Hubert von Goisern
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ENTWEDERUNDODER

ENTWEDERUNDODER >> Interviews: 1 2 3 4

New from Hubert von Goisern

Concerto 5/11 | Text: Werner Leiss

Following his Danube tour, which was opulently accompanied by many musicians and his very epic most recent album S' Nix Hubert von Goisern is now surprising us with a more sparsely instrumented album. He also played in provincial guesthouses, the dates only being announced at short notice. For the interview however, we met in a ring road hotel.

The new record can be understood as a reaction to the four years of the Europe tour. A time in which he drew back to make room for other people, for the many guests who were also on the ship. In the past the composition process meant that everyone was included. He wrote the lyrics, but the music was composed together. He sees the new album as "the necessity to let the pendulum swing back in the other direction so that it keeps moving." He wanted an intimate, personal production. He composed everything himself. When it was ready, he then presented the songs to the band for them all to arrange them together. They were to be small, self-contained stories. With this reduction in terms of content and form he had prescribed for himself, the band then reduced more or less of its own accord. "The three girls from South Tyrol have launched their own project (Ganes). They had all counted on being part of it again, it was planned to be back on stage together again. But when I saw that what they were doing was going very well, I said to them: "Don't be cross with me, but I think it makes more sense for you too to do your thing and keep at it. I'm a jealous god and when you play with me, I want you to keep to my dates and tour plans. You can't assume that you'll be able to do your project alongside. It wouldn't have worked that they'd have had a one, two year break and then could have started up with Ganes again. They were a little sad, but I think they also know to value the fact that they were able to cut the cord. The keyboarder from the last production said that he had been away from his friends for too long and the musical world in which he moved and he didn't want to be a part of it any more. So I thought to myself: Yes, ok, now I really have the cool little rock lineup. The rest of the band nearly had a heart attack when we met for the first time. Where are the others, they asked. We're it, the four of us. That won't work with the numbers we play, they said. But they were concerns that were able to very quickly be dismissed. Being a small manageable group makes everything much simpler. It also came from the instrumentation, where I said: I don't want to get in any studio musicians, this sound, any organ. Each of us is a multi-instrumentalist and if we need something, then we'll play it ourselves, but what I'd like most is for us to record it in such a way that we can also play it on stage, without any frills.
I am ever so proud that I succeeded in doing what I intended, because that hasn't always been the case. Something often suddenly grows off in another direction and that's ok too. But I'm pleased that it wasn't the case this time."

Many different styles within the album

"I was torn right in the middle of it all. There are some really very different things. But then I saved myself by coming up with the working title Mosaik. Lots of colourful little stones, each of them their own self-contained cosmos, but which as a whole then create this image that reflects my attitude to life. But Mosaik was no good as an album title, as there are already too many with that name. So then it became Entweder Und Oder. Simply because I couldn't really decide. On the one hand there is this uncompromising punk in it, this anger. But also very personal stuff, and country-style camp fire. The polarity is what makes the album. Like people, the way we all are and carry different sides inside us."

Goisern in the STOL interview: "It has a hell of a groove"

STOL 8th November 2011 | Text: Barbara Raich

He is a world musician and combines rock and folk music like no other: Hubert von Goisern.
The 58-year-old world musician is currently right at the top of the charts.

Hubert von GoisernHe has landed at number one in the Austrian Top 40 singles chart with his hit Brenna tuats guat. In comparison, Hiatamadl, with which he had great success in 1992 got no further than number 2. In Brenna tuats guat Hubert von Goisern once more shows his critical and political side.

Südtirol Online met the Upper Austrian in Bozen and talked to him about his new album Entwederundoder, his place in the music business and the hype around his hit, which "has a hell of a groove", as he says himself.

Your current hit Brenna tuats guat is storming the Austrian charts right now. The song is being played in South Tyrol too. A number one hit for the first time after 20 years in the music business: what does that mean to you?

It's very nice to receive so much recognition. Nothing has really changed in my attitude to life. The awareness is of course greater now. In the past only those particularly interested in culture were aware of my music and my work. Nonetheless, all the concerts were sold out, nothing's changed there. Now everything's running a bit hotter, it's all a bit more fevered and a bit more hectic. But that'll die down again.

Does the success make you happy, or do you think of it as just hype?

It's both. It makes me happy, I am of course conscious that it's hype and that the kind of attention is exaggerated. But that's how the media landscape is: all or nothing.

In the refrain of Brenna tuats guat you sing: "everyone knows that money doesn't grow on trees and you can't eat it either, but it burns really well, but we stoke up the wheat and the turnips and the maize, if we keep on stoking, it'll all go to hell".

It's first and foremost about the very regrettable and dire development of turning food into energy. But not energy that nourishes people and keeps them alive, instead for powering machines. In times like these where people are dying from starvation and malnourishment, burning food and processing them into fuel is simply unbelievable. As responsible citizens we have the opportunity to refuse certain things. My contribution is to draw attention to these things.

In Brenna tuats guat you give the financial world a good roasting, furiously scolding them. Does that go together - critical lyrics and the charts?

Clearly it does. I think that an unfairly low level is assumed of the public, as far as intellectual capacity is concerned. People are very open to critical and profound lyrics or statements.

What makes Brenna tuats guat a hit? Is it reading the minds of the audience?

It has a hell of a groove. It has a really good drive and the content hits a nerve. Many people's attitude to life is condenses into this song. Despite the problem, there is also strength and courage. I think that's why it works.

Some radio stations in Germany have refused to play the song because they say it's too critical?

There are some who have said: we don't need any socio-critical songs at a time like this. It's something that comes from the hippie movement. An absurd thing to say. I can only think that there are certain broadcasters who want their listeners to forget everything and immerse themselves in an idyllic world. But we'd be fooling ourselves. I'm someone who needs harmony too, but completely shutting out problems doesn't work either.

You also cover the financial crisis in the song. What do you do with your money?

I'm not someone who looks for the best rate of return. Ever since I've had money that I've had to deposit somewhere in some form or other, I've made the people who deal with it for me swear that it has to be ethical. If there's something to invest, I invest in things in which I believe. Micro credits for example, or so-called green industries.

You call your band "guerillas of music" ...

There are four of us on stage. It's the smallest band I've ever toured with - aside from the first years. My last ensemble from 2007 to 2009 consisted of nine musicians. An opulence and complexity developed that required a lot of planning. Afterwards I wanted to form a small, very flexible musical unit - a "musical guerilla unit" that can move very quickly in any direction.

You focus on the "less is more" principle on your new album Entwederundoder: a smaller band, simpler lyrics and melodies.

I have left this complexity and noticed while composing and writing lyrics that it's much more complicated to do something simple. Time and again I had to rein myself in order to not complicate things again.

Are you happy with the album?

It turned out the way I wanted and the way I imagined it beforehand: songs that in their simplicity could be performed by anyone who plays piano, guitar or accordion. I wanted this straightforwardness in playing music.

It's turned out to be a very colourful album.

Exactly. That's why the title Entwederundoder too, because there is such a breadth of colour. The working title was Mosaik, because during the development process I saw that there were many colourful, very different songs. Like little stones that only make sense when you see the whole picture, which express my attitude to life. But there are already so many CDs called Mosaik, including one of my favourite CDs by Gipsy Kings (Mosaique, Ed.). Entwederundoder also addresses the polarity and the tension in which we live. For me life is never a decision between "this or that", but instead it's always this duality between "either and or". The tension between the two poles is like a taut string - on which you can play beautifully.

Influences from many musical styles are to be found on the CD: blues, country and reggae too. How did you come to this?

It's part of my musical socialisation, with which I grew up. I had my first epiphany at the age of 16 in a blues band. I realised that there is this freedom in music to play what's happening right now and it's only a question of tolerance to say: that's good, or that's shit. Jazz was the development of this musical freedom. And country is kind of playing that's very close to folk music.

In spite of everything, the basis of your music has remained folk music. What is your approach to it?

Folk music is a natural, evolving thing. If it is to have a meaning in the here and now, this evolution can't stop. The folk music of 100 years ago was different from that of 50 years ago. And it must now be different from what it was 20 years ago. Folk music is always an expression of the feeling of life in the present. I see folk music as a living music. We live in a time when we travel a lot and get to know music from other cultures - that doesn't pass us by without a trace.

Your music is always pigeonholed as "folk rock" or "alpine rock". How would you characterise it yourself?

I don't object when someone says I play folk rock, or world music, or whatever. They are basically all terms that apply to me, but they only represent a part of me. Many of my songs have nothing to do with rock at all. If I can choose - and thank God I can - I wouldn't classify music at all.

So, "Goisern".

Yes, exactly. The first comment from my record company was that I'd put myself successfully between all the stools. I now get the feeling that I have my stool and it suits me well. Sometimes I get up and sit down on a different one. And even if I can't get a stool at times, I make myself one.

How do you find inspiration, from where do the ideas for your songs come?

I withdraw into isolation - I like my little composing house in Goisern. I can stew in my own juices there and enter into a dream and fantasy world. They are days and nights in which I let in everything that comes as ideas and associations. Then I just say yes or no to the ideas. I make a lot of notes, strike out and revisit rejected material. It's vital for me that I handwrite this. I have my studio in Salzburg, where I live with my family.

You have a special connection with South Tyrol: one word - Ganes.

I had the good fortune of getting to know Marlene Schuen (from Gadertal, Ed.) and brought her into my musical world. Over the years, I then included her cousin, Maria Moling, and her sister Elisabeth. We played together for three years. It was a very great gift. Now they're independent and appear as Ganes. I think what they're doing is wonderful. It has led to us parting ways, as they have a lot to do themselves. That's good. I'm pleased that things have worked out for them and that they can make a living with what they do.

Are you still in contact with each other?

Of course we're still in touch. They're currently working on their third CD. We email each other now and again. But I think they're more Facebook-oriented. That's not something I'm interested in. But we talk on the phone and see each other from time to time too. We've also played together at a few concerts in recent years too. We'll see if that will be the case next year too.

You're on tour from January. Is South Tyrol on the tourplan?

Yes, unfortunately just the one concert on 19th October 2012. We'll be playing in the Stadthalle in Bozen.

"Homeland is where you get involved"

Anyone intending to bet on what Hubert von Goisern might come up with next musically
shouldn't reckon on making too much of a profit.
This is a man between alpine rock, Greenland and his new album "Entwederundoder".

Hubert von Goisern

You've just got back from Greenland. What made you take this trip?

An invitation from Robert Peroni, who has been living in East Greenland for almost 30 years. In 1983, he crossed the Greenland Ice Sheet on foot, without dog sleighs or air support. He developed such a love of this country that he has stayed there and is now committed to helping the people. They really live at a crossroads of civilisation. Nature there is very wild, well, actually it's uninhabitable. It's incredible that people have settled there. People have lived from hunting there for many thousands of years. But since the EU ban on the import of seal skins and similar products, the people live on Danish charity. That doesn't exactly enhance their sense of self-worth. The suicide rate in Greenland is very high, especially among young people.

Could you imagine living there?

A woman from Germany said to me there: "I couldn't live here for ten seconds." And I answered: "But you've been here three days already. (Grins). It's all relative. An Inuit who's grown up in Greenland would probably say the same thing if he was taken to her home in Düsseldorf.

Did you make music there?

I did. The actual purpose of the trip was to run workshops with young people on the subject of music and tradition. The language barrier meant things weren't easy, you can't get hold of people so easily if you always have to communicate via an interpreter. But after all, music is a language that gets by without words. That's something I'd like to manage even more on my next visit – actually making more music. But this journey was the first step, with the aim of introducing myself, or getting to know each other.

What music did you use to introduce yourself? You have a massive range!

I took part of my music library with me to show them what's going on in the world. But I also played them underwater sound recordings of whale songs, they've never heard anything like that either. After all, these animals are a permanent part of their culture.

You also lived in South Africa during the apartheid era. Is it a part of you, to go where things aren't just pleasant all the time?

No, I really didn't care where I went then – the main thing was to get away. I wanted a different smell, a different climate, a different language. I only found out about the situation there after I'd arrived.

Am I wrong in thinking that you soon get bored with success? Because if we take a look at your résumé, every time something has been really successful, you've moved on to something else.

On the contrary. I think success is something wonderful. But I think and act on a project basis. I have the idea of a particular sound. After that, I compose and then look for the right people to realise it. After it has become public and the concert tour has finished, it's over for me. Then I say 'thanks, it was great', and I go inside myself and listen to what's appearing that's new.

... other bands live for 40 years on one idea, one sound ...

I can't imagine that they're happy with it. Success alone won't make you happy.

You have the urge to keep creating something new time and again ...

Yes, I can't keep on repeating myself. It's as if you were to say: my favourite meal is Wiener schnitzel. And then you eat it every day. For years. Sometime, you start to feel hostile about it. Before it gets to that point, I stop doing it so that I still have a good relationship with these things later. There always has to be something exciting, something new that stirs the emotions. Where you're afraid that it just might not work. you need that shiver of horror now and again (laughs).

That takes us up to your new Album ENTWEDERundODER (Eitherandor), that's quite different, once again, from the albums before. There are only four of you. And the music is more down-to-earth than the world music that you played before ...

Firstly: I don't think ENTWEDERundODER is down-to-earth or what I did before is world music. On the Linz Tour, the artists from lots of different countries created this aura of world music. But for me, world music is something quite different. For example, when the Hohtraxlecker Sprungschanznmusi (a band from Bad Ischl in Austria, Ed.) play the music that has grown from the landscape, without any frills and without any claim to modernity. That is world music. According to this definition, I perceive myself as a world musician too. The music that's generally described as world music is, as far as I'm concerned, just everyday music, with a little bit of something from here and something from there, combined with the sound of an exotic instrument. Just mixing an element from one tradition with an element from another tradition isn't enough for me.

What about your earlier projects with Tibetan and African artists?

When it comes to the music itself that I made with musicians from other cultures, I've always held back a lot. I played on maybe two or three songs, but then that was it. Basically, I was just the producer, helping at the birth, as it were, so that the musicians' ideas could be realised. It always started with personal access to the people, a sort of mutual curiosity. It was only at the next stage that we moved on to "Let's do something with each other".

So did these projects come about more or less by accident?

I have always looked for people who were exciting. Then the music arose of its own accord.

Is that one of you basic principles, letting life simply come to you?

I think I have a good balance between planning and laissez-faire. With many things, I have a very clear concept. As with my current album. ENTWEDERundODER is perhaps the production that's most in line with my original ideas. Which were to write simple songs that you can accompany yourself in the performance. In contrast to the last production, when I needed eight or more people to put the songs across.

The tavern tour, when you deliberately chose country inns and taverns to be your stage, was a new experience for you. Away from the big halls, closer to the public again.

It certainly was (smiles). I had two criteria for the taverns in the small villages: They had to be at least an hour away from a town that we visit on a regular tour. And communication was only to be at local level. I didn't want any concert tourism. That's why there were only two posters per village. One for the tavern. And one for the village hall. Nothing else. No internet advertising either. I wanted to reach the people who live there. And shall I tell you something? We really had to work hard to fill the taverns, which had a capacity of around 300 or 350 people. I was surprised to find how difficult it was to entice people away from their firesides – or televisions – and motivate them to go to a concert.

You've travelled around the world a lot. You've lived in South Africa, Canada and the Philippines, among others. What is home for you? is it Austria?

Yes, it is, even if it has only now become home. I didn't always have that feeling, even though I did spend the first 20 years of my life here. I was away for a period of seven years in all. And in this time, I became cosmopolitan, that is to say, I started to quickly feel at home everywhere. Because I was never a traveller who was just dropping by, trying out the food, taking snapshots and then going home again. I always lived everywhere. That made it necessary to make these places my home. For me, home is where I get involved. As long as you keep feeling "none of this matters to me, because this isn't my home", you'll always be a visitor. If you give up this distance, then you're at home. Then you become part of society, part of the landscape. In Greenland, I kept feeling like a foreign body to start with. Towards the end, I knew people's faces, you know a bit more about each other, you smile at people. When I get out of the helicopter next time, it will also be a bit like coming home.

Is there a luxury for you?

Yes, the life that I live. Having time for something like the Greenland project. Luxury is primarily a matter of time. It's not about having a bigger television or a more powerful car. It's about being free to be able to take time for those matters and things that really fascinate you.

What's happening after Greenland?

We'll be playing around 100 concerts next year, or maybe 80, maybe 120. And after that, there will be a break again.

What does "break" mean for a person that's always on the go like you?

For me, having a break means not standing on stage, not appearing in public. So it's a break from the public. I can't compose when I'm touring. To create new projects, things need to be quiet around me.

Do you have a dream that you really want to achieve?

There are still lots of ideas. A long-cherished dream is to write an opera, but that seems increasingly absurd to me from year to year. Film is the modern opera, that's what makes my heart beat faster. Maybe I need to make a film one day.

What kind of genre would it be, or what kind of theme?

Any form of art, whether it's film or music, must do one thing: enchant. People must go out differently from how they came in. Enchanted. That's all.

"Fury motivates me!"

News Nr. 42 | Text: Janina Lebiszczak | Photo: Günter Freund

Hubert von Goisern is at number one for the first time with his song "Brenna tuats guat".
In his private life he remains quiet.

Hubert von GoisernHe didn't celebrate, just congratulated his band colleagues. On the telephone. Nonetheless, Hubert von Goisern's joy at the number one placement for his protest song single Brenna tuats guat is great. "I can enjoy the success very much," says the exceptional artist in the NEWS interview. And: "The song proves that something popular can be substantial too."

At the age of 58 the alpine rocker is back on top, 19 years ago his mega hit Hiatamadl climbed to "just" number two. However Brenna tuats guat isn't about thick calves, but about the disappearance of natural resources, greed and ruthless capitalism. And nonetheless even the previously rather dialect-phobic radio station Ö3 is playing the song in heavy rotation.

Will the Upper Austrian now become a flag-bearer for the "Wutbürger" (angry citizens) so often quoted by the media, the ones who revolt against the arbitrariness of power? Goisern: "No, definitely not, even if my own fury motivates me a great deal. Wutbürger - it's just a made up word anyway. The "Gegen-Bürger" (opposing citizens) are much more dangerous, all those who are always contra!"

Pure emotions. Mind you, Hubert von Goisern doesn't want to ostracise anyone, neither the angry nor those at whom they are angry. And he is pleased that the first positive feedback on his song, in which he makes a scathing attack on the bankers, "came from the clerk at my bank of all people". Do his now grown-up children like the song? The musician just says: "They always overhear what I'm producing because we live in a double house." Private life has always been sacred to Hubert von Goisern, who lives in Bad Goisern, which gave him his stage name and was born as Hubert Achleitner. It's the same with his free time. Before he goes back on tour in 2012, he is dedicating himself to work in the house and garden - in particular, the care of his apple trees. Then he will be touching base with family and friends too, because when he's on the road he feels "like someone on standby".

Traditions are important to him, as is Christmas with his loved ones. There's one thing that the determined guy hasn't managed to establish yet though: "For us all to have had a really good sing together. We should probably practise more. Who knows, maybe it'll work this year!"

"Burning food is outrageous"

Kurier 23rd. October 2011 | Text: Daniel Voglhuber | Photo: Petschenig/Picturenews.at

Hubert von Goisern's song "Brenna tuats guat" scales the charts with critical lyrics.
In Germany a few stations are refusing to play it.

Hubert von Goisern

Very critical and more successful than ever Hubert von Goisern has stormed to the top of Austria's single charts with his song Brenna tuats guat. With angry lyrics about the financial crisis such as "where's the money/that nobody can find/why doesn't anybody have any shame/how come these people are always here/who lie, who hide the truth" he hit right upon the mood of many people.

Complaints from the financial community about the sharp lyrics have not yet been made to him. "The clerk at the bank even congratulated me on having hit the nail right on the head." But the musician doesn't reveal who is meant in the song as the crooks who steal and should be caught by the devil. "You can think about it. But the devil's already got them by the balls."

Food

The reason for writing the song was the processing of food as fuel, which he heavily castigates in a verse of Brenna tuats guat. "I think it's outrageous, in particular since there are so many people in the world suffering from malnutrition." Everyone knows that it's idiocy. But it's done nonetheless because it works. "The subject has been preying on my mind for years. But the problem can't be sung away."

In Germany a few radio stations have refused to send the song in to the ether. "There were replies saying that it's socio-critical, we don't need that. But if not now, when is criticism appropriate?", the militant folk and rock musician asks. Did he feel when writing Brenna tuats guat that it would be a hit? "I thought it was a super refrain. But you can't know in advance where a number will then develop."

The current album Entwederundoder is also selling very well. It currently stands at number to in the Austrian longplayer charts. In contrast to the previous album S'Nix and the Linz Europe Tour with their many instruments and musicians, the current record comes across as very minimalistic.

Wish

Accordion, bass, guitar and drums are the only instruments Hubert von Goisern uses with his young band. "It was a new requirement of mine, in the same way many people go to the sea, or up a mountain. After the opulence of previous times I was interested to see how far down I could reduce the music without it becoming cabaret."

From January 2012 it will then be tour time for the new album. Around a 100 concerts are planned before 2013. "Then I want to have finished the project. After that I need a couple of years again in order to allow something new to come to me." There's no danger that he'll be bored with so many shows. "I want to play in a stretch, because I need a long time before I'm warm". The concert business then shuts out almost everything else. "I can't do anything else and play cool concerts, although in the beginning it costs me quite an effort to go out."

Hubert von Goisern: "The no. 1 is like a miracle"

OÖN 21st October 2011 | Text: Bernhard Lichtenberger | Photo: Volker Weihbold

Hubert von Goisern"The devil should catch these crooks", sings Hubert von Goisern in Brenna tuats guat – and in a time of financial crises and takers, says what is on everybody's mind. They say thank you with the number 1 in the Austrian single charts.

"I'm pleased of course", says the 58-year-old in the interview with the OÖNachrichten in Café Valdez in Linz. "You can't programme something like this, but when it happens, it's like a miracle."

A miracle that is new for him. Even Hiatamadl, which conjured him and his Alpinkatzen onto the musical map in 1992 as combiners of rock and folk music and overwhelmed besieged ski huts with a frenzy of fat calves stayed at number 2. But as Hubert says serenely: "I feel basically like a number 1." The albums Aufgeigen stått niederschiassn (1992) and Omunduntn (1994) confirm it.

And yet he is there

The fact that Brenna tuats guat has gone right to the top has shifted how the Goiserer is seen. Up until a few weeks ago there were people who would say to him: "'It's such a shame', that you stopped in 1994." New projects, musical expeditions from Tibet to Africa, freshly extracted traditions, the extensive Linz Europe Tour on the Danube, new albums and well-attended concerts passed them by unnoticed. "Only those with an interest in culture took noticed of what I've done since then, beyond that I wasn't there", says Hubert von Goisern.

For years the Ö3 ignored the singer-songwriter and his colleagues from the Austrian singers' guild. In 2001, when Hubert von Goisern was awarded the Amadeus for his album Fön, he used the stage to reveal the spinelessness of the chiefs of hit radio, to whom the native scene was nothing. He didn't suffer for their not playing him, he says today: instead he "sold out concerts and when on tour every day sent a few thousand people home with a sparkle in the their eyes."

In autumn 2011 Ö3 finally found an open ear again for the album Entwederundoder. Someone decided, we'll try it, and let Brenna tuats guat loose on the audience. The echo demanded a repeat play and so the song was placed on so-called power rotation, night and day. A new number 1 was born.

The song "probably hits on what people are thinking, many feel as though I'm speaking their mind", speculates Hubert von Goisern. "The clerk at my bank congratulated me on hitting the nail on the head. It shows me that we're all suffering under the same situation - only a few are profiting from it." Personally he doesn't feel weak in the face of the crisis: "You have to deal with life, it's like the weather. Here there's inflation, there there are areas of depression and flooding."

Yesterday he accepted the invitation to a meeting with Ö3 boss Georg Spatt. And what does the Goiserer want? "That they don't play Brenna tuats guat as often or for as long as they did Hiatamadl, until everyone's puking because they can't listen to it any more." After all, there are other songs on the album "that are just as cool".

"It's cool, but not just that"

Salzburger Nachrichten 19th October 2011

Top. Hubert von Goisern is leading the charts for the first time. Is that good?

Hubert von Goisern und Severin TrogbacherThere's no Hubert von Goisern. Sold out. "I was happy and it made me wonder too", says Hubert von Goisern, of finding a couple of weeks ago that his new album Entwederundoder wasn't available for a short time. The commercial success was predictable, but not its size: Hubert von Goisern's Brenna tuats guat is number one in the Austrian single charts - for the first time since his debut Alpine Lawine was released 23 years ago.

But he doesn't get the feeling of a premiere at all. "I don't feel anything, because I can't believe that Hiatamadl wasn't number one back then too", he says in the SN interview. Koa Hiatamadl, which made him famous as a connector of rock and folk music, made it to number two at the end of 1992. So far only the albums Aufgeigen stått niederschiassen (1992) and Omunduntn (1994) have made it to number one.

Back then the time was ripe for the combination of rock and folk music. Now the time is ripe for the song Brenna tuats guat. As before great urgency arises from rock and folk music, in the content too: "Wo is des Geld, des was überall fehlt? Ja hat denn koana an Genierer, wieso kemman allweil de viara, de liagn ..." ("Where's the money that's missing everywhere, nobody has any shame, how come these people are always here who lie ...") In honest annoyance comes the description of the helplessness that many feel in the face of the Euro crises, mountains of debt and incompetent politicians. The song is - like the rest of the album - reduced to what is absolutely necessary. It meets the zone in which pop songs ideally live: a catchy sound, understandable, but not brainless in the analysis of a precarious social situation. The song is playing in heavy rotation on many stations, being requested by many listeners - on Ö3 too. The station had mercilessly ignored the Goiserer and other Austrian artists over the years. Hubert von Goisern remains all the more thoughtful in his success: "It's cool, but not just that."

Before the current standing at number one, there was a good decade of total non-observance. At least if existence is measured by a so-called mass market provided by Ö3, the occasional customers that want to follow the trend. "There were always people who spoke to me and said: it's a shame you stopped." They had no idea that after the incredibly successful time with the Alpinkatzen (until 1994) the Goiserer continued recording albums after 1999. He played hundreds of concerts, undertook great musical expeditions. "To the point where I'm number one, it was very nice - and for me it's enough if at a concert with 2000 people a few go home with a twinkle in their eye," Hubert von Goisern says, putting into perspective the new hysteria around the supposed significance of the top of the charts, reminiscent of the Hiatamadl times and the "nuisance factor that now lots of people will come along again who supposedly known me so well all this time".

The current success, as nice as it may be, shows "how one-dimensionally and monopolistically things happen here, because so many only read and believe the tabloids and because they only listen to Ö3". "And if you - like me - don't appear there, then you quite simply don't exist." Now Hubert von Goisern exists again for more than just the long-standing fans. "It's a really good feeling to have done it without having done anything different from usual."

Charts: Von Goisern beats Lady Gaga

OÖN 17th October 2011 | Photo: Weihbold

HvGHubert von Goisern has been active in the music industry for more than twenty years - but until now the Upper Austrian has not managed such a success. With his current single Brenna tuats guat the 58-year-old is at number one in the Austrian single charts, above David Guetta and Lady Gaga.

Goisern has thus surpassed the success of Koa Hiatamadl, which climbed to number two in the charts in November 1992. The current accompanying album EntwederUndOder is already at number two in the album charts and counting. If it manages the jump to the top in the next week, it would be the third number one album in Hubert von Goisern's career after Aufgeigen stått niederschiassen (1992) and Omunduntn (1994).

And burning is still good

Kleine Zeitung 15th October 2011 | Text: Thomas Golser | Photo: Markus Kucera

Hubert von Goisern re-establishes himself once more at nearly 59.

HvG"Where's the money that's missing everywhere? Why does nobody have any shame, how come these people are always here, who lie, who hide the truth? And when they don't get what they want they steal it. The devil should catch these crooks," scolds a certain Hubert Achleitner, better known in the alpine republic and beyond as Hubert von Goisern: the message about "those at the top" went down well and the song Brenna tuats guat went to number one in the charts. Even Ö3, not usually exactly a torchbearer for native artists who sing in dialect too, rediscovered him.

"The dividing line between simple and fatuous is fluid", HvG remarked in the notes for his new Album Entwederundoder: once more he has held to it with the utmost precision, though since the beginning of his career he has been unable to fight against descriptions such as "folk rock" and "alpine rock".

After years of musical world travel and all to opulent projects such as filling the land along the Danube, Rhine and Main with sound on the Linz Europe Tour, the Upper Austrian took the red pencil to himself and ventured to pare himself down: the musician tours in a quartet lineup up to the Baltic Sea and alternates between electric guitar, accordion and trumpet as if it's the most normal thing in the world. Rootsier than ever before and quite often as impressive in his "really great time".

A great deal about the "new Goiserer" is reminiscent of the glorious period of the Alpinkatzen, with whom he was active from 1988 and which he sent into (early) retirement along with Hiatamadl in 1994.

Afterwards the colours of his musical palette became brighter - rock, jazz, funk, folk songs - and now a breath of country. With ease the 58-year-old brings together what was previously only congeneric.

HvG has never been part of the Austrian kissy-kissy society, he never sold himself for the gossip magazine Seitenblicke and retain his credibility. Politically active, he left what was private remain private. Anyone wanting to know something about the person still depends on his music and that's good.

Number one at last

Kleine Zeitung 14th October 2011

Hubert von Goisern has done it: he's at the top of the Austrian charts with his new single "Brenna tuats guat". With "Hiatamadl" in 1994 he made it to "only" number two.

It took a long time, but here we are: Hubert von Goisern is at number one in the Ö3 Austria Top 40 with his new single Brenna tuats gut. It is the first time in the Austrian musician's long career that he has led the single charts in his home country. His legendary Hiatamadl, recorded with the Alpinkatzen, made it to "only" number two in the top charts. Two years later Oben und Unten stuck at number 23. But apart from the success of the critical Brenna tuats guat, Goisern has another reason to celebrate. The current, very rootsy album Entwederundoder is at number two in the album charts.

"It's huge fun to be a guerilla of music again", he said recently to the Kleine Zeitung, "it has a dimension that is very exciting." Hubert von Goisern is back at the top of his creative power.

Hubert von Goisern's first number one

Salzburger Nachrichten 14th October 2011 | Text: kli

Hubert von Goisern has scored the first number on of his long career:
Since Friday "Brenna tuats guat" has been laughing from the top of the Austrian Top 40.

Hubert von Goisern Hubert von Goisern has done it: for the first time in his long career the singer is at number one in the singles charts. His alpine rock polka Brenna tuats guat has reached the top of the Austrian Top 40 in the shortest time. Two weeks ago the song was at 58 in the charts. By comparison: 19 years ago Goisern's most famous song Koa Hiatamadl climbed to number 2 in the Austrian charts.

Constant rotation on Ö3

The singer also has Austria's biggest radio station Ö3 to thank for the unexpected peak in the Top 40: only a few days after the station added Brenna tuats guat to their playlist, the song entered the charts. In just the third week, Hubert von Goisern has now been at number one since Friday. His album Entwederundoder is also near the top of the charts, currently listed at number two.

On tour from January 2012

The musician will be performing live again in just a few months, in January 2012 Hubert von Goisern will start his Entwederundoder tour. Around 32 concerts in Austria, Germany and Switzerland are already set. There's no show in Salzburg on the Tourplan, but a note on Hubert von Goisern's website gives hope: "More dates in the summer to follow"...

Beautifully taut

Badische Neueste Nachrichten 1st -3rd October 2011 | Text: Michael Ludwig | Photos: Alà̀biso

Hubert von Goisern This man doesn't bend and jump through hoops. Quite the opposite. With each year Hubert von Goisern gets more and more straightforward – and at the same time ever more open to influences from every direction.

Von Goisern sits on the BNN canteen terrace next to a metal raven, sipping a coffee. For years the Upper Austrian folk rock musician, now 58 years old, has been striking a blow for the courageous and congenial mixing of different musical styles. In earlier days with his Alpinkatzen, since then with big combos. And now in a quartet. Though Hubert von Goisern says that he could even perform his new minimised songs from the album Entwederundoder (Sony Music) alone on the piano. But he doesn't want to. Nonetheless it seems to be important to him to return to the umbilical cord after many years of extremely complex songwriting. Meaning: writing simple songs that aren't too long, but which can stand the test of time even better. Because that, in not just his view, is the crux of the matter: to compose simple songs that cast a spell over the listener. That's difficult. It's like creating something really tasty from a from a dish reduced to its most minimal form. "The tension makes it", says Hubert von Goisern, "like a guitar string that is beautifully taut!"

Hubert von GoisernHe travelled upstream and downstream through the new European world with a concert ship, filling the Danube and Rhine with the sound of his beautiful songs, dropped anchor at various places and thrilled the masses. "In hindsight it seems a bigger adventure to me than it did before. But after four years I wanted to withdraw and get myself involved." In the meantime there has been a truly refreshing tavern tour. And now there's the new album. "I simply had to jump beyond my own shadow", says the charming artist. "But in the end it turned out the way I imagined."

In terms of the lyrics the new record is at least as colourful as the accompanying music. Indianer addresses the cliché of those "who know no pain", while Halt nit an is about travelling, a song well-suited for campfire romance. Even Heidi gets her share. It's a yodel rock song describing love on the mountain as it would be in a homeland film. Hubert von Goisern remains a thrill. Hopefully for a long time yet!

Origins

Salzburger Nachrichten 22nd September 2011 | Text: Bernhard Flieher | Photo: SN/Kolarik

Hubert von Goisern becomes uninhibitedly personal - and lands higher than ever before in the German charts.

Hubert von Goisern(SN). It's traditionally been more difficult for Hubert von Goisern in Austria than elsewhere. At home the saying about the prophet having no honour in his own country has often rung true for the 58-year-old. It is also difficult to beat his own record at home. His albums Aufgeigen stått niederschiassen (1992) and Omunduntn (1994) went to number one. It befits the internationality that Hubert von Goisern has continually and naturally exuded that his new album Entwederundoder entered the charts one week after release at number 13 - the highest ever placing in the German charts. There's no telling if that's still waves from the Linz Europe Tour. The mammoth tour of 2007-2009 continues to have an effect in the aesthetic of the new album though - as antithesis. Entwederundoder is simply instrumented collection of miniatures. The songs sounds like the counter drafts to the breadth which was played on the Danube and which three years ago found expression in the epic album S'Nix.

"After the opulence, I wanted transparency, songs that were stories in themselves", Hubert von Goisern says in conversation with the SN. Nothing is orchestrally inflated. Only guitarist Severin Trogbacher, bassist Helmut Schartlmüller and drummer Alex Pohn remain from the Danube widescreen band. With high concentration they play little. But the tones that are there develop a strong undertow - be it hard rock, country, blues or ballads and certainly with a sprinkling of the alpine.

With many of the new numbers Hubert von Goisern had "the feeling that I was now allowing myself to do it". In many places a reduction, a naïvety appeared - in restraint and vehemence in equal measure - that he "simply didn't dare to have 20 years ago". "I used to think that many things sound too simple. I wanted to reinvent it all." It wasn't easy to find and allow another form. For a year he listened inside himself without playing a note, listened to what was happening in him. "I had to come to a certain calmness to be able to play completely uninhibitedly." The world that he otherwise sees moved a step away as regards subject matter. The openness for sounds and moods remained.

"It is a very personal album and when I withdraw to my personal things, when it gets intimate, then I certainly push the world further away." He does not share the view that as an overall sound the album sounds like annoyance with the world, like a sceptical, distanced view of a tumultuous world. "It's not a renunciation of the world, not a denouncement. It's rather more an attitude that says: 'leave me in peace'." It won't happen. About 100 concerts are planned for next year. A few of them in Austria - one of them an open air in Salzburg's Old Town.