Ray Collins´ HOT-CLUB

Posted by Dee-Ann On March - 5 - 20114,205 views

One of my favorite big bands Ray Collin’s Hot-Club. The name, the music, the atmosphere they create, it really, really and I mean really takes you back to the forties. Making you want to move your shoulders, shake your hips and then jive till you drop with aching feet. You can never tell by seeing or listening to them, that this band is not US origin but German! I found Andreas to tell us all about this wonderful big band.

Andreas, how did you all get together?

We had another band before. The Pyromanix. After we gained more members we realized it´s a new band. That was the start.

Where are you based?

Köln, Aachen, Koblenz, Bottrop, Datteln….. it´s an area that speads about 300 km.

How many band members are there and who are they?

It´s nine guys but I can´t remember the names. I think one is called Tom or John or something.

Is it complicated to run a big band?

Are you kidding? It´s a nightmare!!!If you wanna run a band like this, the main talent you have to have is to swallow 40 megatons of frustration per year. But if you are lucky you will receive 41 megatons of fun for it.

Who are your musical inspirations?

All kind of stuff from Jerry Lee Lewis to Duke Ellington. From the Sonics to Mel Torme.

Who are your personal inspirations?

If I could choose my own character I´d be Spongebob or Optimus Prime.

You tour all over the world. Which countries did you visit?

I don´t know how to spell them in english but I will try: Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, France, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Tunesia, USA, Switzerland, Austria, England, Ireland, Russia, Italy. I think that´s it.

What country is your favorite and why?

I don´t wanna sound like a peace freak but I really love most countries. France is propably my favorite. I don´t know why.

You also played in the US. Was it a whole tour? Tell us about that.

There is some people in the states who know us. Some even seem to really like us. But we are of course not a big deal over there. We toured there. But that´s not with a big tour bus or anything. It´s long trips in small cars and big heat. It´s not so different from here after all.
Small venues, big venues, some shows have a lot of swing dancers, some have the rockabilly crowd and some just have drinkers who come to drink. Their culture of life music is a bit differnt though. In the states you will see fantastic acts playing in a restaurant. Everybody is eating and you almost feel like going to the tables to tell the people to shut up and appreciate the act. But they have so many good muscians over there… I mean America gave birth to this music.

Sometimes I wonder what they need us for. But then again people tell us we are different from american acts. Maybe it´s amateurish charms. I don´t know.

Do you have a funny story about a gig?

There is so much funny stuff. Sometimes I think we would be more successfull if we made a reality show out of us.
Looking back, a lot of things are funny now that weren´t funny at all when they happened.

Driving the tour bus in a garage that is not high enough, loosing suitcases on the aftershow party. One time our bass player left a show while we were on stage. He just said he wanted to pick up a girl that he had met the show on the night before. He was gone for an hour. 

Another time when we had to stop on the swiss border our piano player thought it was a little break. Nobody had noticed that he sneaked out of the bus to brush his teeth. In his pyjamas. We drove on. And there was in his pyjamas with his stupid toothbrush between these super uptight police man assholes.

There is always tons of shit like this happening.

Are there things you regret (forgot to fill up the tank etc.)

I regret playing for promotoers whotreat us like assholes. But after all it´s not so bad. Once you know you won´t play there again and that´s it. Most promoters are very nice though. Very enthusiastic people who put a lot of work in events that bringa lot of fun to us, other bands and the audience.

Any special plans for the near future?

And musicalwise we wanna finish a little movie that we started last year and maybe bring out a record this year.


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