Maurice de Martin of GIRLS
Maurice de Martin is the founder of GIRLS, the reincarnation of a forgotten all female proto-Krautrock showband from Upper Bavaria, Southern Germany. Active from 1967 to 1972, the original GIRLS became the female source of proto-Krautrock with Maurice de Martin’s mother Anny being the drummer and driving force of the band. After her passing GIRLS dissolved in 1972 and recordings of the band disappeared into the family archives. Decades later Maurice de Martin decided to re-establish GIRLS with four contemporary Berlin musicians from very different contexts in order to bring the music, spirit and style of this undiscovered source of “jazzy” Krautrock into the NOW.
1: “It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing.” (In my interpretaion: it’s as well OK if it does not swing)
2: According to my own experience: one of the most challenging time measures to play is the one consisting of only one beat (see GIRLS “1111111111”).
3: I played “When the saints go marching in” as drum solo with two pencils on the president’s desk @ UNSC (United Nations Security Council) in 2012.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
The music of a long forgotten all female proto-Krautrock-Showband from upper Bavaria at the end of the 60ies.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
At the age of around 1, when I was sleeping in my yellow stroller, next to the stage where my mother played the same drumset I’m still playing today.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Shooby Taylor – The human Horn
Misha Mengelberg – The Parrot Duets (playing with his parrot “Echo”)
Reverend Alecia – Yahweh Your Wisdom Lets Me Walk in the Light
Solomon Ulano – 52 Ballroom Rhythms for Drums
Dumitriu Podasciu – Bijuterii muzicale pentru toate Varstele (former Romanian Securitate-Officer singing Love-Ballads)
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
“Leider fällt der nächste Zug aus, wir bitten um Entschuldigung.”
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Da’s medical Thai Massage-Salon at Mierendorffplatz/Charlottenburg.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
The 3 CD box “Transnistrian State Orchestra playing anthems of non-UN member states”.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
A Descendant of Misha Mengelberg’s Parrot.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
As Performer: with zeitkratzer & Laurie Anderson @ Kopenhagen Concerthuset (2018). As Spectator: Ronald Shannon Jackson playing drum-solo at Knitting Factory/KnotRoom (1989).
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Very important, especially my Bassdrum-Footpedal (1921 by Bob Ludwig), my Charleston-Machine (1922 by Vic Berton) and my Bessarabian dulcimer (1994 by Lica Fundament).
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have 2 half-brothers. One is a cook and one is a bookshop owner.
Don’t miss out on GIRLS’ first concert since 1972, taking place on Saturday, 26th January at ORWO-Haus!
Photo © zeitkratzer