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All about And One
Interview with Steve Naghavi and AND ONE

Exclusively for Alex Davie, Shout Fanzine, Russia

Last updated 03.06.02


[ 09.05.02 - 30 min. before concert at «Tochka» Club ]

some intro questions

Alex: First of all... Need to say that I'm a huge fan of you and your band for last ten years. Since I heard your music for a first time (it were some «Flop!» tracks on compact cassette, together with collection of Depeche Mode remixes [smile] and for present days, I love your music, I love your band. I could say without any doubts - you are my best still! So I'm really happy to see you here in Moscow, right here in front of me. I'm feeling high, really high. And what do you feel when you just arrived to Moscow?

Steve: We felt very welcome when we come to Moscow. It's always a surprise when you come to new country, you never know what kind of people are waiting for you. And when we saw Moskva, we saw nice people. It's cooler then in Germany 'cos people in Germany are cold, people in Russia are warm, they have an emotional touch, they are open. This is very exciting.

Alex: Your band is in favorites list of every synth-pop fan here, depechies love you too (after Dave Gahan [smile]. Did you ever hear that AND ONE is so popular in Russia? Especially (it must be said) in the middle of nineties?

Chris: No! Never! Never knew that anybody knows us here.

Steve: I only saw a web page one year ago... the Russian web page... I thought it's one guy who makes this web page... I can't read the lyrics and all the text so it wasn't a sign for me to come Moscow for tour Russia. Nobody told us that here are synth pop fans. Nobody! So we're very surprised, and now we are here, and we'll come every year!

Alex: I must add that I wrote something in your guestbook in 1997, so I'm still waiting for your reply [smile]

Steve: Here is my reply - «Fuck you!» [laugh]

Alex: Real reply [laugh]

Alex: Steve, you are famous man here (as you could already notice [smile]), but there are two cool men with you. Please introduce us current AND ONE.

Chris: My name is Chris, I'm original member of AND ONE, we both founded AND ONE in 1988, I was 8 years away, and I'm back last year.

Gio: My name is Gio...

Steve: ...and he likes girls [laugh]

Chris: He is an ex-member of Dark Voices, they were very great in Germany. We bought him from this band, we paid one million of US dollars to get him in AND ONE [laugh]

Steve: ...'cos he is the best live showborder in all world!

Gio and Chris

music questions

Alex: I understand that it's no easy but try to do it.. How you can describe your music, your style - in few words?

Steve: OK - No. [laugh]

Alex: OK, it's an answer [smile] How do you think - is your music changing with years? If yes, in what direction it goes?

Steve: I think we have no defined direction. Our music doesn't change with years. Our music is always AND ONE. The first seconds you hear the song you know «Oh, it must be AND ONE!» You know. When you hear our remixes, it must be AND ONE. So we have a sound, our own sound, 'cos we are lazy to make a new sound, we founded our own sound in early nineties, and we keep it 'cos when you are the band and you have your own sound then you are rich. I don't mean money, but you are rich in head. «Hey you have your own sound, so why give it away? Keep it!» Keep your sound, make albums till you die, 'cos you have a sound. Muse have the sound, Cure have the sound, why AND ONE don't have a sound?

Alex: What's your favorite theme to write songs about?

Steve: I never find out 'cos...

Chris: I just can say something about our actual album 'cos I write lyrics, next album will be called «Aggressor», its about differences between people, difference between relationships, difference between politics etc. I hope you know what I mean [smile] A little bit more than «Metalhammer». Lyrics for normal society.

Alex: You must keep your brand.

Steve: We have no choice, we must keep it.

Alex: I think when you join Virgin, big major label, your sound became more poppy...

Steve: It was I, it was not company, it was my decision, and I never hear what they say. You have to write it - nobody in the world can say what I have to do. Never. When your sound is popular or poppy like «Sweety Sweety» I find it good. Never our company says what we have to do. Otherwise we stop.

[ 11.05.02 - continued at hotel «Balchug Kempinski» ]

Alex: What music is much closer to your heart? Your favorites from other artists/bands?

Steve: I hear all music, which is good. The closest to my heart is still Depeche Mode. When new album came out that it is. Depeche Mode are always close to my heart, I grow up with Depeche Mode, but when I get older I start to hear another music... like David Sylvian.. I like classic music, Chaikovsky, hip hop bands, gangster rap... everything but a jazz.

Alex: Your favorite AND ONE songs to hear?

Steve: It's hard to say 'cos I like whole 150 songs. I think, «I.S.T.»

Alex: Your favorite song to perform?

Steve: All songs you heard on concert are my favorite. 'Cos I never play live when I don't like these songs.

Alex: Do you collect all Depeche Mode stuff?

Steve: I collect nothing from Depeche Mode, but I have all. I have to say I bought all records, but I always put them in trash when they were broken or something. I have all in the heart.

Alex: You listen it, you keep it in mind.

Steve: I put it on my own albums [all laugh]

Alex: And I wanna know something about your haircut...

Steve: It's by my own. When I was 13 or 14 years old I wanted to have haircut like Dave Gahan. I made haircut like Dave Gahan and then I wanted to cut my hairs by myself. Joke was barber you know, he taught me to cut my hairs by myself. So I made a mistake. I made this [touch his head] and I keep this. This is the real Steve Naghavi haircut. It was a mistake.

Alex: We like it 'cos it is easy to repeated [smile] Every synth pop fan need some details in his haircut.

Steve: In Germany anyone wearing Dave Gahan's haircut is more Depeche Mode fan, and when he has this he is more AND ONE fan.

Alex: I saw a lot of fans on German message boards. They wrote something like «Steve is dead».

Steve: Steve is what?

Alex: That Steve is dead.

Chris: Yeah-yeah, Steve is dead... dead tired came back from US tour [laugh]

Steve: I wrote it [smile]

Alex: You're band from Germany, your songs are in English and German both. What language do you prefer to sing in?

Steve: We prefer play in English, but we like more German.

Alex: Many European synth bands go more «real-sounded» now than their early stuff. They put synthie beats together with real drums & guitars. What do you think about it? Will this «disease» catch you too?

Steve: No, of course not. These phenomenon has sense in early nineties, but we always wanted to make an electronic music 'cos I don't like guitars. I'm Vince Clark [smile]. I'm electric musician, and I have to keep it.

Alex: Do you care about pop charts? [smile]

Steve: No, I never look at the charts, and what is in the charts. I don't like VIVA, I don't like MTV... I like MTV Russia [laugh]. I saw it all day before yesterday, half of day, with Russian language music, I was very surprised 'cos there is a lot of emotional music, not so stupid like in Germany.

Alex: You did a lot of remixes during last years. Oomph!, Das Ich, Cleen, Project Pitchfork... Most of them contain your vocal beside your additional samples and beats. It's really amazing... Tracks seem to be cover versions, but there is still written «Remixes». Why?

Steve: So why not? You can write about it - «A cover version». So may be funny call it «A cover version by Steve Naghavi». I try to be involved in a new kind of remixing in Germany - when remixer can sing, he must sing.. it's cool! It's more remix!

Alex: Last year was the year of departures in And One. Rick Schah, then Joke Jay left the band... What are they doing now? I heard Joke produce his own music, and even has a website?

Steve: Joke has his own project called Fiasko Delux (, I think he is searching for a good record company. Right now Rick is doing nothing like music 'cos he is very busy with his family, his wife and child. But maybe we'll get some surprises from Joke, I know that his album is innovative, but it is not for the masses. And One fans may be disappointed when they will hear it. But if you have ears for good music you will like it.

new album

Alex: Much time ago your site announced about a planned release of brand new album in 2001. But we didn't see it last year, and we don't see it now, a year after... What's happened?

Steve: No lust. I have no fun, no lust to make music, just play computer, Counter Strike. I'm just a human so sometimes I want to make music, sometimes - not.

Alex: As I know, work title of new album was «Aggressor». Please describe an idea of album (if it is possible)?

Steve: It never was work title, it was always be a title 'cos «Aggressor» is the meaning of making music, so when we are not aggressive than we can't make music. I can't write music when I'm not aggressive. So I'm still waiting for Aggressor... and now I feel it! When you go out on the streets, you are always in search for enemies. You look at the windows for snipers [laugh]

Alex: You feel something like...

Steve: .. I'm in a God Mode! [laugh]

depeche mode questions

Alex: I keep in mind my classic question - do (did) you like Depeche Mode?

Steve: I love Depeche Mode! And I love «Exciter»! I don't understand that guy on yesterday party who give me T-Shirt with some Russian words [they mean «Fuck off Exciter»]. I wear it without knowing that's shit on it. And when I knew it I got it out. They play music that has sense for more than 20 years, and when you hear «Exciter» you only hear the music. Its just music. Depeche Mode do not make music for that guy, they make music for themselves. When I don't like an album then I don't listen to this album... but I don't make fucking T-shirts!

Alex: When you started your band did you want to be like Depeche Mode? Sound like them, look like them or be so famous like them? [smile]

Steve: Exactly, all... But it's a little different. When we started our band we didn't want to be Depeche Mode. We wanted to be like Front 242. But with time, when our second album came, then these things came up. It's amazing but Depeche Mode was not a reason we started to make music, Front 242 was a reason. But then it's all transformed...

Alex: Could you ever imagine playing show together with DM (like a support band or second headliner)?

Steve: Yes, there was a day we had to play with them, in Hannover in 1993, we had to play with them. We came to Hannover, we waited for soundcheck while DM did their soundcheck. Then it's started to rain. And they had to make entrance delayed for 1 hour or 1.5 hour, support bands were cancelled. So it was our first and last chance.


Alex: Do you have any favorites from DM catalog?

Steve: It's like AND ONE. There are so many... «Never Let Me Down Again», of course, «Strangelove». I think, «Music for the Masses» is my favorite album 'cos I was 17 years old when I heard it. I think more important than music is when you hear this music. You were in love, or you had personal problems, and when music was a helper in that situation, you will always keep this album in your mind. I think it's more important than music. Now we came to that guy. He doesn't search for new Depeche Mode album, he's searching for his own youth but he'll never comeback. Nobody can give him back his youth...

Alex: We can't say our heroes are dead... Our heroes must be alive...

Steve: ... till I die. When I will die at my funeral have to play Depeche Mode...

Alex: «Little 15»?..

Steve: or «Stjarna» [smile]

Alex: Do you ever covered DM tracks? If yes, which one?

Steve: Never.

Alex: Why?

Steve: 'Cos they are electronic.

Alex: You always cover only non-electronic tracks?

Steve: Of course, that's an idea. I can't take electronic tracks. And second reason - I'm not so stupid to sing same as Dave Gahan.

some politics

Alex: Your lyrics are very political (anyway it looks like that)... Are you interested in politics?

Steve: Especially, especially in conflict between Palestine and Jewish people, I'm interested in conflict in Afghanistan, but less national politics, but more what happened with tourism, what happened with Arabians. I came from Iran and so I always want to know what happens there... near Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

Alex: I noticed that you are very active in cultural and politic actions (Greenpeace, Anti Nazi concerts etc) Do you still involved in any kind of public movements or like that?

Steve: Yes, so I think the most people which do this are liars, and we were liars, when we go to Antinazi action... so the real thing is - I'm not against Nazis, 'cos Nazis - they are not Nazis, they are only young people without aims, without hopes, without money, with alcoholic parents. So when you say in Germany that you are against Nazi then you are a Nazi. I'm against .... you know what I mean. We should help them, not to fight with them. When I played on that MTV, the name of day was «Show your face against violence», and I showed this face of violence, I had the same haircut like today, but my hairs were red.

Alex: EU makes different people closer, do you believe that all borders (cultural, politic etc) will disappear later this century?

Steve: I hope this, 'cos borders are shit... for what? You are not our enemies and we are not your enemies, so fuck off the borders. What happens? Open all borders! But not with Afghanistan and Iraq [laugh] Borders make no sense.. for what?

Alex: You are not native German... Do(did) you feel any pressing or discomfort because of this?

Steve: No, 'cos I don't look like Arabian or something. So I have no problems.

Alex: What's your favorite place on Earth? To live, to work, to rest?

Steve: I don't know.. I only know that it's not Germany... There is no country.... maybe the best place I ever see in the world is toilet. I'm alone, I can read, so this is the only peace in the world for me. And you can find it anywhere - in Russia, in Germany... This is my place.


Alex: Final question on politics.. possibly you know that today most of Russians celebrate their hard victory in war (known as World War II). What can you say about it? (I feel strange enough taking an interview from German-based band exactly on this day...)

Steve: It's not so strange 'cos I was not there in that war, so I was born later. It could be stranger if I was a kind of prisoner.. then it would be strange.. when I come here again after 50 years... But I was born later. It's funny when I had known that 7 or 8 big buildings here, in Moscow , are built by German prisoners.. this is a strange feeling. Dmitry [translator] said, «Look at this building, it's built by Germans» I said, «OK, ha-ha» but it's no so funny...

Alex: There are a lot of buildings made by our own prisoners [laugh]

computers, Internet

Alex: How much time do you spend with computers? Are they Macs or PCs?

Steve: I have 2 Mac in Studio, I just make music with Macintosh, and have 2 PCs to go Internet or to play for private fun - you can not have fun with Macs, it's so boring computers, there are no games. I spend a lot of time with computers in my own life. When you have my computer away, then I have to watch TV [laugh]

Alex: Do you like PC or video games? What are your favorites?

Steve: Counter Strike, of course!

Alex: Do you like surfing Internet? What are your favorite sites?

Steve: I use Internet for two things: to watch porn sites and to get information. It is biggest information pool in the world, so when I want to know anything, I'm going Internet and get it immediately via search machine. Must be said, during last weeks I didn't use Internet 'cos I just play [laugh] So when I want to know, what is about this band, or what happened there, I go Internet.

Alex: By the way, what's happened with your web site? It has not be updated for a while...

Steve: It's closed 'cos AND ONE is closed. Temporary closed. One day, we'll come back. No album, no AND ONE, no site. New album... Boom! Website!

Alex: Many fans don't know that it's temporary closed, they think AND ONE is dead...

Steve: That's cool. 'Cos everybody will know when we come back. We have newsletter pool in Germany for 7 thousand people so when I'll press the button, I'm the only who press the button, and then, on next day it will be known by 30 or 40 thousand people. Are you in our newsletter?

Alex: Yeah!

Steve: So you'll know it too [laugh]

Alex: If your site will be alive again will it be possible to find some your MP3s on it? What do you think about MP3 - is it good or bad, or something else?

Steve: As a consumer I love it. As a musician I hate it. Maybe it's the end of little bands, dangerous for medium sized bands, but not painful for big bands. P2P systems are very dangerous... they have to do a gangster.

Alex: Tell me honestly - do you grab any music from Napster-like systems?

Steve: Yeah. I'm a DJ in Germany, there was a time when I was DJing 3 or 4 times in month, or 2 times, a day before I do that I grab new stuff I needed to play. I think it is politically correctly 'cos I make promotion for these songs. Just for that. Because I have MTV. When I love album, then I buy it. I can't understand - people who have not so much money why can't they grab it from Internet? I can't understand it why they should buy an album when they can get it for free?

Alex: I think they buy it for collections....

Steve: For collections?! I thought it is needed to hear music!

Alex: Hey... what is your opinion on AND ONE fan sites? Do you know any of them? I know one Swedish site...

Steve: ... with AND ONE bootlegs? I let them [Virgin] close it. It was my decision 'cos I don't like live bootlegs 'cos they have no atmosphere.

Alex: U2 allow people to record their shows...

Steve: We too. We don't like when it's spread around 'cos on site was a banner, it was a promotion for other company. So when people come to this site - it was a commercial thing. You can come to AND ONE concert with this [point to tape recorder] or photo camera, you can keep it, but not for Internet.

Alex: What did you think about our site? (Shout! Online,

Steve: Maybe I can tell you it when I go there. I will look it.

personal questions

Alex: Please don't think that it's provocation... It's just hard question to talk about... Did you ever use drugs?

Steve: Yes. In 1995 I used a lot of cocaine so it was too much. I did it for 5 or 6 months and then I stopped them. Never again. Just 6 months I did it. I don't know what happened - maybe I was teenager (25 yrs old), or worse life - I don't know. It was 7 years ago and I think I'll never do it again. Dangerous zone is over, now I'm 32 and I think it is closed. Just alcohol. I stopped smoking. It's the first time when I say it in interview. 'Cos in the time when I finished it I never wanted to say it - it was the time when Dave Gahan took drugs - and anyone could think that I'm a liar... «I take drugs too» [laugh]

Alex: Did you write any of your songs being under drugs?

Steve: «White Doves». It's a drug song. It's a bonus track on «Sometimes» single. And I mixed under drugs «High» [laugh] and «Technoman [live]». But «Sometimes» was clean! [laugh]

Alex: You know, some people can't perform or go clubbing without alcohol, finally they found themselves drunken as a shit... What do your use to «to get a drive»? Do you need it anyway?

Steve: I need alcohol on stage, but I'm not drunk. When I'll be so famous like Depeche Mode, then I'll be drunk.

Alex: Your favorite way of relaxing?

Steve: Blowjob.

Chris: I know that!

Steve: When I have good blowjob. But not for Chris [laugh]

Alex: If it's no secret... are you married?

Steve: I was married but I think just for 3 or 4 months then its over. Then we divorced. Officially all is OK.

Alex: You're real superstar Steve, not only Virgin one [smile] Your parents collect magazines with you on front page or not? [smile]

Steve: Yeah, they are very proud.

Alex: Every fan of you knows that you are from Iran. Tell something about how did you migrate from Iran to Germany? It's quite interesting.

Steve: I left Iran when I was 10 years old. We ran from war, we came with wrong passports, my grand pa and grand ma were millionaires, and they paid big money for that.

Alex: Do you often visit your motherhood?

Steve: I can't visit my motherhood 'cos when I go there then they shoot me.

Alex: Do you drive a car? Which one?

Steve: I drove a car till they stole me that.

Chris: When I need to go from one place to another I broke up one car and go [laugh] I don't like cars.

some final questions

Alex: What are your feelings before first ever show in Russia? Do you feel excited?

Steve: Do you wanna know? I feel shit. Do you know why? 'Cos I have to stop playing Counter Strike!

Alex: I can help you to play in Moscow...

Steve: No-no, I need my own script, my own keyboard... I thought nothing about Russians just go to fly so I only knew that we playing for Russians and I didn't think about it. But now, when we next time come to Russia, I will be excited.

[all laugh]

Chris: Much better than London [laugh]

Steve: I tell a truth, I've seen no place in the world with so many honey chics. Where are you looking? You are living in paradise! Supermodels!

Alex: What do you want to say or wish to your Russian fans?

Steve: Buy our records!

Alex: To our fanzine/site?

Steve: I will write it in your Forum.

Alex: I already want to see you once more. Please, promise to take a trip to Russia again! [smile]

Steve: OK!

Alex: Thank you very much for interview!


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