Kaske – MYTHOS INTERVIEW
us begin with a little ancient history. When you first conceived the group
Mythos - it's name and musical sound - what was your inspiration? It seems a
very "cosmic" musical concept.
We wanted to get on stage; we wanted to go on
tour; we wanted to become famous and we wanted the girls! Honestly, we didn't
think beyond that.
What music had you listened to previously that influenced the early Mythos
progressive and psychedelic stuff. Here is a listing of the live-set-list we
performed at the end of the sixties before
and while we composed our first own songs. Here is my calendar of summer '69. We played up to
5 songs of i.e. Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Iron Butterfly, The Doors,
Steamhammer, Spooky Tooth or Ten Years After.
Q: I remember when I got the first album, saw
the cover and heard it; I was astounded, as I'd never heard music like that.
How did you come into contact with the OHR label and convince them to release
such non-commercial music?
has been rather simple. We had more than 100 concerts a year all over Germany
in 1970 and 71. We also played several times in the legendary
Beat Club Langelsheim. The boss was a real fan and a big supporter of
Mythos and when he organized the Langelsheim
Festival in summer '71 (the German
Woodstock) with lots of rock world stars like Family, Ashton, Gardener
& Dyke, Coliseum, Steamhammer, Golden Earring, Nektar and many others, he
let us open the program on both days! So we had the full attention of the media
and the people (the place was overcrowded with more than 14,000 enthusiasts)
especially Mythos fans from all over Germany. It was an incredible experience
and success in spite of our unique, but not very commercial music. That's why
not only lots of club and festival managers knocking at our door; OHR convinced us to produce a record for them!
Do you remember how many copies it sold?
no need to remember! With time the first 4 albums developed into classics and
are reissued periodically. More than a dozen companies worldwide paid and still
pay for copies and copyrights of the Mythos I. I know at least of 3 labels
offering the CD's today.
Have you any idea what ever happened to Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser and Gille Letteman?
really. After they had blown away their brains with dope they lost their
credibility, reputation and at last their music and imperium. Dieter Dierks got
all this in '78 or '79 as far as I know. Now his organizations (i.e. Venus
Records) are managing the labels and pay my licenses. In 1980
"starmaiden" wrote me a letter with extreme confused
"cosmic" stuff. I answered her letter shortly to wish her
good luck (honestly), but my letter returned unopened.
Kaske. I cannot open this letter
addressed to Gille Lettmann. Please send it again to >Starmaiden<!",
she had written on the envelope. Anything
left to say ?!?
After OHR you went to Sky Records and the Venus Records labels, your style
changed somewhat. How would you describe this evolution in your sound? Perhaps
you simply got older and better in terms of musicianship, or did
whole concept for the group change?
see, we've been in a special situation. Mythos had been
a real performing live group all over for it's first 10 years (contrary
to many of the electronic musicians of that time). Remember, we played hundreds
of concerts, festivals and especially Langelsheim.
I did and financed absolutely everything in the group. I did booking gigs
telephone, mail, procuring posters, photos, press info., lighting, P.A.,
managing all media-things, paying for the truck (and driving it), the rehearsal
room, hotels, a.s.o. I did all this to find musicians to perform my music and
to continue the Mythos-story. We simply needed lots of concerts
to survive! And the only way to get those gigs and moreover a record
company deal seemed to be to make more commercial music with more
action. The times they are a-changin'; it was just not possible to get
gigs and contracts with sitar, improvisations and 20 minute songs and
"only" a certain portion of action.
that led to the musical stuff of our Lp's
Strange Guys and
Concrete City (Lp no.3 and 4 released by Venus). At
the end of the seventies, when the band "had troubles" again, there
were new technical possibilities! The development of drum computers, software sequencers and certain
studio equipment made it possible to create new musical ideas and sound
without musicians and a thousand foul compromises! That's why and how I
made my demos during '79 and contacted SKY
to get a contract. All of that resulted in Lp’s no.5 and 6,
Quasar and Grand
After this time (in the late 1970's, early 1980's if I remember right?) Mythos
disappeared. I always wondered what happened, then I think it was in the early
1990's that a friend told me he had gotten a new production - a double/triple
(?) CD of classical music done electronically. Did you stop making music for
some time, or take a hiatus form the music scene? What have you been doing
these last 15-20 years?
fact up to the 1980's I worked with my music and became very successful. That's
why in 1981 I founded my own studio - Mythos Studio Berlin (MSB). Because I've been well known in the musicians' scene and had
many press and radio appearances for the record release of the album
Grand Prix ("Berlin boy recorded an Lp in his
own studio!!"). Within a few months I could order a professional
16-Track-recording machine (in '82); 24 and 32 tracks followed later on. Also
32-channel-mixer (today 40-channel, computer mixer), digital stuff and
effect-units I never heard of before. Remembering those early years I still
smell the interior of my first new Jaguar. For years I lived in it, as well as
in the studio except the few hours of sleep at home. Up to today more than 1000
groups, projects and musicians of all kind of styles have worked in the MSB.
All my compositions and musical themes of that time were used for numerous TV-
and radio-commercials or video- and film music.
after 4 Lp's in a row ('78 to '81) I had been a little "fed up" with
producing my own music. Moreover everything had been "bulldozed" by
the stress and success of the MSB. But in all those studio-years I sampled
ideas, tricks, effects, melodies, sounds and more in several, finally big
folders. And in the end of '88 I began to produce new Mythos music. But then
happened the "Big Hammer", like a "Cheap Shot"! I sent
nearly 100 demos all over the world to get a contract, all in vain ...
Everybody refused to listen to the
tapes (...“to be fair to our present artists..., ...currently not accepting
unsolicited demo submissions...“, etc.) or simply ignored them! Finally in 1989
I remembered an "old ally" (from the
Strange Guys/Concrete City years) and asked Jürgen Jacobsen who managed
several companies in Switzerland. The following is part of Mythos history. He
ordered and has published up to today 8 Mythos CDs and approximately 20
additional releases (i.e. M.A.S.S. and Classic on Synth productions).
Perhaps you can make a listing of all the albums you have done over the years?
let's have a look at least at the Mythos discography:
PRIX (Sky LP1981),
LIVE (Hits & Fun
(Selected Sound Carrier
OF SILENCE & HARMONY (Art & Music
(Art & Music
(Art & Music
PRINTEMPS MYSTIQUE (Art & Music
DARK SIDE OF MYTHOS (Pastels
FEUILLAGE (Art &
Music CD 2001)
I've heard the latest releases and in some ways the sound is still the same,
but with a more sophisticated approach. Would you say that the music and
concept of Mythos has changed over the years? Or perhaps it's still motivated
by the same concept?
a difficult question. You see, the world is changing dramatically and faster
all the time. If you do not react to it and accommodate yourself to it you're
simply going to disappear like the dinosaurs or the producers of wooden mail
coaches. In the musical world you won't find concert venues, record companies
and media feedback and thereby an audience. Musicians "die softly",
imperceptibly! That's why a certain change in the music and concept has been
a must. Otherwise Mythos would have disappeared in the early seventies
like so many others before and after. On the other hand, the Mythos project is
still inspired by the original motivation,
the same spirit as in the very beginning! Search and find musical
formats outside of the mainstream. If you can't avoid listening to other popular music - do the
contrary. If 140bpm stand for success and the charts - my music's going to have
14 beats per minute! Try,
experiment, provoke! But always stay on top
of the tight rope. You are dancing between the realization of your dreams and
the deep commercial fall!
Materially your situation surely has changed. Now you produce and release your
own music. Do you also work in other fields that complement this creative side,
or have a more diverse occupation that allows more of a yin yang situation in
regards to your musical creativity?
producing music I've got only some (hated) tasks to manage a certain property
and some investments. But that's only a necessary kind of burden stealing my
time. My real beloved alternative to the musical work is:
1990 when I bought my first mountain bike I ride in the Berlin forests as often
as possible, 1 to 3 times a week, all through the year. Additionally since 1996
my favorite passion is speed skating! Approximately 5 to 7 times a year I skate
in marathons (esp. the famous Berlin M.), half-marathons and city runs all over
Germany. Ice-skating, indoor-cart-racing in winter and snooker and billiards
complete the range of my interests outside of music.
believe it or not: music's all around. Especially during the many hours out in
the fresh air on the bike or speed skates, all alone in a wonderful
environment, I sometimes get new musical ideas.
now truly enter the millennium period during 2001 and Mythos is 30 years old
musically. If you had it all to do over again would you do anything
to what many people might say (...who did it MY WAY...), I would love to change and repair many things. I've made so many mistakes,
unfortunate decisions, wrong moves and disappointed, or hurt some people in all
periods of my life. I say, I’m sorry to everybody to whom it concerns!
the musical point of view especially I should have finished the
group-activities perhaps sooner, after the split of the Mythos I in
1973. It would have been probably more effective to invest all that time,
energy and resources not in trucks, rehearsal rooms, P.A., light equipment and musicians, but in instruments,
computers and recording equipment. But that is hypothetical. On the other hand,
I would have never met my beloved wife. We have been together since the1977
Germany tour and have a daughter since '92.
you personally feel "cosmically" changed by the last 30 years, or
have you become more down to earth?
I think I always stayed the son of a merchant (Hi daddy, everything's alright
in Heaven!?). That may sometimes reduce the cosmic range of ideas; but it's
taking responsibility for a punctual and reliable delivery of work. I guess my
partners enjoy it.
What would you like to happen with Mythos in the next 30 years?
is a commercial spot on German TV - somebody asking a woman what she would like
to change: "Everything should stay like
it is ...", she says. This corresponds to my feelings best today!
love to produce 2 or 3 CDs for Jürgen Jacobsen a year, to work with those young
guys in the Mythos Studio Berlin, and
to race on blades and wheels through the forests, nature and cities!
from this I would be seriously interested to have productions with some of the
Big Guys of Electronic Music worldwide. Maybe exchanging song
Adat format, or via the
internet. Then adding ideas, sending it to and fro’ a few times and mixing it
finally somewhere in the world, or at the MSB ?!?