What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
My father had the wonderful ability to talk about his music idols (Eric Clapton, Gary Moore, Eric Burden, Neil Young) in a very energetic and engaging way. So naturally I got interested in and later fascinated by Rock music. But it was not until I discovered Oasis that I got completely obsessed with it. From that day on (must have been when I was around 14) I have been making music in bands or by myself – which makes it more than 2 decades by now. In 2006, when I was at the university of Jena, I started the band Jovernanté with some of my fellow students. The next two years became a very exciting time where we played lots of gigs and recorded music. But in 2009 we all split ways, became parents or went abroad. It was not until 2018 that we got together for longer period of time to record songs and play gigs. That was about when I decided that I wanted to invest more time into music and start a solo project.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
The new song “Three and a Half Minutes” is inspired by my work as a teacher. Our school is located in a socially troubled area in the middle of a satellite town on the edge of an Eastern German. Most of the kids at our school have just too many worries and problems to be concerned with school at all. So oftentimes I much rather feel like a social worker than a teacher. The songs tries to capture the voice of one of these kids. I felt like most of their problematic and sometimes violent behavior results from a feeling being overlooked by basically everyone around.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
The band that shaped my perception of music the most was definitely Oasis. It was because of them, that I dreamed of becoming a front singer and have the audience sing along to songs that I wrote myself. So whenever I played in bands, it was clear to me that I wanted to be front center of it all. After the turn of the century all the major Indie bands inspired a lot of my songwriting. But also storytellers like Springsteen, Dylan, Neil Young or Johnny Cash had a massive influence. Outside of music I read a lot of American literature of the late 19th century, especially short stories by Frank Norris or Edgar Allan Poe. Some of them dealt with the topic of determinism which had a somehow magnetic power on me. It describes the idea that the environment you are born in is essentially responsible for your path in life. Even though I am convinced that this connection can be cut off, my work and my personal experiences have shown that mankind is often unable to disconnect the background of a person from their perspective in life. Many stories behind the songs I love most are about people’s struggle to cross the boundaries that life has forced onto them and it’s quite often also reflected in my own writing.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
The basis for my music are stories that I or friends of mine have experienced over the years that I now put together like puzzle pieces. Songwriters in my genre tend to look at life from the love / dream come true / energetic point of view, while I sing about being exhausted / struggling with the responsibilities you have / growing into being an adult while everyone expects this process to be finished the moment you become a parent. My influences are the musicians I grew up with and my sound is mostly guitar heavy and lo-fi the likes of which you can find around the end 90s/early 00s.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Albums: Oasis – Definitely Maybe; The Strokes – Is This It?; Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
Movies: The Dark Knight; Trainspotting; Gattaca
Books: McTeague by Frank Norris; Around The World in 80 Days by Jules Vernes; A collection of short stories by Edgar Allan Poe
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I can’t really say that much about recording in a studio, since it’s been ten years since the last time I went there. I do all the recording at home, which I really love doing. Just as much as playing live. You can’t really compare these things because and say which one is better. They both have their pros and cons. Finding the right instrument or chord progression or melody to paint your musical idea with is amazing – messing things up over and over again is annoying. Having people in front of you dancing and singing is crazy cool – carrying your stuff around all day is a pain.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
I got a call one afternoon that the band Garda (an incredible band from Dresden) was playing in our town and that their support had canceled the gig. So, they asked me to open the show instead, which was pretty massive, since I hadn’t played on my own before. So, I already was pretty nervous when I got there. But they guys from Garda were the best and they kind of helped to find my confidence again. So, I went out there and the (seated!) audience was really nice and relaxed. The atmosphere was so friendly that I thought it would be a nice idea to finish the set with something they could sing along to. So, I started playing “Bittersweet Symphony” and was ready to leave a chanting crowd for the main act…until I forgot the second line of the lyrics…that was really embarrassing, and it took me some seconds and caused a big laugh. So at least I left them with a happy audience.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Whenever I write a new song, I get completely lost in it. Once I decide that it’s finished, I listen to it over and over again – until I have too much of it. But from the songs I wrote as Carnival Kid, “Magic Trick” might be the one with the strongest emotional meaning since it deals with the chronic disease my wife suffers from.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Currently I am planning to go on tour in spring 2020. To be able to play my songs live on stage I’m collaborating with my brother’s band “Well-Known Pix”. Also I’m always working on new songs and will definitely release more material next year.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Where would you like to play in the future?
Unrealistic goals: I’d really like to go on a tour across Great Britain. And I’d love to do a bunch of gigs in Asia (I played in Seoul once and had a really great time)
Realistic goals: There are some nice little festivals in Germany with lovely people and a really familiar atmosphere. Would be great to play some of them.
Photo credits: Frank Bohne (1st one), Susann Stezycki (2nd one)
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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