Quarantine Q&A Vol.1 #4: Operation Offbeat

Hamburg, Germany. 18th October 2019. 2Tone 40th Anniversary, Roddy Radiation & The Skabilly Rebels live at Monkey Club, supported by OPeration Offbeat.

Operation Offbeat was founded in 2016 by Hamburg based guitarist, vocalist and band leader Max Beeger. Operation Offbeat is Eike Twesten – Guitar / Vocals, Richard Smith – Bass, Tobias Vervoorst -Drums, Johannes Witte – Baritone Sax, Carina Rieper – Alto Sax and Oliver Thiele -Trombone. This band will remind any listener and lover of Ska of Madness, The Specials, Motorhead, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. On August 7th they released their album “Your Idea of Luck” which can be listened to on Spotify. They are also planning to put out an album in early 2021.

MR: Introduce yourself in 6 words or less.
OO: We are more than Ska!

MR: During the Covid-19 Quarantine, a lot of people spent time doing things they normally wouldn’t have done, did you pick up any new hobbies or learn any new skills?
OO: Sadly no; I just gained weight! What I’ve done is writing, I was making good use of the time to write songs like a teenager again. Screw around on them until the feeling is right, take the extra time for the little thing. I personally always had to squeeze in writing and producing between work, uni, family, and -until now- gigs. And I sometimes think I had unlearned to judge a song by how comfortable I feel performing it. I’ve written way too many bad tunes before, trying to meet what I thought of as quality standards… The music I’ve written in the past 6-7 months is rather heartfelt and down-to-earth, and I can’t wait to record and perform it live. Apart from music, I’ve rediscovered other small things you’d usually lack the time for…Gaming; for instance, I’m back into Final Fantasy now- also reading and movies, book wise I like history books more than novels, and when it comes to movies I’m into science-fiction, fantasy and horror.

MR: What do you miss the most about touring? 
OO: The excitement. That feeling when you meet your mates and get on the bus, hit the road, the jokes your mum would slap you for… Getting into the venue, meeting the other bands, hang out backstage, perform and afterwards the bar chats. Music is my way of getting in touch with people, I’m usually not that much outgoing, but when touring and gigging I get into the right mood automatically and it just works out. So it’s the chats that I miss most.

MR: Do you have any Post-Quarantine plans?

OO: We’ll release a new album in early 2021, and as I don’t assume we’ll be gigging that soon again, we’ll put more time and attention into song videos. We’ve got new partnerships with graphic artists Mary-Lou Ploss (check her out on Instagram and Bernd Muss, and I’m excited to see how they visualize the new tunes- I do not give them too many instructions, they more or less get the tunes and a few keywords and then do what they want. Keeps it exciting for me! My only personal wish for the future is to leave the stress behind, even when life goes back to normal. I totally forgot what it’s like when you’ve got no one sitting on your back, and I like it.

MR: Whats one personal item you absolutely can not tour without?
OO: When we toured, we mostly did it the DIY way, so I’ve leaned to sleep anywhere, eat anything and like everyone. The latter was the toughest. I think I’d always want a camera with me. Touring is such a cool break from everyday life, and looking at the pictures would always remind me of the good times (luckily my mind would erase most of the not-so-good-stuff over time). It also helps you remember where you’ve been.

MR: What are the Top 3 artists you are inspired by?
OO: The E-Street-Band for their seemingly endless energy and their visible joy of what they do. Jason and the Scorchers for being the most amazing live band of all times, and Anvil for standing power beyond good and evil.

MR: Any words of wisdom for someone who may draw their inspiration from you?
OO: Mean what you do, be passionate about what you do, but keep the ability to laugh about yourself at the same time. Self irony is not the weapon of the weak, it takes strength to laugh about yourself every now and then- I wish for you it’s usually not necessary, but when it is, don’t let the others come first.

“Until then this is what the world needs – in addition to hand sanitizer – right now: Ska and again Ska. Fast, life affirming skanking.”


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