“Star Files” - Music magazine ZILLO
Alexander Veljanov (Deine Lakaien) Portrait (Dec. 2003)

Alexander Veljanov (Deine Lakaien)

Birthday: 6.6…66
Birth place: Planet Earth
Current location: Between fall and winter
Graduation: Was nice
Favorite subjects at school: Falling in love
Most hated subjects at school: Falling in love
Most important experiences as musician: First concert, first album
Worst experiences as musician: Skinhead alarm at concerts with Run Run Vanguard after the Fall of the Wall

Zillo: What was the strongest influence during your childhood and adolescence in your opinion?

Alexander: Certainly, my multicultural background did impress me most, and of course the cultural influences from different European areas that differ strongly.

Zillo: Did you always want to become a singer, or did you as child also have the typical ideas of a profession like fireman, police officer, or physician?

Alexander: I felt that singing was gorgeous already when I was four or five years old, and I was totally fascinated when I saw singers on the TV. It was a wish, though not a career aspiration. Due to the social background and education, it was absolutely clear that one does not plan such a profession. One can do that only with a lot of luck. The idea about a career shifted a bit because of school. I think, I wanted to become a teacher always, but then the wish to become a singer grew stronger and stronger.

Zillo: When you got introduced to Ernst, you studied movie and theater science in Munich. What did you find most fascinating about the medium movie and theater?

Alexander: Movies have always fascinated me. I got excited by their artificiality. With regard to theater I was interested in the combination of music and theater. I still wanted to join the movies, when Deine Lakaien already existed. I seriously thought about directing when I could not imagine earning money with music. Then it turned out that movie and theater moved to the background.

Zillo: What came first to your mind when you saw the ad Ernst used to search for a singer open to experiments?

Alexander: I was grateful to find an ad at all that somehow appeared to be appealing. That sounded quite interesting, singer open to experiments and electronic music. I thought by myself, hopefully this is going to work out. Because there were many other directions of music in Munich, that were pursued by people than dark Wave-music.

Zillo: What impressed you most when you first met Ernst?

Alexander: I was a totally green freshman without any life and professional experience. And Ernst had a conservatory degree and had worked at the musical theater for quite some time. That really impressed me. If you are eighteen the difference in age has a totally different impact than today, since everything seems already more relative.

Zillo: How did you find your way in a city like Munich?

Alexander: It was kind of difficult. I did not really embrace it. Looking back from today, it is a beautiful city with awesome nature, however, I was looking for something different back then, and I quickly returned to London and Berlin despite Lakaien. I continued my studies in Berlin. Unfortunately, it did not work in London, otherwise I would have stayed there. The contrast was enormous in the mid 80ies. Berlin, the city with the Wall, everything gray and gloomy, a lot of “Underground”. Munich was more dominated by surfing MBA students. Of course, a small scene existed there as well. But opportunities to realize own ideas were limited alone due to the curfew, so that you could not move on from club to club to really live “Underground”, which was very important those days.

Zillo: The 80ies did not only influence you in their present but still leave traces in your music specifically as recently in the song “Kiss The Future”. What was characterizing the 80ies the most for you?

Alexander: This Do-it-yourself, everybody can do something. You did not need a lot of money from a company to do something. There was a great boost caused by Punk, than Post-Punk and Wave. Everything mixed. Underground, art scene, music scene, dance, theater, painting. Everything was wild and hungry. It carried me away. That was in principle revolutionary.

Zillo: Which dreams do you still have? What do you want to achieve?

Alexander: The most important personal goals are family happiness and health. Everything else is accessory.

Interview in German by Dirk Hoffmann,

Translation by Carola Meyer