Interview: Elena Savlokhova
Photo: Ljubov Dzhuzhynska

Luca Gillian
Hannes Rief
Samuel Savenberg

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[in conversation with Luca & Hannes]

How was last night’s gig on the boat?
Luca: Pretty wild. The Polish people were super drunk and super fun. We arrived pretty late because our flight got delayed, so we came to Krakow at around 11PM, did the soundcheck and played straight afterwards.
Hannes: We had some bananas first.
Luca: We didn’t even spend 12 hours in Krakow, but the show was amazing, the crowd was really enthusiastic, the atmosphere was nice, the boat was standing in front of a castle, so overall everything was really cool.

What excites you the most in what you do? What makes your sky explode?
Luca: Team spirit. Hannes and me have known each other since we were 6 years old, we went to school together, we went through every stupid teenage crisis together…
Hannes: For sure.
Luca: Basically there are 3 of us in the band, the other person is called Samuel Savenberg, he is mainly responsible for the studio productions but we’re playing a few gigs as a duo this year. For me, the best thing is that I can travel around the world with my best friends and have a good time, I can see all these fantastic cities and meet all these fantastic people, and I’m able to share the music that we create with other people who, for some reason, surprisingly like it haha.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
Luca: “I like your shoes.”
Hannes: I like compliments about my hair because it’s not really a very special haircut, but sometimes someone says it’s nice.

Do you hear that compliment often?
Hannes: Not often enough!

It is nice, yes.
Hannes: You can touch it if you want.

Do you have an ambition to be famous?
Luca: Not really. I mean, of course, we want the music that we create to be heard by people, but we’re not doing it for the crazy fame, we’re doing it for ourselves. As I’ve mentioned, we’ve known each other for so long and this is all just a big dream bubble that we’re living in since we started Die Selektion.
Hannes: We’re still bubbling.
Luca: We’re simply happy that it still continues and that people still keep coming to the shows, keep buying the records, but we basically do it for ourselves and we have to be happy with what we do. When we are happy and if it also makes others happy then it’s the best combination ever. That being said, the ambition is still there, the ambition to grow and spread it to more people, but it’s not the first thing that’s on our minds when we’re producing songs, and it surely doesn’t affect the sound of our music.

What is the best gig you’ve ever attended as a viewer?
Hannes: I liked the russian band УТРО live.
Luca: Yeah, they are amazing.
Hannes: And also Motorama, they have a good vibe.
Luca: For me, it was Einstürzende Neubauten, a german industrial band that I saw several times and I think it was the best concert I’ve been to.

What interests you outside of music?
Hannes: Physical workouts, drinking, riding bikes…
Luca: Football.
Hannes: And football.

How do you think, what impression do you make when people meet you for the very first time?
Luca: That’s a really funny question, because when we were at the airport today we thought about what people might think after they see our stupid and mostly not very serious IG stories, whether they would think that we were like that in real life. I think that the opinions are pretty widely spread. There is no opinion A, there is no opinion B.
Hannes: But some people get surprised when they meet us for the first time. For example, they listen to our music and have a certain picture of us, but then they meet us and go, “Ok, you’re not 40, what’s going on?”.
Luca: I miss the times when we were the youngest people at our shows and now… we’re not the youngest anymore.

Did you ever face any problems because of being young in the scene?
Luca: Yeah. We even got kicked out of clubs after our concerts. Imagine three 17yo angry German boys who think they can rule the world and they play a concert. After the concert we were super hyped but the promoter came up to us and said, “Ok guys, you have to get out, it’s after midnight”.

What was your very first performance like?
Luca: It was at Komma in Esslingen, where we also have our rehearsal space. We only played 3 tracks and I think we even played one song twice, so basically it was 4 tracks. It was cool. We were all doing music with other projects before so it wasn’t like it was the very first time that we went up on stage.
Hannes: But I remember that we were very critical about the sound because we’ve had knowledge of things from rehearsing, so we’ve had a vision of how it’s supposed to be. This is the only thing that I clearly remember about our first gig.
Luca: I think it was the 15th of January back in 2011, but I might be mistaken.

What do you like and  dislike the most about each other?
Luca: There is nothing I dislike about him, we’ve been through everything together.
Hannes: Brothers from different mothers for sure.
Luca: I think that I don’t see any other person more often than him.
Hannes: He sometimes shows me my weaknesses. It’s not like he tells me that he doesn’t like something about me, it works  the other way around.
Luca: Of course, there are situations where we have little arguments, but it mostly doesn’t last longer than 10 minutes, and then we’re back to normal.
Hannes: I like the things that we dislike about each other.

What is one thing about you that would surprise us?
Luca: [ed. note* – stands up and does the sickest jump flip]

Holy shit.
Hannes: Yes, Luca works out as well.

That was impressive, man.
Luca: You should’ve shot a video on your phone haha.

Next time I will for sure. What’s the worst gig you’ve ever done?
Luca: I think it was on a boat in Florence, Italy, 2013. The sound guy had completely no idea what he was doing.
Hannes: He was way more drunk than us. Way more.
Luca: Even during soundcheck we were setting up the sound ourselves and sort of fixed it, so the sound was ok, until he came and messed it all up again during the concert.
Hannes: With a gin tonic.
Luca: Yeah, he had a gin tonic in his hand and just took out cables like a madman. I think we stopped the gig after 5 or 6 songs, we didn’t play till the end because it simply made no sense, we never did something like this before. It was a free show, so no one payed to see us. Anyway, I went to the promoter and other people from the venue to cut off this guy and tell him to go home, but he just stayed there forever.
Hannes: He had all those free drinks though haha.

What’s the most challenging thing you’ve faced in your life?
Hannes: Life!
Luca: Life, Studying, I’m studying musicology and music informatics.
Hannes: I’m trying to become a teacher for little kids.
Luca: Isn’t that cute?

So cute. What did you learn through your time with Die Selektion?
Hannes: Life!
Luca: Nothing goes over bromance and real friendship.
Hannes: True.

What would be the last film you’d re-watch before dying?
Hannes: I’m really into the original Oldboy. It’s one of my most favorite films but I doubt I’d want to watch a film before dying, yet if I had to, then it would be Oldboy.
Luca: There was one film that I really enjoyed, it was a film shot like a documentary. It was about the mafia movement in Napoli, Italy. It’s called ‘Gomorrah’ and there is also a series about it and a book, but I’m talking about this one indie film. It’s really good and really deep, and it’s a very close depiction of the actual thing. But they’re murdering each other for two hours in that film, so I don’t know if it would be the film that I would particularly watch before dying.

What are your plans and hopes for this year?
Luca: Getting closer to album n.3, and we’re on a good way already. We aim to release it next year. We’re pretty optimistic about it.
Hannes: The aim is always to top the last year. And there is no special direction, but just to step it up a little overall.
Luca: Better, stronger, faster.

Imagine you were born in Eastern Europe or Russia. What would your names be and briefly describe your alternative lives.
Luca: Hannes would definitely be an Oleg.
Hannes: I want to be a Vanya.
Luca: He would be a Vanya and I would be… I wouldn’t be an Alexey though, there are too many people I know with this name.
Hannes: Nikita is a nice name.
Luca: I would be a Vladimir. Definitely a Vlad. Just look at my Vlad cheeks.
Hannes: I imagine myself hunting bears with a big riffle.
Luca: And shirtless, of course. Riding a bear while hunting a bear! I’m pretty fascinated by the slavic cultures and eastern european countries. It’s also our first time in Ukraine tonight but we played in Russia several times, and we’re going back there in September for some dates. It’s very nice that Russia always gives such a warm welcome. So yeah, I would just try to do my best. But I have to admit that I really dislike dill. If I would be russian I would never eat dill. The russians put it everywhere.

What do you love the most about Stuttgart?
Luca: The thing is, a lot of people hate Stuttgart because it’s a small conservative rich city, but we grew up there and we went to school there, and our parents live there, so for me, it’s just home, as cheesy and as cliche as it may sound. I don’t live there anymore but every time I come back I’m happy. Stuttgart is surrounded by valleys and the whole city is in the middle. I like it. There are a lot of green areas around it, it’s small and it gets annoying if you’re there longer than two weeks, but I’m still happy whenever I get a chance to go back.
Hannes: I moved back to Stuttgart but it took me a year to get adjusted to being back. I can’t tell what I like or dislike, I wouldn’t judge the city.
Luca: It would be probably the same case with every other city, for me. I guess if I were born in Munich or Dusseldorf I would think the same thing.

What question would you want to be asked at an interview and what would your answer be?
Luca: “Where did you buy your shoes?”. At some hand-manufactured old guy in southern Italy.

You’re into fashion?
Luca: I’m not really into fashion I’m just into…
Hannes: Fashion!
Luca: OK, I would not consider myself as a fashion person, I’m not obsessive over details and I don’t follow fashion blogs or whatever.
Hannes: No comment. I don’t want to be asked questions haha.