Swiss Funk-Pop Band Team. Photo DhakaCourier
STARCH, a Swiss funk-pop band comprised of seven guys and conceived in a Swiss mountain-top hotel, took the pop-music loving young people of Bangladesh on an enthusiastic journey recently. They came here as part of their Asian tour, with the added objective of strengthening and highlighting the bilateral relations between Switzerland and Bangladesh, doing two shows. First they performed at the Berlin Hall (Indoor) of the Goethe Institute, followed by another gig at the amphitheatre of the Rabindra Sarobar in the capital.
It’s hard to find appropriate words for the music the seven creative heads of STARCH produce. It may be described as the composite of a generation that grew up simultaneously with rock, hip hop, and especially funk to create their own highly energetic music.
The seven members have been playing together for more than ten years, being known as a first class live act which rocks every stage with youthful fun and untamed energy. Countless experiences of concerts, road trips and life in hotels mould an energetic brand which rocks, surprises and humours at the same time. They performed a number of their popular songs including California Sunrise, Julia and Go Crazy. Simon Winiger (vocals/bass), Chris Raxx (rap/vocals/sax), Manoo Winiger (keys), Benjamin Stalder (guitars), Kay Rauber (drums/percussion), Pascal Naegeli (trumpet/sousaphone) and Andreas Tschopp (trombone/sousaphone), certainly had the audience at the two shows rapt with their never-ending groove.
STARCH vocalist Simon Winger shared his feelings and thoughts with Dhaka Courier’s Hasanul Banna on the sidelines of the second concert at Rabindra Sarobar.
Dhaka Courier (DC): How does it feel to perform in Bangladesh?
Simon Winger (SW): I am lucky to perform here in Bangladesh. It is my first visit to Bangladesh. People are too fond of music; they are very cooperative and friendly. We have been warmly received here. Here we staged two concerts, one was in the German cultural centre and another one here (Rabindra Sarobar) in the open air. People are crowding to enjoy the concert. The country has no lack of natural beauty. Green leaves and trees are everywhere. I wonder that even in the city, there are lots of green trees.
DC: How is the audiences responding, especially, the young guys?
SW: The audience seems to be excited by the live concerts more and more. Everyone is dancing, singing, jumping, clapping over the songs. I think the young guys are enjoying so much that you can’t imagine.
DC: What are your hopes and plans for the near future?
SW: We are more hopeful about the future and we are working to release the next album which is yet to be named.
DC: Who is your idol?
SW: James Frank.
DC: What’s the hardest thing about being in a band?
SW: About being in a band, I will just say, there are difficulties, but no more than any other kind of life. You guys want to perform, to sing songs if you like it, love it, and some others also have the same wishes. When all of your wishes and their wishes stand together, the band comes together and it’s a great experience.
DC: Does your band have any bitter experiences that you could share with us?
SW: We haven’t faced any mentionable bad luck yet. But, at the beginning, we fell short of audiences, people hadn’t heard about us much. Now we are busy maintaining our schedule. Everyone wants to listen to us but we fall short at times.
DC: Do you enjoy being a celebrity?
SW: More or less, I enjoy it. But, sometimes it bores me also. More fame, more pressure.
DC: If you guys were to describe yourselves in a few words, what would you say?
SW: If we have to describe ourselves in a few words, maybe three, they would be funky, energetic, and creative.
DC: What’s the most bizarre thing to have happened while you guys were on onstage?
SC: The most bizarre thing to have happened to us onstage is singing with the saxophone. I, really, then go to my musical kingdom while singing.
DC: Have you ever woken up with a melody as if created in your dreams? If yes, which one?
SW: Yes, I have awoken with a melody created from my dreams, and that is California Sunrise.
DC: Which is the one song your band performs in all its concert and why?
SW: Go Crazy, we perform this song in every concert because really, the song makes the audience go crazy.
DC: Any advice for the music-loving youngsters of Bangladesh?
SW: The young love music very much. If you people want to show, perform and entertain the others by what you love more than your lives, go for it and just start singing right away. You must do that in order to accomplish your dreams.
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