As we were pulling into into the Hamburg train station we still weren't sure how many people were going to be there to meet us, if any. We thought we told Nic that we were to arrive at quarter after 4 in the afternoon, but then we also told Matthias, Nic's friend, that our train was going to be late. Jaq and his buddy Maze both said they could meet us, but we never confirmed a time or place with them. And then there was another guy, Basti, who was the driver of the bunch, that had stopped returning our calls when we told him that we'd confirmed our plane tickets.
As we lugged our luggage (which word came first?) off the train we were greeted by two smiling faces, and we quickly learned that Nic=Maze=Matthias Reiling=tall, skinny, coffee-loving red-head.
While Jaq=Basti=Sebastian Hochstein=spitting image off the fat chocolate eating Bavarian kid from the Simpsons.
Besides making beats for big timers such as Buck 65, Pigeon John, and Souls of Mischief, Nic and Jaq also spend a fair amount of time in the studio making music for less-known cats like ourselves and our contemporaries (Weez1, The Red Fox, Tweezy). Since coming into contact with these guys we've plastered our annoying voices over multiple beats of theirs, including 3 tracks off our new album, (Wooden Roller Coaster ft. Ali Milner, The Me in Me, and The Fez) as well as many old and unreleased tracks, including the infamous Lasagna Song (Golden Brown) from our last album, TimeZone.
Make sure to hit up the Nic & Jaq myspace page to hear music from, and get the latest info on our favorite Hamburgers. (That's what you call people from Hamburg, right?)
Steige: Off the top of my head, the history of Germany goes something like this: The Second World War, The Berlin Wall, then Ramstein's "Du Hast". First off, how ignorant am I?? And second if you had to have one of these things singularly and permanently represent you as a people, which would it be?
Maze: Well, on a scale from one to ten your ignorance level reaches the healthy value of 8. So let's all be represented by Ramstein until eternity, at least they know how to do an impressive pyro show.
Basti: It might also be Rammstein´s "Mein Teil", which is about a German cannibal, who ate his friend some years ago in Middle Germany (I LIVE IN THE NORTH!!!). Freaks! Did I answer the second question? Guess not, huh?
S: I dunno... I'd say Hitler put on a pretty impressive pyro show too! Zing!
When we first arrived in Germany we didn't really know what to expect. To be honest, we were pretty prepared to spend two days being bossed around, forced to choke down mile after mile of Frankfurter, but it turns out all of the Germans we met there and since then have all been very nice people. What are you all hiding?
B: See above
M: I don't know about other Germans, but I have this werewolf thing going on.
S: Do you guys have German celebrities? Do they acquire fame in the same way as our celebrities, by being trust fund babies and whores?
B: Sure we have celebrities! Gina Lisa just dropped her first self made home porn (Germany's next supermodel finalist). Didn't see it yet, but if it's as exciting as Paris' breakthrough, I guess I stay with desperate housewives...
M: For sure - they are like discount versions of Britney & Co, even more pitiful. Can you say pitiful in English?
S: Do you ever do it without your fez on?
M: I don't understand that allegory. It's an allegory, right?
B: Maze I'd tell you, but now I am afraid my parents might read this and ask uncomfortable questions....
S: You don't know what a fez is, I don't know what an allegory is... Your English-as-a-second-language is on par with my English-I've-spoken-since-birth. Shizer.
Maze=Nic, if you were a Simpsons character, who would you be? Which one would Basti=Jaq be?
M: Of course I want to be like Disco Stu, but I think I'd go with Otto. We're both the same career type of guy. Jaq is slick like Quimby.
S: Jaq=Basti - same question, named reversed.
B: I would be that kid with his chocolate and Bavarian leather pants, and Maze would be Rainier Wolfcastle acting Macbain!!
S: Hahaha, before we met you, out of sheer ignorance, we definitely pictured you both to be the little fat chocolate eating kid. Or Ramstein.
You guys produced the beat for the 'Lasagna Song - Golden Brown'. What did you think when you first heard the completed song and discovered that we had turned an amazing piece of music into a rap battle between a sous-chef and a lasagna? I think most producers would have thrown a shoe at us.
M: Honestly, this is exactly what I expect from a skilled rapper. Being able to view and describe things from a different angle. I think there never had been anybody besides you so far who tried to explore the feelings of a... lasagna.
B: I liked the idea a lot. It makes me hungry every time I listen to the song, and I am vegetarian!!
S: Food. Alright, listen: The four of us (Animal Nation and Nic & Jaq) are all on an aeroplane headed for a headlining gig in a girls only topless resort in Bali, when out of the blue our left engine stops working. Then the right one goes. Next thing you know we've crash landed on a tropical island surrounded by exactly enough plane wreckage to build one fast-food restaurant. As we all know, fast food joints are re-stocked by magic, and run by foreigners. Since we crashed closer to Canada than Germany it will be up to you to play the 'foreigners', and to build and work the restaurant.
What are the four of us all eating for the rest of our lives, factoring in that you have to make the food every day as well? What about if island natives volunteered to make the food?
B: You cannot tell me such plane crash things BEFORE I come visiting you on an 9 hours plane flight over the ocean and whatever!!!
You need to ask Nic about the the other stuff. He is the cook in our duo. He already made me some nice meals!
M: You stayed at my place... you know my pasta sauce. Girls eat it and immediately start thinking about trading their boyfriends.
S: So you're going to build a Subway. Right on. Tell us a joke.
B: I can tell you a true story my drums teacher Ian from London told me once. You need to imagine everything. One of Ian´s friends was background singer for John Denver back in the days. They were playing at a nursing home and all those old people wanted him to play "Country Roads" (of course!). So John Denver was starting to count in: 1, 2, 3,... but then he realized one of his band mates wasn't ready, so he had to stop the song in the last moment. Only person who didn't get this was Ian´s friend (the background singer), who was singing as beautiful and lonely as he could : COUNTry... (sounding like CUUUUNT) and turning red as ALL the old people staring at him in disbelieve afterwards. haaaaahahaha!
M: Kommt ein Zyklop zum Augearzt.
S: Hah! ...A cyclops.. Anything else you'd like to say?
M: Yeah, I'm in need of a Memorymoog and a Buchla. And an Elektron Machinedrum. Problem is I'm really broke, so can anyone please sell those things to me real cheap? I mean real cheap?
B: Get Ableton Live on your computer, so we can work properly and take advantage of the world power. You are Pinky, I am Brain. Rad.
Here is a quick video we put together for "Golden Brown - The Lasagna Song" featuring production by Maze. Make sure to check out our latest work together by stealing a copy of our new album, Understanding More About Nothing Than Anybody Ever Thought Impossible, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Music, due out May 24th!! (My birthday!!)
Right the eff on,
If you liked this then be sure to check out the interview we did with Ali Milner, or Josh Martinez, or check out 5 Really Bad Album Covers.