Magnetic caught up with Marian Gold founding member and lead singer of Alphaville before they set off for their big US tour this August. For many of us Alphaville's "Forever Young" is one of the best 80s ballads of all time and remains relevant today amidst the fractured political environment and increasing global tensions.
Over the last three years or so the influence of 80s films and music is undeniable with one of the big markers being Netflix's Stranger Things. So if you want to see one of the OG's of synth pop this might be your only chance to catch Alphaville for a while.
USA Tour Dates
August 4th - Houston
August 5th - New York
August 6th - Chicago
August 11th - San Jose
August 12th - Burbank
Marian Gold Interview
Over the last couple years, 80s synth style music has been making a comeback with a lot of new artists, in what they call the new retro wave scene. What are your thoughts on the return of these sounds and do you have any bands they you are digging?
MG: In my humble opinion these styles and sounds never really disappeared from the musical scene. In fact, they became an established panash on its own, just like reggae, hip hop, funk, rock 'n roll, etc. In that, I wouldn't speak of a comeback. It is rather a musical current that stayed on since its creation in the late seventies, which is still developing and which covers a huge musical spectrum, represented by such diverse bands like Empire of the Sun, Wolfsheim, Capital Cities, Ladytron, Icona Pop, Crystal Castles and so on.
Your career has been a long one, and your early work has been a massive inspiration to a lot of artists. What keeps you inspired and how would you describe your sound two decades later?
MG: Our sound definitely shifted by the inclusion of a wider range of musical instruments, growing experience and the development of production technology. But there is an unmistakable core of Alphaville identity, a kind of leitmotif that recurs on all of our albums, no matter if you listen to, say, "Summer In Berlin" from our first album or "Enigma" from our latest one.
What can fans expect from the upcoming shows?
MG: We generally play music from most of our released repertoire, but naturally, we're focussing on our new production "Strange Attractor."
It’s an eerie coincidence that “Forever Young” seems more relevant than ever, did you ever think this song would have such staying power? How do you feel that it aligns with the current political and environmental climate?
MG: "Forever Young" is a real phenomenon in this respect. Not only does it deliver interdependencies with presently occurring social or philosophical themes but seemed to do so at any time since its release. I never expected it to have such an impact when we wrote it back in 1983. Apparently, it was a glorious clash of inspiration, instinct, and serendipity.
Why do you think so many musicians are looking back to the 80s right now?
MG: I think it is most likely a form of nostalgia. And it doesn't concern only musicians. The 80s were the last golden days of an era that started after WW II, a time of continuously growing prosperity in the western part of the globe. The world was unambiguously classified into East and West, communism and capitalism, Catholicism and Protestantism, black and white. It was a much less confusing place than it is today and it looked as if it would stay like this forever, with the same old answers to the same old questions. Nowadays we don´t even seem to know the right questions. I presume that there is a great yearning for a firmly established world. That always happens when people lose their confidence and explains a lot about what's going on in present politics. I don't count myself in this group of people. I am always looking forward. I'm too curious to look back.
Are you excited for Blade Runner 2049? Where you fans of the first film?
MG: Oh yeah, I'm a great fan of the first Blade Runner movie! At the time when it was released, to me, it was a revelation visually. And the soundtrack by Vangelis was simply overwhelming. It is still a landmark in my musical universe. I can't wait to see the sequel!
What’s on the horizon for Alphaville?
We are already working on the follow up to "Strange Attractor." The working title is "Thunderbaby." As it looks like the journey will go towards a more ambient, big screen-orchestral vein.
What are your thoughts on the current electronic dance music scene?
MG: I'm into the experimental protagonists of it, like Tommy Genesis, Kanye West or Tiger Love.