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WEBCounter by GOWEB
since November 26th, 2001

Interview Manuel Göttsching

Q: How came the E2-E4 album?
Manuel: In November 1981 I was invited by Klaus Schulze to play guitar on his European concert tour.
I did so and we enjoyed it. When the tour was finished, and I was back home, I was still in a playing mood.
Therefore, I sat down and played one long piece of music. Just for myself. At one go. No multitrack, no replay,
no nothing. I sent a tape copy to Klaus Schulze. Three years later, KS had his own label Inteam,
and he remembered this tape and asked me if he can release this one hour track on his label... I said yes,
and Klaus Schulze released then E2-E4. Of course, the correct title must be with two small "e": "e2-e4",
because it's named after the chess game's most common opening move. The expression "e2-e4" was
a private joke then among some friends of mine. The album didn't sell well. Three years later, Schulze's label
went bankrupt, and then, slowly and funnily, people began to notice E2-E4. It's still a steady seller.

Q: What do you think of being a pioneer of Trance Music?
Manuel: I have other interests than sitting at home and thinking about being the "pioneer of trance music".
If people say so, it's okay and fine. I can live with that. We did what we did then, and we enjoyed it.
Today we don't run around telling everybody: "We are the forefathers, the pioneers!"
This feeling have people who look at it from the outside, or journalists who never know a thing, but never
the people who live in it, and who actually did or do something. And I hope that the music which we did was
a bit more substancial than most of what is sold today as "techno" or "trance". It's so easy to make
meaningless & boring music and say: Oh, this is intended, it is "trance". Bullshit! One year ago the same was
probably sold also "new age"?
The loud and fast "boum tsik, boum tsik, boum tsik" of techno just goes on my nerves.

Q: Tell me about your very influencial guitar playing style, please.
Manuel: How can I talk about my "guitar playing style"? I do play guitar. That's all. One must not speak
about everything. There's something wrong with an art that needs to be described.
Authentical "very influencial" guitar players of our time are maybe CARLOS SANTANA, ERIC CLAPTON, and
above all: B.B. KING. They really influenced thousands of other guitar players. Also, CHARLIE CHRISTIAN,
who "invented" the electric solo guitar sixty years ago... and all the black guitar pickers from the twenties
to the fifties... What about WES MONTGOMERY? EDDIE LANG? JIMI HENDRIX? They are the names that
changed the way a guitar is to be played, and at the same time they changed the course of music, worldwide.
Don't forget DJANGO REINHARDT. He was supreme! And that's "only" the domain of pop & jazz.
There is a lot of more music, there is Segovia...

Q: What were your early influences?
Manuel: I had some years of classical guitar training when I was a child. My interest in music was the same
as with most young people when they are teenagers, I think. Influences? When I was a teenager,
I was listening to the usual rock and pop music of that era, STONES, BEATLES, SMALL FACES, WHO,
FLEETWOOD MAC, YARDBIRDS... and when we started to do music, we tried to copy this music.
I wanted to play drums, but we had already a drummer. Therefore, I was the singer.
I was then 14 or 15 years old. Shortly after, I also played guitar.

Q: What made you interested in electronic instruments?
Manuel: It was just the time... and thanks to my father I always had a special liking for technical devices.

Q: In the seventies most synthesizers had no memory function. We suppose that you spent much energy
and time to re-create your material in concerts. How did you play live, actually?
Manuel: Yes indeed, it was difficult and time consuming to get those first synthesizers to do what I wanted
them to do. Much of improvisation was required. I just gave my best and prayed.

Q: What are your creative approaches to writing music?
Manuel: Creative approaches to writing? I sit in my studio and start to play. An idea comes.
I try to play with it. Sometimes, some nice things come out of it, sometimes not, and sometimes something
completely different comes out of it. Q: We are wondering if a kind of "trance" feeling has been your
main concept throughout your musical career? Manuel: I never labelled my music. I leave that to
the listeners or to the media. Your perception maybe right, but in relation to my music you should
not use the word "trance" since that's a creation of today.

Q: Inventions for Electric Guitar is one of your most important compositions.
Can you tell something about how it was created?

Manuel: Inventions for Electric Guitar was my first solo album and I produced it myself. As everybody
tried to convince me not to do it, I did it. I wanted to do something with the guitar which nobody
has repeated to this day. It is in a way unique. Günther Schickert tried to go the same way but not
in such an extreme and perfectionist way as I did. This composition is really one of my most important works.

Q: Which motive interests you in the funky rhythm which one can hear in your later albums?
Manuel: I was influenced by the Isley Brothers, old Temptation albums and by the James Brown Band.
In some reviews you can read that ASH RA TEMPEL sounds like the James Brown Band on acid...

Q: What do you think about "Krautrock", a term which was given to the music of
ASH RA TEMPEL, Tangerine Dream, Can, Agitation Free, Faust and other German bands in the 70?
Manuel: The word "Krautrock" is an English invention. During the World Wars Germans were called "Krauts"
and this word was then used for German musicians of the 70s, but no longer in a negative way as it was
during the wars. It was just a reminiscence of those times. Therefore the denomination "Krautrock"
just means that this music comes from Germany. Concerning my music I am minimalist composer
and a musician with roots in blues and rock'n'roll. "Cosmic" and "Trance" were just definitions others
gave later to some of my musical directions. And the electronic technology that appeared at the time
gave me the chance to explore other musical possibilities. That was what interested me.

Coutesy of Ashra Music © 2003 Manuel Göttsching. All rights reserved.