Filed under: Interview
Phillip Jung and Patrick Bodmer met many moons ago, but it wasn’t until they met Booka Shade at University that they realised making music was much better than burying their heads in some dusty old books. After a string of hard trance releases during the nineties, the boys veered off their raver course and stormed straight into the German pop charts. Despite MTV play time and the promise of fame and fortune, largely thanks to being mistaken for a supermodel, M.A.N.D.Y. decided to move out of the cheesy house clubs and attempted to tunnel their way back underground, a task which would paradoxically involve remixing pop starlets the Sugababes and New Zealand born crooner Daniel Bedingfield.
The droll duo are now a major part of Get Physical Music which is less a label and more a commune of artist friends who hang out, party and occasionally push record on the mixing desk, all of course with amazing results. This crew of friends managed to attract worldwide attention for their self proclaimed “body workout” style of music, even receiving the accolade of best label for 2005 from British publication, DJ Mag.
We were fortunate enough to have a chat with the starry-eyed M.A.N.D.Y. on their first visit to Japan.
Interview & Introducion by Nick Lawrence (HigherFrequency)
HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : Is this your first time to Japan ?
Phillip Jung : Yes it is. Yesterday we went to Fukuoaka
HRFQ : Good pronunciation!
Phillip : We practiced all night.
HRFQ : If we can get started, you guys had your first release as M.A.N.D.Y. in 2001, but before that you met and worked together in the 90’s. Can you tell us a little bit about what you were doing?
Patrick Bodmer : I hooked up with Walter and Arno from Booka Shade in University. We were studying law together and after two lessons Walter told me that he preferred making music. This was in 1990, so I told him [Phillip] that I met this guy with a studio at home. We were both ravers in the rave scene so we thought lets do some music. We called Walter and went in the studio to play around and very quickly we had some results.
Phillip : We don’t know if it was good, but we had some results.
Patrick : We had three or four releases on different labels from 1992 to 1995.
HRFQ : One trance record we believe you worked on, Arcus – ‘Happy Rose’.
Patrick : Oh shit!
Phillip : How did you know?!?! It is at least 165bpm or something. I was going through my records recently and I was playing it for our booking agent and she said, “Please turn of this shit.” And I said, “Yeah, sorry that was us back in the days”. Back in the days it was just so fast you know. All the records were at least 140 up to 150bpm, so it was just…But we always had this melody in it, like ‘Happy Rose’. We were always melody driven. We were just happy that we got a track released.
Patrick : Walter and Arno they had like a synth-band. They were doing synth-pop on stage with singing and stuff. So they didn’t know anything about techno. We just tried to transform it in the pop studio into techno and that was the result.
Phillip : But that was a good one man! We hoped no one would ever see it.
HRFQ : Well now everyone is going to know and maybe they’ll buy it. So you were friends with Booka Shade in university, and we spoke to Steve Bug last week who said that having talented friends was what helped him with his labels Dessous and Poker Flat. Have your friends been a big help with Get Physical?
Patrick : Definitely. Especially with Walter, he had the studio and he the production techniques that he showed us.
Phillip : It was a very professional studio, it wasn’t just like one synthesizer with one computer. It was a full on studio and it got a very good sound from the very beginning.
Patrick : He gave us the hands when we didn’t know how to use them.
Phillip : But it was a good exchange. We gave him all our raver knowledge from so many years and we took him to clubs. So it was like a give and take thing, a good friendship exchange.
HRFQ : Just to jump around a little bit, we assume the name Get Physical comes from Olivia Newton John.
Patrick : And two more reasons.
Phillip : It doesn’t come from Olivia Newton John in the beginning.
Patrick : No, in the beginning the main reason was that it was the start of mp3 and this new internet business thing and we were all against this virtual world. We were all into sports and very physically oriented and not at all like these computer nerds. So we didn’t want to do virtual things, but physical things. The other idea was that it was about body music and dancing. Not head driven concept tunes, more body workout kind of things. Then in addition to that it had disco at the base of it, it is definitely more like the 1970’s disco music. It is about this organic human touch of disco music.
Phillip : Then the lady in the logo came up naturally and then we just thought it looked like Olivia Newton John.
Patrick : It wasn’t originally but then we just put the head…
Phillip : I think it isn’t even her head.
Patrick : You don’t think? It is! We just put the head on. I did the logo! It was this old disco girl with the cables around her and we just put Olivia Newton John’s head on it.
Phillip : Oh yeah, we did.
HRFQ : One thing we wanted to ask relating to this sort of thing, you guys seem to have a good sense of humour while a lot of producers don’t. Your music isn’t so head driven, is that something you think other producers should be doing?
Phillip : We wouldn’t speak for other producers.
Patrick : We always respect what everyone else is doing.
Phillip : It is one of things where if you are alone in the studio and doing all the label work by yourself then it is less fun obviously. We are a bunch of six people and we always take the piss out of each other.
Patrick : We aren’t serious? I can do serious! Blaaaahhhh!
Phillip : No but, I think it is always just the fact that we are always all together. It is like when you hang out with a bunch of friends it is not to serious. If you ever did it alone then of course you would be more serious in the studio and be more head driven.
Patrick : In the beginning it was funny because we did a remix for a friend who was working at Sony Music. We did the remix in one day of an electronic rock band Galleon and then Sony Music called and asked if they could use the radio edit. Then it came on heavy rotation on MTV and they wanted to put our name on it. It was one of the best selling house records of all time in Germany, so booking agents were calling everyday and they were expecting a girl. So it was like “Oh it’s two boys! We don’t need to book you”. It was definitely because in the video you saw a supermodel putting on her dress.
Patrick : Yeah. Especially now we have this really nice studio and another big apartment on the other level. Also with the guys working for us now it has this family feeling. It is really funny because we were always dreaming of it when we were sitting in the studio with Walter in the 90’s. One day not working but just having fun and now it is really happening.
HRFQ : What does M.A.N.D.Y. stand for?
Phillip : You tell us. We try to come up with some names but it is just so difficult with the y at the end. There were just so many people asking us and there was one alright answer from some English girl, but nothing really.
Patrick : The name Mandy has a story behind it that is very privately driven and of course it is a story about young love. It is full of personal things so it would be boring to talk about. The full stops we just put there for design reasons.
Phillip : Still a lot of people think, like when we were in Australia, that there is a girl coming to perform.
Phillip : And she was DJing
Patrick : Yeah she was DJing so they all wanted to have this super babe in the big house clubs. We did one or two three gigs for these types of clubs and then just said that we weren’t interested. We totally got away from all the offers of big money to play in big clubs. It was hard for us because we had worked on it for two years and it was a really good remix, but it was too successful from the beginning. But we had to get away from this pop mage.
HRFQ : We’ll let you go now. Thank you for talking to us sorry for keeping you so long before your set.
Phillip : It’s fine.
Patrick : Thank you.
End of the interview
Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment