LAVA 303

Crossing Bridges to Acid Rock'n'Roll

Date: Jul 1, 2005
Views: 3455

Conny Maly a.k.a. LAVA 303 is quite a unique life performer, music- and social activist. As she just released her album, entitled "Acid Rock'N'Roll Stories" she speaks about this and that. If you saw her interview in Mushroom Magazine (July 2004), here's the full version.

# What is AcidRock nRoll?

It's a mix out of Techno/Trance and Rockmusic, plus you have worldmusic elements and text samples
Originally its coming out of the AcidRocknRoll Massacre, which was a kind of anarchist jam session of the Playground Collective. We did it in our former community, on parties and festivals and for research at university…We set up some electronic and acoustic instruments and then everybody could play everything. The original idea was, to break the borders between artsists and consumers, between the show and the audience, to involve the people, to twist the roles...We wanted to inspire by a kind of “do it yourself” surprise experience: making people believe in their own potential.

Lava 303 - „Acid Rock n Roll Stories“ - CD
[photo: Crossing Bridges]

# Wasn't it completley chaotic?

Sometimes yes, of course. But this was part of the experience, too. We also had some people and ways to structure the thing a little bit: some prepared groovebox loops, experienced drummers, DJ with good nerves…So beginners can easily tune into the groove, stop thinking and being afraid, start learning…Lots of people never got the chance to do music by themselves. Also we gave them toys for juggling. Clubs, balls, flowersticks, chains, sticks…Juggling also is part of our Playground Philosophy . In these new times, its good not just to focus on one thing, but to see how things are refering to each other, to see the whole thing, to create a whole piece of art out of our ideas and lives. We need to learn, to juggle with our homes, families, jobs, identities…I mean, juggling is kind of meditation like doing music, too.You just need to find a good groove…

# How did you start the live-act?

Out of the Acid Rock n Roll Masacer and the Playground Jams I ve got encouraged to start playing as a live-act on parties …. I was inspired by electronic music, by the new sounds and that I could be my own band and do my own compositions. People and partyorganizers somehow liked it, so they invited me and I came from one party to the other. In 99 I started to use samples and I also started to play live guitar again. It was kind of process, learning by doing. I also liked a lot to play together with our playground fireartists.Its nice to have a interactive show between fire, perfomance and music.
Today my live-act is a jam with five instruments and its never the same.It always depends on the situation, the party, the people, the monitors, how you feel… Also it was kind of selftherapy. 97 was a hard year. My grandmothers died, my mother first time got depressions, I got serious sick with damaged discs. In 98 I split from my band and my job.Also my relationship broke, because I wasn't able to have a boyfriend and a lover at the same time…So making music was helping me to forget the sadness and I spent the weekends by moving from one party to the other to dance, to play…. Another big inspiration has been the situation on the Michael Barrax, our community. We had lots of wars and problems going on, because different groups of people couldn't share a vision about the place, they were fighting against each other and they all had their different music&parties, like kind of religion. Hardcore, Punk,Drum'n'Bass, Goa, Rock…
I tried to play music that makes them coming together, using music and elements of all the styles. So it became a mix of Rock, Psytrance, Dub and BreakBeats/DrumnBass. We called it modern VolXmusic.

# Where is the name Lava303 coming from?

One day I introduced the Groovebox into my old girlband the Slags and we started the jam project Lava Enterprise. The original idea of this band was to give up song structures and to melt electronic sounds and typical bandinstruments together to one sound… Our boyfriends joined the band and we played some gigs and did some events like Psychedelica in Batschkapp/Frankfurt and Schweinehalle/Hanau. In 98 I split from the Slags and then during the summer Lava Enterprise broke,too. Jens from Nada Brahma booked me as solo-act for Klangwelten and he wrote Lava303 on the flyer,so this is how the live-act got its name.

# What does it mean : Be your own Live-act?

It means, “to do it by yourself”, “to take your life into your own hands. It was part of our playground-philosophy. Life is a playground! This experience has been very important for me, kind of creative therapy… I had to recover from these years with The Slags where I always have been the little one, the bavarian immigrant, the drunken guitar player... At that time I had always other people to do things like production, management, agency and label stuff, and told me, what there is to do, what is the way to do thing, what is professional , “amtlich”.In the end it's the same story like at home with your parents or in school, it was kind of rocknroll boarding school. I don't want to complain, because I learnt a lot, but like this I also didn't have control over the things happening in my life. Somewhen in my life there was a point where I had the feeling,its enough! I have to go my own way, I need learn how to do things by myself and in my way, to create my own experience. I need to find out who I really am.

Maybe it also had to do with getting inspired by parties, electronic music, XTC and then I had a quite intense and horrorfull LSD Trip at a festival in Budapest. After this I had the feeling that I had believed to much into other peoples opinion or what is written in books.It was like somebody has taken away a curtain and suddenly you can see …all the potential, possibilites, life is bigger, music is more then your band, europe isnt just the west… It was kind of apocalyptic and I felt, that the old laws don't rule anymore, that time has come, to follow the truth inside of myself to create a happy and fullfilled life, even if I get myself into lots of problems...

I recognized, that all this theories at university and that my band wasn't, what I was really believing in. I just did things to satisfy others, my professors, my parents, my band, my boyfriend… When I took LSD for the first time all of this was what I thought…it is me, (but it wasn't) broke in pieces and I had to find myself,to invent myself new. I had the feeling there is kind of a golden source deep inside of me but it got spoilt for along time and I have to set this energy free again to get happy in life and making more developments as musician, artists and student or just as person.

I also forgot about what I learnt from guitarlessons, how to play guitarsolos or trying to sound like somebody else…I stopped thinking and started to play guitar in my own way, completley improvisation, noisy psychedelic freestyle, just the way, I just felt … I had the feeling that only I can safe my mind if I am following my feelings and visions, if I m doing what I really want to do and really like to do.Not to do something because others expecting me to do something. This was not an easy process, because you don't always know which ideas are realistic and whats just a nice illusion or simply too far out. Sometimes you think you must be completley crazy. But in the end its kind of game with reality.You create your own reality. You start to juggle with your life…So this production is kind of the result of this process.

# How did you do the production?

This production is a documentation of a live or life- experience called lava303, kind of best of and greatest hits of the last summers.
So I didn't use any other instruments, I just was working with the instruments I am playing live, this means no extra guitar amplifier, no additionally synthies &software, just nuendo and cubase and effects for mixing. So if concerning the music equippment, its kind of low-fi production….I had some ideas some songs in my mind, kind of my most loved loops, samples and guitar riff . So I had to find a 5-7 minute form for jam sessions that normally can last between up to one hour.This is why I made up new arrangements and didn't just record live, besides of some jams. Also I wanted to have better quality, not just all music on one track like we did with the lover 303 album. I wanted to be able to mix the single sounds and loops separatly. I also wanted to make the experience how it is to construct a song consciously. Some things you cannot do with playing live, if you have to play 5 instruments at the same time.

# What does this album mean to you?

This production documents an important time of my life as one woman band: A spiritrual search and a artistic/musical development. It was made during 9 month of pregnancy and 9 months of breastfeeding with my son Nepomuk. And somehow producing and releasing this album feels like a kind of birth, too. Like a second baby… Finally I brought a teenager dream or illusion to its end. Now I feel more adult and more open for new things. Maybe in the future I do something completley different. I also could imagine to play together or do a project with other people again. It nice to do soloprojects, because your are autonom and do your own decisions, but also you are alone in your world of imagination and ideas. And alone on tour… So there are several ideas, this year I want to get more involved in production of the Dutifull Daughters, which is interesting because its very experimental stuff…

# Why are you doing music?

I also don't know, but looks like it's a kind of drug and its hard to stop it. Somehow, music is a way of life, maybe you don't get rich from it and maybe its also hard to make always a life out of it BUT at least you save money which you otherwise would spend on the psychotherapist, on paying flight tickets and petrol for travelling, drinks and entrance for parties.Plus you making connections with lots of people all around the world and its good for making peace… at least for one night.

# What is the meaning of Crossing Bridges to you?

Crossing Bridges was a kind of selfexperience, inspiration and political practice for a group of artits and students coming from germany to kosova.The idea was to stop just talking about politics but to do something,to stop watchin TV and Propaganda and to make our own film, our own reality TV Show. It also is about the potential of parties as a way of political action. Music is very powerfull and it can make people go into the war but also it can make people come together and dance and fall in love...
Crossing Bridges also has been part of a vision on Sebastianos Party in Berlin, when Raviv my israelian fiancee provoked me. I wanted to show him that I am not just his german groupie de luxe, but more…I also had the feeling we should leave the Michael Barrax and Frankfurt and that our future is somewhere else. For me personally Crossing Bridges ended up by getting pregnant, another way of creating a bridges between man and woman, between families in Prishtina, Frankfurt andBavaria: Orest gave to our baby the name Nepomuk, who protects the bridges in Bohemia. So this is bringing me back to my own family story,. My fathers family were germans living in Poland and Czech, after the second worl war, they had to leave as refugees on a train and lost every thing over there.. The story between Germans and Czek people is still quite complicated, its still an open question, if it was o.k. to expell the germans, but also it had some reasons…Its also not o.k. to kill people because of their nationality, religion, sexuality.. So for me Crossing Bridges is not just a story about serbs or albanians, it brought me back to my familys history and myself…. If you are born in Germany you have a certain kind of responsibility. So for me its been a personal “crossing bridges” to organize the first Festival in 2001 together with a student group from Prag or to meet people coming from Israel. Its nice to have friends, who choose to come back to Germany to live here again like their ancestors.

# What is this Crossing Bridges Label?

It's the idea to publish the music and films we recorded and produced during the last years as Crossing Bridges Collective. Its connected to the Crossing Bridges Festivals and to the people we met while touring around on the balcan and in X-Yugoslavia. It´s about collecting ideas and documenting a new generation, who wants to live another life, standing up against racism, sexism, capitalism … Music is a way to transport messages, to bring people together, to get connected and organized internationally.There are tribes everywhere, tribes who resist, who are able to live another of life and other ideas, because they are not alone, they are connected, they are a big cybertribe all over the world… I will know more about the label in summertime, I going to spend some time in Prishtina and then go to Belgrad for the peoples global action days.Then we will see… Its just somehow the thing for what I started to be my own live-act and to get independent from the mainstream structures. It doesn't make me happy to do music and arts just for the money or because its so cool. Its nice to move people, but its also nice to be part of a movement.

taken from mushroom magazine and brought to you by liese

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