The amazement we felt when first listening to TOPS’ album Picture You Staring is probably the first thing we ever shared with their labelpartner Grimes, who called them “a bunch of weirdos” meant “in the most affectionate way possible”. When hearing that they would play a show at the Maifeld Derby, we were knew that we had to meet them, if not only to find out if singer Jane is as cool of a woman as she sounds. Spoiler: She is.

Marsmädchen: Did you arrive today?

Jane: No, we arrived yesterday. We drove from Hamburg and we stayed in Ladenburg, it’s a 15-minute-drive from here and really cute, because it‘s an ancient Roman town that goes back to 2000 BC.

David: 2000 BC? [laughs]

J: Yes, it’s really old! I looked it up on Wikipedia yesterday. But we basically just went there to sleep. It was a really long drive and there was so much traffic on the streets.

MM: What are your Must Sees for the Maifeld Derby?

Everyone: Definitely Thee Oh Sees

MM: If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

D: Whatever song is on now, I like that. I think they are called Only Real, they have this graffity on their kick drum. What about you Jane?

J: I would say The Longest Drink by Jules Shear, because it’s a long song and it’s a beautiful song.

D: What’s the longest symphony?

J: You don’t want to listen to Wagner’s Ring Cycle for your whole life!

D: I like Move on Up by Curtis Mayfield, I never get sick of it, because after the song is done they just play the Bongos for a long time. We have another member in our band, so I’ll chose her song which is Man! I Feel Like A Woman by Shania Twain.

J: He’s putting words in her mouth right now!

MM: If you owned a time-machine, what would you do?

J: Riley would go to the Italian Renaissance.

Riley: Yeah! We’ll stay in the Leonardo Hotel, I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately and I think that it would be so cool to meet that guy.

MM: We asked this question quite a lot lately and no one ever said he wanted to go to the future.

R: Well if you go too far to the future, there will be nothing left. Everybody knows that, so maybe that’s because no one wants to go there.

J: I would keep it a secret and then I would just travel back in time one night a week. And I’d also chose different parts of the world depending on if I wanted a day- or a night-journey back. Well, I’d probably do my shopping then as well, because it was way cheaper back then and I am very much into clothes from the past anyways. Hm, only things for my own benefit. [laughs]

D: I’m not so selfish. [laughs] I would go back to North America before the Europeans came and would tell everybody to get ready.

MM: If you could meet a musician – dead or alive – who would it be?

D: I think it’s gross to meet a dead musician.

J: I want to party with all Fleetwood Mac or meet the Joni Mitchell she was back in the days, because now I feel like she’s not really interested in meeting anyone.

D: It would be nice to meet Stevie Wonder as a child, because I could be like “Wooh, you’re going to be crazy!” and he would probably know already.

MM: If you could transform yourself into an animal, which one would it be?

D: Definitely not a koala bear, because I was watching TV today and they were making awful noises the whole time. So although everyone thinks that they are so cute, they’re bullshit.

J: I have always thought of myself as a squirrel, but I found out recently that they are not very smart… but crows are really smart, so I think I’d like to be a crow.

D: Well okay, I also want to be a crow then.

J: We’d be in a murder together instead of a in band.

R: Maybe I’d be a California Condor, because I think we’re running out of them so if there’s one less human and one more of them I guess that’d be better for the species as a whole.

D: I’d like to see the metamorphose of you turning into a California Condor.

MM: If you could chose an artist to collaborate with, who would it be?

J: I really dig this song! [Only Real playing Yesterdays in the background]

D: Yeah, it’s great. Do you know who’s playing?

MM: It’s Only Real, an artist from London.

D: I’d collaborate with him. We should definitely hang out some time.

J: I’d really like to work with Merce Cunningham, he did that ballet thing with John Cage I like.

MM: Do you have a guilty pleasure artist you only listen to when nobody’s watching?

D: I don’t feel bad about it actually. I like to watch bullshit TV and to listen to bullshit music, so I like all of it. Well, there’s this one song actually… We recently listened to it because I remembered that my little sister liked it before, but all they had was this live version. It’s from a boyband from the UK called Busted and they’ve got a song called Year 3000 which is – especially in the live version – the least ideal thing one could listen to.

J: I feel like I’m often embarrassed when a Beatles song comes on, because I’m always like “I know this song!” and I start singing along and then everyone is like “Yeah, chill, it’s the Beatles”. But I still like it.

Maifeld-Derby-Festival-2015-Mannheim-TOPS

Thanks a lot for the interview, dear TOPS!

Photo Credits: Antonia Verdier, Samira Wacker