By Wal Reid
DŸSE is not your conventional band. Firstly they hail from Germany, that's right the home of beer swillers and David Hasselhoff (?) and their style of music is an acquired taste even for some die hard music aficionados.
"David Hasselhoff is produced by a German guy" interrupts singer/guitarist Andrej Dietrich. "His name is Horst Nussbaum aka Jack White, there is Jack White from White Stripes of course and then this guy who has produced millions of pop songs. I think he's in Berlin right now".
Founded in May 2003 by Andrej (guitars & vocals) and Jarii van Gohl (drums & vocals), DŸSE have gone on to play over 600 shows worldwide including slots at coveted festivals such as SXSW 2014, HELLFEST, DESERT FEST and ROADBURN.
The Teutonic noise merchants have been tripping our fair shores introducing Kiwi crowds to their unique brand of musical discord celebrating the release of their 2014 album Das Nation and playing around the North Island. The only thing they knew about New Zealand was that there were volcanos and that's pretty much their extensive travel knowledge. Totally unaided by reading materials the pair have come to the conclusion that everything is good here.
"To be honest I didn't read anything about this" muses Jarii. "I really don't like it here, it's the best weather here but it's getting better I hope" [laughter]. "I checked with documentaries, I am interested in volcanos and everyone wants to see the inside of a volcano and maybe next time I will dig a hole in it, but it's really great" laughs Andrej. "I don't know many Kiwi bands, Die! Die! Die! - A friend who is the tour manager for them in Europe... but a lot of bands? No not really".
I point out to the pair the close proximity of Mount Eden/Maungawhau volcano suggesting they go there for free to see the inside, somehow I think my intention was lost in translation. Talk then shifts to the German music scene, was it as foreign as one would expect given the geographical distance and differences from New Zealand?.
"It's changed a bit because now it's a kind of a hip hop scene" says Jarii. "Now also Techno, Drum n Bass and Dub scene the main music in mainstream, is a kind of smooth Hip Hop stuff and I really don't like it I must say. But you have some really good acts in the alternative scene, some Thrash Metal bands but they're not so famous anymore, you also have the difference between the East and the West part you can still hear it I think. Let's say that bands' from the East part are really hard but also kind of more creative".
"It's kind of dead (laughter)" says Andrej. "The whole music scene has changed, we were much younger. For us the music scenes changed, there is no scene and it makes a big difference for an artist like us. We have a lot of friends in bands but the problem is they do a different kind of music so it's hard to play with them".
"The good thing about our band is a mix up" Jarii snaps. "It's a part of Hip Hop, Drum Bass a part of Punk Rock Metal whatever... yes Jazz and Black Metal. For us it's fine to play with Hip Hop bands or other genres so we have a lot of friends and they come from different genres. It's really nice because this is what we love, we sometimes play with beat box guys".
Of course, an interview wouldn't be complete without asking the boys why it's taken so long for the band to come and play ‘down under', a sentiment that seems almost unexplainable in German but even worse in English. "We are here by boat, we have been wanting something to happen and we are waiting" Andrej says cryptically.
"I think it's much better live show" says Jarii. "A lot of people say when they check all the videos and stuff from the internet ok I really like it I have to see it and they are really kind of impressed what we do live, the energy and the power is much better than on YouTube".
As for the ‘Hoff' (David Hasselhoff), what would he make of all this fuss about DŸSE?. "We have to love him" laughs Jarii. "Because he's drinking the whole day I think? Germans they drink a lot of beer, yeah I think he's a German"