"The best band in the world.
That's not being arrogant, that's just a fact."

That's what we wrote to the first record label after not getting a reply for fourteen days. We were not signed, as you can understand. The album had not been finished at this point in time, but we continued.

The production of Pressure's Off started in September 2003, when Wolfi returned from his holiday and Mike arrived the same day in Berlin. Immediately, they started to work together. The result of the first night was Untapped Lovesong. Mike had written these lyrics a year before and sent them to Berlin, so that Wolfi could set them to music.

This is how we work together when we are not in the same place. Mike writes lyrics and Wolfi sets them to music. Or the music is written first and Mike completes the song.
When we decided to write a song together, such as She is or Only For You, we recorded a lot of nonsense on minidisc improvising together. Then we listened to the tape and laughed our heads off. Sometimes we found good stuff in it and that was the song. These songs grew very fast. We just had to record them. Being in the same mood, having the same feelings about something... let's say... a girl... just for example... was the best foundation for writing a song together.
"Ok, listen. I've got these chords and i want a really happy song, something like: dadaa daaaa, daa dadaa..."
"This perfectly fits the verses i wrote this morning, see..."
" What about the chorus?"
Three minutes later:
"Hey, if we are ever going to record this song, we should do it now..."


The Band

Left to right: Wolfi, Mike, René, Michi, Stephan, Karl

Mike O? Loughlin
lyrics, lead vocal, guitars, percussion, backing vocals

Wolfgang Zamastil
music, all arrangements, production, lead vocal, guitars, piano, bass, drum programming, celli, percussion, backing vocals

Rene Mayr
acoustic & electric bass, Digeridoo, production

Michael Zamastil
tenorsax, sound engineering, backing vocals, production

Stephan Leuschner
rhyt. guitar, Mr Producer

Karl Renner
sound engineering, lead guitar




As you might imagine the band have to do a lot of interviews (ok not yet,
but someday this may be the case) as they go round playing and stuff.  A lot
of questions turn up many times so we thought that in order to save time and
avoid increasingly ludicrous answers (a neccesary strategy in order to avoid
turning into automatons) we would cover some of these questions together
with their answers in the hope that they don't keep getting asked!  

'Where did you get the name of the band from?'
A crazy room party in a Student Residence in Berlin turned into mahem.  Mike
O'Loughlin and Wolfgang Zamastil had met for the first time earlier that
evening and returned to the on-site pub, the Bierkeller, to purchase all the
wine they had in stock.  Dancing, drinking, laughing, singing, drunken
musical discussions ensued, surrounded by students from all over the world.
Waking up the next morning, both Mike and Wolfi's rooms were no-go areas,
Wolfi mumbled the words, "Hmmm... look, Wine Stained Shoes", to which Mike
replied, "That'd be a pretty cool name for a band".  True Story.

'How did the Band get together?'
Mike is from Ennis, Co. Clare in Ireland and Wolfi is from Salzburg,
Austria.  Both moved to Berlin to study where they met in March 2000.  After
a brief chat and a few drinks both were discussing musical tastes and stles
agreeing mostly on topics such as the Beatles, Zappa and ofcourse "Girls".
Subsequently, Mike and Wolfi went on to record a number of songs in the
summer of 2000, but only started writing their own lyrics and music
(together - O'Loughlin/Zamastil) in 2001, when they wrote and recorded 16
tracks, entitled "The Biesdorf Sessions".  After time apart concentrating on
solo work they met up again last year. 
Wine Stained Shoes, as a band, only truly got into the swing of things in
September 2003, when Mike arrived on Wolfi's doorstep in Berlin after living
in Belgium for a year and a half.  Other members include Wolfi's brother,
Michi, on sax; Stephan Leuschner, on guitar; René Mayr, on bass; Karl Renner
on Lead guitar.

'How long has the band been going?'
Wine Stained Shoes has existed in its present form since around October 96.
However some relationships within the band are way older, for example Wolfi
and his bro' Michi (long time i guess), Karli and René are also from
Austria, so these four have known each other for a long time and as for
Stephan and Mike, they met Wolfi when they lived in a Berlin Student
Residence in 2000.  Now Stephan and Wolfi live together in Berlin but insist
it is a purely platonic relationship.  Mike has gone on the record saying he
is not jealous.

'What was it like recording "Pressure's Off" '?
The band were really pleased and proud to finally hold a copy in their
hands.  A few months hard work paid off in our eyes.  Actually having a CD
with our own music on it had an effect on peoples' awareness of the band,
but we still need a label.  Recording this album was an emotional
rollercoaster for all band members.  I think we all fell-out and argued at
one stage or another during sessions, but nothing too serious to divide the
band.  We're frends true 'n' true.  Yes, some of these recordings may not be
produced in the most professional manner, but we, the band, agree that we
captured the mood and direcion we plan to go in for future albums.  The hope
being that somebody "in the know" will here our songs and advise our next
move, labelwise.

'How do you decide who's going to sing a particular song?'
Depending on how personal a song is, Mike usually is the lead vocalist,
however on songs such as "Goodbye" and "The Way it is", these were melodies
written for Wolfi's deep voice.

'Where did Wolfi learn to write music?'
His Genes and eighteen years of classical music education, ten of these at universities in
Salzburg and Berlin. Pretty much all Wolfi's family are musicians, on his Mother's
side anyway.  He is an accomplished solo artist having released other
albums with a tango theme and his main instrument is cello.  Find out more
about the real Wolfi outside WSS on www.zamastil.com

'Do you prefer playing live or recording?'
Don't think you can compare the two.  However right now we've most
experience recording in bedrooms in Berlin.  So whenever a label spots our
not-so-hidden talents, we hope to play to an enthusiastic audience.....it's
gonna happen, soon.

'What would you do if you weren't in a band?'
Mike: Probably still trying to be an actor (or tying to be in a band)   ...
Wolfi: Composing and playing as usual, but in a more classical direction