HP Baxxter: “If someone says something, you’re immediately in conspiracy territory”
- From the stage to the big screen: with “FCK 2020 – Two and a half Years with a Scooter” documentary has been released about a band whose music many deride, but whose successes – especially international – are impressive.
- In an interview, filmmaker and pioneer HP Baxxter revealed how the collaboration happened, how much credibility viewers can expect and why Corona has caused so much trouble for the cultural scene.
Scooter about HP striker backcaster We’ve been moving charts and stages for 30 years. So it was indeed time to record the band’s history on film. However, the Corona pandemic threatened to thwart the project, as the music industry in particular was almost completely at a standstill.
However, both directors are Cordola Capeltz Post So is HP backcaster Not only did she make something good out of misery, but maybe even better. then FCK 2020 – Two and a half Years with Scooter” is more than just another band documentary. The movie is a document of the time So – I hope – he never comes back.
“FCK 2020” was planned to be a “normal” documentary of the band, but it very much became Corona Diaries. Who came up with the idea and who was approached?
Cordula Cabletz Post: The idea, similar to Totun Hussain, was originally to make a tour film [“Weil du nur einmal lebst – Die Toten Hosen auf Tour”, Anm. d. Red.]. I knew HP was great in front of the camera and was curious to know more: what kind of artist is this and how has he been able to thrive for so long? Especially at the international level – not many German teams can do that. It took us a year to get financing, and of course I was very happy that HP agreed. Then he came corona. I suddenly had to completely rearrange things. But I’ve done a lot of formats and documentaries, and in the end a crisis like this can always be a good thing, because you get out of your routine and have a chance to experience artists in a way they might never have experienced themselves.
Both worked on the critically acclaimed series Over the Night with… Do You Know Each Other – Even if It Wasn’t a Co-Episode?
Capeltz Post: There was a connection in that I knew you [H.P.] Works great in front of the camera. The format of “All Night With…” is very special: everything happens unplanned and is very authentic. I’ve always liked working like this – as far as the truth can be captured on camera, real life. One can do it better, the other worse – but you [an H.P. gewandt] You are really good at that. I had a feeling you forgot about the team, too, at some point. You were who you were—and the longer we watched you, the more I realized: You don’t play anything, you are who you are.
HP Backcaster: Yes, that was the only fear I ever had: whether I’d really forgotten my camera. I think this is very important, because if it seems too artificial, you can give it to yourself. But it was actually like this: Five minutes into shooting, you think about the cameras again for a moment, but you’ve already forgotten about them, and then you just do your thing and go as it is.
Baxter: “Does that sound a little unsympathetic?”
Of course, the many special ideas are great for viewers. Pictures of youth, earlier band projects – but above all your mother, relatives. Was it difficult to convince everyone?
Baxter: At first I really thought it would be great if my mom was around, but on the other hand, it would be very special. But in the end you just have to risk it. And in retrospect, of course, I think it’s incredibly good – and also very well integrated into the movie.
Capeltz Post: We had discussed from the beginning that I would like to do a public image. We wanted to show what goes on behind the scenes, but we wanted to go a little deeper – and better yet, show something a little more private. Corona played into our hands, because she always had a shooting day free and when the question came up: “Well, what are you doing today?” – “I’m going to Saint-Tropez,” said he. “Well, we’ll come with you.” Or: “We are now shooting a music video in Sweden.” – “Well, we’re in!” Something was always coming up and we looked forward to seeing what happened. We called it “Leadership in sight”.
Baxter: Yes, you can never plan and everything has to happen spontaneously.
Even if, of course, originality is important to a documentary: were there moments you’d rather not have seen in the final version?
Baxter: I’ve always said that as a director, Cordola decides what goes in and what doesn’t. I may have once remarked: “Don’t you think that might sound a little unsympathetic?” But then she said, “No, that’s been put in perspective throughout the movie.” You can’t change it afterward, and it’s better that way than beautifying or deleting something.
Capeltz Post: The special quality of the film is that it shows jagged edges. This is the case with everyone, no one is just nice. There are disagreements and conflicts – and this happens in every team and with every collaboration.
Arrival in Tallinn for a concert You did a really good job.
Baxter: Yes, of course. It’s nerve wracking when you’re playing again after such a long time. I was really nervous and didn’t know if I could still do it.
Capeltz Post: You were under so much pressure and you didn’t even know if you could still play the lyrics. This wasn’t a problem in the end, but it wasn’t obvious at the moment. You haven’t played a real concert in 18 months.
Being nervous in front of the Rock am Ring is also pretty cool.
Baxter: I didn’t know how people would react. For me, Rock am Ring was of course the epitome of rock, ever since I was little. Before the show, I wasn’t sure if it would work. On the other hand, there have been experiences from other festivals of this kind that could go well – but there is still some uncertainty. After one or two songs, it dawned on me: the store is working. This crazy mass of people wasn’t really for everyday – and it took me a play or two to really get involved with it.
“If someone says something, you are immediately in conspiracy territory.”
The predominant topic is, of course, Corona. As musicians and filmmakers, you know which parts of the industry have suffered the most. Why was it not possible to support the cultural sector? Lots of people working in it – why wasn’t there a strong lobby?
Baxter: I think this is the main problem in Germany – it’s not that important. In England, for example, pop music has a very different status than this country, where it is much more important. Everything here is more of an accessory and not that important, and that’s how it was communicated during the crisis. It’s never talked about, even though the event industry is a big industry…
Capeltz Post: …which also creates jobs. That’s what Tail Brunner got Made a very good statement, but then it somehow faded away. Everyone thought it was great, but nothing happened. There is simply no lobby, and art and culture have also been deemed “systematically unimportant”. Artists may be more than aloof or so individualistic that people see each other as a union. Maybe it’s competition between them. In any case, it is very difficult to form associations between artists.
Baxter: Yes, and if someone says something, like Nina, you’re immediately in conspiracy territory. And quite frankly: I haven’t been making music for 30 years and I’m working on my career and then something like that. A lot of things bothered me and I was often on the verge of saying something, but then I thought: no, you won’t say anything now. You can see where the boundaries are.
Capeltz Post: Above all, she said, it bothered her to see the distance in the audience. You also said you don’t want to have parties with people 2 meters apart.
Baxter: Exactly, I don’t.
Capeltz Post: It was scary in Germany to see how quickly you can get used to all this. It has also been called the “new normal”. That was a really bad time and I’m so glad there’s another “new normal”.
pension? “One day she’ll take care of herself.”
Whether on stage, in film, or here in conversation: anyone who encounters it will not think of the word “annuity.” However, the ravages of time are killing us all and you will be 60 years old next year – do you sometimes think about retirement?
Baxter: No idea. I leave that a bit to chance and above all to fitness. At some point it will take care of itself.At the moment I am doing very well, everything is going well, and I don’t think about it at all. I was asked about it 20 years ago. Some, if you think of Mick Jagger for example, pull it off with flying colors. But I don’t know if I’ll do it for a long time – especially with my speed on stage. But you will see…
Thank you for this interview!
Grimme winner and kings of ‘techno funfair’ – how do they all go together? It’s great, showcasing the upcoming documentary “FCK 2020 – Two and a Half Years with a Scooter”. Cordula Kablitz-Post accompanied the band around HP Baxxter during Corona’s enforced break and featured live and special archive recordings in her film. You can watch the trailer and an exclusive clip here — the documentary will hit theaters from January 12th.