Dig This Real
Trish and Christoph in hipster music zine Dig This Real
Here's an interview with us that was in issue #12 of music magazine Dig This Real
||We're also on their sampler.
Here's the complete interview. They left a few parts out.
1: Do both of you reside in Staten Island; were
you born there; if not, what brought you to Staten
A: We both reside in St. George, on Staten Island's North Shore. Trish
Kingston, NY, I'm from Göttingen, Germany. (Göttingen was depictured on
the 10-Marks bill before the European currency reform!)
I met Trish in Brooklyn in early 2000 through a mutual friend. We got
hooked and I moved to Staten Island in 2000, legally, through a
student's program, related to my studies in music theory at the
Humboldt University in Berlin, working for the then island-based arts
organization "Art and Science Collaborations, Inc,", (asci.org). Trish
joined me in Staten Island in 2002. We got married in our backyard in
2: How did
the idea of campaigning for the
exposure of this misunderstood borough come about?
A: We invited people from all parts of Germany and the US to our
wedding. The Tompkinsville section of Staten Island can be pretty rough
at times (fist fights, motorbike races, the occasional shooting and
plenty of unsupervised kids) and we didn't know how some of the folks,
especially those from more sheltered surroundings, would take it. So we
decided to give our friends and relatives a smooth, humorous
introduction to this sometimes not so smooth and funny neighborhood and
created the "Songs from the North Shore". The Vol 1 CD originally had a
cover and was also our wedding favor. But there was much more to tell,
so we continued. 3: Fresh Kills land fill
was a sore spot for a lot of Islanders,
so much so that they lobbied to have it closed in 2001. But later in
that year it
was re-opened, and transformed into the largest receiving spot for the
ruins of the WorldTrade Center.
How does this important footnote hurt/help the image and reputation of Staten Island?
A: I don't have the feeling that Staten Island took any
extra honors for taking the WTC rubble. From what I know, there's no
"holy site" at the landfill area. It rather seemed a sad necessity.
(There might be other facts in this matter that I'm not aware of.) The
important fact for the islanders though is that the site is closed for
good. The islanders are sensitive and not very humorous when it comes
to their landfill status and they probably hope to finally get rid of
it. It also has to be noted that we didn't grow up here so we can't
share the feeling of being offended when others give us shit.
I think that the sensitivity of the locals in regards to the island's
public image doesn't help to rebuild a decent reputation. We don't like
being teased and the rest of the city keeps teasing us therefore. (Like
local uproar about the landfill-flavored ice cream.) 4: How does a Christoph
and Trish composition or song come
A: In the beginning it was a pretty improvised approach. That has
changed and it became more structured. Like we say, "OK, the next song
is gotta be about the real estate crooks", and "yes, we need another
number". So I premeditate the song structure and some lyrics, usually
bed at night when I'm least distracted. Then I come up with a first
draft on guitar and Trish adds a harmony that usually brings the song
to immediate life.
5: When it comes to your
photography, what are some images that
you would want the world to see when depicting Staten
A: There are the good, the bad, the sad, the silly ones. I posted some
in the gallery: http://northshore.noizart.com/the-island-_141.html
6: When it comes to food
– what is totally Staten Island?
A: Probably Italian Pizza that really is Albanian. Or
mmmh)7: What would be some of
the pros and cons of petitioning to
have Staten Island become it’s own
- Maybe more cultural life because Manhattan became less important.
- Maybe people would cherish their environment more - being more than
just the fifth wheel on the wagon. Islanders are somehow proud that
they are islanders, but then again and again, the destroy their own
neighborhoods (closing bars, burning down Victorian mansions, leveling
green lands etc ...)
- Probably better infrastructure. Less oriented towards the
- More tourists.
- Uberpride - Italian stucco castles and street fairs on every corner.
- The local way of "toakin' " would probably become state tongue.
- Amnesty granted to all Mafia figures.
- Demolition of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. (Often held responsible
by islanders for the invasion by Brooklynites and other non-islanders
since the 70ies.)
- Maybe they would wanna put a stop to (Mexican) immigration, which
would hurt. Recent immigrants helped reviving desolate neighborhoods.
That's our personal observation and has officially been confirmed by a
recent study of the "Center for an Urban Future" think tank.
8: What image would don a
A: The silhouette of a Humvee.
9: What’s the greatest
thing about Staten Island?
A: Beautiful hillside sceneries, empty parks, amazing views. Also,
you'll find great friends because you depend more on each other here. 10: What’s the
not-so-greatest thing about Staten Island?
A: Absence of significant cultural life and lack of decent bars.
Last Update 2007-12-07 | Copyrightę Christoph Mayer 2009