HIT CHANNEL INTERVIEW: November 2011. We talked with Mani Neumeier, Guru-Guru drummer. Mani is one of the greatest ever European drummers. He plays for 43 years in Guru Guru and except his solo career, he has also collaborated with Harmonia, Dieter Moebius, Damo Suzuki and Acid Mothers Temple among others. The latest Guru Guru album is called “Doublebind”. Read below the interesting things he told us:
Which are the current projects you’re involved in? Are you doing any recordings this period?
There is just a new book with 2 CDs come out …see on Google “Mani Neumeier. Kraut N’ Rock. Guru Guru Grooves”. Songs from the 1st LP “UFO” until “Psy” (2008). And I soon go to Austin, USA and start recordings with Jurgen Engler (Die Krupps) and Dieter Moebius (Cluster) … “New Other Places” is the CD Title.
Was it an easy effort to record ‘Doublebind’? Did you try anything in the studio for the first time?
It was 3 days with hard concentrated work for recording and 6 days overdubs plus mixing. Yes, we did some new stuff like “UFO over N.Y.”, “Mars Man And Woman” and “Kabuki Dream”.
How the songs of ‘Doublebind’ are working onstage? Did these fit well with the old songs in live shows?
We play 5 songs of it. They fit Ok.
Wow! Yes,I do. We had 5 tours in Japan, one in USA and next March in Japan. It’s a great spacetrip, big experience and great fun!!
You’re one the greatest ever European drummers. Who are your influences as drummer?
Thank you. My influences were: Art Blakey, Max Roach, Philly Jo Jones, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones. I have seen all of them LIVE!!
Can you tell us how important was Conny Plank for the whole German scene? He was a visionary producer!
Conny was very important for us and many others,it was a great,intensive feeling to work with him. And fun.
In 90s and 00s you were playing with Damo Suzuki Network. Do you think Damo as a improvisational artist himself helps the other musicians to invent always new ideas?
All concerts I did with Damo ,-in Japan, Germany or England-, have been very energetic and he sings always different and new stuff. He mostly put the musicians, himself and the people in trance. It’ s always fun to do it together.
I really miss Michael, we had far out concerts (with Damo) in Japan and London. Florian and Klaus I didn’t know well.
Guru Guru is a socially conscious band. How was playing in universities in Germany while there was all that political tension in late 60s and 70s? Do you think that period was the most important in your career?
It was the pure underground sometimes. We were so wild and FREE and had our own trio sound. Big, rough, spacey, trippy. We just came in the right time with the right sound and feeling. It was a very important period of Guru Guru. The most important period was from 1968 until 2011,because the band was always alive and kicking.
Had you ever met Rudi Dutschke (ed: German youth movement leader who survived an assassination attempt by a right-winger in 1968) ?Are there today so important personalities in German youth movement?(I have a tremendous respect and admiration for him and for the German youth movement of that period. I wish I was born then!)
No. I never met Rudi Dutschke. But I met once Fellini.
How possible is to play soon in Greece? Send a message to Greek fans.
What,I should send a message to Greek fans? Ok, hellloooo friends, I would like to play for you in Greece. I hope some organizer will read this. Hurry up, may be in 5 years it’s too late.Thank you for listening to my/our music.
A huge “THANK YOU” to Mr Mani Neumeier.