Steffen Jungersen

"THE DREAM IS ALIVE!”

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D-A-D singer Jesper Binzer speaks to steffenjungersen.dk - about the joy of creating, about the love of rock’n’roll, about ups and downs during 30 years and a little bit about Volbeat

Dansk version

When The Rolling Stones celebrated their 40 years anniversary 13 years ago somebody asked Keith Richards why they kept going after all those years. His answer was:

"Because even after all these years I have a feeling of unfulfilled destiny with The Stones.”

I put that quote to Jesper Binzer - singer and guitarist in D-A-D. Is this how it feels after 30 years of D-A-D.

"Unfulfilled destiny? Wauw, that’s beautifully put,” he smiles.

"Well, as long as we’re composing and work creatively, we’ll carry on. After all; as Keith also once said: Nobody ever asks a black blues musician when he’s quitting ... so why should we.”

Jesper has been the man out front in D-A-D since he was 18 years old. D-A-D has for better of worse been his and his band colleagues’ lives and destiny. All through our conversation there’s mutual consent that this is the way it is.

"Well, I’d be scared and sad if D-A-D ceased to be. This band contains what you want to spend your life on,” Binzer says.

"Meaning that we’re not here to fulfill D-A-D’s wishes but D-A-D can fulfill each of our wishes.”

He pauses for a while and then laughs.

"Steffen! I wish I could come up with a really profound answer to this. But I’ll tell you this much: The dream’s totally alive. Things are all right as long as we can make something out of nothing and give it a personal kick up the ass. After that market mechanisms take over but that goes for all of us.”

No regrets - almost
But the dream has been allowed to continue. Not least ‘cause the aforementioned mechanisms have after all generally been favourable to D-A-D.

Except for the very much talked about WigWam debacle.

For those not in the know: WigWam was a grandiose festival tour launched in 2002 with D-A-D and fellow dane, popsinger Thomas Helmig, headlining. After just one date the whole thing crashlanded, the bookingagent and management went bust and left a load of bands in dire debts - D-A-D included.

I can’t even be bothered asking Jesper if that particular time was one of the low points of the bands’ career. It goes without saying. But does he regret anything else?

Such as the time nearly 25 years ago when Warner Bros. signed the band for a million dollars with the much coveted "US breakthrough” in mind.  D-A-D never hit it off on the American market, and Warner terminated the contract after just two albums. The American giant wanted to market D-A-D as the great new hair metal hopefuls. The notoriously stubborn and uncompromising D-A-D didn’t necessarily want to play ball and soon Warner had enough.

"In that respect I’ll admit that some of us have gotten better at saying "yeah all right”. Have gotten the personal courage to say "yeah all right, why don’t we try it - there’ll be no harm done”,” is Jesper’s rather cryptical answer.

"But no; we don’t really have any regrets. One thing always leads to another and we’re not the kind of people - and we weren’t then - who can "do a Mike Tramp”, drag our roots out of Denmark and move to America. We’re homeboys I’m afraid.”

He smiles when I rather maliciously suggest that lack of compromise and sheer bloodymindedness has been an obstacle for the band.

"Well, we didn’t wanna join a club who wanted us as members. We kicked and screamed and we still do,” he laughs before getting serious again.

"Those decisions may have been both stupidly stubborn and lacking in courage. On the other hand: If you lay down your head and regret something, at least you know it’s your own fault.”

Survivors
Okay then. Let’s talk succes stories according to mr. Binzer instead.

"It’s hard to pinpoint the high points. A lot has vanished in the haze but I am fond of the memory of when we premiered "Sleeping my Day Away”, "Jihad” and "Girl Nation” at the Roskilde Festival in 1988. This was before those songs were even released but the audience was crazy about ‘em,” remembers Jesper.

"I recall that I got that feeling saying "hey, I guess we’re onto something here” you know.”

The singer pauses and then fastforwards 25 years.

"I’m also pleased that the tour of Germany last year actually made a profit without toursupport, sponsors or anything like that. We actually played a gig in Denmark before we left just to fatten the wallet in case something went wrong financially south of the border.

But it didn’t.”

Despite being used to playing the big halls and the major festivals in his native Denmark, Jesper is happy to be back in the small sweaty clubs in the rest of Europe.

"Of course we’re blessed having the support in Denmark that we do. But I love rockclubs, I really do. And if you should feel it necessary to polish the ol’ ego you can just think of our peers from way back when. They’re mostly gone but D-A-D ended up survivors. That’s great!”

Second and third shots
Binzer refers to the club tours in foreign countries as "the old boys’ second or third comeback”.

"It has been done with sheer determination and an attitude yelling "we’ll bloody show you!”,” as he puts it.

"In contrast to football players who have to retire just when they’ve really figured out what it’s all about, we as a rockband are blessed with being given a second and third shot now that we’ve learned exactly where to kick in, where to relax and how you get the ultimate interaction with the audience.”

Seen from the other side of the table Jesper Binzer’s love of D-A-D and music seem to have increased further since the band again started touring the clubs in Europe.

"You know, rock and roll IS the freedom to go crazy. To sweat, puke and yell! That freedom man! And then it’s just great to be playin’ the clubs,” he insists.

"Now, they never made it to U2 heights. They’re driving ‘round Germany, man! And so what! The rock clubs are where it’s at!”

Yeah all right Jesper. But isn’t that just something you have to say because you can’t fill arenas down there?

He laughs, looks at me slyly and counters:

"Let me put it in another way: When we’re standing in a dressingroom that is not much more than a toilet somewhere in Stuttgart I remind the others: "Remember Volbeat had to go through this too”.”

Binzer howls with laughter.

"You can fool yourself in lots of ways. That’s one of them.”

Jesper’s statement about his fellow danes in Volbeat of course refers to the fact that Michael Poulsen’s troops have done exactly what was once predicted for D-A-D: The big international breaktrough.

Any jealousy?

"We’re fine with Volbeat. Michael and I are frequently in contact. But yeah; in all amicability sometimes there may be a little green sheen of jealousy. But what the hell and that’s alright ... we’re all grown-ups now.”

I’ve met Jesper frequently over the last 25 years and had many good conversations with him and it really is striking how he seems more in love with music than ever before - as mentioned earlier. It may not be so but if so he sure as hell has me fooled.

"Well, one of the things we learned from the whole WigWam thing is that it really isn’t about presentation and pomp and circumstance - it IS about the music,” Binzer says.

"You know; when we still enjoy being in the rehearsing room and think it’s great when a new riff rears it’s head and we can maybe marry that riff to the other one, we had yesterday and Stig has written a couple of great words on a toilet roll … Well you know!”

Binzer laughs.

"As long as we get to a point where its like I just described ... Then we deserve success and money … But only then.”

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Al pressekontakt, annoncering, promotion og PR varetages af Steffen Jungersen - steffen@steffenjungersen.dk

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