Listen/watch ‘Legal Tender’ here:
Kieran: Where/how did you come up for the name of the album title?
Erik: It’s a play on words that takes the popular phrase “deus ex machina”, meaning a sudden, unmotivated turn of events, and turns it into something evil sounding. Deuce means both “number two” and the devil. It’s our second album, so that makes sense, right?!
Kieran: What was the influence behind the latest release?
Erik: There were a lot of influences of course but to try and pin down one, it was probably everything that happened after our first album.
Kieran: What did you do differently when creating/recording this album?
Erik: Instead of recording track by track to a metronome, we recorded live this time, everyone in one room, playing the songs together. So the songs had to be much closer to a finished state when we entered the studio. But we could be sure they would work in a live situation. We didn’t know that with the old songs, and there are a few that only work on the record but not so well on stage.
Tore: For this album we also worked with another producer called Moses Schneider. Well, we recorded another song before with him that we liked very much. That he was taking part on the new album was very pleasant for us.
Kieran: How has Covid-19 affected you guys?
Erik: Apart from the lockdown, which probably affected most people, not much has changed for me personally. I could still work my job as a freelance graphic designer. As for the band, different story! We had to cancel roundabout 40-50 shows and think up alternative ways to promote our music.
“It really killed off the most fun part of being in a band – playing shows.“Tilman – Pabst
Tore: There was a short break for me as I giving drum lessons but it didn’t really affected me. For the band it was definitely a new experience somehow I would say.
Tilman: Band wise it really killed off the most fun part of being in a band – playing shows. We all miss this a lot. It became very clear to me that this is the reason, why I’m making music. To share it with like-minded people, friends, family…
Kieran: Do you think it will be safe to go to shows anytime this year?
Erik: There’s no safe way of telling, I guess. Maybe there will be shows, maybe they will be weird as hell…
Kieran: In this new landscape what do you think is the biggest challenge you face and how can fans help?
Erik: The worst thing is the infrastructure breaking down. Bookers, club-owners, etc will have had almost zero income this year. As of right now, it looks like the bigger part of the clubscene and entertainment branch in general will shut down. The people who work in this field will have to relocate, if thats even possible. Fans can help a little by supporting their favorite places and artists, even if there’s not much coming back right now. But in the end this probably will be a question of state intervention.
Tilman: And this of course might become a huge problem for smaller bands. Who knows if they can tour again like it‘s 2019.
Lastly, we like to end on a story, so what is something gnarly, weird or funny that has happened to you?
Tore: A funny thing that happened lately, I bought our own record, something I always wanted to do when I was a kid. But I forgot that we had an extra gift hidden in one of our records. A ticket to one of our concerts. Of course I bought that one record.
Tilman: Well, a particularly gnarly thing that happened to me in the band was falling off the stage last year at a festival while playing. I was twisting around as I‘m always doing and suddenly there was no ground beneath my feet anymore. Only later I came to realize that I was pretty lucky not hurting myself, as I landes straight on my back but with the neck of my bass guitar jammed between the stage‘s metal construction.