Last year they blessed us with the fantastic re-release of The Desert Wolves complete recordings on the CD 'Pontification' . And is if that wasn't enough, they also released the excellent compilation 'The Sound Of Leamington Spa Volume One', that featured bands from the mid-80's C86-popscene in the UK. Who are these guys that make usso happy? And if it says 'Volume One' on the compilation, is there another one coming up? Well, Pennyblack Magazine had to ask Uwe and Stephan at Firestation Tower records a few questions…

PB : Can you tell us a little bit about Firestation Tower Records? How did it all begin?

In 1998 three friends Annikki Kretschmer, Uwe Weigmann and Jan Kuhn decided to run a record label. Growing up in the two parts of Berlin,and being involved in each sides indie-scenes, they started very early to collect records, to play in bands, to write fanzines, to record compilation tapes and to exchange them with friends in Germany and all over the world. So finally it was a logical consequence for them no longer just to be only consumers, but also to do their own stuff. At the end of the year 2000 their friend and Uwe´s DJ-partner Stephan Kruger also joined the team.

PB : Do you have any goals with FST? What do you want to achieve?

We didn´t have commercial thoughts in mind when we decided to run a label. The major goal was to publish the bands and the music we like. We want to re-release our favourite bands from the 80s and on the other hand to discover new bands from all over the world.

PB : What are you looking for in a band when signing them?

That´s hard to describe, because it´s not always the same sound we´re looking for. There has to be this special feeling when hearing them for the first time. We have to believe in them.

PB : Do you have any favourite releases from FST? And on the contrary, are there any that are your least favourites?

Of course there are some releases one of us likes more than the others. That´s a natural thing when four people are working together. But the main thing is that we´ve never released a single song which one of us really didn´t like. To name a few of our favourites, there is the Leamington Spa compilation, Holm, Bazooka Cain, The Desert Wolves. Never the less we really love the others too.

PB : Vinyl vs. CD. What are your thoughts?

Is that really a question of credibility? Today you have to realize that it is necessary to release CDs, because 7" records don´t get the same attention and especially in Germany the large record stores don´t sell them. For us it´s beyond any doubt that a vinyl record is more beautiful and all of us have grown up with that medium. So as long as possible we will release them. Try to smell at a vinyl and after that a a CD ! You´ll know what we mean.

PB : 'The Sound of Leamington Spa': Can you tell me a little about this project? How did you get the idea?

'The Sound of Leamington Spa' : This title stands for the music we were growing up with in the 80s. We all love the so called C86-Bands and their music. In fact to release a compilation with these bands was the main reason to found a record-label back in 1998. While talking it over with some friends, there was such a positive feedback and enthusiasm, they decided to join the project and to cooperate. So Peter from the TweeNet label and Sven from Bilberry also came on on board.

PB : How many volumes do you think you can put together?

Of course we´re trying to release as much volumes as possible. At the moment we have up to 15 bands signed for the second one. We´re still looking for bands and trying to contact them for this project. So everyone who knows someone or was playing in a band him or herself please feel free to write us: http://www.twee.net/spa/ or: info@firestation-tower-records.de.

PB : Is it hard to find mastertapes, band members etc when you want to re-release old stuff, like the Leamington Spa compilation or the Desert Wolves CD?

All this searching for bands would not be possible, if the internet wasn't open for all people. The net makes all the work much much easier and more effective. In the most cases the bands still have the mastertapes, but while collecting songs for "The Sound of Leamington Spa Volume 1" we had to take some songs from records and from tapes too.

PB : Finally, it would be interesting to see what your top-ten favourite singles of all time are.

UW :

Aztec Camera - Just like gold
The Smiths - Heaven knows i'm miserable now
Orange Juice - Lean Period
East Village - Cubans in the bluefield
Friends Again - Sunkissed
Bodines - Heard it all
Prefab Sprout - Bonny
Railway Children - A Gentle sound
Painted Word - Worldwide
Bob Hope - Al Green

SK :

: Apple Boutique - Love resistance
Felt - Ballad of the band
The Smiths - The boy with the thorn in his side
Another Sunny Day - You should all be murdered
Holm - Afterglow
Trash Can Sinatras - Obscurity knocks
Mighty Mighty - Throwaway
Love Parade - Life
The Bridge - Shame is a girl
The Railway Children - Brighter

Well, there you have it. Another volume coming up. I don't think I'm alone in holding my breath here. If you want to know more about the label and to see what their new releases are, type http://www.firestation-tower-records.de in your browser and press enter.











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