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The best '80s band ... from the '90s

24

February

Cbd What happens when you combine a couple synthesizers, some New Wave melodies and four guys from Frankfurt, Germany?

The best '80s band from the '90s, according the Check Battery Daily -- the now-defunct band that performs the new Stuck in the 80s podcast theme song.

During the band's 10 years of existence, Check Battery Daily cranked out two albums, appeared occasionally on TV, played a slew of gigs and even cracked the charts in Europe for online music.

Not bad for a band named after a U.S. Army jeep.

Christopher dArcy, the band's lyricist, recently took time out to answer the bigger questions.

Why start an 80s band in the 90s?

"Against the mainstream Check Battery Daily had decided that there is still a place for good music besides loud techno music and boring beats."

"Unfortunately the '90s were not the ideal time for an '80s band."

There's got to be a good story about the band's name.

"Check Battery Daily -- we read this on the battery compartment of a U.S. Army jeep and we found this kinda cool. At that time we decided that, if we ever would have our own band, that would be its name. I would assume that was somewhere in the mid '80s and we were just crazy for electronic music."

"Later I bought myself the first set of synthesizers and started composing myself. And much later [the band] started composing sarcastic songs about our friends which we produced as gifts for their birthdays. And then it just happened - many people liked the songs, so we started to become a real '80s band."

How did the music scene of Frankfurt influence your sound?

We are based in the area of Frankfurt -- actually a bit left of Frankfurt, but know one will know that town. Frankfurt itself is still today the center of the German electronic music scene, maybe also due to the fact that still today one of the largest international fairs for musical instruments is conducted there every year.

Any success stories?

"We recorded our first record in 1989 (named "Our First") and to our surprise it was far more successful than we expected, so in 1990 we released our second record ("Our Next"), which also was a great success."

"We continued to play on stage, winning even some contests and we even aired on TV, but we realized that electronic music doesn't work that well on stage if you have four singers and only one
person playing an instrument. So we started to just use our voices on stage and sang a-capella. And this started our second success wave."

"We also continued working on 80's pop, but the '90s were hungry for something new, so we didn't produce another album. Well, we released 'Our Best' in 1995, but that was about it."

How did the band break up?

"By the time we started considering that the time has come again for great synthesizer melodies, Check Battery Daily found a sudden end."

"In 1998 (vocalist) Bernhard Wurm died in a motorcycle accident. And since the band was always four friends making music together, the band died with him. We felt that there is no space for an external replacement."

Which of the popular bands did you listen to?

Our influences are without doubt Depeche Mode, but also a-ha and Alphaville.

And yes, we still love the '80s and its music. Just listen to our "Ode To The Eighties!"

-- For more information Check Battery Daily and to hear their songs online, visit their official website.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:30pm]

    

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