Gabi live at the Arvika Festival 2009.

– Freundschaft für immer!

By: Peter Marchione
Photos by: Fredrik "Schlatta" Svensson
Spotlight published: October 24, 2010


Regardless if DAF have a new release out or not, they're always a major subject for all fans of not only EBM but also other electronic genres. And there are not that many bands making electronic music who'd dare not to mention DAF as an influence one way or the other. This duo has been touring a lot lately and has a brand new limited one-track single out. Gabi Delgado and Robert Görl were kind enough to let us ask some questions about the past, present and future.

Since these interviews took place at two different occasions we'd decided to publish them separated. We’ll start with Robert Görl and the latest news from the DAF camp.


Robert live at the Arvika Festival 2009.

New single, more to come
You have a one track CDS out now which is only sold exclusively via a web page and at concerts. Are you generally dissatisfied with your own experiences of the traditional ways with record distribution and record companies?

– This CDS is not a normal record release but a merchandising product and strictly limited to 2010 units. For such an idea you wouldn't find a record company - and we are in fact dissatisfied with record companies.

This limited CD has a pretty heavy price tag, why?

– I think it is not really a heavy price tag - it is heavily limited! And we have a certain plan about this limitation idea. There will be a special follow-up action. We will anounce this at a later date.

Any side project activities for either you or Gabi?

– Gabi and I we are doing different things - not just the band project. I do a lot of photography, and I've been writing on my biography for a few years. And I am working always on new musical ideas.

You've been touring extensively for a long time now. When did you record this track? Was it written "on the road"?

– DAF has been touring for almowst two years now, but not extensively since we only play ten to twelve shows in a year. This new single was recorded in Berlin and Munich but also in Cordoba, Spain - in our own home studios. I did the music and Gabi the lyrics, like we always do.

Do you have any idea how long this tour will go on?

– I guess until end of 2011.

And now, over to Gabi Delgado.


Gabi live at the Arvika Festival 2009.

Proud of Nitzer Ebb
DAF is generally seen as one of the pioneers of the EBM movement. How do you feel about this yourselves? Did you ever feel you were creating musical history in the beginning or was all that unintentional?

– Well, we actually knew that we were doing something special since we were not following the road of Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. Our music was not song orientated but rather track orientated like techno music today.

I sometimes feel there is a gap between DAF and the later electronic acts which generally are pretty obsessed with technology. DAF, and other contemporary bands like Die Krupps, always seemed to have more of a punk image than the later nineties ones that often refer to you as the godfathers of EBM.

– We liked the overall image of punk but never really the musical instruments. You know, when you think about it they were still using the same tools as our grandfathers. We wanted to start something fresh, with a new kind of energy. And, as you probably know, once we got hold of electronic instruments we kicked the other members.

Lots of later electronic groups in various genres have stated you as a major force behind inspiring them to start playing. Do you feel that you in return have gained any inspiration from these offsprings? What do you listen to these days?

– I listen to lots of African and reggae music and I am very open to different styles of music. When talking about our own genre we do like many of the offsprings and our favorites are definitely Nitzer Ebb. We are specially proud of them, Gabi says with a laugh.

Could you tell me about any particular song and artist that may have influenced you?

– Well, one example is Giorgio Moroder and his work on the classic ”I Feel Love”. Sex and electronics fit well together.

Artistic freedom
You’re now touring with a pretty retro setup. Is this supposed to be seen as a restart of the band or simply a trip of nostalgia? Are you recording a new album as well?

– The important thing for us right now is that we are enjoying ourselves and we are not planning several steps ahead. We do not have any business plan - we are strictly artistic. Once you start thinking about the business part the artistic idea gets lost. When we started playing, music changed the way you live. Nowadays music has turned into business and may change what sneakers you buy. This is another example of how capitalism works and how it assimilates everything and anything.


Looking back, what track and/or album are you particularly satisfied with?

– It is very hard to choose favorite songs but right now it would be ”Als wär's das letzte Mal” on the ”Alles ist gut” album.

Especially in the old days, your art was commonly misinterpreted and you were being accused of all sorts of stuff. Do you feel that that you’ve managed to get rid of all this and how long did it take?        

– Back then there were a lot of taboos that are no more. The state is loosing its grip and more things are allowed. The same goes for the church, they cannot burn people anymore. Institutions are not working as they used to. When you try something too much you will loose it. It is exactly the same thing with art. If you try to concentrate too much you will loose the inspiration.

Embrace arguing
Electronic music nowadays is technically easy to produce, even at home. Back when you started out with analogue synths and sequencers it was more of a hustle to get it all in sync. This makes it tempting to get more and more sounds in the mix – but DAF have actually stayed rather minimal. How do you keep yourself from falling into the trap and start putting in more and more sounds in the mix? Do you use the old stuff still or have you updated the equipment to software synths and effects?

– We have tried all sorts of software like Cubase and Reason and do not like it since software is not as playable live. Mouse clicking isn't fun at all, especially compared to connecting real machines together and play them.

So, what do you sequence with at the moment?

– Right now I am using a Roland sequencer but I change every now and then. I am no instrument fetish and it is always the idea that counts in the end.

There was a time when it seemed totally impossible for you and Robert Görl to ever perform together again. How is your relationship now? You seem to be getting along well now!

– We get along very well but of course we're still human and have our arguments every now and then. Arguing is also something quite good and harmony is often pretty stupid. After the storm there's better weather so in both music and life there's really no need for harmony. The disagreements lead to progress and without progress there would be no more DAF.