Tanzwut Brings the Bagpipes to Holland

Interview and Photography by: Dorien

Five long years we heard nothing form the German rockband Tanzwut and suddenly they were back in 2011 with two new albums. The first more medieval and the other more rock oriented. The last one is where the Weisse Nächte tour is about. 28 December they were in the Netherlands. Folk-metal.nl spoke with Teufel, Martin (guitar) and Stefan, the bass-player which acts as a translator here.

At first the question how is is to play in the Netherlands as a German. Fortunatelly they have no problems with that and they like it to be in the Netherlands.
Why did it take so long to release a new album? The band has worked a long time at their medieval project. Besides Tanzwut Teufel has a solo project. At a certain moment they started recording again and two album evolved. It wasn’t they planned for this splitting it up in two ways, it just happened.
Besides this the band itself is also split in tow. There always was a second, medieval project (Corvus Corax) which is on it’s own nowadays. But the band decided to create it’s own Medieval project besides the rockband. With the rockband they will play in venues and festivals and with the Medieval band at markets and festivals like the Elf Fantasy Fair.
You must be quite busy with al these projects? But they don’t see it this way. ‘Tanzwut is not work, it’s a hobby, something in which we have a lot of fun. And with these three projects we do very different things, each project has it’s own ideas, costumes and setting. In this way it keeps varied and makes it possible to combine this many projects.’

Despite the fact it seems there’s a whole philosophy behind Weisse N臘hte, it’s really very simple. The biggest inspiration are parties and drinking. Besides this they’ve been in Russia for a long time and this brought a lot of ideas to the surface for a new album.
The lyrics are inspired by other things as well, a lot of songs are about the things which happened to them the past years, the album has become a kind of autobiography.
Without paying a lot attention to the lyrics, Weisse Nächte occurred to me a kind of book with fairy-tales. And I’m not talking about merry, happy-ending, Disney-like fairytales but about the dark Hans Christiaan Andersen tales (a writer who, by the way, disliked children a lot) is this right?
‘The music is indeed somewhat darker and heavier but when you listen to the lyrics you notice it’s about a new beginning and about moving ahead. Of course the lyrics are somewhat darker but this is because they’re inspired on old medieval tales. And these tales weren’t always happy.‘
And there is this song la filha la laudre. This one really jumps out on this album, because it isn’t written in Germen. It turns out to be a old French tale about a girl who has a disease so is being forced to live in an isolated place, where all ill people live. She meets a Knight who want to marry her, but because of her illness this is an impossible love. So it turns out to be a rather sad story.

In 2010 there was a change in the line-up, was this of any influence on the new album? Yes of course. It was like a fresh wind with lots of new ideas and a different musical background..It has been very good to the band.’
How does the writing proces work with you? Is this a groupprocess?
Most of the writing is done by Teufel and Patrick. When there are ideas they are presented and everybody can give it a twist of its own.
The style played by Tanzwut, Medieval Rock, isn’t very popular in the Netherlands. There are a lot of fans but there almost no bands in this genre. Should you try to do something about this, by playing a lot in the Netherlands for instance?
‘The big difference is the bagpipes are a tradition in Germany, it’s part of the culture. This isn’t the case in The Netherlands. The music has evolved in Germany is a way which was inevitable.’

In The Neterlands Tanzwut isn’t very well known. This in contrast to Germany where they are extremely popular and everybody knows them. ‘We would like to play more often in The Netherlands, because we like it a lot. That’s why we need fans, to help us getting known in The Netherlands.’

Despite the fact we sometimes thought the Germans were a bit crazy every now and then, we Dutch seemed to have made a lot impression on Tanzwut. They found out you should never sit on a Dixie toilet in Holland when your friends are around. Despite the fact all Dutch know this, it was a big surprise to Teufel, and he had fun, watching a guy being pushed over when he was on such a toilet at a festival. Crawled out of this and went back in the audience.
We warned them never to sit in such a toilet when they’re in the Netherlands.

We can expect a lot of nice thing by Tanzwut the next years. We want to tour, make records and make our shows even more awesoem.
‘We like to call on to all our Dutch fans to write to festivals and ask if they will invite us. And we want to thank them as well!’