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Heute und Danach - The SwissUnderground Music Scene of the 80’s

«Heute und Danach - The Swiss Underground MusicScene of the 80’s» is the 2nd book about the Swiss underground musicscene by the two Swiss Lurker Grand and

André P. Tschan. In their first book they shadea light on the Swiss Punk and Wave scene from 1976 till 1980, this time theytake a closer look on the Swiss Underground Scene of the eighties. Members oflegendary bands like Baby Jail, The Monsters, The Needles, Young Gods,Chin-Chin, Mothers Ruin, Yello, Nacht’Raum, Vera Kaa, The Bucks, Grauzone, UnknownmiXand others look back.  Included aregenres like Punk, Wave, Pop, Rock, Indie, Heavy Metal, Experimental,Rock’n’Roll and Beat. The book list 1480 albums from almost every part of Switzerland.

Robert Pally: How come you wrote after your first book («HOTLOVE - SWISS PUNK & WAVE 1976 - 1980») another one about the eighties (Heute und Danach - The SwissUnderground Music Scene of the 80’s)?

Lurker Grand: First, André and I where part of the eightiesmusicszene in Switzerland.Second, our publisher, Patrick Frey did hear somehow, that we where working onthis new book and did contact us. Actually this was not the case (we never asked him, where he did hear about it), but it made us think about it and finaly doit.
Third,everybody that we talked about it, did like the idea and hundreds of musiciansfrom that particular period did support us.

Robert Pally: How many hours have you and the other writers invested to write the book?

Lurker Grand: Impossible to count. All in all we worked 3 years on it. Thousands of e-mails, phone calls and personal contacts with around 400 to 500 musicans of that particular scene where made.

Robert Pally: How come you separated the book into five maincategories (music, visualization,media, free spaces und sex, drugs & rock? n’roll)?

Lurker Grand: Because the musicians of this period did focus most on these five categories.
All this did not realy exist in Switzerland in the begining of the eighties... so those musicianswhere creating/playing a new kind of music, did create their own language of the visualisation to this music, did create and use a new media, did fight for free space and affordable housing, did experience a new livestyle in context with sex, drugs & rock’ n’roll. They all did in one or the other way... so it was to find one theme in one of those five categories, where a key person (musician) contribute their experiences for this book.

Robert Pally: At the end of the book there is a huge list of almost 1500 releases from the eighties. After which criteria's did you chose the bands (musical style, major label, indie label, etc)?

Lurker Grand: The subtitle of the book tell's you this. The Swiss Underground Music Scene of the 80’s... we did call it also the SCENE. Either you where part of it or you where out of it.

Robert Pally: Which peculiarities does the Swiss indie scene have compared to for example the English scene?

Lurker Grand: You can NOT compare it at all. The English (indie) or American (Alternative) music scene is part of a long cultural heritage in these two parts of the world. Switzerland did not have this before at all. Our music heritage was fucking yodeling or popular folk music. We where the generation that did bring this into this conservative society and I believe we did it right.

Robert Pally: In the late seventies did two big scenes existin Geneva and Zurich.
Were theresimilar scenes in cities in the 80ties?

Lurker Grand: I believe you mean the Punk and Wave scene. They where not realy big, but like we know, they did exist. They did also exist in Lausanne, Bern, Basel, Luzern and St.Gallen. In the eigthies these scenes where also start to exist in smaller cities all over the country. This kind of music or lifestyle became more and more the norm for many young folks.

Robert Pally: What political and social changes did influencethe swiss indie music scene in the eighties?

Lurker Grand: We believe, that our music (scene) did deliver the soundtrack to social changes in the eighties. The music or art in particular was much more important for a social change, than in the sixties or seventies in Switzerland. Before it was much more a political issue. The youth movements or pop culture in general in other countries in the past centuries did not have much effect on Switzerland. We did certainly demonstrate to the Swiss society, that many things in this country have to change and right NOW!
The booktells you also, that, what we did fight for and today this has become absolutely norm.

Robert Pally: Are the eighties for you musically more exciting than the late seventies. If yes/no, why?

Lurker Grand: This is not to answer with yes or no.... because i see this in a bigger picture. Without punk in the late seventies we would not have the post-punk in the eigthies and than indie or alternative music. There are bands or songs i like in both periods... i do have many, many records from the late seventies in my personal collection and particular a lot of early post-punk records from the eigthies... around 84/85 i did not really like it anymore and i did more follow the US garage rock szene.
This happend right at that moment, when i did move to New York in the Orwell year and also a book called Incredible Strange Music took all my attention and as a movie lover i did also start to get into film music. On top there was hip hop and a music club scene in NY, something that did fascinate me as well.... not to forget the New York Hardcore and the music szene around the Knitting Factory at this time and and and...

Robert Pally: Journalists like to talk about scenes, forexample New Wave or the Punk scene. Did this scenes in Switzerland really exist and did the bands really have a connection to each other?

Lurker Grand: Off course they did!!!... the book is all about this.

Robert Pally: What are the main differences between the Swiss indie scene of the late seventies and the one of the eighties?

Lurker Grand: The seventies punk mouvement was a revolution in many ways. The eightiespost-punk, alternative or indie szene where the result and development of this. Without that punk revolution no new music scene and no different approace to youth culture would exist up to today. I believe not only in Swizterland, but in many parts of the world, particular there, where it was experienced.

Robert Pally: What is your main target with this book?

Lurker Grand: André and I believe, that it was a wonderful opportunity, that weall, the protagonist of that particular period do write our own history, because it's kind of history already.
More or less always somebody outside a scene or a later born will do so and we believe nobody can do it bether than we all together. It’s the closest you can get, no?