Hubert von Goisern
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LINZ EUROPE TOUR 2007 - 2009

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I've had doubts often enough

Echo 1st May 2007 | Text: Gerti Krawanja

Foreign cultures and bringing people together have become the elixir of life for Hubert von Goisern. The multifaceted artist will now be breaking down the fears of the EU held by people in the east with his newest project along the Danube.

Hubert von GoisernThis year you are going on a ship tour through Eastern Europe as ambassador for Linz Capital of Culture 2009. How are the preparations going?

I haven't done anything else for two years. The idea of doing a concert tour with a ship and musicians from different countries came from back in 1989 though. I asked the manager Martin Heller whether he would be interested in doing something together and he said yes.

What will this journey entail?

I will be setting out from Linz with my new band - musicians from Austria and Ladinia - along the Danube to the Black Sea, giving about 25 live concerts. The whole thing will be accompanied by a camera team who will be documenting the journey on film. At each concert and in each country we will be inviting along local musicians who can play alone as well as together with us. Anyone who desires can participate. I have already been down to the Danube delta and have spoken with many people and done a lot of asking around.

What did you find there?

That despite or because of their poverty the people there have a serenity and good attitude towards life. And they are just as worried about the EU as people here, who are worried that the southeastern European countries will come along and take something from us. In countries such as Romania and Bulgaria for example, which constitute a large proportion of the banks of the Danube, there is great scepticism felt by the man on the street. They say that the EU will make everything worse than the policies in their own country have already.

Will conquering the fears of these people also be a part of your mission?

Yes, because I am a convinced European, someone who delights in every fallen boundary. In the same way that a piece of music consists of small phrases that join together, in the political there is also the family, the village, the country, the nation and continents. But I don't see the need to protect as exclusion. We are part of a marvel and dependent on one another. We must show solidarity.

So the Danube ought to be this link?

Rivers have had an enormous significance for human civilisation since the year dot. Think of Mesopotamia or the Nile. After two side a river has an open end. I grew up on the Traun, but a river like the Danube or Rhine is different again. I've noticed that people who live along the Danube have a certain humility and laid-back nature, something like "being in the flow" and not against it. Because you can't swim against the current for long. I want to capture this spirit and make it sound.

You've also built bridges in music with the fusion of traditions. What does folk music mean to you?

Folk music is something that is handed down, something matured and polished over many generations, sometimes unintentionally caricatured too.

So not a "museum piece" without a connection to the present?

As I said, folk music is something that has been handed down to our time, which must continue to develop. There are so many important insights that have been passed down the generations. The music has developed, the languages, our clothing, architecture. It's exciting when traditions meet and pollinate something like the Occidental harmonic for example, which came from folk music.

But you have also been accused of taking all the credit for yourself with CD recordings of traditional African and Tibet music.

The sources were always given. I have always financed the project by my own means and shared royalties and copyright with the artists. But when my name is on it, it has the advantage of bringing it to the attention of more people.

How would you describe your music?

My roots are in the folk music of the Salzkammergut, that's a special language of sound and melodics. But I have many approaches, whether in blues, rock, soul, funk, pop, or jazz or electronic music too. They are audible attitudes towards life. My music comes from the compulsion to make something new and is the fruit of the way I deal with the world. Not only my narrow homeland belongs to that, but also distant lands, people and their lives.

Is there not a bit of egotism in that?

In a certain way I am egocentric. But not always and not as badly I see in many others either.

Have you ever doubted in what you are doing?

I know the whole bandwidth from disappointment and frustration to self-doubt, I've questioned a great deal and not known how I should judge what I'm doing. For a long time I thought that music was impractical. Less practical than a cobbler who makes shoes in any case. But I know now that you have these phases, like when you're lying in bed with flu. I see the sense of my creativity now.

The concept of homeland must change often through travelling.

There are many definitions of homeland and many are right. For me it is always a bit of coming home, when I go somewhere I've been once before. The more often I'm there, the more I feel at home. But the narrow concept of homeland for me is the Salzkammergut.

Is your authenticity and directness to be ascribed to this "narrow" homeland, or does it have a lot to do with life experience?

I don't know what you need for that. Travelling has always contributed to my insight into life. There are people who travel the world and look for a pub that serves Wiener schnitzel. For me travelling always means the search for the peculiarity, the approach to life that each country has.

In your directness you also requested in an open letter that H.C. Strache not to play your music at any future election events.

I asked him to hereafter refrain from doing so and wrote: "I know of the power of music to open hearts and I do not want to be someone who opens hearts to the poisonous words that have been spoken for many years at Freedom Party events."

How does it feel when someone such as yourself plays their own traditional music in front of thousands of people in the West African desert?

You have dare to do it and go to the boundaries. It's like climbing: in the practice room you climb with a rope, in front of the audience you're climbing without a rope. Singing and playing together is an unbelievable outpouring of happiness, you go on a journey together and leave the tangible world for a while.

Doesn't it sometimes hurt that people don't understand you when you're singing in dialect about relations between people, the consumer society and misunderstood faith?

The point of contact is the poetry of the sounds. But on our Europe tour we will be translating the key messages of the songs into the various native languages. To be honest, I haven't given any thought to what will happen when I go down there and hear the many different languages. If I find an approach, I could imagine singing in Romanian or Ukrainian.

Did you ever aim for the career you now have?

I've always imagined that it would be great to be famous. When lots of people would be able to hear what you write and sing and do.

Musical expedition on Europe's rivers

Südwest Aktiv 27. April 2007 | Text & Photo: Udo Eberl

CONCERT JOURNEY / A Danube convoy is to become a travelling stage for the Austrian Hubert von Goisern

Martin Heller and Hubert von GoisernAt first the concert tour on Europe's river seemed too daring. But the time will have come on 22nd June: the Austrian Hubert von Goisern starts off in Vienna, travelling the Danube down to the Black Sea with changing musicians.

Hubert von Goisern sits in a fairly relaxed manner on the podium in Bayerischer Rundfunk's Studio 2 at the press conference for his mega project "Linz Europe Tour 2007-09". A film has just been played. He was shown with his accordion in a rocking jam session with the musicians from the Moldovan band Zdob Si Zdub, with his dialect hit Hiatamadl in skin-tight leather rather than traditional dirndl. A taster of what the somewhat different folk musician and his new young band can expect on their expedition to the southeast of Europe.

Yet before the dream of a concert ship journey with a floating stage becomes a reality - stopping this summer in Romanian and Hungarian harbours, and in Rotterdam in 2008, or via Neckar in Stuttgart and Heilbronn - there are some financial and organisational paths to smooth first. "I am a convinced European, but I've lost that during the preparations for our project. The EU hasn't lifted a finger to help us along - neither financially, nor with the border formalities," the musician says; the politicians in Brussels are in his bad books.

In the end Hubert von Goisern and his manager Hage Hein realised on their way through the institutions that "we were not able to fulfil the criteria stipulated in Brussels with our partners in the eastern Danube states, because everything there is designed for perfectly functioning western culture offices." Absurdly it would have been much easier to obtain grants on the Rhine and Main. "But we want to get the costs back through ticket sales there", says Hein.

From east to west

The city of Linz has made possible the unusual musical journey of adventure. Linz will carry the title of European Capital of Culture in 2009 and the singer will now be their ambassador. "The project is bringing us a great deal. We can speak of the city in Europe and we want to contribute to that by transporting the images and music from the east to the west," says Martin Heller, Manager of the cultural event "Linz 09", yesterday. At least as important: the result of the two river journeys will be a large harbour festival taking place over several days with most of the artists. Heller is hoping for "a musical mélange, the likes of which you have never heard before."

The second big sponsor is "Red Bull". The entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz was immediately taken with the idea, although Goisern fans are not necessarily the target group for his caffeine drink. "He supports the ship expedition unconditionally," explains Hein. Without financial help the technical costs could not be met.

A tugboat will transport a barracks ship for the 24 member crew and 12 guests up and down the Danube, as well as another ship with a large stage. A large sound system, LED walls for possible translations of the lyrics and film broadcasts, professional light, electricity generators, rehearsal facilities, a hydraulic stage, which can be adjusted according to the quay height of individual harbours - all this will be possible with this river journey. There will be rehearsals during the journey with the musical guests from the various countries, concerts will take place in the harbours - in the east these will mostly charge no admission.

Indescribable

Before the practical work began, Hubert von Goisern set off twice in his own VW bus with a few addresses in his rucksack, driving to eastern countries unknown to him, to spread his idea and find musicians. He returned, a few kilos heavier - "you have to eat and drink at every meeting - and with many experiences. "I was particularly impressed by the journey on a ship that transports corn. This one week was indescribable," says the alpine rocker, who doesn't want to leave the ship during the first 90-day trip. "I'm so looking forward to it."

The crew has undertaken 25 concerts for this summer, as long as the water level is right, nature and the harbour masters play ball and the borders do not become insurmountable hurdles. "I'm already looking forward to the grey areas. What we are intending to do has a little to do with anarchy too", says von Goisern, who wants to take up the challenge and also support the Danube. The river cannot take any more congestion and concreting. "The Danube is a being to me. Every retaining wall kills it a little more."

The 55 year old also sees himself as a political ambassador, but wants first and foremost to spread his music: "I want to our alpine world of sound, our life blues." He will be playing together with guests who have their own authentic musical language. The verbal - some of the musicians do not even speak English - plays a secondary role: "I believe that you can make yourself understood via music." But not everyone with whom Hubert von Goisern wanted to collaborate will be on the boat. When he realised that some only intended to use him to get their foot in the door of the western market, being on the same wavelength was soon over.

The musical captain has barely given a thought to the marketing via CD or DVD. The main thing is that journey is beginning. On 22nd June comes the starting shot for the tour on the Viennese Donauinsel, in the open air and on the river before an expected crowd of 10,000 fans. The musician is longing for the show and the journey: "I want to know."

From Linz to the Black Sea delta

www.cityoffers.de April 2007 | Text: SB

Haindling and Hubert von GoisernAs alpine rocker Hubert von Goisern played himself into the hearts of the fans, as globetrotter he crossed borders and as an artist he broke down musical traditions. In his new large-scale project Hubert von Goisern, who has long left the famous Hiatamadl behind him, is going on a three year river tour as ambassador for the city of Linz, the European Capital of Culture 2009 - and on 29th June 2007 he will be making a stop in the Danube city of Regensburg.

[...] At his stop in the Regensburg Osthafen Hubert von Goisern will be taking on board Haindling, who is this year celebrating his 25 year stage anniversary with his band this year. One can confidently call the musical multitalent and the melodic cosmopolitan a dream team, this combination is always a magnet for audiences. The pair have known each other for several years and have something else in common aside from music: conservation. And so they did not miss the opportunity at the press conference in Regensburg on 19th April to speak out against the further excavation of the Danube and the deepening of the waterway. "It would be roughly the same to make a spoon so big that the mouth has to be operated on, which nobody does," said Hans Jürgen Buchner alias Haindling to illustrate the abstruseness - Hubert von Goisern meanwhile comforted those present: "The maximum depth of our tugboat is about 1.3 metres, so no waterway will need to be excavated for us!"

In this musical experiment thoughts of music are combining with aspects of conservation and understanding among nations - "but the driving force is music", says Hubert von Goisern, who is at times cowed by the size of his project. Aside from the dependency on the weather and the water level the team will also have to take on unanticipated political hurdles, particularly in Eastern Europe. However the musician is especially keen on this part of the tour: a starting point for a concert culture should be made here, outside the big cities too, the events on this part of the tour will therefore charge no admission fee. (Regensburg is unfortunately too far west to qualify for this special service, so payment is called for!)

Hubert von Goisern does not yet want to consider what will come after this mammoth project: "This thing has occupied me for so long that it would be blasphemous to think beyond it!" But he has a vision for the future - even if it's not entirely serious: "It'll be like with the Pied Piper of Hamelin: more ships will come along after every concert and at the end we will all float out into the Black Sea, where we will then found our own republic together..."

The driving force in the river of music

Mittelbayerische Zeitung 20th April 2007 | Text: Angelika Lukesch | Photo: altrofoto.de

Hubert von Goisern ships to 50 concerts in Europe / Haindling goes on board

Haindling and Hubert von GoisernREGENSBURG. Hubert von Goisern cannot say for sure what the driving force is in the music tour project "Ship expedition between the Black Sea and North Sea". Is it music? Is it nature, which presents itself in the flowing water of the river as a symbol of the river of life? Or is it the desire to drift between cities, peoples, cultures and traditions?

For the most part, said von Goisern at the press event for his "Linz Europe Tour 2007-2009", it is probably the music that continually drives him to find new forms of presentation and particularly to make contact with other musicians and the music of other cultures in order to work together with them. But the Austrian is also keen on the Danube. He loves the Danube, the Austrian says, and is especially looking forward to "the Bavarian stretch", "the stretch at Strudengau" and "everything beyond the Iron Gate".

The river will not be damaged

It is important to him to make clear that this ship expedition, which will lead him to at least 20 port cities on the Danube in 2007 and to a total of 50 cities and towns and 14 countries over the three years, will do no damage to the Danube's environment. It is indeed a large converted cargo ship with a hydraulic stage that will be travelling (the concerts take place on the ship, the audience remains on the riverbank) but it has a depth of only 1.2 metres.

"The Danube won't have to be excavated for it," says Goisern. The start and finish point is Linz, Capital of Culture 2009, which is also sponsoring one third of the mammoth ship tour. The second third comes from Red Bull, "the final third we are financing from revenue," says von Goisern. In the eastern countries, the ship, the "Goisern" will also dock at cities where such concert events have never before taken place. There will be no admission charges here. "It'll be exciting," says Goisern, not least the question of the bureaucratic obstacles which remain to be overcome, such as the territory of the ship, which counts as Austrian ground, and so people from countries not covered by the Schengen Agreement may not actually board without a visa.

The expedition starts on 22nd June with a big kickoff in Vienna, then it goes up to Regensburg, where the ship will be anchored in the Osthafen on 29th June. Native musicians will play at each concert location, in Regensburg it will be Haindling. Afterwards, the boat sets off towards the Black Sea, on 1st September the "Goisern" will arrive back in Linz. In June 2008 the ship will set off from Linz in the direction of Rotterdam, once more visiting many cities and countries. In 2009 there will be a brilliant tour finale with all the artists in Linz. To the question of how he feels facing the three turbulent years ahead, von Goisern answers laconically: "Only when it's over will I know how it's been!"

On and with the waves of the Danube

Passauer Neue Presse 20th April 2007 | Text: Edith Rabenstein | Photo: Geisler
Hubert von Goisern

13th Eulenspiegel Zeltfestival: Hubert von Goisern with grand event in Passau

The 13th Passau Eulenspiegel Zeltfestival is expecting a grand event this year: Hubert von Goisern is making a stop on his Linz Europe Tour (together with Claudia Koreck) in Passau (30.6./1.7.). Yesterday the Upper Austrian musician came to a press conference in Passau and presented the project which he has developed under the "Linz 09" Capital of Culture; for 90 days he will travel the Danube and give 25 concerts. The project, for which 3 ships - a stage ship with full technology - will be constructed, is estimated to cost 3.6 million Euros. Hubert von Goisern: "For me the project is a really, really huge adventure with an open conclusion." He is coming together with seven musicians, among them three female musicians from South Tyrol, in a classic lineup (drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, violin - and of course accordion). "The music will be rhythmically-oriented and will be my very personal identity. As with all my concerts, I will put forth my own attitude towards life," says Hubert von Goisern. The concert, for which the audience will sit in the Rathausplatz, will be filmed like the other tour stops and the river journey and will finally be presented on DVD. The stops at Regensburg and Passau will be the only two in Germany. So Till Hofmann, the Eulenspiegel impresario, has managed a real coup!

United in variety

Mittelbayerische Zeitung 14th April 2007 | Text: Mario Kunzendorf

Hubert von Goisern crosses the continent with a concert ship

None of this would have happened if Hubert Achleitner had caught a fish on the Danube two years ago. But the 54 year old musician, known as Hubert von Goisern, didn't get anything. So he had time to think and consequently remembered an idea he had had in Africa in the 90s: "a musical journey to bring people together" on a ship. Within hours came the concept of a passage on the Rhine, Main, Danube, across Europe, Hubert von Goisern explained in the MZ interview. And thus he set off - no, not on the river; "on a long, stony path".

The plan could have come from a textbook on the integration of European nations. For two years Hubert von Goisern, with his new six-piece band, will travel through 14 countries with a barge converted to a stage. Concerts are planned from Rotterdam to the Black Sea, always "at places which have never been played before", always with guest musicians from each of the regions. The start is Vienna, the end point is Linz, which will be the European Capital of Culture in 2009.

The first German landing point is Regensburg on 29th June. Here a grandstand for 3000 people will be erected in the Osthafen, expecting a show from Hans-Jürgen Buchner's Haindling and Hubert von Goisern - presented by the Mittelbayerische Zeitung. The programme consists of a "tasty best of", that is, everything that the multi-instrumentalist has swathed around the heart of folk music over the years - from alpine rock to Caribbean garments. Ticket sales are underway.

"It will be the biggest musical adventure I have to show in my biography," says Hubert von Goisern, who has carried his songs for 20 years from the USA, to Senegal and Trinidad. The Austrian took his accordion to the most remote places, played at 3000m above sea level on the Dachstein, as well as among the chaos of an Egyptian street - you would think that nothing surprises him anymore. If it were not for European bureaucracy.

Jan Figel from the European Commission wrote to Hubert von Goisern in his official capacity: "Projects of this kind can be seen as concrete realisation of the EU motto "united in variety". Jan Figel expresses his interest, wishes the project success and appears practically euphoric. But unofficially "united in variety" comes rather more to: multiplied in simplicity. For the EU is not contributing anything except paper. Or, as Hubert von Goisern puts it: "you don't even get a sausage in a bun in Patagonia" with this letter.

On the other hand bureaucrats are getting involved. An example: formally, the concert ship represents Austrian territory, which is travelling for example along the international waters of the Danube. What happens when they dock in territories outside the Schengen Agreement? Do Goisern's guests have to request visas before they come aboard the ship? Does a military post on the bridge need to protect Austria's border from foreigners? The authorities say: yes.

"The reflex of throwing in the towel is close", says Hubert von Goisern in the face of this "foreign thinking" to him. He has now discovered that fifteen others before him tried a similar project. "Nobody managed it. Now I know why." He is disappointed above all by politics, which "puts this completely political project into touch itself".

Hubert von Goisern is going through with his project. Despite all the bureaucracy: "I want to bring to the surface all the stupidity that takes place there," he says. What will follow he cannot say. "Perhaps I'll never come down from the boat," he grins.

"The aim is never where you are"

Wiener April 2007 | Text & Photos: Alex Schütz

He conquered the beer tents with a shepherdess, now he wants to conquer the Danube with a ship: Hubert von Goisern. In the Wiener interview he talks about career, family and the art of uniting the world with one's own roots.

Hubert von GoisernWe meet in a smoky bar in the 14th district in Vienna. Very unusual, such an ordinary place. The last times we met were on the Dachstein, at 3000m above sea level, in the Egyptian desert in a fundamentalist stronghold, in his recording studio in Salzburg, or backstage during his tours. He has been more talkative or less talkative according to daily mood, nervousness and tension. And today, on a weekend, when his daughter is at the cinema and Dad has two hours free? Now Hubert von Goisern is really relaxed. No tour, no stage fright, no album that needs to be produced. Just time. You can see it in his eyes and in his expression: today the family guy Hubert von Goisern is sitting opposite me, the musician who easily can sweep along 10,000 people and more, is far, far away in his thoughts. Still. Because this year Goisern is undertaking probably the biggest project of his career. And when he thinks about it, then the inner peace disappears...

This summer you're playing on a floating stage, docking in numerous harbours and giving concerts in 14 countries. Quite a lot could go wrong.

Sure, but because so much can go wrong, it almost doesn't matter again. There are certainly these moments where I wake up bathed in sweat and I think: Aaaarrgh - is it all going come off? On the other hand: I now feel sufficient tailwind, that it's a very good feeling. Yes, it could rain constantly during the tour. Yes, there could another flood. But you see: if you look at like that, you would never do anything ever again. Or build a roof over the world.

Or do a comfortable tour in concert halls ...

Nothing that is really exciting is without risk. Take children for example. Mine are now 13 and 18. There has been and is lots of worry, stress, work, life becomes more complicated with them - but: I wouldn't want to miss it. Or a banal example, pets: they are complicated too, that starts with holidays, where you can't really take them with you. Even plants are complicated when you go away. But that's no reason not to get yourself a cat or to forgo a beautiful shrub at home. After all they enrich things - and make a bit of mess. But life is a mess! Everything's a mess.

The next two, three years will mainly take place for you on the Danube ...

... and on the Drava, the Main and the Rhine. Yes, when things get going, then that's where. I have many ideas with my new band, I want to produce again next winter, bring out an album. We'll see. There is this unknown greatness of the musical meeting, I don't know what influences will come to me through the Danube tour. But to be quite honest: I don't want to make a prognosis, because I know that an unbelievable amount is going to happen in the next two years. Then in 2009 all the musicians who have joined the Danube tour will meet at a festival in Linz. So seen, 2010 could be time for a break again ...

Just before your 60th birthday ...

That's in autumn 2012! But there is something that you could top it with. I originally wanted to do a boat tour on the Tanganyika Lake in Africa. I haven't managed that yet. But that was the idea, to do a ship tour together with artists from Sambia, Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania and to dock in the harbours on this enormous lake. But for something like that I would have needed a big African integration figure. Hubert von Goisern can't go over there and come out with the idea that everyone should shake hands. You need someone with the clout of Nelson Mandela or Kofi Annan.

You're not that unknown. Did you want to become famous when you were a kid?

I always wanted to be famous - not become! That I was actually able to manage that was only conceivable as a dream.

Now the waiter, the taxi driver, the doorman all speak to you ...

Sometimes. I like that too. You see, the doorman here, he smiled, he was happy. That's nice for me too. On the other hand his postscript - "you haven't done anything for ages" - was a dampener for me. But that's fine, how should he hear something from me on Ö3 or Radio Wien that is also just a little contemporary. That's no great crisis for me, I don't want to get upset about it, my concerts have still been sold out ...

But?

I just think it's a shame. People sit at the control desks in these programmes, doing things differently from how they talk. Telling stories that if the computer were to program format radio, it wouldn't come out any differently. That used to wind me up. When I look at my kids and their friends, I see that they like listening to lyrics in which there's a bit of poetry, lyrics that are funny. They don't get to hear that on the radio. But the music is there, just as the interest in it exists. But it is of course work to concern yourself with the music scene. I mean, junk, or more obligingly said, there's unnecessary junk everywhere, in the USA, Romania, Austria.

Good keyword. How are things with music from Austria?

We're not talking about Starmania, are we? They can all sing wonderfully well, I find that impressive. But what impresses me more: there's a music programme that lasts an hour and a half - and a whole twelve minutes of that is music! It's like ordering a spritzer and the eighth is mixed up to two litres. The creative element is completely missing as far as I'm concerned. I mean, what are the good voices doing then? It reminds me of Aristotle and Phaidros. Aristotle was to teach him the art of speaking. And Aristotle told him: before you can read, you should know what you have to say - otherwise the best rhetoric is of no use. It's similar with the voices. If you have nothing to transport, then the wagon is just empty. I wish there was a competition for songwriters, a real song contest.

Hubert von GoisernAustropop was what we actually wanted ...

Yes. Austrian music. Bauchklang spring to mind. What they do is very exciting. And Attwenger is are still excellent.

Otherwise?

Otherwise nothing comes to mind immediately. Except for Olga Neuwirth, but that's a different kettle of fish.

Are you an oddball? An unconventional thinker?

No. But I'd like to be. I'm not interested in following the crowd. I don't want to do something that hundreds of people have already done. I want to win new insights. I want to advance something.

You have two children and you travel a lot. How does that work out with the family?

When I'm there, then I'm there. And when I'm gone, then I'm gone. Quite simple. When I'm there, I'm there for the family 24 hours a day. When I'm away I don't ring home anymore after a week. Of course it tears me up at the start when I leave. Every departure is a farewell too. Then you have this queasy feeling, this saying goodbye, this letting go ...

Do you want to get away when you're at home, and go home when you're away?

There's something in that. By definition the aim is never where you are at that moment. I've learned to live with that - as has my sphere, that is my family.

How long can you manage at home?

Well, seven years for example, between 1994 and 2001 during my break from the stage. Certainly, I spent a month here and there in Tibet, or India, or Africa. But most of the time I was at home. Don't get me wrong: I find home exciting - there's always enough to do, quite aside from skiing, or going into the woods to look for mushrooms.

A seven year break from the stage. An extended holiday?

Not at all. I was just in the background. I produced, composed, wrote film music. Finally I was out of the grinder of touring. Touring has something cool about it, because everything is preset and you have a grid of where you are when. You never ask yourself: what shall I do today? All decisions are taken away from you on tour. There's something in that.

Did you never have withdrawal symptoms during this abstinence from the stage?

Certainly this direct feedback was missing. When I produce and compose there isn't this sense of pleasure of the direction validation from outside. But: a tour isn't so comfortable. You sleep on the bus, in a bunk, you can't stretch out, food is reduced to nourishment. Nevertheless, the audience's feedback lets you get to sleep well.