With a clutch of videos and a potent first EP behind them, Pranx is a German outfit beginning to lure potent attention. Their rousing live presence has equally drawn high praise. So to discover more about this upcoming proposition, we seized the chance to talk with the trio about their EP, progress to date, and all things Pranx in general.
Hi guys, many thanks for taking time out to talk with us.
Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?
We are PRANX, a Pop Punk band from Mosbach, Germany consisting of Marcel on drums, Rouven on bass and vocals, and Boris on guitar and vocals. We formed in February 2014. Rouven and Boris had played together in a band since 2008 but their drummer quit. Instead of just searching for a new one we decided to make a new start entirely and form a new band with a new name and new songs. We met drummer Marcel on Facebook to start PRANX in early 2014.
Being involved in other bands before, has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?
Like we said, Boris and Rouven had played together since 2008. Marcel was also involved in some bands before including a German hip hop band. I don’t think it affected the style we’re playing now with PRANX but it definitely had an impact on our growth as musicians in general. The good chemistry between our two vocalists regarding singing harmonies together for example has been cultivated while playing together in their former band.
What inspired the band name?
It’s a shorter version of Rouven’s and Boris’ former band Prank FanatiX. We wanted to have a name that’s easier for people to remember as it always was spelled wrong on flyers. The original Prank FanatiX name was inspired by the term ‘faith fanatics’ in Green Day’s song ‘East Jesus Nowhere’.
Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?
As a band we hope to enrich some people’s life by playing music, just like all those bands we look up to did and still do to us. Music of those bands had such a massive impact on our lives over the past few years, so we hope that someday people feel the same thing about our music. That’s what we want to offer the people who listen to our music. Another idea behind starting this band is to create some kind of exit out of this daily routine. We want to achieve more in life than just working normal jobs and get stuck in boring lives like 99% of today’s society.
Do the same things still drive the band time?
Yes, we’re still driven by the same things. I think even more than when we started.
Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?
It hasn’t evolved that much since PRANX started but it definitely has since our first days of making music in general. Our very first songs clearly had a Blink-182/Green Day stamp on them whereas now our sound is much more individual (even though you can clearly still hear the Blink influences of course). Since a few years we’re also influenced by this new wave of pop punk bands that has appeared. Bands like Neck Deep and The Story So Far are also great inspirations.
Has it been more of an organic movement in your sound or more a deliberate wanting to try new things?
A mix of both I would say. A huge part of our sound comes from us wanting to try new stuff but sometimes while writing songs something new comes up and you hadn’t planned it. If it’s not something we had in mind for our sound but still sounds cool we go along with it and try to implement it.
Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?
That’s hard to answer. I can’t think of anyone that changed the way we create music but I’m sure it happened subconsciously anytime along the way. All in all we’re still very conservative songwriters. Take a guitar, play some chords and jam some melodies until you find something you like and go from there.
Is there a process to the songwriting which generally guides the writing of songs?
When someone has the idea of a new song he usually likes to write the first version of it all by himself. The process is writing the whole thing, making a demo with all the instruments and arrangements and then showing it to the rest of the band. Then we look at it together and see what we can optimize and change to make it the sound great.
Where are your lyrical inspirations drawn from more often than not?
The inspiration for the lyrics comes from situations of our everyday life. Things you go through in every stage of your life or even things and problems we notice in other peoples’ life around us can make perfect inspiration for song lyrics.
Can you give us some background to your latest release?
It’s a 4 track EP called Things On Your Mind that was released in early 2015. There are two music videos so far and the third is released very soon, but we plan on doing one for the last song as well. All the videos are directed and produced by bassist Rouven. All in all I think the album is a great mixture of catchy sing-along choruses and cool punk riffs, spreading a lot of positive energy.
Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.
Another Year and Standard are more or less love songs about girls from the past. Especially for Standard I tried to write the cheesiest lyrics and make it as cliché as possible. You could see it as a kind of a tribute to all the 90s pop punk love songs. Pogo Romance is a song about failing while promising a glimpse of hope for getting back up again at the end. Nightmare is about social isolation and forgetting to live your life in the ‘real’ world.
Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?
Since we’re a band that’s short of money like every other band and studio time is expensive we try to do as much work for the record as we can before we enter the studio. This means we have the final songs all ready to record in their final state and try to make changes in the studio only when really necessary.
Tell us about the live side to the band?
For me playing live is the best part of being in a band. It’s not only having fun and partying on stage with your friends but also the time of the night where you’re not on stage and have the chance to meet new people and other musicians. There are so many cool people we got to know just by playing shows all around Southern Germany. Always nice to connect with and to play shows for awesome people!
It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it in Germany? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the want is there for new bands?
Where we come from is actually one of the worst places for bands to start. The music scene of our hometown is as good as dead and I think it always has been. We always have to travel a little bit further to play good shows. We have to rely heavily on the internet to reach people because there’s little to no interest in live bands in our region.
How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?
I don’t know if PRANX would still exist if there was no internet. We probably [would not have] even found a drummer if [we had not] met Marcel on Facebook. 95% of people got to know us through Facebook or YouTube so without that I don’t think we had a chance to even reach people.
I think you can still use the internet to your advantage even when you’re a big band with greater success. But I also think it can be hard to influence whether it’s working for you or not. What works for one band does not necessarily have to work for another and sometimes the mass of people on social media is hard to predict or analyse. In my opinion, your music is what counts at the end of the day. You can do every single thing right when promoting your music through the internet but if your songs suck people still won’t like you. On the other hand you can get good exposure if your music kicks ass even if you’re not a social media pro.
Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?
Thanks for the interview! If you like, you can check us out at https://www.facebook.com/PRANXofficial to watch all our music videos and check regular updates. Watch out for our next music video for the song Pogo Romance that’s going to be released soon!
The Ringmaster Review 16/06/2016
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