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T: Where are you now and what are you doing?

Conrad - I'm in an internet cafe in Berlin with a rude and sweaty man behind me getting ruder and sweatier by the minute. We live just around the corner from this place so we are here pretty often, but unfortunately so is the rude guy. There is a dreadful song playing in the background. Something about 'not going down with this ship'.
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T: You are not well known band in Croatia, so please give me a brief history of how the band started?

Conrad - Well, we've all been playing in bands together for a few years now, but The Devastations are only about one year old. In fact we just turned one about 6 weeks ago. We had a little anniversary, and renewed our vows.

T: Why that name?

Conrad - Basically it's a name that we could all agree on. Thinking up names for bands is a pretty horrible thing to have to do. I think it's just a reference to the emotional connotations of the word. And kind of like a Motown thing too, like the depressed version of the Temptations or something.

T: What went wrong with your ex band Luxedo? What is the main difference between Luxedo & Devastations?

Conrad - Well, Luxedo had just reached its' logical end I think. Bands don't last forever, unless you're the Rolling Stones or something. The band had been going for quite a while before I joined. By the end of Luxedo we didn't feel as comfortable playing the kind of music that we were playing, so we wanted to do something a bit more relevant to ourselves. As far as differences go between Luxedo and The Devastations... There are a few. Tom was the main singer in Luxedo, whereas now I do most of the singing in The Devastations. Luxedo (towards the end) was more of like a Stooges-y kind of thing. A lot more aggressive than what we do now. It was a really good band, but I think it was the right time for it to end.

T: People say that your sound is a mixture between Tindersticks & Nick Cave... How do you feel about such comparisons?

Conrad - Well, one one hand it's nice to be compared with such people, but we aren't really interested in that so much. If you make an album full of slow and sad songs then you are always going to get those comparisons. Our live show is quite different to what we do on record. I think it's important to keep the two things seperate. We don't want to recreate the album note for note on stage. I think it's more interesting for everyone (the audience and the band) that way. Back to your question though, I don't really think about the comparisons too much. It's better than getting compared to Ben Harper.

T: You have also Emilie Martin, singing on your album. One must agree that her voice gives special joy to particular songs. How come she is not on the tour with you?

Conrad - Emilie isn't actually in the band. She is a friend of ours from Melbourne that we used to play in another band with. She's not really interested in playing music anymore though. Certainly not touring for months on end and being a million miles away from home. She's a great musician though.

T: You just finished your European Tour. How was it for you?

Conrad - We haven't finished yet. In fact we've got quite a long way to go. We're sticking around Europe until March or so, so hopefully after these Tindersticks shows that we're doing then we can come back to Croatia.

T: What do you expect from being on tour with Tindersticks?

Conrad - Better quality amplifiers, drumkits and PA's. Nice theatres. Long driving distances. Lack of sleep. Snow in Poland.

T: What kind of music do you listen when you're on tour, at home...?

Conrad - Right now on tour we're listening a lot to the new Outkast album which is great. Also the Black Heart Procession, Bob Dylan, Dirty Three, Beyonce, Tim Hardin, Papa M, Prince... A band called Women and Children, who are from Paris. They're good too. We're getting very sick of the albums that we took with us though, so we'll need to buy some more pretty soon.

T: Your 5 favourite albums ever?

Conrad - That is a very hard question. I don't think I can answer that. It's hard to think of music in terms of 'favourites'. I either like something or I don't like it. 'Funhouse' by The Stooges is always an album that gives me great pleasure. 'Horse Stories' by the Dirty Three is a beautiful album.

T: Your 5 favourite movies ever?

Conrad - Again. Same thing. Hard to answer but here are some.... Le Samourai, The Third Man, Alphaville, Dancer In The Dark, Mulholland Drive...

T: Tell me something i would never guess about you?

Conrad - How do I know what you would guess and what you wouldn't? Tom used to work in a goldmine in Australia. That's pretty good I reckon. Hugo once composed a soundtrack for a porn film. That's true. I have a bad knee.

T: Well I have a bad knee too, but the other two i would never guess. Any messages for our readers and your pottential audience?

Conrad - Well, firstly to come to one of our shows if possible. We're really looking forward to playing in Croatia. We've only ever driven through there before so it will be nice to finally play there. And if you do come to the show, then come and talk to us afterwards and we'll have a drink. If anyone wants to know our dates they are all up on our website at www.thedevastations.com along with all kinds of other stuff. It looks like we will have a European release for our album early next year, so it should be a bit easier to get then.
OK, see you soon.

pedja // 14/11/2003

PS: touched by the hand of lana

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