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Jen chats to Sibbi from German Pop Punker’s ‘Itchy’ to catch up with their news.

Photocredit: Ilkay Karakurt www.ilkay-karakurt.com

After 15 years of band history and more than 900 shows in 20 countries, Sibbi, Panzer and Max from ITCHY can finally relax with their 7th studio album entitled »All We Know«. Nowadays they’ve started travelling with the absolute know-how of their own strengths – without any luggage. After the first one and a half decade, with their latest album reaching number 5 on the German album charts in 2015, WITHOUT any big TV show and thick pants, as well as a long break, the trio from Eislingen an der Fils has changed their old band name ITCHY POOPZKID to ITCHY – the actual nickname of the band, which has been used by fans for several years now. It is time for the band to concentrate on new, important things:

Lyrically and musically, »All We Know« is much deeper, more diverse and mature, or even “more adult”. If you could ever have your musical Coming of Age as an old stager of the punk rock scene, then please do it like ITCHY did! You can find lots of chin hooks directed to individual persons, as well as social-critical beatings in singles like ‘Nothing’or ‘Fall Apart’, but this time just somehow more casual, cooler and prancing. The new songs on »All We Know« are full of groove, positive power and singalong hooks, while still being melancholic and thoughtful, without being embittered. In other words: with all that energy, ITCHY do not necessarily take the shortest route to run through the wall head first, to allow the sun to shine through it. They don’t have to. With songs such as ‘The Sea’, the summer has been brought along for the festivals that are waiting for the reliable live band ITCHY and their new songs.

With Arising Empire/Nuclear Blast, the band has now found a new label home after three DIY releases via their own record company Findaway Records. This new label couldn’t fit any better with the band’s working ethos! But let’s leave the boys talk about everything while having a relaxing drink… Oops, they’re back on stage again. Damn, they just work too much! Great! — Ingo Donot

Itchy2017c

Jen : Hi guys, I jumped at the chance to interview you as I am a punk rock kid. (well adult I suppose) Once a punk rock kids always a punk rock kid I think.

You guys are no newcomers to the music industry. Can you think back to the early years and tell us how you guys all came together to form Itchy?

Sibbi: We actually all went to the same school and that’s where we decided to form a band. Back then that was the only way to get out of there. But to be honest, we never thought that, 16 years down the road we’d still be touring and doing nothing besides playing shows and recording albums.

Is there a story behind your bands name and the change from Itchy Poopzkid to Itchy? I find that name cool as!

Sibbi: Well, good for you. We hated the old name (laughs). Big time. And we never failed to tell everybody. The name was one of those “funny” ideas you have when your 17, 18 years old. The thing is, when people read that childish name, they thought we were a kiddy pop punk band, which was never true. So it didn’t really help us or open any doors. Quite the contrary. But we still pushed through and since we hope to keep on doing this band thing for as long as possible it now feels kinda like a fresh start and we are very happy about the name change.

As I have been researching your band over the years, you seem like guys that just do what you want and not concern yourself with what others think. You must have a secret to this, can you please share? I would love to know how you do it!

Sibbi: Good question. I think when you find something in life that you love, and we really love being in this band, then you have to hold on to it, listen to yourself and follow your heart. The three of us, we all want the same thing, so there’s no need to be concerned about what others think, what the musical trends are at the moment, and so on. Just go for it.

‘All We Know’ is so musically diverse and has said to be “more adult” than your 6 other albums. Can you explain why you think this record is grown up? What did you do differently?

Sibbi: I’d rather call it a natural process of getting older as a person and as a band. You learn more about how life works, what’s important, what’s not. Our albums have always been very diverse, because we listen to a lot of different music. That shows in our own songwriting. The challenge is then to put all the different songs we have written together on one album. It has to make sense. As diverse at it is, it still has to sound like one band. I think we accomplished that.

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Is there a story behind the cover? Love it!

Sibbi: Thanx. We love it as well. There are many ways to interpret it. Personally I totally like it when you can wonder about what I might mean, when there are little details to discover and so on.

I like the way that you announced your album on Facebook, with no advertising, just pure joy that your album is out and gratitude to your fan’s. I usually search through a bands Facebook page to find out more about them but had trouble understanding the videos and posts in German…. You prob have been asked this many times but with your singing in English I assume you write your songs in English? What is your process?

Sibbi: Until now we focused mainly on Europe and the German speaking countries, so there wasn’t that big of a need to post everything in English. But I guess it would make sense now. Thanx for mentioning it, I think we will change that (laughs).

I have been listening to you on Spotify while writing these questions. I must admit that the main song that I have been listening to is ‘Fall Apart’. This song is catchy and after a few times when I got to really know the lyrics I fully understood the meaning. It has a First World Problem’s theme going on. Sadly, it speaks the truth. It has humour but is tinged with sad reality.

Can you take us through the writing process of Fall Apart?

Sibbi: You totally got it. We were sitting there thinking about all those first world problems that totally ruin our day. All day everyday. “Important” things such as a weak wifi-signal, bad weather, soy milk is out of stock, your credit card doesn’t work, your favorite band has a new name, the new star wars movie sucks. Stuff like that. Those things really piss us of. Everybody knows it and can relate to it. And to be honest it was funny trying to make a list of them all. But when you take a step back and think about it, when you compare those “problems” to problems people have that don’t know where to sleep tonight, or what to eat tomorrow, then we all should be ashamed.

The music video really adds to the meaning, great concept, with props like the sign to make music videos great again add in humour. I really like any dig at Donald Trump really. Can you tell us about the making of the video? Any amusing stories or did anything go wrong?

Sibbi: It was actually shot entirely in our little hometown. Some of it in my own garden or in front of my garage. Like most of our video shoots, it was a horrible day for us (laughs). We had to run on a treadmill the whole day for two days straight. My feet hurt for 5 days. Not kidding. The night scenes with the rain, well that was a garden hose with ice cold water. I really don’t know why we shoot videos in the Caribbean or in Australia for example. Somehow we like to torture ourselves.

No Way! No pain No gain I guess. Moving on to touring wise you have played in 20 Countries, is there a country that you are keen to add to the list?

Sibbi: Australia for example. We would really love to go there and we are making plans at the moment to do just that. Hopefully 2018 we will get the chance.

Great! I read that your shows are a must see, what do you think is the key to a great show?

Sibbi: For me the most important thing is when you can see that the guys on stage enjoy what they are doing. People tell us that all the time and I take it as a huge compliment because it’s true. Our shows are also very exhausting because we don’t like to stand still and we don’t want the audience to stand still either. So there’s a lot of action going on. If our clothes aren’t completely soaking wet after the show, we did something wrong.

I also read that you don’t take any luggage, ah what now?

Sibbi: Haha, another Australian interviewer asked me that question and I thought “what?!?!”. The we don’t take any luggage with us part is more like a metaphor, that means that we don’t give a damn about the past or anyone else, we just go for it and try to kick ass. But I guess that metaphor doesn’t really work (laughs).

Ha! We call that baggage rather than luggage. I am glad another Aussie thought that too. 🙂 I first listened to you guys when ‘Dancing in Sun’ music video came out. I was searching on YouTube and came across the song and my fav band Zebrahead (well one of my fav’s) had liked it and commented that it was great. So, I took another listen.  This song is amazing. Highlighting what is wrong with this world. Anyway, just wanted to thank you for all those times I have listened and enjoyed your music.

Sibbi: Thanx Jen, that really means a lot. Hope to see you soon. Great interview.

Thanks Sibbi, like that feedback.

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