Hubert von Goisern
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GRENZENLOS TOUR 2002

GRENZENLOS >> Interviews: 1 2 3

Interview with an exceptional artist

Bietigheimer Zeitung 7th June 2002 | Text: Gabriele Szcegulski

He is one of the most intelligent musicians and artists of the German-speaking scene. He combines the concept of "world music" into his songs like no other.

Hubert von Goisern is a man with charisma, who, without seeming arrogant, consistently follows his way. The musicians is coming with his band to the open air in the Ludwigsburg Schlosshof on Saturday, 6th July at 21.00

He fits well with his music, to which he has prescribed his own - Austrian - roots, in the concept of the connecting world music of the Schlossfestspiele. Hubert von Goisern, civil name Achleitner, has becoming a talking point because he has extensive concert trips in Tibet, Egypt and Africa and has a good look at the culture there. He has just returned from a journey to West Africa. Still close to these impressions, he gave an interview to our newspaper.

You have just returned from a tour through West Africa. Does that have an effect on the tour and the concert in Ludwigsburg?

The impressions are still immediate. The current tour through Germany, Grenzenlos, will go on stage as planned. The CD to it will be produced afterwards. There will be the same programme in Ludwigsburg that I have already played in Egypt and Africa.

What will there be to listen to?

About half of it will be the programme I played last year, and the other half the completely new programme. On the whole, our repertoire is louder and faster than before. More extroverted, more danceable.

Is the band the same as with last year's tour?

Not totally, the drummer is now playing percussion and with it is also standing at the edge of the stage, he has more freedom of movement, with it he also has more capacity free for singing, he is a great singer. There is another guitarist and a new female violinist. The only woman who stays with me for a long time is my wife.

Your music is also often called world music. Why?

Perhaps because I travel a lot, expose myself to many other cultures and also want to get to know the musical original circumstances there, want to meet musicians and play together with them. But I stand by my own tradition more and more. The way in which I play music and my rhythm, that come from home, that is me.

No matter whether I play in Dakar or wherever, I have a good feeling even if the audience at first stands opposite with a big question mark. It is simply right for me, I can stand there with self-confidence and say, that is me.

How do the listeners react in these countries?

At first, naturally with scepticism. At least they react, when we play in halls, the people do not know about reacting at all. There sit a few diplomats and they don't know quite what they should do.

The best thing is when we go in where people live. Then they sing along, dance, you get contact. And they recognise that it is my music, just as they have theirs. It is about communication for me, to leave your standpoint and get involved with another without absorbing blindly.

How do these meetings find expression in your music?

Differently. Often I record a song sometime, or compose and then I think, oh dear, but that seems African to me, then I either throw it out because it sounds cribbed, or I change it so it works.

I cannot make African music because I am not an African. I am Austrian, there lie my roots. But naturally these journeys have effects on my music, because they enrich me as a person.

Is it now a big different to play in the Ludwigsburg Schlosshof on the other hand?

Definitely, but we live on exactly that, from the different enrichment through the audience, only so can one forge cultural links, between the people, between the different nationalities, but also social levels. It is great if my music is liked by the most different people. That is my intention, to forge links between people. To recognise, tolerate, their personality with everything that constitutes it. And to try to communicate with them through music.

It is great if my music is enjoyed by the most different of people. That is my intention, to forge links between people. To recognise, to tolerate their personality with everything that matters to them. And to try and communicate with them through music.

That is why I really like this atmosphere. We play at so many different occasions, but to appear at the Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele has its appeal, even though we do not know exactly how the public will react to us. But it is also good, this nervousness before each concert.

Hubert von Goisern - the junkie

Müller for Music October 2002 | Text: Werner Pilz

A few days alone in the mountains - travelling with just a sleeping bag - he does not begrudge himself. Now, at the beginning of October, he is doing a singing workshop with the Wiener Sängerknaben for a few thousand Austrian schoolchildren. "I would like to make a contribution to the barrier that you can only sing if you are really good at it."

Hubert von Goisern constantly makes contributions. Of the most different styles. Among his last records are a collaboration with West Africans, one with Tibetan musicians, then a blues record, just this moment the album Iwasig (Blanko/Virgin), inspired by funk, has been released. He is committed to the alpine folk song as well, with the Alpinkatzen he at one time freed alpine folklore from the reactionary stale air of the regulars. At the beginning of this year, he added a - quite spontaneously organised - musical journey to Egypt, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde to his undertaking. And so on. Is he the Reinhold Messner of folk music, who does not rest until he has climbed every eight thousand metre mountain? "You can count the eight thousanders, there are only 14 of them," says Goisern smiling. We are sitting on a couch in the venerable Bayerischer Hof in Munich. His record company Virgin are celebrating their 20th and he will appear at the concert before Bryan Ferry and Peter Gabriel in the evening. "I have the feeling, that something is pulling me" he continues. "I had to really cut through something so that this pull is gone."

Washed around

Goisern speaks calmly, slowly, concentrated. As a child he had the feeling of not satisfying requirements. He most liked to sit in the forest "just to watch and listen." In puberty, it finally became too constricting in the Upper Austrian homeland. "It drove me out. Since then I have washed around." Goisernish projects almost always arise from meetings with people. From the need to spend more than just minutes in passing, to artistically manifest the exchange. Therefore Goisern likes to travel - alone. "My senses and my awareness are much sharper if I go somewhere where I do not know my way around, where I must listen in to find a place to sleep. Then I begin to take from all sensory resources I have. Perhaps I am a junkie."

Louder, faster, more extroverted

He has exposed the intimacy on the new record Iwasig which Fön and Trad last had. "During the Fön tour I slipped into a new feeling of being alive, I came out of the introverted phase. So I began to write new songs in the break. Louder, faster, more extroverted."

A record has emerged which is strongly orientated in funk. "Ever since I finished with the Alpinkatzen in 94, I have wanted to make a soul-funk record," Goisern admits. "That it took so long, surprised even me." The eight thousanders are also still not all conquered.

"I like Switzerland"

Blick 8th October 2002 | Text: Barbara Ryter | Fotos: Action Press

Zurich - he rocks, yodels and shouts, plays his diatonic accordion like a virtuoso and is also a first class charmer in thick woollen socks: Hubert von Goisern (49)

HvG"Early this morning I bought chocolate for my family at Sprüngli," says Hubert von Goisern (born as Hubert Achleitner). He smooths his full, brown hair and sprawls - agreeably refreshing for a star - on the sofa, in red jogging trousers and thick woollen socks.

Fifteen years ago the pleasant Austrian freed folk music from the Moik-ish Musikantenstadl image with the Alpinkatzen - in 1994 he did the last juchitzer Now he celebrates his comeback. His new work: Iwasig (emphasis on the first i), which means something like "above". "I am a little divorced from reality and loopy when I stand on stage," smiles Hubert. The 'von Goisern' comes from his hometown Bad Goisern - the town from where right wing populist Jörg Haider also comes.

Hubert von GoisernHubert sees himself as a cultural link forger, travels out into the world with pleasure and consistently sings in Salzkammergut dialect (difficult for many to understand). This year 15,000 students in Assiut, Upper Egypt, as well as residents of the slums of Dakar enjoyed concerts. Von Goisern: "I still get goosebumps now when I think about it."

Not just distant lands, but also Switzerland impressed Hubert: "I like Switzerland. You have a privilege because you have proved your own independence. In Austria we are stuck deeper in that respect." He has even visited our regional exhibition with his wife, Hildegard (married three years ago, "simply so") and the children Niko (14) and Laura (9). "I like the clouds in Yverdon the best," says Hubert von Goisern.

The charmer - without a grey hair on his head - will be 50 in the middle of November. His recipe? "I live each day intensively. Whether I will be wiser? No, with age, you simply lose naïvety bit by bit. I have shed my skin many times in my life."

And still the mountain calls

Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung 18th November 2002 | Text: Jens Flosdorff

Grenzenlos: the alpine rocker Hubert von Goisern is on tour again after a long break

When a musician with the attribute "alpine rocker" transports his band to the Nile, in order to try a new programme in front of 15,000 Pharaoh sons, he is either loopy or Hubert von Goisern. The world musician from the Salzkammergut started his Grenzenlos tour at the beginning of March in Upper Egyptian Assiut. "It was quite exotic for the Egyptians," says the experimental bard from the mountains. But he simply wanted to come to the people one time, who would otherwise not have had a chance to experience this style of culture.

Now Goisern is giving concerts again in front of fans who not understand the yodels, but also his lyrics. For six and a half years, Hubert von Goisern's German-speaking fans heard nothing new, at least not musically - until then in July, the single Poika was released. In September the album Iwasig followed. And today he presents his new tour programme Grenzenlos in Berlin. The next day, tomorrow, he stands on the stage of the Capitol in Hannover. Von Goisern, who once made a breakthrough with his Alpinkatzen band with hits like Hiatamadl or Heast as nit, naturally sings some familiar numbers from his albums Fön and Trad, but also lots of new things in the mix with Latin elements.

The long time out has changed von Goisern. He has become thin. His hair is now longer. His long trips which he has undertaken "in order to sharpen the senses", have left behind traces. His music has also developed further. He has stored away experiences from travelling in his subconscious, says von Goisern. At home in the studio, the impressions for example from the USA, Tibet or Africa blended themselves to songs. His Austrian origin works as a corrective. "But it is also always the Salzkammergut which I hear in myself."

Music is everywhere, says von Goisern. Colours and smells also let themselves be translated into sounds. "Every town has its own unchangeable ground sound," says von Goisern. - No, almost every one. Until now he has still not been able to place the individual sound of Hannover, the widely travelled cosmopolitan admits, grinning. "But whoever knows all truths, does not have to reflect on anything more, has nothing more to look for in this world anyway." He sets himself other aims. That many artists freeze in awe before the western world culture fund, annoys him. The composer believes himself to have thrown off the "rucksack of tradition properness". "For me, our cultural inheritance is nothing more than a source, from which I can feed myself or not," explains von Goisern.

Naturally he has helped himself. However, formative for the Grenzenlos programme are set pieces from different world cultures. But the von Goisernish process also externally continuously progresses development. With each tour appearance, his programme turns out more extroverted. The noise and direct contact with crowds of people at the concerts would have made his quieter pieces harder and faster at first. We will see.

After the E-Werk concert...

Soundbase Online November 2002 | Text: SB

We (Eric and I) were punctual and I fought with my - impractical for going to the toilet - overalls, out of which I have to completely peel myself in the bushes, where I half peed on it. It's begun well, but it can only get better, I thought to myself.

I was happy that the E-Werk was so manageable as I remembered it from Mama & Papas and not as big as in my fantasy, since DJ assured me that the E-Werk is really enormous! We strolled to the bar along to a staircase upon which we planted ourselves and where I established that I had - very professionally - left my interview question cards at home. Biro grabbed from the bar, rummaged about in my memory for questions, immortalised on ten beer mats.

Enjoyed the concert to the full, had another quick beer with Erik at the bar, then rang Hannes Heide, who led us through the catacombs into a rather topsy-turvy kitchen with neon lights and beer tables and some people hanging around or going in or out whom we could not place. But I feel totally unhappy here, so I clench my teeth together and wait intimidated and observe.

Hubi came in, sat at the beer table and asked who knew what was on at the cinema - as if we were on a coffee break. After such a cool concert you can't just ask what is on at the cinema, you have to lie with the band in each others' arms and swoon: "My, that was great! Music is my life" ... or something ... The inconsequential twaddle could have easily loosened my jaw somewhat again. You could have easily blathered lively on - but, what's on at the cinema now? Lord of the Rings? James Bond? No idea, I prefer to keep myself out of it and turn myself tensely to Erik and the little mp3 player, which should record afterwards and is not currently doing what I want of it as I press the buttons. The beer mats lie neatly and tidily next to me. Hmm ... beer mats, how professional, but it is all the same to me! It's all the same, it can't get any worse.

For the interview, we briefly change location. The room is well-worn but comfortable. Wallpaper, mirror, two chairs, threadbare sofa, little table. We sit next to each other like two Loriot manikins and I activate my player, which works perfectly with a press of the button - it hears:

What did you think of the atmosphere in the E-Werk today? You seem to have a good relationship with the people of Cologne.

I thought the atmosphere was great. In the E-Werk the people are actually always in a good mood. I know many Austrians who feel happy here; Cologne has something kindred for Austrians.

Your tour began in north Germany. How was it there?

Kiel was super yesterday. Actually I feel completely happy in the north. I cannot confirm that the people become colder the further north they live. You feel like something rather exotic as an alpine person, as you feel in Africa that you are white, but the people are very open.

But that is an extreme comparison, African and north Germany. Does that represent so little difference?

It is simply different everywhere. I believe there is not anything so homogenous as Africa, Africans or Europeans. If you are in Africa or America and think about Europe, it seems like a compact unity, but when you are in Ireland, you cannot infer how the Italians are or the Swiss. Even in the German speaking countries, there is such a bright variety - it is exciting. I stand by both things: to speak another language and to drink another beer or listen to different music I find just as fascinating as the fact that things simply mix as happens now.

In March/April 2002 you gave concerts in Egypt and West Africa and had very intense experiences there. On the one hand it was intensive and moving, but altogether it was also very tiring and partly disappointing for you. How do you deal with disappointments?

I am not protected from having expectations, although that is never good. Hopes are okay, but expectations are good because you are only aware of what is not in your own conception and therefore you overlook many things. Particularly in West Africa there were moments where I was really disappointed and had the feeling that something had been done wrong in the planning of the trip. But afterwards - perhaps it is a special quality I have, that I can only remember the good things, or manage to see everything in such a way that I find it to be positive or stimulating.

Are the things you experienced transfigured in your memory afterwards, or do the positive things actually outweigh them?

I don't think I transfigure things. I am simply a person who thinks positively, an optimist - often in situations where it is not appropriate (laughs).

Hubert von Goisern and Marlene SchuenThat can sometimes be disastrous can't it?

Yes, but I would rather have this type of disaster than live with the attitude that the world is bad and there are just problems everywhere.

Do you still have stage fright before you go on stage?

Yes.

Always, or only in certain situations on tour?

I always have it. When I begin a tour, I already have stage fright three hours before, i.e., when I am playing at eight o'clock I am totally stressed from five. But that then subsides with time. Today was the fourth appearance for this tour and I only became nervous twenty minutes beforehand. But the timespan will then not become shorter than that.

Can you also see stage fright as positive? Does it push you before the appearance or is it overwhelming and tiresome to you?

I don't know. In the first two years as a musician on the stage, I became really ill before each appearance, had a fever, vomited, had toothache - it was terrible. After one and a half years, I was so fed up that I sat down in front of a mirror, put a candle down and spoke to myself: If you are ill again, you will never make an appearance again, because it is not good for you. I was never ill again.

Then you were very convincing to yourself.

Yes, I simply then put the knife to myself. When you go onto the stage you are putting yourself on show, almost as if you are standing there naked. Anything can happen. You can forget the lyrics, the equipment can fail, someone says something stupid in between ... that has all happened and the longer you play and the more you have experienced, the more self-confidence you get, that you will manage somehow. It is an energy that builds itself and I am happy that it is there.

Does this energy always build, or does it also occur that the funk does not come over and in the end you have the feeling that it was not a good concert?

It is very subjective, what you consider to be a good concert. Sometimes I think, today it was not good. And then you get feedback, for example letters from people who have just been to this concert and thought it was really wonderful.

Is it also dependent on the audience, whether or not a concert is successful?

There are are different levels of contact with the public. Sometimes this connection manifests itself very clearly and that gives me confidence on the stage. Mind you, if the audience is sitting in a big hall, it is often difficult to feel the contact with them and then I am often uncertain.

That must be an extreme contrast to your appearances in West Africa, where there was sometimes no stage available at all and you played on a level with the audience, so to speak. The spontaneity of the citizens there especially fascinated you and the fact that it is not all something so great and out of touch with the real world if an artist performs something, because everyone present takes part in the performance somehow. Is it then difficult to play in front of European audiences again afterwards?

No, I know the European audience and you can quickly adapt to them again, while in Africa really everything was totally new and strange. When you are in a different culture for the first time, it is exciting to do your own thing there. In Egypt, for example, there is no applause at the end of a song, or only very short. Although in Assiut everything was very far away - there were 15,000 people there - I noticed that it drifted somehow and the people went with the music.

You compare a good composition with a building, into which the listener goes and in which he can move freely. How does such a building arise and to what extent is your band given a share?

Mostly I work out the ground plan of a composition alone. Afterwards - if you stay with the comparison - the craftsmen come in.

You are the architect, who plans the theory and then everyone takes part in translating it into action?

A melody or a rhythm is not theoretical. There are these cornerstones which I have already placed. And then during the recording or practising process something new arises. Sometimes I can communicate something exactly as I imagine it, but sometimes it is so that the band pull a composition, a piece to their side and interpret it in a style that is not mine. Often I agree to it and say, okay, I will work with it now; we will see what comes out. And if I don't like it, then we simply go back. So the teamwork arises, the arrangement.

You have the requirement of your audience that each person should subjectively read what he wants into your music, or what the individual connects with it. Do you nevertheless sometimes have the feeling that something will be completely wrongly interpreted so that you feel misunderstood, or do you really not mind what the audience thinks?

It does matter to me, but really it must not matter to me because I do not know what the audience thinks.

Have you ever had to smile because someone has interpreted something in one of your songs with which you could not identify at all?

Certainly, I have to smile at each interpretation. If someone hears something in my music that is significant for him and produces a feeling in him, or brings him to a type of emotional depth, I think that is great and that's why I can smile about it.

You describe your new record Iwasig as more extroverted in comparison with the Fön album, which arose from the silence and is therefore rather more introverted. Are extroverted and introverted two sides you still have in you, or did a change take place after Fön?

I think that the introverted also has a little to do with insecurity. They are phases, the coming and going. Sometimes I feel totally happy, in my centre and convinced by myself and what I do. But there are also phases where I do not know whether I am doing the right thing. When you go onto the stage again for the first time after six years, there is also a hesitation there and a "little withdrawing". But at the moment I have the feeling that it is okay and that hopefully I will also make the next productions with this won-again self-confidence with which I recorded the Iwasig album.

Quotation: "I do not want to restrict myself through home-made boundaries, but have freedom to be able to act boundlessly." Do you sometimes have the feeling of being able to take no consideration of your fellow men - be it your band, friends or family - because you feel they restrict your freedom in some way? Or do you make compromises which you have to draw yourself, which would be boundaries in certain ways?

You can look at freedom as endless land that lies before you. Again and again you have to decide in which field you would like to cultivate or build something. And then I must also occupy myself with these areas and cannot just concern myself with them for two weeks and then perhaps stay away for years. There are certain things you cannot avoid. If you live in this world, you must also live with it somehow. And if you live in this society, you must also accept the boundaries which this society set up so that the social cooperation works.

Are there also necessary or productive boundaries which you can accept?

Yes, but this dream, or this utopia that life is without boundaries is - even if I do not do it justice - I am not willing to let it go.

And on the other hand what does that mean for your fellow men?

It means that in the final analysis I am unpredictable. But I confess this unpredictability to everyone and I hope that my fellow men also take this right for themselves. I would not think it good, for example, to bring my children up so that they always have to be calculable. There are things where you follow your heart and you follow somehow. You think it's great and it makes you feel alive. Then, I think, you are a much more pleasant contemporary for all those around you.

Speaking of pleasant contemporaries - have you ever spoken privately to Jörg Haider, who also grew up in Bad Goisern, but otherwise has nothing at all in common with you?

No. I have never met him.

Would you like to meet him sometime, in order to talk to him or to ask him something?

I would not like to say that I do not want to talk to people like Haider or also Bush ... I think that each person is interesting somehow. A private conversation with Bush or Haider (laughs) ... perhaps it would produce something and if not, it doesn't matter to me. Haider's politics are based on the fact that he polarises. If there were to be a conversation with him, I would therefore say that we must not construct concepts of the enemy, but must destruct them.

On your trips to Egypt and West Africa, you unfortunately also experienced aggression in some situations within the population. In hindsight would you say that - related to the values within a society or the population - there must be a certain minimum agreement for international understanding? Can we - we all are so different - find a common denominator and live peacefully alongside each other?

Yes, naturally it is possible, I firmly believe that. But I think that the problems arise in that in this world the rich lay down the rules, which is simply not fair. On the other hand ever greater poverty is developing. The people concerned have no choice and sometimes have to forcefully take what they are also entitled to, i.e. a piece of quality of life and liberty. Something has to change, but such a thing can only grow slowly. It does not happen through a push, because it is through a catastrophe - something terrible which briefly shakes people awake. After the 11th September, people were suddenly on TV who you had never seen before and who really had something clever to say. Since nothing more occurred to those who always say something. Unfortunately these clever people were soon gone again because the more well-known ones then had something ready again and had pushed into the foreground.

Do the rich and powerful have the responsibility to change the world?

Yes, the trade between the first and the third world must be organised completely differently.

What is wrong there? Does the error have its roots in the social system or are humans so incorrigible?

It does not matter which system we have. If you decide in favour of neo liberalism for example, you have to grant it to everyone consistently and you may not say the rules there do not apply to us - we can move freely, but not the others. You could also decide in favour of communism, it's all the same to me, but you must live it consistently.

Are people capable of it? Often it seems to rule out for itself that one person wins the power and necessary influences to change something in the world and at the same time to retain the ideals, which they surely once had.

I know what you mean, but it is there. It is possible and I really believe in the ability of humans to wise up to that! I do not believe, for example, that every politician is corrupt. But sometimes I do think this "political correctness" is almost ridiculous. Nevertheless, everyone has marks on their "clean slate".

Perhaps people like Haider or Möllemann are popular because the population has the feeling that at last someone is saying what he really thinks - they don't give a shit about "political correctness".

Sure, but people like Haider or Möllemann also have their justification and symbolically represent a part of our society. You do not have to regard them as individuals, there are also enough hangers-on. That is why it cannot be the solution to make certain expressions and opinions a "non-topic". Otherwise you leave the field to cheap propaganda. think that the stereotype thinking is one of the great problems in our society.  

We are at the boundary again.

Yes, one lot in this camp, the others in that one. You do not listen to yourself and begin to ideologise everything.

What are your plans for the near future?

I have many plans, but now I must first concern myself with something fundamental because yesterday, Burkhard, the keyboard player, told me that he is leaving. He takes up a key position in the band, so I must think how it will continue next year. I cannot simply replace a keyboard player because many things are cut to him and what he does is too specific. Now everything is open. In the moment when I change a band member, I can actually change everything. Time will tell ...

Do you see this situation as a chance, or do you only have panic at first?

I see it as a chance, nevertheless it is unpleasant.

Is it about the right to incalculability, which you grant to your fellow man?

Yes. However that means that I also take this right and I do not it for me however that I also take myself this right and I do not feel obligated in the face of more.

That will be exciting.

Yes, now I am thinking about what arrangement I would like to appear next year.

Appear whatever?

Yes, I would like that. In addition there are many plans to play at festivals. I would also like to look after these opportunities.

How do you see a perfect day?

A day like today. And then falling asleep with a woman...

Thanks Sandra

My life has become louder

Weser Kurier 23rd November 2002

Hubert von Goisern on favourite folk songs and the influence of world music

In the 90s, the Austrian Hubert von Goisern was in demand in the German-speaking countries with his band the Original Alpinkatzen. At the high point of their success, he suddenly retired, wrote film music (for Schlafes Bruder for example), travelled a great deal, worked with Tibetan and African musicians. In previous years, he then returned - with outstanding success. Our reporter Christian Emigholz spoke to the singer and accordion player, who appears in the Modernes on Tuesday.

The Bremen Pier 2 was sold out weeks before he stopped off here with his Fön tour. Since then, Goisern has remained very productive. Shortly after the tour, the album Trad was released, he gave concerts in Egypt and West Africa and in September this year, presented the CD Iwasig, which he is now presenting on a club tour.

From the Alps out into the world, is that a correct description of your most recent history?

I have always travelled a lot, and with pleasure, but in recent years, something has changed; before, the journey was a part, the other was the music playing. Now the two parts come together, because I have found a self-confidence in my own musical expression, so that I dare to introduce myself. While earlier I always only opened my ears in the distance, but did not play myself.

Are there changes which have begun with the CD Fön and your opening to aspects of world music, or is there a continuity?

I think that there is a continuity. My own sensitivities also just underline certain influences and through that the music changes. Fön was a rather introverted album, because it was composed out of the silence - I had not stood on the stage for six and a half years. In the last year, I have played about a hundred concerts, and during this tour, my rhythm of life has also changed, my life has become faster again and louder. When you stand in public, then there are also a greater gestures again, also musically greater gestured, and so the new CD Iwasig is more extroverted again.

But I feel a continuity, which will then also be influenced through the musicians with whom I work. I am not someone who dictates to everyone exactly what they have to do. I see myself rather as the one who brings out the best in people in producing: what they can do, what they have, what they love.

In the meantime, there was a very quiet CD with Trad, which returned to alpine folk music. Was that an "anomaly" or do two souls simply beat in one chest?

It became clear to me during the Fön production, that I cannot put all my passions on one disc. The spectrum has simply become too wide, and so I decided to handle the folk songs separately, without the demand of modernisation, but also without the demand of authenticity. For me that was an important and exciting production, although all the participating musicians threw their hands up in horror and showed no great desire to record this music. But at the end everything was fantastic, how beautiful the melodies are, and how great it can be to play these songs.

Is Trad also a style of alternative plan to the commercialisation in the style of the folksy schlager programmes?

No, I do not think that the music from Trad is an alternative plan to that. I think that if something in my music cold be called an alternative plan, then it is rather the beginning phase with the Alpinkatzen. Trad is simply my interpretation of my favourite folk songs.

With Iwasig, there are also traditional lyrics again, but here the musical spectrum is greater again: jazz and funk elements, reggae, Latin reminders. Does it flow like that out of your pen, or is there a concept behind it?

It simply happens when playing. With the Caribbean rhythms, it was that I had been to Trinidad and Tobago twice, had my accordion with me and played with the native musicians. At the same time, something happened to me, I experienced my music from a different view.