Mennen interview February 2005.
The former frontman from Dutch melodic rockers Zinatra Joss Mennen has got new energy on this - the bands 5th studio album! First they got a deal with Swedish multi media firm Escapi Music - formerly known as Escapi New Media, who also will be recording Cornerstone's forthcoming live DVD. Second after ten years of seperation singer Joss Mennen and producer Erwin Musper have renewed their cooperation resulting in in the very dynamic album "Freakazoid". Musper has managed to put all the creative ideas and little sounds and noises from the four musicians in to a structured and crisp and clear music environment.
Q: How do you see the CD's chance on a very complex market of today? To me "Freakazoid" is a great input on the melodic genre. I really liked the multi layered sound from Mennen – it seems that you have taken the best of your past (in Zinatra i mean) and put the expression up-to-date?
A: Thank you for your compliments! The main thing we were looking for, during the making of “Freakazoid” is that there is enough space in our arrangements for doing other things with guitar and voice than usual in hard-rock music. This resulted in an album, which is interested for a much wider range of audience. Hopefully this will be a positive contribution to our success for the upcoming period . Especially with the USA release ahead (march 2005).
Q: What are your main influences in music? I'm as mentioned not a hard-core connoisseur of Dutch hard rock, but I can hear the before mentioned extracts from the melodic sides of Zinatra to the progressive new acts like Freak Kitchen how did you start up in the first place?
A: We are all into very different kinds of music which inspires us in what we do within Mennen. I think the unique sound of a band is caused by the fact that it’s a unique combination of four people creating this sound. I’m a very big fan of new bands like Alter Bridge and Linkin Park, but my roots lies in the early eighties with bands like the Police and the Jam .
Q: The hard rock genre as well the more melodic genres has suffered from less attention the last 5 years, but I think I can sense a certain optimism nowadays with new record companies, lots of websites, and lots of discussion groups on the Internet - how do you see the genre? And do you think the Internet is a help to promote your genre in general?
A: Internet is a very big help indeed, if I only mention the possibility of internetradio via streaming audio. In spite of the newest trends through the years , we always sticked to melodic rock without ignoring the excistence of new bands . Anyhow ,as long as we will get an honest chance in exposure through airplay and live-shows I think we will survive.
Q: Can you give a detailed describtion of the tracks on the album? Do you have a concept or are the tracks fragments from a life in Holland? I am very much into tracks like “Above the Waterline” and “Rain” – what’s your favorite?
A: I didn’t follow a concept writing the lyrics for the tracks . Some are based on actual happenings in the world , some are autobiographic and some are made-up love stories. I will give you a short description of everysong to give you the right impression:
1. Down / about a one-nightstand solution for someone who felt lost and lonely.
2.Above The Waterline / This song is about a someone who can’t get over the loss of the love of his life.
3. It’s Over / typical love-song.
4. Rain / This is a very complicated story about someone who is confused about his feelings about love.
5. Secrets and Lies / This is a song about the loneliness caused by a secret relation-ship.
6. Bob / Band Of Brothers descripes the teamspirit we feel within the band !
7. Freakazoid / We are all Freaks and give everything to get where we want to be.
8. These Good Times / a song about someone who asking himself how his past love is doing.
9. Believe / About the unbelievable fact that there was a politition shot in The Netherlands.
10. The World Stopped Turning / About 911.
11. Whicked White / This song we were inspired by drinking many bottles of Belgium White beer.
12. Blue / Song about someone who was safed by another.
13. Loose Somebody / a real “cheer you up” song.
14.Taste of Paradise / About loosing grip on democracy and the terrible concequences.
Q:How about yourself? What are you up to these days? And how about a tour in the future for Mennen – including Denmark of course! ?
A: Momentary we are doing clubshows in the Benelux promoting our album and we will support Thunder on their European tour. In march the album will be out in the USA, the upcoming month we will shoot a promovideo for the states . Hopefully we will get a chance to play in Denmark. I can remember the last gig I did in Denmark was in Kopenhagen in the K.B. Hallen. .
Q: I hope to see you in Denmark again - as far as i remember you were supporting our melodic band FATE in Saga, too...
Thank you very much for your time. I hope that Mennen will give it a go in 2005!