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T Raumschmiere- I Hate Yuppie Punks

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Wednesday, 24 September 2003
"This punk thing is getting on my nerves. Punk rock right now is pretty much the mainstream, everybody wants to be punk rock, everybody writes punk rock on their flags and wears weird haircuts and studded belts but still they're nothing more than yuppies. It's just a trend, and actually, I hate trends."

Sitting in a litter strewn Mute Records meeting room (that appears to double up as a company smoking room) German electropunk rising star T Raumschmiere is polite as he lays into those he considers fakes.

"Punk rock is in your head, it doesn't relate to what you're wearing or what your haircut is like. It's about your attitude and your daily business, the way you deal with your life, that's where I put the punk rock. You don't have to have green hair to be a punk."

Raumschmiere himself looks scruffy rather than punk, though his Berlin squat scene background and long term aversion to proper jobs ('I never learned how to do a real job) mean he's amply qualified to discuss DIY culture.

If I should tell you my negative aspects, I'm ignorant, arrogant and egotistical," he admits.

"I don't care if the audience dances or not, I don't care if there are five of them or five thousand, I just do my thing and leave."

However, with his recent Miss Kittin collaboration The Game Is Not Over storming electro dancefloors and the upcoming release of his highly diverse electro-punk record Radio Blackout equally anticipated, Raumschmiere's likely to feeding 5,000s more and more in the ensuing months.


Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): Does Radio Blackout have any particular concept as an album-

T Raumschmiere: "Actually it's just ten tracks, the album doesn't have one sound or one concept, the concept was to have no concept. That's my daily approach to life; to just see what happens. So when I started on the album I just came up with ideas, jammed and recorded in the studio, ended up with 15 tracks which I then started working on, editing, cutting and throwing things in and out. The intention was to make music I liked, I didn't want to make a straight techno album, for example."

Skrufff: How much do you identify with techno-

T Raumschmiere: "The first thing I said to Novamute when I met them was 'I don't want to be a techno artist, I want to make music'. They said 'OK, yes, do whatever you like'. I don't really come from a techno background, I come from punk rock, I used to play in punk rock bands. I started with electronic music in the mid90s when everybody was already over techno. My music has a punk spirit and that's how I work on it, when you hear the arrangement of the tracks, they'll sometimes remind you of punk- it's more about songs than tracks or DJ tools."

Skrufff: How does following a punk spirit affect the way you live your life-

T Raumschmiere: "I live my life without bowing to authority, I don't have a job, I can't deal with authority, actually. I try to make everything I do in life different. There is always an alternative way to do something, even for common things."

Skrufff: You've been making music as T Raumschmiere for six years now, how hard was it to get by in the early days, without working-

T Raumschmiere: "It was super-hard, I never learned how to do a real job. After school I did the Civil Service thing, instead of National Service. In Germany you can work in a hospital instead of the army, for example, so I did that for a year. After that I didn't have anybody to give me money but I didn't want to get a job so I played and played and worked on my music- it was really hard. When you're a nobody you get no money when you perform so you just have to offer yourself and play for free until people start recognising you."

Skrufff: Are you from East or West Berlin-

T Raumschmiere: "Neither, I'm from Heidelberg in the South of Germany, I moved to Berlin six years ago. Berlin is a pretty unique place for Germany and maybe even for Europe because you find s
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