You are the sun, you are the only one. My heart is blue, my heart is blue for you. Be my, be my, be my little rock and roll queen. Be my, be my, be my little rock and roll queen. (‘Rock and Roll Queen’)
back view: Charlotte Cooper, to be honest, on some pictures you look like you are really shy: is it hard to be such a rock and roll queen in front of thousands of people who are waiting for you to party on stage?
Charlotte Cooper: All of my friends think that I’m a different person on stage. I do quite like that. I like the chance to change myself when I am on stage, to be whoever I want and to be a person bigger than who I am. I really do enjoy that. I wear a lot of sporty outfits and a lot of make-up which brings me in this role as well.
It’s a party, don’t you know it don’t get much better. We gonna make it such an awesome party. And you should know it don’t get much… So here we go. (‘It’s a party’)
Are you always in the mood for a party? How do you get in the mindset before a concert?
Standing on stage is like having a massive party. And that’s what we want to create on a gig: it’s about causing a good atmosphere. Everybody should just have a good time, come to our concert to feel good, forget about worries and just believe in music. Before we go on stage, we don’t have a special routine – we just come prepared to rock out. Billy and I, for example, do a few stretches and other warm-ups to make sure that we are fit and our muscles are ready. And we all have a good meal two hours before the concert starts. So, you see, it’s really nice and simple.
The songs on your new record include some social topics. Where does this come from? What’s your inspiration? Aren’t there any new words to describe love and party?
I think the lyrics in “All or Nothing” (2008) already went in a more political way. Many things have impacted on Billy‘s life recently. I think that’s why he wrote about them for the new album. However, there is one thing which will never change: we are a party band, a rock band; we want to create a really exciting lifestyle. While remembering this, it’s still possible to include other things which happen around you and to be a bit more observant.
I live my life walking down this street, I meet the faces of the people I see. All the time I see your reflection. All the time I see your reflection. (‘With you’)
You grew up in a small town, now you’re touring the world. Is there anything you miss from your old life or are there too many benefits in being a famous musician to compare the two?
What I miss from being away are the people at home, like my husband, my family, and my friends. When I’m at home, I like the British way of life, to be in my house and so on. Sometimes you realize that there are many things you miss. But collecting all these experiences while touring with the band is one of the most amazing things in the world. So it’s worth it for me to miss some things.
There were many stories about challenges in your band. Talk more about this and its effects on the music you produce.
We are even closer now, than we were in the beginning and then we were ever before. I think a reason for this is, that things happened which really hit the band like Billy had problems with his voice. We could have said that this would have been it. But with going through this time together, we grew together. We are grateful for what we have.
I won’t forget, the day you said, the simple things, they are the best. I’m just a kid, an alien, among the people (‘Girls & Boys’)
You’re singing about the hunger for life, which you feel when you are young. What does it mean for you to grow up and to become an adult?
The main thing for me in becoming an adult is a new sense of responsibility. When you’re younger, you don’t worry about anything, you just worry about yourself and you don’t have any ties. Becoming an adult for me is to get the sense that the road isn’t just built for you. There are other people you have to think about.
Are there any wishes which are still unrealized in your career? And can you really imagine still rocking out on stage in ten or fifteen years?
I think so! If I look back ten years when the band started and when I think of all the experiences we got in this time, I can’t believe it. I can definitely see another ten years of the band. There are still more places where we would love to go and play there. The first place I’m thinking about is South America. We have so many fans who say “Oh, you have to come to Brazil”, “Come to Argentina”. I think we would love to go and play there. Right now we’re on our way to Finland and Russia.
We want to discover as many places as possible. There are some interesting differences between the countries. I think they are all enjoying the music but in a different way. In different places in the world, sometimes you’re not quite sure what it is. But that’s kind of great to experience that.
Which lessons can you draw on after almost seven years of making music professionally? What experiences have you had?
We’re lucky that we can get through all different kinds of gigs in our current life. There are small concerts where you can hear everything everybody is saying and see everything everybody is doing. And on the other side there are huge festivals with thousands of people where everybody is moving and where you have an amazing view over the crowd. I think those are things which really come out for me when I think back on everything that has happened over the last few years – the experiences which we get on stage.
What do you think about your German fans? What significance does Germany have for you?
We love playing here. Germany is still one of my favorite places. There are some great bands like “The Beatsteaks” or “Die Toten Hosen”. In Germany really everybody wants to rock out and have a good time. The audience goes crazy and dances and there is always a good atmosphere. We really, really love playing here. That’s why we keep coming back.
It’s probably the country we love the most. It’s because the crowd reaction is just amazing. Germany became almost like a second home. We are coming on tour to Germany in March before the festival season this summer and we are really excited to return and play for a great audience!
Charlotte Cooper, thank you very much for this interview.
The Subways are on tour through Germany from 11.03.-23.03.2012.
11th march: Kiel
12th march: Munster
14th march: Bielefeld
15th march: Krefeld
16th march: Saarbrücken
18th march: Lindau
19th march: Karlsruhe
21st march: Würzburg
22nd march: Leipzig
23rd march: Erfurt
Visit their website for more information: http://thesubways.net
(Interview: Christina Hubmann/ Picture: GooMusic Management)