the yellow snow crystals
German band The Yellow Snow Crystals perform the music of Frank Zappa, with lyrics translated into German.
The band performed at the Mosae Zappa Festival in Maastricht in May 2011.
The band performed at the 22th edition of the Zappanale Festival in Bad Doberan, August 2011, and did another concert at the 23rd edition.
|the yellow snow crystals:
(2011, cdr-demo, ger, private release) - all compositions by frank zappa
(2011, cd-promo, ger, arf society) - incl. various artists playing frank zappa compositions
|the yellow snow crystals:
(2011, cd, ger, konnex kcd 5276) - all compositions inspired by frank zappa
07 - A SHORT CHAT WITH THE YELLOW SNOW CRYSTALS
Yellow Snow Crystals were one of the memorable bands at the Mosae Zappa Festival
last May. And those of you who weren't there, will be getting a chance to see
the band at Zappanale. Here's a short chat with trombone player Paul Hubweber.
: Hello Paul, it's good to hear that you will be playing at Zappanale. Will this
be your first visit to little Zappa-town Bad Doberan?
Paul Hubweber : Hello Peter, thanks for your interest in this tiny little teenagejazzpunk combo. And, yes, this will be our first visit to Zappanale.
: I really like the line-up
of The Yellow Snow Crystals. Was this something that you envisioned from
the start? How did the band come together?
Hubweber : 1st
of all - what we do is play music that is infuenced by FZ.
My latest solo record "Loverman" includes 11 love songs and it will be out soon on Cadence/NY. On this album, there is a version of 'Evelyn, A Modified Dog'. So my mentor Werner "Stinkfuss" Huppertz asked: "What about doing a Zappa project?"
I was not in the mood for another solo project and so I thought of bringing a small band together for this. At that time I did some work with Simon Camatta, our drummer. I heard Alex Morsey playing bass and tuba in a concert and noticed that they both work together. So that's how we started.
After our 1st performance, I became tired of playing trombone, singing, and organizing everything....and that's why I looked for a performer who would be able to take care of most of the vocal parts. I thought of poet Gerhard Horriar with whom I had once done a short session that includes Zappa material.
: Singing Zappa's songs in
German might reduce the amount of international listeners, but I can imagine
that you get a lot of positive reactions from a German speaking audience. How
and why did you decide to translate the lyrics into German? Do you try to keep
as close as possible to the original?
Hubweber : For
me, the sound is the most important thing - Sound is emotion. That's why I have
no doubt about the listeners. We have had lots of positve reactions, for
instance at the Mosae Festival in Maastricht (NL), even from people who are not
able to understand German. The thing is to find our own sound and colour. So if
you understand the words you can have fun, but understanding the lyrics is not a
necessity. The sound of the words and the music are the most important part.
Some of the German lyrics are based on the translations of Carl Weissner but some of it has to be adapted by Gerhard to get a rhyme. The original lyrics are the basis but not everything works. He went into the mood of "got that feeling but it has to be music".
Hubweber : It's great
to hear that you love our approach.
It's all music. One is influenced by others. Invention is a utopia. To me, not one single person, musician or composer is able to find THE music. Every sound IS. We are in it to bring it to the next and the next and so on.... FZ did very many fantastic things but even he was no the innovator of music. It's like the stone in the water. it grows and grows....
About the direction we take for a certain song... I was sitting on the train and one of my favorite rhythms touched me: "Free is when you dont have to pay for nothing or do nothing we want to be free - Free as the wind" - 7874 ! This made me play with that motive. That's what we do - we take an idea, like 'Don't Eat That Yellow Snow' and improvise.
The Yellow Snow Crystals, what I prefer is the rough material. I am a blues and
jazz and barok musician and I love to go into a groovy orgy - why not with the
fantastic FZ material.
: The demo is
great, and if my memory serves me right, you told me that you were preparing a
CD. How is it coming along? Can you already tell us which songs will be on it?
Hubweber : I
hope that the record will be ready at Zappanale - fingers crossed.
The album includes "Schleim" (Slime), "Bon" (Token Of My Extreme), "Tourmädels" (Road Ladies), "Schnee" (Yellow Snow), "Stinkfüsse", "Promis" (I Promise Not To Come....), "Freundlicher Filz" which is an improvisation based on Friendly Little Finger and Filthy Habits, "Die Tuba Will Deine Mama Töten" (My Guitar), "Strandgut" (Let Me Take You To The Beach), König Gong and one non FZ piece "Directly From My Heart To You".
We're looking forward to it.
The Yellow Snow Crystals astonished most of the Maastricht crowd at the Mosae Zappa Festival, and I'm pretty convinced that you'll do it again at Zappanale.
Thanks for the interview & see you soon !!