Thanks so much to Bernd Donner for the interview! I wrote about The Mirror Images some months ago and Bernd was kind enough to get in touch and clear my curiosity about his band. Enjoy!
++How are you doing? Still living in Essen?
Bernd is doing fine, but living in Recklinghausen, Jan lives in Christchurch, New Zealand and Marque is still living in Essen, but sadly not in Borbeck.
++ I’ve been to Essen a couple of times, so I’m wondering which are your favourite spots in town? What to visit? And if there’s a special dish in the region that I somehow forgot to try?
Madame Chocolat and Panic Room are good places for listening to live-music. The Rot-Weiss-Essen-Soccer-Stadium is the Sports-Olymp of Essen-Borbeck. If you tried Pommes-Currywurst, you tried everything.
++ What about Essen bands? I feel you are the only one I know, in the style I like. Would you recommend any other?
++ So tell me about The Mirror Images! How did you know each other and what sparked you all to start a band?
We met back in 1983 in a youth club and started a band because there wasn´t another band in Essen to recommend.
++ Was The Mirror Images your first band ever? In what year did you form?
The Mirror Images were our first band. They were formed in 1983.
++ And where did the name The Mirror Images came from?
The Mirror Images were named after the song “Private Hell” by The Jam.
++ You already answered many of my questions and doubts on the comments section of my post about you. But I still wonder about some things, for example, what about your label? Who released your records?
The records were produced and released by ourselves in cooperation with Rough Trade.
++ And what about gigs? Did you play often? Which were your favourite gigs?
We played about 200 Gigs in front of 5 to 8000 People. Our favourite gig was in the “International Student Club” in Bern (Switzerland). The people went from traditional extreme phlegmatic to astonishing ecstatic in 45 minutes. So we got the double money and lots of beer, whiskey and chocolate-bars by the Organizer.
++ During those late 80s and early 90s there were many great jangly German guitar pop bands. Did you feel somehow part of a scene? Were there any bands of that period that you like?
We liked Marilyn’s Army, Stunde X and Family 5, just to name but a few.
++ And which bands would you say influenced your sound?
The Jam, The Who, Beatles, Beach Boys and Small Faces.
++ After splitting in 1993 you said you were together again in 97 and 2001. How come?
In 1997 we played our “Farewell-Gig” and in 2001 our “Revival Gig”. After that we didn’t have the time yet to play together.
++ I still have to listen to most of your songs, but it strikes me how good the song titles are. Seems you were very careful about it. Same as with the album titles and the meaning of some of the artwork. I feel there was a concept behind the band. Am I wrong? What was the intention?
You’re right we had an intention. We wanted to be more fresh, interesting, entertaining and inventive than the precocious and dusty rockists around us.
++ And so, which would you say are your favourite Mirror Images songs?
Like Nick Hornby taught us, we name here just a list of 5 titles:
1. Borbeck Riots
2. Once Again
3. Anyhow, It´s Now
4. The Distance
5. Why Do Only Kind People Die
++ What about unreleased songs? Are there any?
Yes, many. We made about 200 Songs in those years.
++ Also, I’m kind of curious, why write songs in English and not German? Any particular reason?
English is our musical native language.
++What would you say was the biggest highlight for The Mirror Images?
Touring through Germany in the late eighties and early nineties.
++ When and why did you decide to stop the band?
We didn’t really stop the band. We just didn’t have the time yet to play together any longer.
++ And what did you do after The Mirror Images called it a day? What other hobbies do you have?
We are doing our jobs and in our free time we are ambitious being idle.
++ One last question, would you do The Mirror Images all over again?
Never say never.
++ Thanks again a lot, anything else you’d like to add?