DIE DORKS - Punk Über Alles ! (Punk/Crossover - Interview with Lisa DORK)

07 February 2022
DIE DORKS - Punk Über Alles ! (Punk/Crossover - Interview with Lisa DORK)
This band was surely one of my biggest musical discoveries of 2021 - I was really hooked when I heard their song "Die Maschine Von Morgen" for the first time and got addicted to their kinda "Thrash/Punk/Crossover" when I heard the new album in its entirety. They mix various styles like Punk, Thrash, Rock like no one and still are not afraid of pushing the limits further.. If you ask me, this is a band with a unique sound and nevertheless a global PUNK approach.. something definitely unusual these days.. that was enough & urgent for me to ask guitarist/singer Lisa a few questions to let you know more about them...

- Grüß dich Lizal ! How do you feel today ? Ready for a chat to let our readers know more about DIE DORKS ?
I´m a little excited ‚cause that is our first Interview for a fanzine from another country. Thanks Bro for introducing us to your readers.

- A question I sometimes like to ask. Do you remember the FIRST band or RECORD that hooked you and made you think "That's the MUSIC I wanna play ? Is that band/record still important nowadays for you ? Something you still like to listen to ?
My very first punk record was "Uaaargh' from WIZO and my first metal record "The Number of the beast" from IRON MAIDEN. Both records infected me with Punk and Heavy Metal at the same time and inspired me to combine both styles of music in my own musical development. These records brought me to rock 'n roll and they will accompany me for the rest of my life.


- OK, the band is something like 15 years-old, you have now 7 albums out and I noticed you went through alot of line-up changes... If I'm not wrong (sorry, but I couldn't find a lot of infos on the band..), you're the only "surviving" member from the band's debut - maybe with drummer Bons... (not sure if he came later in or not)... One could think you're someone impossible to work too long with (just kidding), but we all know how it goes with bands, people come & go for various reasons... can you present us the current line-up and do you think - after all these years - that THIS line-up is a steady/strong one and the one you want to work as long as possible with ? Whats makes this line-up different/better from the previous ones ? 
Bons (our drummer) is my better half and we formed the DORKS together. So he's been there from the start. Our current line-up consists of Liz (Vocals and guitar), Mark (Bass) and Bons (Drums). The first gigs together with this line-up gave us a really good feeling on stage. After just a few rehearsals, it turned out that we work very well together. If it's up to me and fate is kind to us, this line-up should exist forever. All 3 of us are the same thoroughbred musicians and for the first time in the band's history we work also on an equal footing when it comes to songwriting. It's great when people find each other, who share their love to music with the same passion.

- However - you still were a four-piece band when you released "Die Maschine Von Morgen" in April 2021 and Toni (Guitar) decided to leave some months later... and it seems you decided to go on as a 3-piece band. Why not looking for a new guitarist? Or your current idea is just like "less musicians = less changes"? 
As already mentioned, we are working very well together with this current line-up. At the moment we don't feel the need for someone new in the band, according to the motto : "Never change a winning team".


- Musically in 15 years, your style has also changed, alot ! From classic punk-rock of the debut albums to a kinda elaborated mix of Thrash, Punk, Metal ... how do you explain this evolution ? Is it something natural, inherent in the many line-up changes, or after a while, a definite desire to explore other musical spheres ?
Since I've always been responsible for most of the songs and riffs in the Dorks, you can certainly hear my and Bons personal constant development as musicians on every album. I have always been very interested in music of different genres. And so it was only a matter of time before I was fit enough on my instrument to let the musical diversity flows into new Dorks songs. Mark, our new bandmember, is also very interested in different styles of music, and so our new albums can only be more varied.

- I think we live in a time when people don't really like too much changes when it comes to bands & musics. As if a PUNK band should always play PUNK, a METAL band always METAL... I feel less & less tolerance/acceptance for musicians that want to experiment and I wonder if this is something you could be aware of as well... and if so, what do you think ? Obviously, you don't really care, since it seems you play what you wanna play. Kinda "Love Us Or Hate US" attitude or still "Fuck You, We Just Do What We Want", which is definitely "PUNK" - right ? 
"Love us or hate us" ! You know that Kreator is one of my favorite bands ever ? (Now i know hehe.. Ed.) For me, music is a great deal of freedom in a world of rules and laws. So I don't make my rules and think about genres. Do it like Lemmy and do rock 'n roll !

- Good.. let's now talk about "Die Maschine Von Morgen" (Tomorrow's Machine), your latest album.. released last April on CORETEX Records... I admit, the first times I listened to it, were not easy and disconcerting - precisely because of this style with diverse and varied influences - it took me some times to finally understand & fully appreciate the music, until it became an addiction ! What were the general reactions to this album ? I wonder if they were similar as mine, if people really got what you wanted to do with this album .. and you - almost one year after it is out - how do you feel about this new album ? With the time, are there things you would have made differently ? 
Our album received mostly very positive feedbacks from reviews. For example, we were featured in the "Top of the Ox" section of the OX fanzine and they spoke of an important and impressive milestone in Punk History. LEGACY, german Metal magazine even said we were harder, better, smarter and therefore more dangerous than 95% of the competition. Of course we would never say that about ourselves, because there are definitely countless better musicians and bands. Still, of course, it's an honor, to read this about our own music. But there were also listeners who were initially overwhelmed because they had never heard such a wild mix. And of course, there are some things that we would do differently. We released a great record. But many things we can sure do better next time. Each time after an album production, there's always something to learn. This is also our own ambition as musicians.

- So we said it, musically it's a kinda mix of various influences, from Punk, Thrash, Heavy-Metal and Hard-Core... with in my opinion - even some progressive touches in, but still with a PUNK approach. "Progressive" & "Punk" seem to be two opposite terms - but the formula works pretty well! Do you agree with this summary description ? To illustrate my idea, I think about the title "Die Maschine Von Morgen" which immediately made me think of some German bands such as HOLY MOSES and DESPAIR. THRASH bands with convoluted compositions especially on their respective albums "The New Machine Von Lichtenstein" and "History of hate"...
Absolutely. I think that's a very apt description. But the album title "Die Maschine Von Morgen" was more of a coincidence. We already had the song "Die Maschine Von Morgen" and thought it would be appropriate for a band, that dared to start over with a new line-up. It sounded like a spirit of optimism to us.


- That said, the whole album is not only in the spirit of this song, it is very varied, we go from more "punk" songs to others more melodic, melancholic, but the whole is very coherent, homogeneous. Do you think this is the "DIE DORKS" style which has reached "maturity" or should we expect even more evolution for the next album ? 
We tried to show all of our current musical skills on this album. In my opinion, the development must now continue in a different direction. We are currently very busy with song structures because the catchiness of the songs and especially the refrains are just as important as the composition of great riffs and solos.

- Let's talk about the lyrical content... Most of the lyrics are well thought out socially critical texts of rare depth and accuracy (Congrats! I'm impressed!) and you sing about independent thinking, mass-consumption, environmental protection, human's superficiality, tolerance, equality... everything that illustrates our "modern" societies... Do you think that as an artist, it is important to continue to spread messages, to raise awareness, to denounce and to propose alternatives to what our world so fucked... Is writing a catharsis, a way to express a certain discomfort and the feeling of not being ok with the current world ?  
Thank you Fabien for your kind words. I always put a lot of thoughts into my lyrics. For me, writing songs is an outlet and I can express all my pent-up emotions and fears in the songs. If I can use my lyrics to persuade others to denounce social grievances, to do something for environmental and climate protection, to fight discrimination of any kind or to question their own thinking and actions in any way and change them for the better, that would be a good thing. But we're just a small band with little reach. So I think it's very important that big-name rock and pop stars take a stand, as clearly as we do, on issues that affect us all. That they are committed to projects for climate protection or against racism to inspire young fans, that there is something more important to do in this world than partying every day and posting their faces on Instagram. We need to open young people' eyes, that it's more important to save the world than to do drugs and sitting all day long and consume bullshit from TV.

- "Action Speaks Louder Than Words"... not only thru your lyrics you deal with what's wrong in this world, but you are also involved in causes by supporting organisations such as SEA-PUNKS,  MEALS ON WHEELS FOR HOMELESS or KEIN BOCK AUF NAZIS ... can you tell us more about these organisations and their goals ? I think it's important to talk about them here too :-) 
Gerson Reschke and Benjamin Reschke bought a ship together with their brother Raphael Reschke to rescue refugees in distress on the Mediterranean Sea. Together they call their project "Sea Punks". You can join into the Seapunks and support them passively or actively as a member. Or you can donate for their new ship. For more information please visit the website: https://seapunks.de/
"Meals on Wheels for Homeless" regularly brings food and drinks to homeless people by bike. They are active in larger cities like Berlin and Leipzig. You can find them in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Meals.on.Wheels.for.homeless
"Kein Bock auf Nazis" is the best-known initiative against racism and facism in Germany. With the help of donations, they have distributed hundreds of thousands of free DVDs, free music samplers and more than a million school newspapers nationwide in recent years. For their works, they are urgently dependent on donations. https://www.keinbockaufnazis.de/

- You also have some "fun" lyrics.. it is ok, we can not be always serious ;-) Can you tell us more about that song "Job-Center" which is actually a cover of a HEAVY METAL Classic.. (I let you answer it is IRON MAIDEN's Run To The Hills.. haha! PRIEST's JAWBREAKER ;-)  and how did you get the idea to change the lyrical content & title to "Job-Center" ? Could it be it started as a joke ? And how did you team up with that special guest that is somehow a legend in the german metal scene ..
Few years ago, we were sitting together with our sound engineer and friend Lukas Haidinger from the "Deep Deep Pressure Studios", who is also responsible for the production of "Die Maschine Von Morgen", and made puns. At some point we stumbled across Judas Priest's "Jawbreaker". Which then became the song "Jobcenter" and I thought of a funny text about it. Our bassist Mark is originally from Frankfurt Am Main. He and Gerre are old friends, so Gerre didn't need to be asked twice to sing with me the Priest parody. We were very happy about the great song together.

- I didn't mention it so far... but all your lyrics are in German... I must say it brings something particular to your musical identity. But is that not something that can be a disadvantage for non-german audiences? I mean (and I regret it - same for bands singing in french), people are so much used to English, many of them won't go beyond the language barrier to appreciate the music for what it really is... I guess you won't change for english, it is not planned yet... you're born-PUNK and do what you want ;-)  
I think it works much better to express your own feelings, the emotions that go with the music, in your native language. It has also worked for other German-speaking bands to make an international name for themselves despite the German language, so why shouldn't it work for us too ? And we’ve already made it into a French magazine... (Can't believe I'm the first out of France to have an interest in your band.. Ed.)

- Looking back at 2021 & even 2020, due to the pandemic & Covid-19 SHITuation, it was (still is) very frustrating for artists.. Not much opportunities to play live, alot of cancelled shows... how did you get through these bad times so far? How did you keep you busy with the band ?  More rehearsals, more song-writings ? Even if the times to come are incertain, do you have some gigs planned ? I guess so far, it was not very easy to promote the last album in a proper way, i mean "live-shows" are an important of an album promotion.. but "shit outta luck"... it was not really possible.. your feelings ?? 
Due to the pleasant fact that we have had a new line-up since 2020, we actually always had something to do so that the ceiling didn't fall on our heads. In 2020 we worked on the new songs almost every day until the studio date and at the beginning of 2021 we worked on the promotion of the new album. We were all able to deal with our music more intensively than ever before, because we didn´t have live concerts. Unfortunately, our hope that the pandemic would be over by summer 2021 was quickly dashed. We were happy to play 10 shows last year, during the pandemic. But that wasn't enough shows for all of our fans to get to know us with the new line-up. We were very frustrated, that all the heart and soul that went into this record, could hardly be implemented live. We would do anything to be back on stages as soon as possible. A few concerts are already planned, but we hope, that we can play much more. It is the case that so few organizers currently dare to plan and many tours by larger bands had to be postponed for more than 2 years. As a small band, we always have to hope for random slots.


- Let's hope the Covid-19 SHITuation will be over soon and we can go back to a normal life... in this hypothesis, can we hope to see you on tour elsewhere than in Germany, since you are now working with M.A.D. TOURBOOKING... ? 
A few concerts have already been confirmed and are regularly updated on our homepage www.diedorks.de. We hope that the pandemic situation will ease soon and that we can perform more again. Please, contact our Booker with concert offers: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We want to play our music live. Of course, we wanna also play in other countries than Germany.

- Otherwise, what are the other plans ? I guess you've already a few ideas for new songs... do you have an idea of how the new album will sound like ? And when can we expect it to be out if it is not too soon to say.. ?
Two weeks ago, we recorded a few unplugged numbers that we plan to release digitally and possibly as an EP soon. This is something completely different than our hard and rockin' songs. Rather quiet and to dream. We're versatile musicians, so you really never know what's coming next from us. The new album is already in the works, but we aren´t able to foresee, how it will sound in the end result. This would firstly be too early and secondly, we would then reveal everything. If our plan works, we'll be back in the recording studio by the end of 2022. We would like to release a new album in 2023. Standstill with us? This is impossible!

- Ok, I just want now to thank you for your time & patience.. and answers too :-) Feel free to add anything you want, this space is yours :-) 
Thank you for your time and questions, Fabien!

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Born 1969, grew up with the NWOBHM sounds, musically educated with cult french magazines that were ENFER and METAL ATTACK, definitely nailed to the style when "The Number Of The Beast" by IRON MAIDEN was released... From 1982, it was clear life would never be the same ! Young & getting wild to the HEAVY sounds of SAXON, VENOM, BLACK SABBATH, MOTORHEAD, Young Fab also discovered thanks to school mates the NOISE, FILTH & FURY of Hard-Core/Punk bands like G.B.H, DISCHARGE, BROKEN BONES but also CRO-MAGS, BAD BRAINS, FUGAZI... and later on, through the 90's, everything that was ALTERNATIVE, EXPERIMENTAL, GRUNGE, INDUSTRIAL (SONIC YOUTH, NINE INCH NAILS, SOUDGARDEN, ALICE IN CHAINS)... Passion & curiosity grew up as years went by ... Fate was SEALED... no turning back ! No Music = No Life !

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