1) You have a new album on the way, a follow up to “Afghan Hounds”(which was recorded in New York). Could you please spoil some details on your upcoming release?
It’s true I am currently working on a new album. Over the last two and a half years I wrote about two dozen songs, of which around ten will end up on the forthcoming Boo Hoo album. The songs are loosely centered around the feeling of loneliness and how to find grace in it. The characters in there are fictional and archetypical modern loners, like the driver, the olympic athlete, the assassin and the junkie. I’ve been listening to a lot Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon lately. The two of them have very different approaches of characterizing their songs protagonists, and I was aiming at mixing the honest earnest Springsteen language, with the sometimes non-sense and sharply funny Paul Simon way of telling stories. So that’s what you can expect. I want to to record with Brian Speaker again, who produced my last album “Afghan Hounds” in his studio in Brooklyn. He’s one of the great producers for acoustic folk music with a crisp lifelike classic sound. That’s what I am going for. I am planning for a release in the fall of 2014.
2) Your songs are mostly about simple everyday things, is that a coincidence or is it that you find the small everyday things more fascinating than deeper and darker moments?
I think the deepest and darkest moments there are, are in the smaller things. At least as far as I can understand and describe them. Take the supermarket , which has continued to be a topic in a lot of my songs in different ways over the years. You go there to buy some flowers for your sweetheart. They’re colorful, nicely arranged in the display and symbolize a lot of beautiful emotions you want to express. The moment you hand these store bought flowers over to somebody, you become them. You share your feelings through them, and put yourself in there. You’re sweetheart takes out a vase and decorates her space with your feelings. And until they wither they stay there as a reminder of your love or compassion. How beautiful and deep is that? At the same time, these flowers got picked somewhere in Africa by badly payed teenagers, preserved with pesticides, colored with artificial spray paint to look fresh. There’s a lot of unfairness and fake aspects to them, that reside in them along with your love and compassion. At the same time. My music is not political at all, but I think it’s one of the deepest realizations I’ve had: The most beautiful conditions exist alongside the most horrible ones, so close to each other. And it’s okay somehow. It has to be for you to live were you aren’t incapable of acting. My songs are about people realizing exactly this from different points of views, points in there life. Sometimes overwhelmed with touches of criticism, sometimes just embracing it. Nevertheless they never cease to be amazed by what they see and realize. I guess, that is why I like to write simple melodies and preserve a naivety in the sound and arrangments.
3) You are currently getting ready for a European tour. How is that going?
We are in the early stages of planning a tour. I am going to team up with Ariel Sharratt and Mathias Kom of the canadian Band “The Burning Hell” to tour italy and greece in february and march of 2014. Earlier this year we found out about our appreciation for Bruce Springsteen and his music. We knew of our mutual appreciation as musicians and friends before, so it was about time to do something together. Of course we’ll bring a lot of Bruce Springsteen covers on the stages, as well as our own songs. I guess we’ll not do it the usual way, where we are performing as two single acts, but as a trio, playing the songs together, band style. Over the winter we will rehearse and eventually record a tour EP, to bring on the road. I am really looking forward, because I feel I will learn a lot. Approaching the Springsteen songs together with Mathias and Ariel who have inspired me through their music so wonderfully over the years is really something special.
4) Did you ever have any unpleasant expeirience while touring?
I tend to see even bad things really positively after some time passes. That’s just how I tick. I like to learn from bad things while there’s something to learn, gain epiphanies or a deeper understanding and then leave it be and focus my attention on beautiful things. There was one moment on my most recent tour though, I still don’t know, what to make of. It happened during our set in Krakow, Poland. There was this one moment in a lot of Boo Hoo shows where Toby, Deenah and Brian would come up on stage and sing my song “Madonna’s Greatest Hits” with me for a birthday boy or girl in the audience. It’s a birthday song and usually an ice breaker because of the improvised interaction with the audience. So we had picked a birthday girl from Krakow, and played her the song. She was happy, we were too. Everything was basically like any other night of the tour. But suddenly these two older guys walk up to the stage, position themselves right in front of us, really close, gave us the evil eye and: The finger! This was totally unexpected, and while we were singing this happy song with a simple and naive touch to it, these guys were basically threatening us in in the weirdest way possible. The minute or so it took us to finish the the song with these two drunk, staring guys in front of us was really uncomfortable. When I write it now, it sounds kind of funny. Later us musicians had a fun time talking about it too. Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all, but definitely weird.
5) And a serious one, which do you prefer, cats or dogs?
Some of my songs have cats in them, and some have dogs, some both. These animals are a reoccurring topic in my lyrics, probably because I grew up with both around, cats and dogs. I’ve known cats needy as dogs and dogs living more of what you’d call a cat life in terms of freedom and independency. So as a hobby zoologist I don’t have any preference. But as a connoisseur of funny internet videos I’d have to say, I absolutely prefers cats. I am crazy about this japanese tabby. His name is Maru and his passion is jumping in and out of boxes in the most clumsy ways. I could watch him for hours. Sorry dogs, but none of you has offered me that kind of joy yet. Cheezburgers forever!