What are the best and worst things about being a musician in a foreign land?
I feel like some of the subtlety and English humour in my lyrics is not being understood, but of course I expected that. It's forcing me to keep lyrics universal and direct, which is good for me I think. I was always in danger of being a bit indulgent, which is nice and poetic sometimes, but really my favourite approach is a simple pop approach... although it's nice to use a bit of everything.
I like being poetic, or at least articulate one minute, and plain dumb and drunk the next. I think most people feel the reality of this, like the comparison of professionalism and clowning - the contrast sometimes brings out the humour in both... the similarities.
I love the inspiration I get from the unfamiliar things I hear, even if it's just names of people and places. Obviously there are lots of North, East and Central European people here, and while there are obviously a lot of colourful and inspirational individuals and communities in London, I've become so familiar with those worldwide cultures that they're not so exotic sounding anymore, but Bulgaria for example? I didn't even know the capital was called Sofia. I think Europe has been musically overlooked recently.
Certainly I overlooked it - I got confused between Vienna and Venice until I went there! From talking to people, the most common response I hear when I talk about London is "Wow, I'd love to go to London, but it's just too expensive." Berlin is full of European artists because it's central, affordable, diverse, and relatively safe.
In London you pay £25 for 3 hours in a rehearsal room; here I pay much less for my rehearsal room that I can go to anytime; I have a frikken key, I can leave my stuff there and go play drums at 4am. The place would be broken into and trashed in 5 mins in London. I'd never met anybody called Lars, Ida or Iva before.
They make interesting song subjects for me. I love the sounds of words - Uberraschung is the best thing I've heard for years! It means surprise - I use it for everything. Most German bands feel they have to sing in English, which is a shame but I can of course understand. So for me it's going to be interesting using some German words and influences in the music I play out here. I'm looking forward to coming to London with my German band...
Finally, for folk interested in your current musical exploits, what is the best way to tune into your material and keep abreast of what you are up to?
Really it's crazy to pretend MySpace isn't where everything happens for bands these days. People try to pretend it's just a link on their website to place them above MySpace - only bands, and I can totally see why that's necessary, but just visit my MySpace and you'll get the best idea of where I'm at. But they're clamping down on links to external sites, so for free downloads of my music go direct to my site at www.thebed.co.uk - selected music from my whole time is free on there.
Also I'm a big fan of Last.Fm, the radio thing on there is like having my own CD collection with me wherever I go. I highly recommend it to music fans and artists if you're not already there. Here are the links, prost!
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