I always wonder if nowadays people really get into the music business for the love of music, and the reply of Felix Bandit to my concern was: „If fame and money would be the main reasons, then it would be pretty bad for us- it would cause a lot of frustation. Music is something that we really enjoy and it will continue to be like this. For both of us it is an ideal tool to communicate. „
Felix Bandit is an Austrian band consisting of the two members Barbara Bandi & Wilko Goriany. Their music sounds fresh and full of energy and in October they released their first album with the same name, Felix Bandit. I had the pleasure of asking them about their beginnings, their present and their future…
I have just listened to some of your songs- they have a really cool energy! How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard about you guys?
Barbara: When I get asked this I always answer: „ Pop, but you have to listen to it yourself on www.myspace.com/felixbandit“!
Wilko: Felix Bandit is our understanding of pop music- simply Bandit-Pop. Maybe less catchy but all the more with a lasting impression. It is our own interpretation of pop history paired with a lived indesicion and secret musical preferences.
Do you get your emotions out of your system in your songs?
In this regard we meet the typical role model, Barbara yes, Wilko rather not, at least not consciously. For Barbara f.e. the lyrics of „Pieces“ are the most emotional ones of the whole album.
How and when did you found Felix Bandit? Have you known each other before?
We met within the scope of the production „Coup de Bam“- an album where Barbara was performing as a guest singer. After the release of the album in 2006 we decided to mount our own project. In 2008 we finally started with Felix Bandit.
What´s the meaning of the bandname?
We started searching for a name at a very early stage of the production, and the choice for Felix Bandit happened pretty fast. (When speaking about Coup de Bam, even after finishing the album we still didn´t have a name) Felix is the second forname of Wilko. Barbara used to introduce herself with the name „Bandi“, like the bandit without the „t“ ( Bandi is an unusual name in Austria) Seperately that is too simple but if you put those two words together it means: „happy bandit“ And we like to take advantage of different styles…
Have you always been doing music, or did you have other jobs before that?
Wilko has always been doing music, wether as a drummer, programmer, or producer. Besides that he has a job in publishing. Barbara found her calling as a musician only late, actually only with the beginning of the production „Coup de Bam“.
It is just the two of you in the band, only when playing live there are other musicians joining you. Is it always the same ones, who are actually almost part of the band too?
The faces of Felix Bandit are Barbara and Wilko. Still, from the beginning the conpect of the band was designed to a „bandsound“. That means having a close co-operation with a large number of musicians.In our case, both in the studio and live we have a team of musicians friends, that you have to realize as a part of the sound, after all they contributed essentially with their instruments to it.Nevertheless above all, a live band is something organic, nothing inflexible and there is always change.
How would you describe each other?
Barbara about Wilko: Cool & reserved
Wilko about Barbara: Sociable & extroverted
Why does someone want to be a musician nowadays? Is it really because of the music or when one is really honest, it is more the fame and money that attracts?
If fame and money would be the main reasons, then it would be pretty bad for us- it would cause a lot of frustation. Music is something that we really enjoy and it will continue to be like this. For both of us it is an ideal tool to communicate.But theoretically a little bit of fame and money is nothing to sneeze at.
“Felix Bandit is our understanding of pop music- simply Bandit-Pop. Maybe less catchy but all the more with a lasting impression. It is our own interpretation of pop history paired with a lived indesicion and secret musical preferences.”
Do you have any musical idols?
Barbara: There is just too many of them so it is impossible to even just tell the most important ones that have influenced me. I have vinyls and CDs from the Thirties to the Nineties. I have a big passion for modern and traditional music from Spain.
Wilko: Also for me it is difficult to answer briefly. But I have to highlight the production of Trevor Horn in the Eighthies. There everything is right for me- very inspiring. Actually he is one of the few that, musically speaking, has gone along with me for over three decades.
What inspires you in your private life?
Barbara: My animals
Wilko: Music, film
Your first album, called Felix Bandit, has been released on the 22nd of October. Are you happy with the outcome?
Musically- absolutely. We had to find the sound for Felix Bandit- and we think that we have succeeded. Talking about market response- we still have a long way in front of us, but we already knew that before.
What´s your favourite song on the album and why?
Barbara: Every song is special to me. To chose one would be discriminating the other ones.
Wilko: I can´t say much else to that, even though I have a slight preference for the song „Felix Bandit“. It is not immediately accessible and hard to tame.
Why do you think there are so few Austrian bands that are internationally famous?
Austria is a small market, therefore the chances to reach a certain coverage is limited.
Would you like to break through internationally?
Sure- for many Austrian musicians that is a nice aim, to be famous beyond the borders- especially when the lyrics are in English.
Where can we see you live up next? Do you have tour plans?
Unfortunately we cannot tell any fixed dates yet. But of course we want to and we will perform live in the near future.
Now as usual, a few of our typical C-Heads questions:
5 things you cannot live without?
Barbara: my animals (2), my instruments (3)
Wilko: My Ines, music, film, my computer (2)
If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for?
Barbara: To be able to drive my old BMW again, a new flat in the Grundsteingasse ( 16th district in Vienna) & to hear Felix Bandit on the radio.
Wilko: Time for a travel around the world, a new mixing console & to hear Felix Bandit on the radio.
The most important thing in life is…
Barbara: … To be happy.
Wilko: … Freedom!
Many thanks for the interview!
Interview by Sigrun Guggenberger