Godmother interview

UPDATE Godmother have released a new video for the song “MTFTM”

Directed by Philip Shafer
Starring Godmother, Sam M. Gahr and Alex Mersmann
“Some feel like a man trapped in a woman’s body, others like a woman trapped in a man’s body. I just feel trapped in a body.” –Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

“MTFTM” written and produced by Joey Hansom, published by New Pangea Music (ASCAP).

Today we want to introduce you a pop group from Berlin called Godmother that has released their EP ‘Transgenre’ last month. It is available as a limited edition cassette tape or free download at New Pangea http://www.newpangea.biz . The leader is Joey Hansom, who is also a DJ, producer and event organizer in Berlin’s alternative scene.

Hi Joey, welcome to the pinksnout community. Could you tell us something about you and the components of the band and how did you guys get together?

Sugar and spice and puppy dogs’ tails – that’s what Godmother is made of. Rocco, our cellist (and bassist and sometimes keyboardist), and I met at a sex club. I had heard he was a very skillful musician, which is what prompted me to strike up a conversation – even though my only motivation was to get into his pants. We both agreed that a lot of music by so-called queer bands was lacking substance. And that bands with queer content were often lacking musicality. A bottle of lube later, Godmother was born. T-Word, our saxist, joined a few months after that. Coincidentally, we played a show in that same sex club a couple years later, which is when we met our current drummer, Sara.

What inspires your music, and who were the first artists who inspired you?

The construct of time, science fiction, corporate Hollywood and hormones. The first artist I connected with lyrically was “Weird Al” Yankovic. My mom confiscated his CD from me, so I knew he must be on to something. Also, I didn’t realize it at the time, but the soundtrack work of Danny Elfman has really rubbed off on my composing.

You’re Berlin-based. Can you tell me a bit about how the city influences you and your work? How do you describe the alternative scene?

The city has such a rich, fucked up history that anyone living here will feel its gravity. Seeing a panorama with a bombed church and beautiful Bauhaus architecture along with hideous attempts at modernity certainly leaves an impression. Our music is also somewhat of a time warp. Everything from the swing of cabaret culture to the rigid grid of techno has permeated Godmother’s consciousness.

The alternative scene here is very vibrant with lots of room for experimentation, but sadly the city is so poor that there isn’t much of an infrastructure allowing artists to make money from their work and move ahead. The problem is getting worse because of rising rent costs. Most of my German and European friends just get unemployment money, but as an American, I can’t. So I’m often spending my time figuring out creative ways to pay the rent, instead of just being creative.

It’s so easy to be categorised and placed into a particular genre, but how would you describe your sound?

Oldies but newbies.

You write “We’re living in a no man’s land, no dicks, no tits, just our prostate glands.” What was the idea behind your latest song for the track ‘MTFTM’? 

It’s about searching for something beyond the limited options society offers. Between a rock and a hard place? I’ll take a pillow, thanks. Morton’s fork? I’ll whip out my knife.

You’ve created your own label New Pangea and produced other artists like Alexander Geist. What made you want to start your own label?

Carving out a space for myself in a world I don’t belong in. Being my own boss, my own dominatrix.

How do you resonate with the term queer?

To me, it simply means challenging norms. I do that without event wanting to.

What are you looking forward to this year? What are your plans for the future?

This Friday, May 15, I am DJing with Aérea Negrot, the queen of Berlin nightlife, for the Expatriarch Generations series at the nightclub institution SchwuZ. She is taking newcomer house producer Longopus under her wing, and he’ll present his debut live set.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GcpJmTFQTE

With Godmother, I’ll perform at the No Fear Of Pop showcase on May 24, the Torstraßen Festival on June 13, and some dates in France in early July, including the Loud & Proud Festival. I’m also playing in a couple of other bands at Yo! Sissy, Germany’s first queer music festival, on July 24-26. Other than that, I’m concurrently working on the full-length Godmother album.

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