Monday, June 13, 2016

Interview with Axel by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine

Interview with Axel Münzberger by Christian Lamitschka

Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

Answer:  I’m not sure whether “Westcoast-Music” is still a common expression but if so I’d call it “Westcoast Folk Rock” - quite old-school and hand-made!

Lamitschka:  What is your latest CD and how's it going?

Answer:  My latest CD “Tears for Angie” is actually my one and only CD and once in a while I have a few downloads in France and USA. I had some airplay in Bremen-Germany and some in Netherlands.

Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for the CD?  Is there a story behind the name?

Answer:  The song “Tears for Angie” is in fact a true story about a girl I was in love with and who eventually let me fall after a brief but hopeful romantic episode. Since this song is the most haunting title of the album (beside “How could anybody”)  it was considered as the title-song of the album from the very beginning of the production.

Lamitschka:  Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?

Answer:  Yes, I’m a classical songwriter. However I used to play a couple of cover songs which over the years turned into genuine Axel Songs

Lamitschka:  Please tell us about the songs on your album (influences, etc).

Answer:  I will not reveal too many details because one part of the magic of music is the unknown and speculative. But I can say, you can find some nonsense and some very severe content as well – listen, and you’ll hear!

Lamitschka:  What's unique about you that will differentiate you from other artists?

Answer:  I am in a row with these folk-rock-country songwriters who want to tell a story or make a joke or whatever through music. So, that’s what I have in common with others. What is unique about me is certainly the fact that I’m not in a standardized community like the established musicians and bands. That’s why I can cook my own soup! What you hear is 100% Axel!

Lamitschka:  What has been your greatest challenge in music business?

Answer: To accept that my producer overdubbed an electric guitar on a song without asking me before.

Lamitschka:  What moments in your career stand out in your memory as highlights and achievements which you are proud of?

Answer:  The first improvised concert in a Pub in Nyon-Switzerland in 1993 after our lead singer left us a couple of days before and I took his part. The concert was such a success that people got completely crazy and danced on the tables. Even outside on the street were listeners dancing and playing some kind of drums and harps and things…

Lamitschka:  Who is your biggest critic, yourself or others?

Answer:  Professionals only! Normal people would never tell you that you’re doing wrong!

Lamitschka:  Is there anything in your life that you would change if you could?

Answer: Of course, I would play more music and do less business things!

Lamitschka:  What has been the biggest disappointment in your life? 

Answer:  Maybe I tell you in a new song soon.

Lamitschka:  What kind of songs do you like to record the most?

Answer:  There’s no particular rule that would answer the question. Some songs are easy to write, easy to play, easy to record and finally easy to listen. These ones turn out to be the good songs. Others are an entire struggle from the first moment and each time I hear them on my CD I feel bad and ashamed about such a poor work! However, there are always people who would say how much they appreciate particularly this song!

Lamitschka:  What is your favorite song among all the songs you have recorded and what's the story behind it?

Answer:  I think “How could anybody” is at least one of my favorites. It’s about a girl who was with a man for some years and they had plans to marry and to have children, but at the end he left her from one day to the other without any notification. It was like that line in the song: “He left through the backdoor like a dog stealing a bone”. Very sad and disillusioning!
I also like my short harp-solo on the song!

Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?

Answer:  If there wasn’t Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Neil Young and the Grateful Dead I surely never would have become a musician. I mean, these guys are not the only ones who influenced and inspired me, but it was them who showed me the way.

Lamitschka:  As an artist, you so many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what's your favorite activity?

Answer:  Playing with others! Definitely!

Lamitschka:  Before you became a star, were your friends and family supportive or was it a struggle?

Answer:  The closer they are the less they are supportive, that’s a truth! Fortunately you always have some to support you as much as they can. If I play in front of people and there are two or three listeners who appreciate what I am doing I feel good and I get into the mood to play and to sing. The others who don’t care or feel bored, they better go away. But the worst are these ones who don’t stop telling you that they love your music and how great it is that you’re writing songs, but if you ask them whether they like your new CD, they say “oh sorry, I didn’t have the time to listen to it yet”.

 Lamitschka:  Is there any place you haven't played that you would like to?

Answer:  Central Park New York

Lamitschka:  What's your favorite song that you wish you could have recorded?

Answer:  I already have a cover version of Graham Nash’s “Teach your children” and it would be a dream of my life to record it one time and bring it out on CD.

Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine

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