Interview with myself

I recently stumbled across a series of interviews by The Guardian, and I got totally lost in reading those interviews for hours. Absolutely fascinating.

Then the idea came up in me to collect these questions and answer them myself, an interview with myself, so to speak. I have done something like this before, but only answers, without the associated questions.

Here is the result:

When were you happiest?

When I was 15 years old and met my great love. Every time we met, looking into her face was like the most beautiful sunrise.

I’m Capricorn, very determined when it comes to achieving my goals. I can only give up when something is not important enough to me, otherwise that’s not an option. That’s why we are together today, against all odds, and there were lots of very hard ones.

Life has done a lot of scars to both of us, but when I see her face, the sun is still rising. Every day.

What is your greatest fear?

I’m more afraid of life than of death. This fact itself sometimes scares the people around me who I care about. I myself am hardly afraid of anything, except for the brutality, ruthlessness and lovelessness that people are capable of.

What is your earliest memory?

There are very diffuse, weird images inside of me, of which I don’t know exactly whether they are reality or fantasy.

What is your most treasured possession?

Objects mean nothing to me, but I love my Yamaha HS 8 studio monitors. They make music sound the way it’s been recorded.

Who would you play in the film of your life?

Maybe the young Gérard Depardieu. I once read that he has become an idiot who drinks himself to death, perhaps because he cannot cope with the loss of his son. He said something about his son’s death that touched me deeply: “My little Guillaume was too brilliant and fragile for this world.”

I find this statement very loving.

What is your favorite word?

Flower.

What do you owe your parents?

Nothing but misery.

What does love feel like?

Frightening.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A rock star, an architect or an archaeologist.

What is your favourite smell?

Fresh-baked bread.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Wine.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“Fuck.”

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Ignorance.

Which book changed your life?

“Fate as an Opportunity” by Thorwald Dethlefsen. I was 17, absolutely clueless, and this book gave me a chance to develop a world view, even if it was a rather depressive one.

What is the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you?

“Without my money you won’t get anywhere.” My father said that shortly before his death. That was just one of many injuries, but it was the most disgusting.

What was the best kiss of your life?

Wilma’s first kiss when she was a little puppy. It went straight to the heart, the purest form of love.

What has been your biggest disappointment?

My family.

Is it better to give or to receive?

Both. But the order is important: always give first.

Which living person do you most despise, and why?

The orange piece of shit that other pieces of shit put on a throne that makes him the most dangerous piece of shit in the world.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

The year 17 A.C., Jerusalem.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?

As great as the temptation is, and believe me, it is very big: nothing. Everything is as it should be. I think one of the most important things to learn in life is acceptance. Precisely because it is also the most difficult.

Where would you most like to be right now?

I have an imaginary place in my head that I’ve been carrying with me all my life. It is a plot of land on a plateau, high above the adjacent sea. In the background – or foreground, depending on the perspective – are beautiful mountains with snow-capped peaks. There is a Roman-style house on the property with an atrium. My retirement home. I would like to get this done before I depart from this life.

Tell a joke.

If a man comes around the corner, the bus is gone. If a bus comes around the corner, the man is gone. If they both come around the corner, the corner is gone.

Tell a secret.

If I tell a secret, it’s no longer one.

Have you ever said ‘I love you’ and not meant it?

Yes. I didn’t want to hurt or was a coward. Or both.

How often do you have sex?

I’m not counting something like that. But it feels just right.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

That I conquered fear.

Which living person do you most admire?

There is not one person I admire the most. I admire every person who manages to do what is right and does not primarily think of himself first.

But I have musical role models. I think the one I admire the most is Mark Knopfler. His ability to write and play music is incredible.

Aside from a property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?

Drums. Drummers have the most expensive passion among all musicians. A cymbal stand costs as much as a guitar. Of course, depending on the model, but you get a decent guitar for a decent cymbal stand.

What would your superpower be?

I already have a superpower. I can create music.

What makes you unhappy?

The incredible amount of bad music that is commercially successful.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

See answer #1.

How do you relax?

With wine and good music.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

As a young man, I thought that was important. Today that tends to zero. In this respect, I’m no longer interested in my external imperfections.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Mark Knopfler, Mike Oldfield, Gavin Harrison, Simon Phillips and my parents in one room. The latter should only listen to what the others have to say. Maybe then my parents would finally understand why I have to make music.

What is the closest you’ve come to death?

I almost drowned in the open sea. I was saved unexpectedly at the last moment.

What is your most unappealing habit?

Honestly, I don’t know. Others can certainly say that better.

What is the top of your bucket list?

I really want to find the time and silence to finish my album.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?

To everyone who needs an apology from me to deal with injuries I inflicted on him or her.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

The abolition of money. Mankind doesn’t need money. The planet offers all resources humans need. We have a distribution issue called greed.

What keeps you awake at night?

The future that people of my generation will leave behind for the next generation.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

This song has been with me all my life. A lullaby for adults. And since I then go to sleep, that fits very well. It may also comfort the participants at my funeral. I don’t know any other song that creates such warmth and peace in me as this one.

How would you like to be remembered?

It is not important to be remembered, only what you do in life should be. As a person I’m as insignificant as anyone else.

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?

Democracy.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Immediately after birth, all sorts of things are expected from you. They break your wings as quickly as possible before you even start flying.

Aunt Berta’s wet kisses on your still innocent child’s face only delight Aunt Berta. Uncle Alfred has a secret boner when you reluctantly sit on his lap. You endure it because there is a little pocket money or small gifts at the end of the evening, because that way you have already been conditioned.

A little later, you are expected to be compliant, shut up and consume. Almost everyone wants you to become someone you are not.

All my own experiences? Yes. 100%.

The lesson I have drawn from this is: don’t fulfill expectations, find your way back to yourself as quickly as possible, heal, become a natural being and do meaningful things.

Thank You!

I’m not huge on Spotify, but every listener and supporter counts massively in my book. A single note can change the life of a single person, this is how I see it. If I have only made one person on this planet feeling better with my music: mission accomplished.

So, THANK YOU ALL (and click the image to check my Spotify artist page)!

P.S.: I know, I’m lagging on the album… it’s coming, no worries. It has to be perfect, you know… 😉

12 Things You Should Never Say To a Musician

  1. So Are You Trying To Be A Musician

    I am a musician. Not trying. Trying to be a musician is watching the first YouTube video on how to hold a guitar. Not what I have done for the past 15 years. That is BEING a musician.

  2. You Sound Like…

    I know you’re trying to be nice by putting me in good company, but musicians want to feel original. We don’t want to hear we sound like everyone else. That we’re unoriginal. It’s fine for you to sell your friends on listening to someone new by comparing them to well known artists, but when talking to a musician, the best compliment is “you sound like YOU and it’s awesome.” Unless you’re talking to a pop producer, then yeah, “it sounds like Katy Perry” is probably the best compliment you could give.

  3. You Should Try Out For American Idol

    I will slap you.

  4. When Am I Going To Hear You On The Radio?

    When your radio plays better shit.

  5. You Should Be On The Voice

    Because that’s a career builder. Right Jermaine?

  6. You Must Love Karaoke

    No, actually, I hate karaoke because I have to listen to you sing.

  7. Can I Get On The List? Plus 1?

    You don’t have $10 to support my music, but you have $50 for the round of shots you just bought everyone?

  8. What’s Your Real Job?

    It’s this little field called music. It’s way more real than those TPS reports you put together for the Bobs.

  9. What’s Your Backup Plan

    What’s yours?

  10. It Will Be Great Exposure

    Meaning, it doesn’t pay. No thanks.

  11. I Have A Great Idea For A Song

    And I have a great idea on how you can fix my faucet better. But let’s keep these things to ourselves.

  12. Free Bird

    That stopped being funny in ’97.

 

Source: 12 Things You Should Never Say To a Musician | Digital Music News

Behind The Mask

This is how I want to remember Robin Williams. Positive and extremely nice.
This is how I want to remember Robin Williams. Positive and extremely nice.

This is not an obituary. There are enough people on the planet that are way better at this. Plus, I didn’t know Robin Williams personally, and I’m not a journalist. But Robin and I  — and so many other people in this world — have something in common, and that’s why this is a call for awareness.

The first thing I had to learn this morning when I woke up was: shit! I’m late. I’m supposed to drive the Missus to work!

Part of my waking-up-process is having a cigarette and checking my phone. Call it a ritual. Next up would be grabbing a coffee from the kitchen. I didn’t get this far. The news that Robin Williams (apparently, unconfirmed while I’m writing this) committed suicide was all over my phone.

Holy shit! I mean: holy motherfucking goddamn shit! How can this happen? How can someone bring so much joy into people’s hearts and be a totally sad man himself? What an actor, what an artist, what a great human being!

Robin Williams was very open about his addictions (cocaine, alcohol) and his depressions. This didn’t help enough, though. And no money, success and fame in the world could help him to overcome his struggles with life.

My distant relative Christopher Vogelmann, who’s a doctor himself (even when he’s “only” a chiropractor), said today:

Mental distress and mental illness affect more people than we readily know. Depression and addiction can hit those who are famous and those closest to us.

It is a sad moment as this great light of comedic genius has left us for a much larger stage.

and

The daily struggles can often be upsetting but the positive potential is equally strong.

We are as a nation ill-prepared to deal with mental illness. We often just stigmatize and warehouse those afflicted with mental illness – something that we would almost never do to a person with a physical illness.

He said it. I feel that this is all we need to know and think about right now and in the future.

I’m suffering from depressions all my life. I’ve had numerous moments when I wanted to end my life, because I couldn’t bear the deep sadness inside of me anymore. A sadness I couldn’t explain, one I could never find out where it was coming from. How do you pull out the rambling weeds when you can’t grab it at its roots?

funkagendaRead my fellow “workmate’s” thoughts on this, too, Funkagenda, who recently came out in public about his problems with depressions, drugs and alcohol.

I got it “under control”, kind of. The sadness and depressions are still there, but somehow I found a way to go through those phases. They have become infrequent, and I got meds that make it easier when they show up. I have had training all my life, to wear a mask, smile, so that no one would ever figure out what’s going on behind the mask.

The wish to just be dead and get rid of the pain then is still there. It’s mainly the responsibility for the hearts of the people surrounding me that keeps me away from leaving the stage of this life.

I’m sure Robin Williams had professional help, meds and loving people surrounding him. For a “normal” person, there would be so many good reasons to just be happy and enjoy life, but for Robin Williams all of this wasn’t enough, apparently.

I’m thinking about “why do people have problems like that” all my life. What the fuck is wrong? What makes people so sick, and why do I suffer from this, too? Is it a general sick world, full of ugliness and hatred? Does this produce so much negativity that some people just can’t deal with it? Are we not made for a society like that?

I remember a statement actor Gerard Depardieu gave when his only son died. It was something like

He wasn’t made for this world. He was a true poet, this world was too much for him. It’s okay that he’s at another place now where he can find peace for himself.

I was thinking that — as sad as it is — he is probably right.

I wish the world would be more lovely and less ugly. I wish people would treat each other with more respect and kindness. I wish money and status wouldn’t have the importance it has, and everyone could just live his life the way he wants without the constant pressure life puts on us.

Maybe there are individuals in this world that just can’t take all this ugliness. Maybe we put our wishes and our suffering into art, for the outside world to understand us better, to express ourselves, because words are so limited.

And some of of us obviously give the funny clown to overact the deep sadness inside of us, or to pretend that this world is an entirely beautiful place. Like Robin Williams.

P.S.: I didn’t write this to jump on a SEO bandwagon. I did it, because this topic affects me personally, and I think it helps others and myself to be as open as possible about it.
P.P.S.: I didn’t drive the Missus to work, the morning was all fucked up.

Update

This is Zelda Williams’ tweet after her father’s death:

twitter.com/zeldawilliams/status/499045688559165440