We had the pleasure to be invited for the “Women in rock” interview with Jana from She Wolf!
Thanks a mill! Click on the link to read the whole interview
Jana: Thank you very much for giving me the possibility for an interview!
Barbie: Pleasure! Thanks right back to you!
Jana: How would you describe the uniqueness of your music, especially for the people who do not know you?
Tom: Well, our concept is pretty clearly female fronted Rock ,n‘ Roll!!! We have good old hard rocking guitar-riffs, punchy, loud and simple drums and on top of that Barbies female voice which gives us not only, but also an engaging Pop-music like sound. To be honest, we don‘t put a lot of thoughts in it, whether our sound is unique or not, that‘s up to others *laughs* but if you ask me: The unique thing about Rocquette is how we combine all of those different styles and put them together to create something what our fans love as we do.
Jana: How did you find this genre of music?
Tom: After listening lots of Michael Jackson and Tina Turner in my childhood, I was first introduced to this kind of music when I saw the movie „Waynes World 2“. That day got me in to Rock ,n‘ Roll and changed everything.
Jana: Could you tell me the background of your name?
Barbie: I was looking at the genre title ‘rock’, picturing Tom playing one of his guitar soli and a nice, uptempo drum beat… and thought I’d like to have that included somehow. A little thinking and shuffling later, ‘Rocquette’ was the decision! I like it because it has a strong, rough base but also female, melodic touch, which I think fits our style pretty well.
Jana: Do you have any idols?
Thore: Any noize that rocks.
Andreas: I really like the music of Phil Collins, so he would be the nearest thing that I would call an Idol for me.
Barbie: I don’t like the term idol so much… But great people who are inspiring me on my way.. People with a huge heart, frugality, who care about others – sometimes even more than about themselves… Creating something amazing not on someone else’s costs but even making it beneficial for something where it’s needed.
Tom: I love Slash! Who doesn‘t!? Also Gary Moore, Joe Satriani and Joe Perry from Aerosmith are great Idols of mine.
Jana: Where do you get the inspiration for the songs and how much time do you spend on average for the music practices?
Andreas: I try to play the set through every day.
Barbie: My dreams sometimes bring up songs.When I’m lucky, I can remember them when I wake up. However, I also collect ideas that come up ‘normal’, like from things that happen to me, experiences and feelings. Things that either move me, or bother me in any way. It also happened that I heard music coming from another room and thought ‘cool melody’, then getting closer and realized that the melody was actually different from what I thought I’d heard. My mind had just combined the bits it heard with something else coming from imagination, producing something new. Regarding practicing, I currently practice between 2 and 5 times a week. If I was to name an average practicing time, it would be about 13 hours a week I guess.
Jana: Do you remember your first show and what was it like?
Thore: My very first show ever, …pure horror i would say. I was only 7 years old and attending a music school and we pupils had to perform a show for our parents. I was incredibly shocked and unable to move in front of that crowd. Pure horror as I said!
Tom: My first show was at the gym of my school at the age of 14 or so. It was a horrible show *laughs* but I can remember one or two groopies wanting to buy MCs (Music Cassette) from me.
Andreas: A Biker Meeting in the middle of nowhere, …I was told that the tapping of a foot would be the biggest reaction we could get because it would be „uncool“ to really rock out for a real biker.
Barbie: I was used to perform in public before I started singing, actually. Starting with early music education with 5, and classical guitar education from age 6 on, I performed in monasteries and other public institutions already at an early age. I don’t recall any stage fright, because I practiced a lot for my classes anyway, so it rather felt like doing what I always did, just in front of more people. My first ‘real’ show that I was singing was something new to me. However, I enjoyed it so much, and all of my friends were there cheering, so I guess that was what made me go down that path.
Jana: Do you have some special things you are very proud of?
Thore: I have started to play instruments when I was very young. I always have loved it, but as many young musicians I had to learn to handle nervousness when performing, too. That took a pretty long time but I have managed it. I don’t have to think a lot now when I’m on the stage, and when I have, well, I call it Jazz, and the audience loves it as well. That’s what I’m very proud of!
Tom: Im especially very proud of every and each single song we‘ve ever written. First they are born in your head like little babies. Then they grow wild into puberty and you have to push them back into the right direction. Later they leave home (getting on iTunes haha) and some come back sucessful, some don‘t. But Im proud of every single one.
Barbie: Oh yes! We just played our 100th Rocquette show! What is more, it’s already 9 years since we founded the band. We have played Europe, USA, and in the UK where we performed as one of the Top Ten live acts in London at the Exposure Music Awards, being nominated in even two categories. There were also some other neat shows that are still exciting for us, like rocking the domed hall of the Natural History Museum in Vienna (Gala Dinner of a science congress), or the Donauinselfest just recently. And, of course, we’re also proud on all other nominations and awards we received, like two awards for our brand new music video ‘Voodoo Rock Puppet’.
Jana: What are your strengths?
Andreas: I’m a very punctual person, and my big goal always was that if you ask somebody about me, that he would see me as a person that you can rely on…
Thore: Having a plan most of the time.
Tom: We can carry our equipment ourselves. By which I don‘t mean our amps are small
Barbie: Maybe my ambition. If I catch fire, I can really get into something. I can actually surprise myself with what I can move when I get excited about something. And people keep telling us they like the way we bring on our powerful energy-loaded shows.
Jana: Are you an organized person?
Thore: Not really.
Tom: That‘s a clear „NOPE“ for me then.
Andreas: If you want to be a musician you have to be one. Checking rehearsals, gigs, meetings, ect. Wouldn’t be possible if you haven’t got your day organised well. Thank god there are cell phones and wifi spots everywhere, which makes it a lot easier.
Barbie: Generally yes, however it often doesn’t come the way I planned – but that’s just the way it goes I guess! I love lists and plans of action, I couldn’t do all the things I do without them.
Jana: Do you work well under pressure?
Thore: Yes. I’m best when there is plenty of work to be done.
Tom: Believe it or not, sometimes pressure is the only thing that can push you into the right direction. We often set ourselves deadlines weather they are inportant or not. Just to keep the ball, you know.
Andreas: It depends on the pressure… I think there’s some things you wouldn’t get done if there would be no pressure, but on the other hand there are a lot of things which enroll only with the time that goes by.
Barbie: A very clever person once told me ‘If you need something done, ask a busy person’. She was so right! Pressure until a certain point, yes. However I prefer starting and working in time, not having to rush with things I would like to work on in detail.
Jana: What are your weaknesses?
Thore: I can’t get up early in the morning.
Tom: Weaknesses … well, there is this one solo. No, seriously… I think Im pretty Internet and smartphone addicted. That‘s definately not the drug which they ment in „Sex, Drugs, and Rock ,n‘ Roll“.
Barbie: Well I guess I take things too seriously sometimes. And it can take me some time to get over something. I’m still working on growing my tough skin. And if you ask Tom he might say I believe in the good of each person and the world – which I actually see as a good thing!
Jana: What gets you angry?
Thore: Too many people early in the morning.
Tom: Music related… I think as you grow older and beeing longer in this bussiness, there are not many things that could get one angry any more. But yeah, what‘s getting me angry these days is that most people don‘t answer emails anymore, even though everybody on this planet should own a smartphone nowadays.
Andreas: Disrepectful behavior. For me everyone is equal, and got the right to be as he/she wants to be. And when someone denies that in form of his behavior, that can really get me angry.
Barbie: That’s true, disrespect and intolerance are not acceptable at all.
Jana: What are your long term goals?
Thore: Playing 265 shows in one year.
Tom: My long therm goal is definately selling out big stadion-shows and having millions of fans loving our music as we do.
Andreas: Touring with the band through the world.
Barbie: Many more orininal songs and albums, beer pub size as well as stadion shows, tour all the countries where we have people waiting for us, and touch a few hearts with our music… And help save the world wherever I can.
Jana: If you could change one thing about your personality, what would it be…
Thore: Sometimes I wish I could get really, really angry when I have to complain about something.
Tom: I could for sure need some more optimism once in a while.
Barbie: A little realism once in a while – oh wait, I got Tom and he got me, that will do Maybe implant myself the ‘I don’t give a damn’-gene. That would spare me quite some sleepless nights.
Andreas: I would like to be much more open minded than I’m right at the moment…I’ve learned from the past that you only restrict yourself in your possibilities when you deny something, just because you don’t know it yet.
Jana: What does success mean to you?
Thore: For a musician the feeling of success is very important! One who claims the opposite is a liar.
Andreas: Success must be part of the game, whatever you are doing. But for me success is a question of definition for whom you want to see this „success“. In my case I’m the gladest person in the world if I’m practicing something and after time it works out for me. I’m not doing it for anybody else than myself. So success is for me a personal thing, but the most people link it to „having success in business“ or so called „social success“.
Barbie: Reaching your goal. Even if it takes forever to get there.
Jana: What does failure mean to you?
Thore: Failure dose not exist. If you don’t succeed with something you can always do it better the next time. Just keep following the plan and goal.
Andreas: Without failure there is no development. I’ve failed so many times in my life that I had to come to this conclusion. In every failing you got the potential to grow, it’s on you to see this chance.
Barbie: Trying it a different way. Plan B, C, D,…
Jana: Are you a risk taker or do you like to stay away from risks?
Thore: Risk taker. Definately. Otherwise I would be working for a public service or whatever.
Tom: That depends. Im kinda risk taker when it comes to money, but Im also very careful when working with people.
Andreas: Depends on the risk…I try to listen to my stomache as much as possible, so if I get an ok, I’m taking it…but usually my life doesn’t bring me into any hardcore Do or die situations.
Mel: … But that’s gonna change now that you’re with us *mad laugh* I’m definitely a risk taker, too. Usually there are friends around that pull me out (of the desert for example, when I demand to drive up closer to the dunes and get stuck…).
Jana: Tell me about a time you made a mistake…
Thore: Next question.
Barbie: Choosing the short socks in the morning. They keep slipping down which is pretty annoying.
Jana: Tell me about a time you made a good decision…
Thore: Once I thought about joining the Army. I mean for a longer periode. But finally I decided to keep on rocking with my guitar.
Andreas:…the last good decision I made was to apply to a band via facebook…and watch what happens, I’m now answering questions for this interview.
Barbie: Every single minute I decided to invest in our music. All the time and money we’re constantly putting into this. I really appreciate everything that we’ve achieved so far, and I’m so grateful for my band members because I couldn’t do it without them!
Jana: What was the last thing that made you laugh?
Thore: Swimming in the Adria with my loving girlfriend.
Andreas: Watching the movie 21 and over.
Barbie: Answering the one before last question.
Jana: What is the most recent movie you saw?
Andreas: Same as above.
Thore:„The Lion King“
Tom: Oh boy,… that was this new Johny Depp movie. It was so bad that I can‘t even remember it‘s name. What genre was that movie anyway?
Barbie: Lone Ranger, with fabulous Johnny Depp!
Jana: Do you have somebody, an idol, you want to meet any time?
Thore: Neil Young maybe?
Tom: Im not sure. I always wanted to meet Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. But I also wouldn‘t wanna destroy my opinion of him if he‘d be an ass. You know what I mean?
Andreas: Now at the moment I’m not so much into „I have to meet an idol of mine to make my life complete“, but when I was younger I was a big fan of the singer Anders Fridén (In Flames). I think my younger me would have been really happy to meet him…
Barbie: Well if you made me name singers I’d like to meet.. Nancy Sinatra, Tina Turner, Steven Tyler, Melanie Safka, Tracy Bonham, Bif Naked, Alanis Morisette, Bonnie Tyler, Courtney Love,…Would be cool singing a duet!
Jana: What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?
Tom: There‘s gonna be lots of stuff! First we will release a new video in October. Then we will play a micro-tour through Austria and Italy,..
Barbie: Many more songs, videos, shows! The music video of our single ‘Smile’ is just one of many new things to come!
Jana: When and where are your next gigs?
Barbie: The next show is in Vienna on Oct 9, which is also the video premiere of smile. Then we’re going south, hitting Graz, Hartberg, and first time Italy where we’ve scheduled three shows too. Check our website rocquette.com for all dates!
Jana: Which „YouTube Video“ can you recommend me?
Thore: Soda Stereo performing their song „Profugos“ in Buenos Aires, 2007.
Andreas: Vodoo Rock Puppet from Rocquette.
Barbie: And of course our upcoming video ‘Smile’, October 9!
Jana: Is there anything you want to tell our listeners / readers?
Barbie: I’d like to take the opportunity to say thanks so much to all of you supporting us constantly! You who are buying our music, CDs, Voodoo Rock Puppet dolls, guitarpick earrings and other shit, but also to you Jana and others for the interviews and articles and features – We’re so happy to have you all on our side!