Hiya Herald K, thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
Thank you for having me around for this chat!
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
I’ve made that ‘decision’ a couple of times actually, both after witnessing special concerts. One time was after seeing Leonard Cohen live. In a haze, after that concert, I proclaimed to myself a dreamy ‘I wanna do something like that!’. But on a later occasion, after having watched a gig in a smaller setting with songwriter David Olney, I told myself a more realistic and maybe more convinced ‘I should do something like that.’
Can you briefly introduce yourself and tell us a little about your musical project(s)?
I’m essentially a solo artist writing, composing, playing, and singing my own songs. But I’ve been helped by several different musicians on this latest album. And when I play live I often have one or two people join me also. But I keep all of that fluid and flexible. The three persons I’ve played with the most on stage and on recordings would be Stephan Steiner (violin, accordion, nyckelharpa, concertina, flute), Othmar Loschy (harmonica) and Lina Louise (vocals).
Name me your 3 favorite Albums.
‘Oh Mercy’ – Bob Dylan, ‘Acadie’ – Daniel Lanois, ‘I’m Your Man’ – Leonard Cohen
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
‘Blue Suede Shoes’ by Elvis Presley steered me into realizing that music is something magic, that it has some x-factor. But that was at the age of 8, long before I became a musician myself…
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
I just try to create songs, then work on putting them out into the world in the best shape I can. There are certain things you cannot control once they’re out there. At that point some will think they’re too short while others think they’re too long, some that they’re too sad, and others that they’re too happy. Hopefully, some will also feel they’re the right length and mood… Personally, I feel I’m progressing, but I’m probably not the best judge of that…
As you develop as an artist and develop using social media, in what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
Probably the best thing is going out there and playing live. There’s a limit to how far one can expand on most of those social platforms, especially with the kind of music I make.
Tell us two truths and a lie about you.
My grandfather and uncle were sailors. Rome is my favourite city. Whisky does me a lot of good.
What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?
I subscribe to the one about the gods conspiring to make Odysseus wander for 10 years before reaching his home after the Trojan war, and a few others like it…
What was the worst experience on stage?
My first one.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.
I like golf on TV.
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
I often sing about stuff that’s thousands of years old, and I combine unlikely sources of inspiration, like for example Hank Williams and Charles Baudelaire.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
Yes! We have a new song coming these days called ‘Echo’s Song’, which is a duet I sing with Lina Louise, and where we blend the unusual combination of nyckelharpa, piano and acoustic guitar. All folks involved on the recording and production of that one seem to be quite excited about it… There’s also a full album not too far away. It will be released in May.
Talk me through the thought process of creating new tunes.
I tend to be a words-first kinda guy. Melody mostly comes after the words. Often there isn’t much thought process when creating the essential part of a song, but rather flow or intuition or whatever one ought to call it. The thought process seems to come more into play later, when polishing it and perfecting it. That part is more rational and methodical.
What was the recording process like for this current album project?
Quite secluded. Lots of the parts were recorded during the pandemic. I laid down my basic stuff first. Mixed it a bit, and then started receiving parts from the other musicians by transfer to my computer. It was easier than all meeting in a room.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing tunes for this current album project?
I probably learned most about mixing, as that was something I hadn’t done much before. I had the privilege of working hands-on, in a studio, with a good pro here in Vienna, Robin Gillard, on mixing the album.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
It probably a bunch of tiny things, but at some point, you just have to draw a line and finish it. Perfect is always less interesting anyway…
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
That the full album, ‘Mythologies’, scheduled for release in May, is gonna have a bunch of good songs on there that haven’t been released yet! Can’t wait to put that thing out as a physical item that will sound a lot better than on a computer, and have a cover and a backside and an inside and a design. It will be something to behold!
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📸 Credit – Funky Eye