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Interview:
Absence makes hearts grow fonder for Mouse On Mars
 

By GARY GRAFF
For Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Jan St. Werner of Mouse on Mars says that he's "really bad with time." So we can understand how the German electronic duo's 20th anniversary, which falls this year, has escaped him.

"If we could, we wouldn't mention it. We would just not think about it at all," says St. Werner, 43, who founded the group with Andi Toma in Dusseldorf, releasing 10 albums so far -- including last year's "Parastrophics." "Yeah, sure, 20 years is a long time, but at the same time, what is it for a friendship? It's nothing. If you have a strong friendship, 20 years is just the start.

"We're based on friendship and not a business concept -- we're actually really bad business people. We've crated a lot of music and experienced a lot of amazing things -- we've raveled the world, met amazing people, all through our music. But we don't think about how long we've been doing it. We just do it."

Mouse On Mars hasn't done it in the U.S. for awhile, however; its current road trek marks the first time the duo has toured the U.S. in six years. But St. Werner says little has changed in the way he and Toma approach their performances, preparing just enough so that they're ready to improvise in the spirit of the given night.

"Y'know, it starts as two guys on stage asking each other, 'What are we doing here? How did these people get in here? Who let them in? Who was so irresponsible to make them listen to what we are doing now?,' " St. Werner says with a laugh. "And then once we forget all those concerns it's just about the room and playing the songs and feeling what people want and what they're reacting to -- it's more like an energy thing than like, 'Oh, we're going to play these songs from our new album.

"We just try to push things to a certain limit where we hopefully lose control of what's going on. That's when we feel happiest."

Mouse On Mars, Coyote Clean Up and Towered perform Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the Pike Room in the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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