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You are here : Press and Media ╗ Dig This Real

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

 dig this real interv dig this real intrv2 
dig this real

We're also on their sampler.
dig this real CD
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 Island?

A: We both reside in St. George, on Staten Island's North Shore. Trish is from 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,", ( Trish joined me in Staten Island in 2002. We got married in our backyard in '04.        

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 different 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 disastrous 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 really 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 the recent local uproar about the landfill-flavored ice cream.)     

4: How does a Christoph and Trish composition or song come about?
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 fast number". So I premeditate the song structure and some lyrics, usually in 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 Island?

A: There are the good, the bad, the sad, the silly ones. I posted some in the gallery:

6: When it comes to food – what is totally Staten Island?
A: Probably Italian Pizza that really is Albanian. Or Cannoli,, mmmh)

7: What would be some of the pros and cons of petitioning to have Staten Island become it’s own State? 
- 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 north/Manhattan.
- 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 Staten IslandState flag?

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 print page: Dig This Real | E-mail a friend about this site: Dig This Real

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