GRIMM Special


Some die-hard mesh fans and MySpace users might certainly remember the news from last year when Mark spoke of a collaboration with a German band called GRIMM. He is friends with Claus Haegele, songwriter and producer by trade and, above all, one quarter of this band. The final product of this cooperation are two catchy tunes called "Into The World Together" and "We Only Want To Be Happy".
We tried to get some more details from Claus - and also Mark - in an interview.

Since when did GRIMM exist? Who are the band members and what function does everybody hold?

Claus: GRIMM exists for about three years. The decision to start a band on behalf of GRIMM was rather pure chance and very spontaneous. We met at a summer festival in Herten and shortly after we recorded the first songs. GRIMM consists of four band members which are:

Jörg - voice and bassist
Stefan - guitarist and voice
Tim - keyboard and voice
Claus - drums

How did you come up with your band name?

Claus: My studio, where we recorded and produced the songs, was in Grimmstraße. So we just thought, let’s call the band GRIMM, completely unspectacular. :)

Could you please briefly describe your music? How do you sound?

Claus: In a nutshell, stylistically, the music of GRIMM can be best described as a mixture of classical rock, Scandinavian melancholic metal and with a hint of synth-pop. GRIMM deliberately has no special role model or idols we run after. It simply makes much more sense to develop your own style and work something out that in the end you have an interesting and cool result.

When and where did you get to know Mark from mesh?

Claus: I met Mark Hockings in 1999 because we both produced the song "Waves". This project was co-operation between "Mark’Oh & mesh". I used to be the producer and author of "Mark’Oh vs. John Davis". It was much fun to work with Mark Hockings, though I was hardly able to speak a single word in English, we could communicate very well musically – music just connects. We were and I hope we still are on the same musical level. I am really happy every time we meet on one of their gigs in Germany.

You wrote the songs "Into The World Together" and "We Only Want To Be Happy" in collaboration with Mark from mesh. When and how did this co-operation start? And how is everybody involved in these songs?

Claus: When the first GRIMM songs were finished, I sent them to Mark to find out how he likes them. Mark was sold on it and offered us to write some lyrics if we needed them. We, of course, accepted this offer. We sent Mark the playback and he wrote the lyrics for "Into The World Together". Some months later, Mark sent us a demo version of "We Only Want To Be Happy" and wanted to know how we like the song. We immediately thought that this song totally suited GRIMM and we wanted to record it, no sooner said than done. During the recordings of "We Only Want To Be Happy" we were wondering how it would sound if Mark sang the verses and we would turn it into a "GRIMM feat. Mark Hockings". We asked Mark and he instantly said why not. Well, that’s how it always should be, professional and quick.

Mark: Myself and Claus have known each other since mesh's involvement with Mark'Oh in 2000. He was engineering, writing and programming for Mark'Oh and we got on really well. He's a great guy and talented musician. We wrote the B-side to the "Waves" single called "You And Me" and some other tracks that were never released but I was very happy with. We've kept in touch over the years and he approached me to 'tidy up' some lyrics on the song "Into The World Together". I used the ideas he had already and just organised into more of a song structure with some additional writing. We were sending stuff back and forward over the internet until the song was finished to both our satisfaction.
"We Only Want To Be Happy" was written by myself while I was working on tracks for "We Collide". I sent it to Claus as something he might want for Grimm, but he wanted to use parts of the vocals and the original guitar from the demo which we did. Again, we were sending files back and forward - he was mixing it and re-recording vocals in Germany and then sending me the results for comment. It's not the best way to work for many people I guess but it worked in this case because we trust each other. I really love this track – I love the song and what Grimm have done with it.

Could you tell us what these both songs are about?

Mark: "Into The World Together" was written by both myself and Claus so I can't be 100% certain what he had in mind, but I look on it as a kind of play on the old phrase 'We come into this world alone, and we leave it alone' - I suppose I was looking at it from the point of view of having a relationship that is so strong that you feel like you have always been together and will always be together. You can imagine nothing before it and nothing after it.
"We Only Want To Be Happy" is a song about how little some people expect to get out of life. It's about low expectations, about anger and frustration and about a love that is basic and pure with no conditions attached. It's about two people who are getting through life one day at a time, maybe not smoothly, but they are in it together for better or worse.

Is a release of both songs planned? If yes, when and in which form? If no, is there a chance to download them legally on the internet eventually?

Claus: We are still looking for a record deal just now, we will see if something arises in the near future. At the moment, unfortunately, songs of GRIMM can only be bought at www.tonetraders.de, the song "We Only Want To Be Happy" is not available yet, we are still waiting for further details of the publisher. At present, we also try to place the songs at iTunes with the help of a friend. That would be, of course, very good for GRIMM because iTunes is one of the biggest and most powerful online provider at all.

You are just working on your own homepage. When will it go online?

Claus: What the official homepage of GRIMM concerns, we are sorry to say that there is not much news. We do hope that we can go online quite shortly, until this happens we have a little page on www.myspace.com/GRIMMband.

Are there any gigs planned in the near future?

Claus: At the moment there are no live gigs planned. We work on further songs to begin with to build up our set. As soon as we have any dates for gigs, we will let you know, of course.

Mesh come back to Germany in December for a part II of the "We Collide"-Tour. Will you be on any of these dates?

Claus: Well, I will be at Essen on 5th December 2006 in any case. I am quite excited how the performance might be without Neil. I think the one or the other GRIMM will be there, too. :-)

Babette Nolte, mesh Fanclub

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