Fritz Hohenzölleren interview with RSH October 13, 1984, Fehmarn, BRD for the Musik Magazine: “Das Schlectes Klauseurarbeiter”.
Translated from German by Klemmer Hanz Schnellebaker.
FH: “Rochibauld, what is Neue Deutsche Welle?”
RSH: “It is an entirely independent Musik. The origin is strictly Brechtian. Would you like a Zigaretu?”
FH: “Thank you, this is wonderful, is it Czech?”
RSH: “Precisely. Böehmen-grown Tabac.”
FH: “How did you start out?”
RSH: “There was a girl named Gabi, from Leipzig. She was my only friend. She heard me sing some of the songs I had written and she encouraged me to start a band.”
FH: “We did our best to find instruments, but they were hard to find in the DDR, we had to borrow them from real musicians. We knew an engineer who knew how to make a synthesizer. Schlomo Grunewalt. He was a Jew, originally from Königsberg, in Preussen. He gave us our distinctive sound.”
FH: “What were your influences musikally?”
RSH: “Kraftwerk, Ramones.”
FH: “What were your other influences?”
RSH: “Georg Kaiser, Berthold Brecht, Jean Génèt, Franz Kafka, Ludwig Meidner, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Karl Schmidt-Rutloff, Alma Modersohn-Becker.”
FH: “What about Mahler?”
RSH: “Mahler stinks. He is musikally incompetent, morally corrupt, emotionally retarded. His Musik sounds like cats being raped in a pile of pots and pans. It is compositional bowel movement. I hate him.”
FH: “How were you discovered?”
RSH: “We played at a Stasi function in East Berlin. The party hierarchy took notice and viewed us as a tool of socialism to reach disaffected modern youth. They put us on the radio and we began to play all around the country. We were on the radio and they heard us in the U.S.S.R. and in the G.D.R. The DDRMG picked us up-we were a major Akt for them.
FH: “It became a phenomena.”
RSH: “Yes, it did indeed. This went on from 77, late into 78.”
FH: “What was the turning point?”
RSH: “We had a concert near the wall. The entire band was going to escape. Everyone escaped except for Gabi and myself. She was shot over 100 times by the border guards. I was captured and repeatedly raped, but I had sworn a blood oath of silence, so I never talked. I had no family so I was high risk and I was sent away to a jail cell in the old city of Dubrovnik in Croatia.”
FH: “How did you escape?”
RSH: “It was the oddest thing. One of the guards was a former Ustace and he claimed that I was the living descendant of the one who could not be named. He explained the HE had had an affair with a women from Saxony, the daughter of a Baron. Her son Karl Sachse was married to a woman from Alsatia the daughter of a former Duke named Heûtélièr. Karl never knew his ancestry. Then I was born. The oddest thing was that the Stasi told me the same thing and they had legitimate documents to prove it.”
FH: “Did the guard help you?”
FH: “Of course.”
RSH: “He got me on the ferryboat to the Italian City of Bari. I was met there by representatives of the BRD. They got me to Augsburg.”
FH: “What about the band?”
RSH: “They were all at Augsburg. We started playing again immediately. It was a huge propaganda victory for the BRR, BundesRepublik Deutschland and a disaster for the DDR. The word got out that Gabi had been shot and she became a Neue Deutsche Welle icon of the masses.”
FH: “How did this affect your Musik?”
RSH: “I became very nihilistic. I viewed everything as irrelevant. Without Gabi I was already dead, but still forced to exist. Success, failure-all the same.” We achieved great commercial success, but success was irrelevant.”
FH: “What about the crowds calling you the “Rock and Roll Sex-Hitler”?
RSH: “It was disturbing when you think of my ancestry. But Grünewalt was my friend. Did I kill 13 million innocent people? No, by some hideous accident of history I am descended from Schickelgrüber. Did I invade Czecho-Slovakia and France? No I was a musician, plain and simple. Do we blame the grandson of Stalin? Mao? Gengkis Khan? No.”
FH: Explain the deontological viewpoint in western philosophy.
RSH: Ja, it is, an approach to ethics that determines the goodness or rightness as it were from the examination of acts, rather than the third-party consequences of the act as in consequentialism, or the intentions of the person doing the act as in virtue ethics.
FH: How does this coincide with your view on irrelevance.
RSH: That is a good question. The consequences and the individual are irrelevant. Only acts in and of themselves contain relevance.
FH: Teleological ethical theories, as we know, where according to which the rightness of an action is determined by its consequences is anathema to you, Ja?
RSH: Correct. I agree with Kant and C.D. Broad: Duties create rules.
FH: But you are a nihilist? Cigaretu please?
RSH: You see, my friend here, take a Cigaretu, existential nihilism argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.
FH: But moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Subsequently there are no moral values with which to uphold a rule or logically prefer one action over another.
RSH: Ja, but nihilism can also take epistemological, metaphysical, or ontological forms, meaning respectively that in some aspect knowledge is not possible or that contrary to our belief, some aspect of reality does not exist as such.
FH: Do you really then prefer that view of nihilism that is sometimes used in association with anomie to explain the general mood of despair at a perceived pointlessness of existence that one may develop upon realizing there are no necessary norms, rules, or laws?
RSH: Precisely. There are in fact rules which give rise to duties of a deontological nature. But these duties, being obscured by the Apokolyptichen Pickel-Hauberen Oligarcken, in the Meidnerian Weltumschaum, prevents us from accepting duties which are thus not defined.
FH: Excellent Cigaretu!
RSH: Konsider the differences between Socialismus and National Socialismus.
RSH: In Socialismus the mass of the people are viewed as one group with the same burdens and responsibilities. Of course it never works, because those at the top retain all the power and skrew everyone else. Now with National Socialismus, one group of people believes that due to certain inherent characteristics that one group is superior to another group of people. Those in the favored group reap the benefits, and those in the unfavored group are annihilated. But once again, of those in the favored group, those at the top retain the power, the rest are equally skrewed.
FH: Is this an Austrian Zigaretu?
RSH: Exactly, an Innsbruck blend grown at exceptionally high altitude.
FH: Excellent. It is a Zaftiger Zigaretu!