Günter Schickert Interview
Thank you for taking your time! I would like to ask you about your childhood and teen years. Where did you grow up and what were some of your influences?
I grew up in the middle of Berlin near Wittenbergplatz and KaDeWe, a big worldwide famous warehouse. There was no wall in 1949 and the fifties.This warehouse was full of inspiration and things to see and feel, like persian carpets and a big department with records. I still remember the 4th floor with big carpets and ornaments and I heared Chet Baker and Between the buttons when I bought my first Lp and recordplayer, I decided the Stones. I was playing trumpet when I was 13 and the music from1600 something was influencing me a lot, too.
Did you record anything before Samtvogel in 1974?
There were meanwhile lost recordings but never published. Ofcourse I did record a lot, otherwise I would have not been able to finish something like SAMTVOGEL.
In 1974 you released your legendary Samtvogel LP. I would like if you could share some of the strongest memories from producing and recording this LP! What gear did you use?
It came out of me without thinking or planning. I had bought an Dynacord Guitaramplifier, a Fender Jazzmaster, Dynacord Echomachine S 75, a Microphone, a Marshall Fuzz Face, a Crybaby Wah Wah and thats all and I also did all the recording through this gear, everything into an Uher Mixboard, 2 Stereo and 1 panable monoinput, I had two taperecorders borrowed a 3rd one for mixing all together, it took three months because I was working all day in a bureau or office. With this stuff I had to repeat 15 minutes or so if a mistake that I could not stand happened after this time, back and again.
What can you say about the cover artwork?
In these days I was also drawing a lot and one was this proud bird which was a present to my girl these days.
How many copies were made?
I made a private pressing of 500 copies which I gave to friends sending it to some companies or selling them. Brain was interested, Metronome had this label with strange things going, and so they did it. The number of copies they did I dont know, I guess they sold 6000.
What can you tell me about the concept behind Samtvogel?
There was no real concept, it just came out of space through my brain and fingers and what I liked I preserved.
A year or so later you formed a band called GAM and released an album in 1976. Would you like to share a story about it?
I was leaving home when I was 18 after education and lived alone in Kurfürstenstr. and a friend was introducing me to Axel Struck from whom I learned a lot about guitar playing.
We lived together with other people, also my girlfriend in Kreuzberg in an old Loft and made music there. we moved out to different places and I started to record SAMTVOGEL 1974. Than we met again and formed GAM. Günter Schickert, Axel Struck and Michael Leske, the drummer. The bandname are just the first letters of our names.
In 1979 you released another great album called Überfällig It was released in 1979 on Sky records. Would you like to share some of your memories about it and how many copies were made?
Wih GAM we had the needed success a band needs to survive, I guess the music was to far out for germany and we were no businessmen Eiszeit was with producer Moslehner planned to Tatort but just not happened and an LP was not published. I met Manfred Heuer, who played drums and with the same technic like Samtvogel we recorded ÜBERFÄLLIG. Brain did not want it, ( they changed to dancefloor) but SKY did it.
What happened next for you? I know you released several other albums…
I never released an album with a major company afterwards, smaller things of course because I never stopped playing and recording. Live with all the things happening took my time in caring about love and sadness so I did not always had the energy for music. That is quite private, so not now.
I heard you were in some project with Klaus Schulze?
I knew Klaus from Berlin hanging out in Zodiac , Park and so on. He was drumming with Tangerine Dream and Psy is free, and met him as a friend when he was recording Irrlicht. Later I took care of his house in Celle and I was on Tour with him in Germany and Italy and we played some concerts and recorded some sessions, the tapes are with him. We planned an LP but did not realise, I got very upset, even he helped me a lot, and did not work together since then.
Wah Wah Record re-released your Samtvogel LP. Are you satisfied how it turned out?
I am very pleasd with what these spirits in Barcelona did. It was really great to have this bird 35 years later back on my balcony. Even it was difficult because of rights and so on. But Universal, where these rights meanwhile are, where fair to me, thanx to Uwe Grünert.
What are you doing these days?
I reunited ZIGURI, a band existing in the end of the 80ies and 90ies. That is Dieter Kölsch (Drums ) Udo Erdenreich ( Bass ) and Günter Schickert ( Guitar ) We had a nice concert with Damo Suzuki and will play as much as possible.
Do you wish to share anything else, perhaps?
This will be enough for now. May be have more questions just send them.
The most important thing in the moment is ZIGURI organize some gigs…
We are on the way to record properly in the next future.
All the best and Love and Peace
Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2011
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