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Oskar Schuster: "Live My Dream As A Free, Independent Artist"

Published October 16 2014. Win a "Sneeuwland" CD signed by Oskar. The first two readers who send an e-mail to mario(at)50kmusic.com will get it directly from Oskar.

  by Mario

We've featured Oskar Schuster when he funded his album "Sneeuwland" on Sellaband. Now he's on Pledgemusic with his current crowdfunding project - his third album to be released in May 2015. I talked to him about the Pledgemusic campaign, his upcoming album and what he's busy with at the moment ...

50K MUSIC: It's been about half a year ago when we talked last time. What have you been busy with since then?
Oskar: It was quite a busy time. Shortly after the release of my album „Sneeuwland" in March, I started to work on a piano solo EP which I released in July. I also made two music videos and was busy with promoting and distributing my music and piano sheets. As I do everything on my own, there’s a lot of other things I have to take care of apart from just creating and recording the music.

Read more: Oskar Schuster: "Live My Dream As A Free, Independent Artist"

Willie Stratton: "Great Feeling To Get Feedback From All Around The World"

Thanks to Willie Stratton for taking the time to answer ... I know he's touring a lot at the moment. And a big thank you to Ma Stratton for putting us in touch with Willie. :-) Published July 25 2014.

  by Mario

A little more than a month ago Willie Stratton & The Boarding Party have completed the funding for their just released album Deserter on Pledgemusic. I talked to Willie about the Pledgemusic experience, the new album and their plans for the next months ...

50K MUSIC: For a start, who is Willie Stratton? What is The Boarding Party?
Willie: I am Willie Stratton! I'm a 22 year old singer/songwriter, and the Boarding Party is a group of mean string pluckers that I play with. We've got Dave Fultz on guitar and baritone guitar, Grace Stratton on bass and occasionally smacking the floor tom, and Patrick Murphy on the drum kit.

50K MUSIC: Where do you come from? What are your (musical) roots?
Willie: I come from Bedford, which is a Nova Scotian town in Canada. It's nothing too special, just a suburban area, but it's nicely located on the harbour. My musical roots come mainly from American folk music. When I was younger I was strongly influenced by my Grandfather, who played piano and basically anything else he could get his hands on. I was also a huge fan of Woody Guthrie, and basically anything I could find that Alan Lomax recorded. I try to do what those old songsters did with a bit of a Canadian twist.

Read more: Willie Stratton: "Great Feeling To Get Feedback From All Around The World"

The Year of The Firehorse

This interview has originally been published on September 24 2011.

  by Mario

Music magazines mostly search for comparisons when they try to describe a musician and her music: "... She sounds like a mix of someone or other...", "...she's the new long-time-no-hear...". I hate this hunt for analogies. Anyway none would fit in this case I think. Leah Siegel (with her band Firehorse) goes her own musical way and it's a real pleasure to listen to her (their) upcoming album "And So They Run Faster". I asked Leah about the funding on Pledgemusic, the album and her further plans...

50K MUSIC: For all those who don't know you yet (if there's anyone at all), please tell us something about Firehorse. Where do you come from, what are your roots?

Leah: please refer to the appendix fig. 1

Read more: The Year of The Firehorse

N.I.K.O.: "Freu mich schon wahnsinnig auf das nächste Mal!"

Danke an Niko fürs Beantworten der Fragen. Veröffentlicht am 19. April 2015.

  by Mario

Ende März haben N.I.K.O. auf wemakeit erfolgreich ihre Tour durch Österreich einschließlich zweier Abstecher nach St. Gallen und München finanziert. Ich habe mit Niko, dem Frontmann und offensichtlich Namensgeber der Band über das Crowdfunding, die Tour und die sonstigen Pläne der Band gesprochen ...

50K MUSIC: Erzähl uns erst mal etwas über N.I.K.O. Wo kommt ihr (musikalisch) her, was ist eure Mission?
Niko: Grundsätzlich bin ich vor einigen Jahren den Weg als Rapper unter dem Namen N.I.K.O. angetreten, hab bei Freestylebattles mitgemacht, Songs geschrieben und zwei Alben rausgebracht. Seit Herbst sind wir eine Band, die N.I.K.O. heißt in der Formation wie wir jetzt sind. Drums, Kontrabass, Keys, Gitarre und 3 Backgroundsängerinnen und ich.

50K MUSIC: Ende März habt ihr auf wemakeit euer Crowdfunding für die gerade abgeschlossene Tour erfolgreich beendet. War das eure erste Berührung mit Crowdfunding? Wie habt ihr die Kampagne erlebt?

Read more: N.I.K.O.: "Freu mich schon wahnsinnig auf das nächste Mal!"

The Imaginary Suitcase: "I'm An Old Fart And I Love It..."

Laurent Leemans of Belgian band The Imaginary Suitcase answered my questions via e-mail. Thanks Laurent for this. Published November 08 2013.

  by Mario

A while ago I've discovered the music of The Imaginary Suitcase which affected me in a curious way. When you listen to their songs you maybe understand this. It's also the reason why I asked Laurent Leemans, the musical head of The Imaginary Suitcase, to answer a few questions about their work ...

50K MUSIC: Who is The Imaginary Suitcase, where do you come from, what are your roots?
Laurent: The Imaginary Suitcase is a moniker for the music made on his own by Laurent Leemans, Belgian citizen currently living in Tubize, a small town approximately 30 kms southwest of Brussels.

I have been playing music since 1990, first in a two-chords-punk band named Moïse & les Manches de Pioches (we were not even able to cover a Ramones track…), then in an arty-post-punk sextet named La Vierge du Chancelier Rolin that had great potential and attracted some attention in Belgium but which egotrips and bad management killed by the end of the nineties. Meanwhile, I had joined Ceilí Moss, a folk-rock outfit that started as an average Celtic band and evolved into, to cut a long story short, a mix between The Pogues and Louise Attaque. This band is still alive and kicking and organizing a special tour for its 20th anniversary in the autumn of 2014.

In 2009, I decided to record some songs that were not selected by Ceilí Moss (too quiet, most of the time) and see what would happen. I had good reactions, so I decided to take this experience a step further, and further, and further…

50K MUSIC: You've released your current album "Full Moon Fever" in early September. How has it been received by your fans?
Laurent: Pretty well. In fact, I expected so little of this project that the smallest bit of attention I get drives me nuts with ecstasy ;) Seriously, I got mostly good reactions, for which I’m thankful! When you release an album, you discover people are actually quite nice and wish the best for you, which is a serious contrast with everyday life.

50K MUSIC: ... and how about the critics?

Read more: The Imaginary Suitcase: "I'm An Old Fart And I Love It..."

Blaudzun: "I Believe An Artist Should Take Risks To Produce Art"

Thanks to Blaudzun for taking the time to answer my questions. Blaudzun will be on tour through Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands from Oct 23 and you can get yourself (+1) a spot on the guest list for a gig of your choice ... we give away 2x2 free tickets to those (two) who are the first to email to mario(at)50kmusic.com ... so hurry up and get your tickets. Photos: top by Andreas Terlaak, below by R. van Vliet. Published October 18 2014.

  by Mario

In May this year we've added Blaudzun's latest album Promises Of No Man's Land to our Just Discovered section. Now he's about to tour Europe over the next months. I've talked to him about the album, playing live and a bit about his view on music crowdfunding ...

50K MUSIC: I guess the first thing everyone will stumble over is the name Blaudzun. What do you have in common with a Danish cyclist from the 1970s?
Blaudzun: I have nothing in common with the guy except that we both love cycling. I'm a big cycling fan. I go to races and watch the classics and the big tours like the Tour de France. I fell in love with the sound of the word Blaudzun when I read about him and kept it as my stage name since. It's not a tribute to the rider.

50K MUSIC: What would you regard as your musical roots? Are there any musical role models?
Blaudzun: As a child I grew up with Dylan, Paco de Lucia, Johnny Cash, opera and lots of spiritual music. Later on I discovered The Beatles, Bowie, Nirvana and lots of hip hop and metal music. That was quite a defining period for me I guess.

Read more: Blaudzun: "I Believe An Artist Should Take Risks To Produce Art"