How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
Usually I come up with a melody first and a lot of times I already mumble some words that make it onto the song in the end. I feel sometimes the song chooses me instead of the other way around.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing in songwriting?
Telling a story, either if it is your own or somebody else’s story. Musically I always like it when you don’t really expect what’s about to happen. I always appreciate a nice little twist here and there but then some of the most powerful songs are so simple and I feel that is the real challenge. I tend to think too complicated – sometimes I wish I could tell the same story with less chords. That’s why writing on an instrument you‘re not really good at can be fun sometimes – you feel instead of knowing the patterns.
Are you ever scared of revealing aspects of your personal life/experience to strangers through your music?
Not really. My lyrics many times are really ambiguous to others even though they always seem really clear to me. Even when it is more straight forward and personal I don’t mind. Everybody struggles and everybody experiences similar things – it’s nice to know that you’re not alone with your feelings.
What is the best lyric that you ever wrote (the most meaningful for you)?
Maybe not the most meaningful but I really like the fairy tale story of the river ‘Angara’ that evolves out of the baikal lake. I was really inspired while being in siberia and listening to somebody telling the story and I tried to capture it as good as I can with my song (Angara).
What inspired “The Hill”, your latest single?
A talk I had with a fellow musician while doing my residency at Banff in late 2017. We had a really interesting conversation and the next morning I woke up, looked outside of my studio window into the beautiful surroundings of the National park and wrote ‘The Hill’.
Are you currently working on a release of new songs?
Yes, I’ve been really productive the last couple of months and I will definitely have new music in the fall/winter.
What is the best suggestion your producer gave you?
I am my own producer these days. I never worked with a professional producer on my own music. It’s challenging, but I’m getting better and better just by trial and error – and always telling myself to be patient! – Try and be patient – my suggestion for now (note to myself).
What are your plans for the next months?
Finishing up / Producing all these songs that I wrote so I can send it all away for mix/master and travel again early next year for a longer period.
To conclude the interview a short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes to your mind:
- The best show you ever played: I really don’t know. Still waiting for it.
- The one thing that you must have in your backstage: Silence… just a few minutes before the show.
- The soundtrack of your childhood: Traumzauberbaum & Beach Boys (all of it).
- Your favorite song lyrically speaking, but not written by you: There are too many. Leonard Cohen is great – I love all the early/mid Joni Mitchell records. More recent I really like Adrianne Lenkers words as well as Jason Isbell… too many good ones.
- Last question is “unusual”, we want to know your best relationship advice: Talk… and even more so… always LISTEN to each other.