Taken from "Popfoto"
"The best brothels are in Amsterdam!"
What does a SAILOR do when he's in a harbour town like Hamburg? He goes to the Reeperbahn and has a look at the discrete small streets. That's what Andrea (16), Gabi (15) and Maren (18) got to know when they interviewed the four hit-SAILORs for POPFOTO...
Henry, you carry
a rose in your hand. Do you like flowers?
Henry: Yes, very much. But normally I don't walk around like this. I've just got the rose from a fan.
How have you met each other? You have played in different bands before, haven't you?.
Georg: We met about six years ago in Paris and have never lost the contact between all of us. Two years ago we came back together again in London. SAILOR exists since that time.
How do you feel when you stand on the stage?
Grant: Well, we try to do a good show. We don't only want to perform our songs, but we want to involve the audience into our show by talking to the people. If this works - and this happens quite often - it is a very exciting feeling.
You sing about sailors, harbour pubs, prostitutes and all those things. How did this start?
Georg: I have travelled a lot in my life and have experienced a lot of different things, about which I can write now. But: Not all of our songs are based on personal experiences. The worse stories have just been invented by us...
Is there anything about your work that you don't like?
Henry: Yes - try to put yourself in our situation. The audience comes to see a SAILOR concert and expects it to be perfect. That every song sounds just like on the record. But we are no super-humans. We might also have a bad day from time to time. But the audience shouldn't ever notice this. We have to deliver a perfect work every day, every day the same songs in perfection. That is pretty exhausting. During the recordings it's even harder. There you can easily hear every mistake. So we have to work 100 % perfect in the studio, and mostly under pressure of time. And when there are additional personal problems it can be very disturbing. Because we are together all the time, every personal problem becomes a problem of the whole band. In addition to this there's all the travelling. I mean, it's nice to see all the different countries, but when you wake up in the morning and don't quite know whether you are in Stuttgart or in Stockholm it's rather uncertain. We don't see much of most cities. Most of the time we are only in airplanes, concert halls and hotels.
Have you managed to get out of the hotel here in Hamburg already?
Grant: Yes, yesterday evening. We went to the Reeperbahn.
Have people recognized you on the street?
Grant: No, I don't think so. But in my case I don't think that people look at me anyway. That's probably because my mother wasn't too pretty... But seriously: Privately we are rather modest. We don't wear stage outfits or walk on extra high heels or have a ring through the nose.
Did you like the Reeperbahn?
Georg: Personally I didn't like it, but the others did. I was just afraid that somebody might stand behind my back and I watched out that my purse didn't disappear without a trace. Or in some of the pubs a woman might just jump in front of me. But I also know that there are other small and very romantic streets in St. Pauli.
Do you mean the streets where the prostitutes are?
Georg: Yes. We also went to a small street where the girls sat in the windows.
Georg: Right. I had already heard a lot about it, but I didn't like it. It felt like being in a supermarket. Amsterdam has much more beautiful brothel-quarters than Hamburg, that's much more inspiring for me.
Did you just walk through the street or have you also got to know some of the girls?
Georg (turns red): No, we were steady. We have made our experiences some years ago. No we don't do anything like this anymore. We only sing about it.
You are married, aren't you? What do you do in your spare time?
Henry: We got married in our spare time, haha... We hardly have any spare time, mostly we have a lot to do with the band. But when we can relax we play tennis or golf or crocket. Or we get drunk.
Do you drink before you go on the stage?
Phil: No. Although I'm sure that most people say no when asked about it in an interview. But in our case it's really true. I can understand that many musicians take drugs or drink alcohol. Our job is really hard, and in some way alcohol and drugs can help you to get through this. But you lose in any case because you are going to take it automatically and lose control over it. We can't do this. We need a clear head.
Who is the boss in SAILOR?
Henry: All of us. But Georg is the songwriter and had the original SAILOR-idea. I think we are a cabinet and Georg is the prime minister.
Your Nickelodeon is unique in the whole world. Where did you get the idea for it from?
Phil: That came all by itself after we had recorded our first LP. It was a sound from a lot of different instruments. In the studio this sound was no technical problem, but on stage it didn't work. We would have had to jump from one instrument to another like mad. That's why we used all keyboard instruments, a bass and some other things for the construction of our Nickelodeon which is quite easy to play and delivers the sound of a complete orchestra. Georg had the idea for this.
Phil, you were born in Münster. Do you speak German?
Phil: No. I only lived in Münster for a year, then my parents returned to England. Unfortunately I don't speak German.
Your band is named SAILOR. Have you ever been on a ship for a cruise or something like that?
Georg: Let me think about this - no. I have once travelled from Calais to Dover, that's the longest time I have ever been on a ship. Normally we fly. That's better because you can't get seasick.
What do you do when you come back to the hotel after a concert?
Henry: Well, Grant, what do you do after our concert, hahaha?
Grant: Normally we drink a hot chocolate. Then I go to be with Mahler.
Who is Mahler?
Grant: Gustav Mahler, a classical composer. I always listen to him when I go to bed.
Where would you like to send your holiday? On the sea?
Phil: No, in Germany. Seriously. We like this country very much. But as long as we have so much work we can't think of any holiday.
If you can't come during your spare time - when are you going to come back to Germany for concerts?
Georg: Next year. We can't say the exact date yet - first we want to check if SAILOR is also something for America.
The text next to the pictures:
left: At the Intercontinental-Hotel in Hamburg SAILOR met the interview-girls Gabi, Maren and Andrea.
Phil: "I don't need drugs!"
Henry: "You wake up in the morning and don't know where you are!"
Georg: "I have experienced a lot in my life!"
Grant to Gabi: "My mother wasn't too pretty either..."
below: SAILOR say thank you and goodbye: "Your interview was real fun!"
Article by courtesy of Thomas Henning (Berlin, Germany)!