Garden interview November 1995
Annabelle's Garden is a very good german ethereal band. you may have heard them on Heavenly Voices or 040 Hamburg Strikes Back. the interview was conducted by mail with Derek Richards.
QRD – Who are the band members & what are their instruments?
Derek – The permanent members are Anya Zuchold, Jan Drossart, Detlef Moehrke, & myself. Listing the instruments we play makes no sense as we tend to swap every now & then. At gigs the audience might get the impression of visiting an oriental bazaar or something when Anya hands me the bass to go play piano while Detlef immerses himself completely amidst a fleet of different string instruments & Jan keeps on jumping to & fro between the percussion section & various vocal microphones scattered on stage.
QRD – You have referred to yourselves as new folk or ambient folklore, exactly what does this label mean?
Derek – The reason we bracketed ourselves was simply to satisfy our distributor who said it would help sales if we gave the customers a label they could judge our work by. So, we have no idea whether this label exists or not. of course, there are folklore elements in our music plus some ambient backing tracks, but that is not what our work is about really. you can call us whatever you like. We don't care, as long as you are open to our music before you give it a label!
QRD – Do you consider Annabelle's Garden successful? Would you like to be more popular or are you comfortable with your current status?
Derek – I suppose going on for five years without making the slightest profit off of our art can be called successful in a way. It is simply an obsession we are living up to. Status is a word we detest just as much as "label." We don't care. What really annoys us is the fact that many people make a lot of money off of music they could never write or play themselves. It has happened quite often in the past that companies based in germany & france have ripped us off. If we were paid all the money people owe us tomorrow, we would have enough to finance a completely new album. The way things are working now though, all we can do is wait & save money to be able to continue our creative endeavours.
QRD – What percentage of your songs are in english?
Derek – Most of our album/cassette titles are german. Annabelle's Garden may be based in Germany, but the product is a mixed english/german initiative.
QRD – Have you ever seen the german pop culture tv show 100 grad?
Derek – We don't watch television. The last program I would watch is a german tv show that claims to report on culture & we haven't heard good pop for ages.
QRD – How do you manage to schedule shows & practices with so many members?
Derek – Very good question! Throughout the past five years we have learned to work with a core of four permanent members. However, we still invite friends & fellow artists to join us for special events. The structure of Annabelle's Garden including the writing of the music is left to the permanent members. Our friends simply add their talents to the musical worlds we create.
QRD – Which of the three Star Wars movies is your favorite?
Derek – Without wanting to speak for the others, I was a great Star Wars fan as a kid (I became a Jedi Knight at the incredible age of seven). May the force be with you!
QRD – Do you have any cool stories from your last tour or plans for a new tour?
Derek – Our tour with Sixth Comm/Mother Destruction was absolutely manic. The tour booker was nervous enough to distract about twenty people at once & he kept on losing the car keys & putting the blame on others. he was the first person to get to the gig in Munich for one simple reason, he had all the other car keys with him! the bands were still at a filling station, roughly one hundred kilometers away from Munich! At present we are not setting up another tour. We have done some sole gigs we set up ourselves to present our new cd Blütenrausch & we may be doing three gigs with Ordo Equitum Solis in December here in Germany. Quite frankly, we are getting tired of doing all the work ourselves. It is as if we are the band, our own managers, & label bosses in one. Either somebody who likes our work asks us to do a tour or there will not be one in a long time.
QRD – What do you do with your time besides band stuff?
Derek – There is hardly any time to spare besides the band stuff & our regular work. We all have jobs to pay for our living. If you like, it is our spare time we use to make music. It helps us find peace & quiet in an everyday life which offers so little peace if you don't find out for yourself how it can be achieved.
QRD – What's been the biggest break for Annabelle's Garden?
Derek – I don't think there has been a big break for us, so far, but I don't want to sound disappointed. In fact, we are proud we can look back on a constant develop-ment, admittedly with numerous ups & downs but always on our way forward. I think big breaks are left for those who have big spenders behind them. We have never cared too much about trends & fashion. we do not copy. We merely perform what we like & our style will change every time our taste for music changes.
QRD – What are you doing for Fasching? Could you explain what Fasching is?
Derek – We will not explain what Fasching is because we have a responsibility towards the rest of the world. We don't want this sickness to spread.
QRD – Have you had any cool dreams lately you'd like to share?
Derek – Maybe you like to talk about dreams, we prefer to live them.
QRD – Where does your name come from?
Derek – This question can only be answered by Annabelle, but somehow she left some years ago. Now she observes our undertakings from Jupiter. She will return immediately if anything goes wrong, but obviously she is quite satisfied with what we are doing....
QRD – What countries are your cd's available in?
Derek – Another good question. As some distributors ripped us off, we cannot say for sure where are cd's are available. Maybe we are already mega-stars in Viet Nam.... We sell most of our cd's & cassettes in Germany, France, & Italy. However, you can also purchase our items in the UK, the states, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, & Hong Kong. Of course, we only sell small amounts to these places, but it is really exciting to imagine that people a few thousand miles away can listen to our stuff. & from the positive critical acclaim we get from all over the globe, we can tell that we would be selling loads more cd's if we had some money left for promotion & public advertising.
QRD – Is there anything else you'd like us to know?
Derek – Love the Earth, your Home & Mother!!!
QRD – What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Derek – No, I'm afraid this one's too
personal.... Greetings to everyone who knows us (two people?).