Dear Paris are Stefan Bächle (vocals & guitar), Michael Kreibohm (synthesizers, guitar & bass), Tobias Riethmüller (bass & synthesizers) and Mathias Völkel (drums & percussion). As you may have guessed by their names, they're not french but german. But let them tell the story:
Where are you from?
Tobi: We're from Stuttgart, Germany.
How do you know each other?
Michael: We pretty much found one another over the Internet. Stefan and I first met in 2006 and were in a band that split up shortly after, but we got back together in 2008 to form Dear Paris. Tobi auditioned to be our new bassist a year later and we had known Mathias from shows with his former band.
Any specific relation to Paris?
Michael: Not really, no. It just has a nice sound to it and it's easy to remember.
Is your music directed at Paris Hilton?
Stefan: It’s not. Otherwise we’d be called Dear Hilton. But it would be awesome to get an EP review by Miss Hilton! Awesome idea! We’ll send her a copy right after the interview!
What does your recording process look like?
Michael: Although it's become pretty standard to complete the entire recording process at home, we had a somewhat old-fashioned approach to the whole EP and actually booked a studio for three days.
Tobi: We recorded demo versions of everything at home first to make sure we’d laid down all the details in advance to save some time in the studio, but of course we still ran out of time.
Michael: Yeah, those three days turned out to be just enough to record everything. Fortunately, our sound engineer was amazing and let me go back there whenever we both were available so we could re-record bits and pieces and mix the whole thing.
Stefan: We actually had to stop recording the vocals after the first song and I had to come back in after a week or so because I had caught a pretty serious cold. So that’s one reason why it took that long to get it done. The entire production took us about three months, but we think taking our time with this record definitely paid off.
Are you working on a full-length album?
Stefan: Well, releasing an album is a long-term goal, obviously, but I think we've just come to realize how much sense albums make in a practical way. I mean, there was a lot of work involved in getting this EP out, and it's just four tracks. Especially when you're considering a physical release, both formats cost the same but you can't really charge 10 bucks for an EP, can you? An album release won't happen anytime soon, but I reckon it's more likely than another EP at this point.
What are your major influences?
Michael: It's always hard to pin that sort of thing down, but right now I really enjoy the likes of Holy Ghost!, Tesla Boy, Fenech-Soler and a lot of music from the 80s, such as the early Madonna albums. Generally, I can get inspired by the weirdest things. The trick is just to steer the initial idea into the right direction.
Stefan: Yeah, our influences are pretty versatile. My personal influences range from Jeff Buckley and Smashing Pumpkins to oldschool Birmingham metal like Judas Priest.
Tobi: I guess I’m pretty heavily influenced by pre-80s rock like The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, but I also listen to Prince, Toto, Genesis and electronic music in general.
How would you describe your music to your parents?
Tobi: It’s basically a combination of elements from 80s synthpop and contemporary indie.
Any upcoming shows?
Michael: Yeah, we'll be playing in Stuttgart on February 25 and we're preparing a release party for the CD version of Synchronize.
Stefan: We’re also in the process of planning something rather large which we’ll hopefully be able to announce soon, so make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay on top.
What do you do to have fun? Besides music.
Stefan: If I’m not making music I’m usually working my ass off for a public TV program in Germany. Besides that, I love playing videogames.
Michael: I enjoy going to concerts a lot, but I guess that counts as music. Other than that I like cooking, videogames and wasting time on the internet.
Tobi: Same here with concerts. I generally like going out a lot, or just hanging out with my friends.
Press play on your iPod, what are the first three songs that come up?
Michael: Prince – "I Wanna Be Your Lover", Brothertiger – “Evening Glow” and Foals – "Big Big Love (Fig. 2)".
Stefan: Jeff Buckley – “Morning Theft”, Thin Lizzy – “Dancing In The Moonlight” and Queen – “Friends Will Be Friends”.
Tobi: Selig – “Freier Fall”, The Brew – “Kam”, MGMT – “Congratulations (Erol Alkan Rework)”
Thanks guys for taking the time! Let us know if Paris Hilton ever got back at you...
Dear Paris just released their debut EP Synchronize on iTunes, buy here.