Friday, 2 December 2016

"I wanted to tell people about fantastic music" - Interview with fellow blogger Christopher Groß from

Sometimes you find the most enthusiastic music lovers just around corner! So it happened just recently that I met this blog post's protagonist Christopher Groß via a friend. Chris is running the amazing German music blog, which is doing exactly as its name promises: making you discover new, handmade and exquisite music and gigs from promising newcomer bands well worth putting on your playlists. All hand-picked by Chris himself of course.

And with Chris being just a around my corner here in Munich, I am even more happy to promote the great work of a great blogger from the neighbourhood - with this lovely interview! Be blown away, folks ;-)

Chris, how did you get the idea for What were your reasons
for founding this blog portal?
Music has always been a part of my life. From childhood on I was influenced by various musical styles. I loved the music of Tina Turner as my mother is a huge fan. My father has always been more into rock music so I discovered The Sweet, Led Zeppelin and many others. Later on at the age of 18 I often spent nights listening to Online Radio Stations with my best friend Christian. We were always looking for new music and recommend it to our friends. These were the times when we had to order the CD’s in America or even in Japan as there were no possibilities to get it in Germany. Most of the bands weren’t even listed on Amazon in Germany. So over the years I felt more and more like I have to tell the people about the fantastic music I discovered on the internet. That’s how it all started. In 2014 I decided to start a blog but I had no idea for the name. One day at work, the name “museek“ came to my mind. I checked the availability of the domain immediately and registered it. The same day I started creating a website and a month later it went online.

… and more than 2 years later you reach almost 5000 unique visitors per month. That’s pretty amazing for a hobby blog! What can those users discover on museek? Which music-seekers will be chuffed about your articles and are there some who won’t find what they were looking for?
First of all, users can discover music that’s hardly played on the radio from bands that are not that well-known, yet. I guess everyone who is open minded for new music, will find something that he or she likes. Ok, maybe fans of German Schlager might have problems finding something as this is a musical style I don’t really listen to.

Still, the musical styles covered by museek are very multifaceted – from Electronic
to Punk. Is your personal taste in music as comprehensive? Apart from German Schlager, is there another kind of music you also do not like?
Actually there is a lot of music that I never thought I would ever listen to. My taste of music has always been influenced by the bands that my friends listened to. I never really liked Rap or HipHop for example. I’m still not into House music but in general the musical styles covered on museek cover my personal taste in music. I would never write about a band or an artist whose music I don’t like.

Reviewing bands by their publications (albums, EPs, promo material, …) or by their live gigs – what do you think is more fun?
I think it’s more fun to discover bands by their live gigs as the performance can differ a lot from the album or the EP. Not everything that sounds good on an album sounds good at a concert. For me it’s very important that a band or an artist can stir my emotions during their concert.

I totally agree with you! 

On the other hand however, it is much easier to review bands by their publications, as most of the bands that were reviewed on museek haven’t been on tour in Germany for a while or have never been, yet.

Alright, so after all, what was the greatest thing ever happening to you during your career as a music blogger?
Well, a lot of great things have happened during the last three years. About six month after starting with, I received an email from a former, still quite famous, German soccer player, saying that he really likes my blog and that he would like to invite me to his house to get to know each other. I wasn’t quite sure if this wasn’t just someone joking on me at first, but it was really him and we had a nice conversation in his living room for almost two hours. That was very awesome as I’m a huge fan of him.
Two years ago, I discovered a very talented German singer called Nicole Cross on YouTube and wrote an article about her. More than a year later, Nicole covered a song by Adele and even Ashton Kutcher liked and promoted it. I wouldn’t say that I have been the first who discovered her talent but at least I discovered it.
In 2017, is (for the first time ever) one of the tour presentators of a German band called Schafe & Wölfe. I got very excited after seeing the museek logo on flyers and posters.

And with all those interviews and reviews, what was the funniest/weirdest interview you have ever conducted?
The interview with Tim Wheeler from Ash was very funny. We talked a lot about his band and music in general. He’s a very nice guy and we laughed a lot during the interview.
Once I had an interview with Brian Fallon (Singer of The Gaslight Anthem) and I really thought that my questions would be very creative as each one of them contained the title of a song from his recent album. It went totally wrong. At almost each question, he pointed “that’s not what the song is about” and it seems like he was a bit pissed. It ended up with an “off-script” conversation about Oasis and Noel Gallagher (whose concert I visited the day before) for almost 30 minutes. And, I never released this interview on museek…

What would be your top three favourite bands you would be keen on interviewing?
There are some many bands and artists that I would love to interview so it’s not that easy to name only three. Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty, Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails or Mirjam Weichselbraun (a former MTV host in Germany) for example. I really would like to talk to Marilyn Manson as I think that he’s a very interesting, clever and well educated person who has a lot to say about everyone and the world. Noel Gallagher is also on the list. I am a great fan of his music and I really like the way he talks in public. He is not going to mince matters. Number 3 is Hayley Williams from Paramore. I think she has a great personality and a good character. I guess it would be much fun meeting her.

Hayley, Noel, Marilyn and the others: If you read this, please do not hesitate to contact ;-)

Chris, would it be a future option for you to go into business for yourself only with your blog? Or would you say, blogging is less fun once you *have* to do it to earn money? By the way, the latter is also my personal opinion about music blogging ;-)
Actually I wanted museek to be completely different from what it has become over the years. The first idea was to create a website like MySpace or Bandcamp, where musicians and bands can upload and sell their songs. I have to say that I only have poor programming skills and the risk of failure seems to be too high. It’s still a dream to monetarize museek in some way but I am very happy with the situation right now. I have a secure income by my full-time job and in my spare time, I can do what I love: listening to music and tell people about it.

Well said!! So, what can your readers expect from museek for 2017 – any specials, etc. coming up?
As before, it’s always my ambition to discover new music and that’s what I am trying to do in 2017 as well. There are so many undiscovered musicians and maybe I will discover “The Next Big Thing”. Who knows…
There’s another very ambitious idea: I would like to arrange a little “museek festival” in Munich but at the moment that are dreams of the future. Maybe it will happen in 2018 but I won’t promise anything right now.

Good luck with that, Chris! I will be there for sure ;-) And thanks for the amazing interview!

Thursday, 3 November 2016

“Covering songs never made any sense to me” – Interview with Dominik Ramelsberger

One of those really gifted singer-songwriters that pull the audience’s attention like a magnet as soon as they play their first chord is Dominik Ramelsberger, solo-artist from Traunstein. I was lucky when I accidentally saw him at Cord’s Open Stage in Munich for the first time and even luckier, he gave me the following interview – some insights in why there is nothing higher than the live feeling on stage, nothing more exciting than singing in various languages and nothing more boring than covering from others. Pure musical spirit from Bavaria!

Make sure to check out his Facebook page as well as his videos (e.g. Gfei fo da weid or Reiß di zam or One more booth)

Thanks for the good talk, Dominik! And for you, my dear readers, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy

Singer-songwriter Dominik Ramlesberger

Dominik, when did you start making music and what are your musical influences?

If you ask my Dad, it was always my destiny to become a musician. He announced my birth to his friends with: “A guitarist will be born!” He is a hobby musician, he has a daytime job, but music is about the biggest thing in his life. Apart from his marriage. He always wanted me and my two brothers to be musical and he sometimes sang with us, but there was no pressure.
It is not easy to say when I really started my “career”. As a child I had little interest in learning any musical instruments, I loved singing, performing and making up songs, but learning to play other people's songs and musical notes seemed incredibly boring to me.
When I was about fifteen years old, my dad gave me his old, first ever guitar. At first I didn’t really like it, playing was pretty hard. Also covering songs never made any sense to me.
As soon as I knew some chords, it became better. Now I could just write songs that were harder to play in order to improve my guitar playing. I actually was never much satisfied with my songs though and I very seldom wrote them down.
When it comes to my influences, I have to admit that I am probably one of the worst music fans who ever existed. I mean there are a lot of musicians I have a deep respect for, but I can not name them or their oeuvres consistently. I am just not good at that.
Also my biggest influence is probably my Dad, who has folders full of songs he wrote and who, as a child, I always wanted to be like.
But then of course, as a teenager I was sure I would never be like my parents. And I liked hip hop, heavy metal and electronic music - which my Dad never cared much about. He likes Jazz mostly. But if you are a musician, I think, there is only good music or bad music - you don’t really care about the genre.
Most important to me is a nice groove. And something weird in it, something interesting, like a strange dialect or accent or language or a special instrument or sound.

So what are the inspirations for your songs’ lyrics?

Breakups mostly. But also fear. Like, when I am afraid of something, I write a song to comfort myself. That should probably also work, when I am looking forward to something but most of the time it is fear, I think.

So far you are a solo artist. What are your reasons for not founding a band? Would you feel limited in your creativity and freedom to perform whatever tunes and text you like?

Well, it is hard work. To form a band I mean. Unless you have a lot of friends who are musicians too, which of course you can never have enough of :).
I used to have bands with my friends back in the days, but we were never that good and for the most part I think I was the only one who took it serious.
And yes, I would feel limited in my creative freedom. I am very, let’s say, “unstable” when it comes to my taste in music. One day I’d love to play in a rock band, the other I like Jazz better or I want to try something completely new. But I mean, if the band is good, it is probably worth it.

Dominik Ramelsberger

You perform some of your songs in English and some in Bavarian Dialect - do you have a favourite “language” for each of your songs’ styles (eg. ballads in English and the faster stuff in Bavarian)?

That's a very interesting observation. I am a language enthusiast, indeed. My lifetime goal is to speak seven languages. I do speak English, French and German, also some Italian but not very good. If you count Bavarian as a language, I am at five right now!
I started to write songs in English. The fact, that I was exploring a foreign language while producing poetry with this, always seemed quite appealing to me. But English is also a very musical language and has a great vocabulary.
With Bavarian it’s quite the opposite. Some years ago it was considered really old fashioned and backwards thinking if you spoke dialect in Munich, but I always loved it. It is my mother tongue, I grew up speaking and hearing it and it just feels the most natural to me. This might also translate when I write music.
The great thing about it is, when it comes to poetry, many words offer variants in pronunciation. In Bavarian dialect you “vocalise” the l’s for example, but every region in Bavaria and Austria has their own way of doing it. The small differences of the way in which people - and also myself - speak, always fascinated me.
The one problem with Bavarian is, that many of my friends do not speak nor understand it. When I write a song, I always have someone in mind who I sing it for, this can be someone fictional or someone real. I don’t really think about what language is better for which song, it’s all about the imaginary audience. I tried to write some songs in French for example, but my imagined French audience is very strict, and none of them is any good actually.

You played a number of live gigs already, filled with enormous musical talent and passion (if you ask me!) - still you “only” have 80 fans on Facebook and apparently no homepage - how come? Would you call yourself an “offline” talent?
Yeah, might be. But also, I am just really bad at promoting myself and don’t really like doing it. I mean, I am probably as addicted to the internet as everyone else in our generation, but it does not feel revolutionary and fresh anymore as was the case seven or eight years ago. I mean I remember it felt really important when we created our first MySpace fan page with my band back then....
Maybe five years ago I was like “look at all the good stuff happening on YouTube! I wish real live was that exciting”. Now that changed completely for me. But it was a process I guess. Becoming part of the singer-songwriter scene in Munich played a part in it. Travelling also was important.
Sometimes I miss living in the present I guess. Everyone seems to always need to record it on their phone, if they live through something extraordinary. That might also be why I do not enjoy recording as much. I certainly prefer touring and playing small gigs. I really want this right-now-right-here feeling that only a live gig can deliver for me.

What are your musical plans for the Christmas season and for 2017?

I am playing one gig on November 11th in the Nax bar in Innsbruck. It’s a program where me and my dad play songs of mine and of his, that was pretty cool last time.
And there’s a Brettl Broadway coming next year on January 18th. That is an evening for Bavarian music, organised by a singer songwriter friend of mine, Dane Diredare. The last one I played was in spring this year and it was really good. It was with Veronika Hörmann, who is truly amazing and Hundling - also pretty good. So I have huge expectations for the next one! But you never know with those singer songwriter evenings everything is possible, it might be really bad, I will try my best at least.
The rest of the time, I am going to play open stages in Munich occasionally, Friday night live in Cord, International Songwriters Evening in Heppel und Ettlich and WeltBühne in Eine Welt Haus. Really looking forward to all of it!

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Thank you for the music - Goodbye TXFM! Long live the Phantom!!

“Don’t be sad that it’s over - be happy that it happened!” – quite a true saying indeed! And today I was hearing this saying more often than ever before. From DJs. On the radio. Actually on THE radio station for good quality music, if you ask me. Dublin’s TXFM formally known as Phantom105.2 is going off air today, leaving me and the other listeners quite sad I would say ;-)

So I am dedicating this small blog post and playlist to the great people that made TXFM/Phantom what it was: the source for discovering great, handmade music, the smile on my face on a rainy day, the warm-up for Saturday-nights out, the companion for stressful as well as boring days during my studies and in work-life later on and last but not least THE soundtrack for my life in Ireland back in 2008.


Goodbye TXFM - Thanks to Elaine Doyle from Riot Tapes for the pic!

I got so much inspiration from this unique, refreshingly non-mainstream radio station: for blog posts, for playlists and for events (remember Phantom First Friday for instance??) – I am wondering if I can ever find a good “substitute” for if which is just as fun to listen to….?

Anyway, to celebrate (yes celebrate) the thouroghly great times, I had listening to your programmes I’ve put together a playlist of my top10 songs I encountered on TXFM/Phantom for the first time. And it goes without saying, they all made it to my collection afterwards! Most of them are actually from 2008, so call them outmoded, if you want to. I call them brilliant ;-) Here we go:

  1. dEUS – The Architect (“I won’t throw myself from the pier” – This song has a history in being able to encourage me where no one else could)
  2.  Hybrasil – God Bless the Devil (I was amazed to actually hear their tunes on the radio, as before I just knew them from smashing live gigs)
  3. Hot Chip – Over and Over (When I hear this for the first time, I thought they must be covering from Hybrasil ;-))
  4. Beck – Dreams (My No1 summer hit in 2015)
  5. Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Posses Your Heart (a song about missing one’s love – totally hit me after my first few months abroad – always go for the long version!)
  6. Jape – Floating (There are no words to describe it, just Jape.)
  7. Liam Lynch - United States of Whatever – (WTF, just WTF?)
  8. LCD Soundsystem – Drunk Girls (a very true song ;-))
  9. Jack White – Love Interruption (master piece)
  10. Blossoms – Charlemagne (actually quite mainstream but it still brought me through some rough times)

Maybe you also share great memories connected to these? If so, please do share them in the comments!

Stay tuned!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Get Classy, Get Loud – A Soundtrack for all Peaky Blinders

Yeez, when I saw the first episode of the British series I was flattered from the first minute on – not just by the authentic atmosphere or by the great acting (Cillian Murphy!!), but even more by the brilliant music all this is perfectly enhanced with. The time set in England after the First World War does not at all clash with the rocky, punky soundtrack with tunes from today’s musical idols. Even more, this actually is the perfect combination to establish this amazing, sometimes self-ironic atmosphere throughout the whole series.

 The soundtrack is mainly influenced by bands like Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (who provide the theme song “Red Right Hand”, as well as several  background songs in each episode), The White Stripes or The Raconteurs (Jack White being a band member here as well).
Anyhow, loving this series and its music, I also put together a small soundtrack for it – adequate additions, if I may say so. Representing some more of my favourite bands and all carefully chosen to get you in the Peaky mood ;-) Actually, since I know the series, I already had pictures of the Peaky Blinders in my head, when listening  them.
So here we go, songs for drinking, loving, hating, looking cool, smoking cigarettes, polishing guns, rumbling around with style, mixing up towns, having power, losing power, getting dirty, getting clean and everything there is in between ;-)

Feeling Peaky already? Let me know your thoughts and thanks for tuning in!

Monday, 25 January 2016

A word about music critiques. And very hard work.

Just recently I found the post below on the Facebook page of Irish singer-songwriter Johnny Rayge/(whom you know from here). I read this and thought "Wow! What a brave and very true message to post! And really bolstering words for all those real artists out there". This is why I wanted to share it with you.
Johnny published a new music video recently - for his supersmooth tune "Parisian Skies". As for every honest artist, critiques are welcome, of course, but one of  those critics took it a bit to far. His Facebook post turned out to be a plain insult. Actually I personally felt offended by that, remembering all those virtuous music artists I promoted here and elsewhere knowing about their hard work and their deserved success which is based on JUST that. Sweeping this off with some easy-spoken nasry words is not just poor, but also very rude and disrespectful. I like to think about myself as a music critic as well, however I hope I never-ever have or will insult any musician like this :/
"Hi, it's actually really tough to post this one, as its a response to nastiness, and I think it's important. As an artist all my life I've worked hard to be honest as a worker in my crafts of music and words. The hours, huge time, the energy, opportunity costs, the actual monetary costs. I wrote, and then took many years and many recordings with many people to complete PARISIAN SKIES, a song that means a great deal to me. I then had to wait two more years to have finance, energy and time to produce a video, an original piece of art in another form for that work. Many people were involved in all processes. And I thank them.
Then artists have the toughest challenge, the courage to share their private souls, expose their work to a critical world, to be accepted, maybe loved, yet maybe equally, and it's part of life, rejected or disliked.
However I repost this for all to see
to show young and burgeoning artists how the pure meanness and begrudging hurtful insults of some should never force you to desist in your passion, your craft, your life and its work.
Many will try to hurt us, the sensitive souls who slave at the coalface of Art, we must not desist. Creation is flowing in my blood and is my life. Stand up, stare them in the face, smile, let them pass... Continue, and do what YOU can.
Love and peace to all who return it, and equally to those who do not. Find your way.
Hate eats the hater not the hated."

In this sense, plese keep in mind: sometimes, if you can't say anything friendly about someone else, it probably is better to say nothing at all. Anyhow, please do let me know your thoughts ;-)

PS: In case you are wondering - this is the video / song the whole fuzz was about. And I am really happy it already has more than 8,000 viewers on Facebook :-)

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Interview with Jane Doe – Noisy Crumb’s Girl Power Weeks

Three girls, three stars, loads of glitter and ass-kicking punky rock tunes – this is Jane Doe. The Würzburg “bad girl indie rock” trio – as they call their style – just got everything you need for a fine pogo party with friends: their beats, voices, melodies and pure party attitude literally move the crowds on their gigs. They will make you stamp your feet, shake your hips, sing along and circle put as if there were no tomorrow. Don’t believe me? Just step by on one of their next live gigs and you’ll see for yourself.
And for now, have fun reading this interview they gave me. I am very proud to present Jane Doe and their new album “Freak Out” as the culmination of my Girl Power Weeks! And look, even Jem found a good mention here ;-)

Jane Doe band from Würzburg

How did you originally get together as a band?
Each of us always has played music for herself. Besides, Ronja and Claudia already know rach other from their childhood and school time. We’ve got to know Uli, our drummer queen, on a concert of a band we’re friends with. We arranged a date for a jam session the same week and it just fitted perfectly.

I am also wondering about your band name – after all “Jane Doe” is the English equivalent for “it could be anybody”. To be honest, you don’t sound like anybody and I have the impression you never intended to sound like anyone could. What is the story behind your band name?
When we started to write our own music we were about 16 or 17 years old. At this time we were not sure about both the "identity" of our music and our own identities. We absolutely didn’t know how our music would develop. Meanwhile we simply don’t want to be pigeonholed and also have understood that our music is continuously developing just like our personalities. Consequently, the name “Jane Doe” worked out for us quite well. For us Jane Doe is not the nameless “could be anybody”, but rather gives us the freedom that we can by anybody and we can do everything. Maybe today we are punk, tomorrow we could be folk…who knows what comes next?! ;-)

And what is the story with the glittering stars that spangle your faces? I personally was reminded of the 80s series “Jem and the Holograms”, when I saw it the first time, not sure if this was your intention ;-)
(Laugh!!!) Although we sometimes have pink hair and sparkle a lot on stage, we have nothing in common with Jem, but the love for music. Although it wasn’t our intention to remind of her, it is a nice attitude ;-)
In the beginning we didn’t like to be reduced on the fact that we are three women on stage and do “girlie-rock”, until we realized that this could also be an advantage for us, as “the eyes judge before the ears hear”. So, as a combination of defiance and the game with the stereotype, we started the sparkling glitter-look. Actually this turned out to be absolutely helpful as an eye-catcher - first to get the audience’s attention before we convince them with our music. Unfortunately, performing music mostly is not only about the music itself but also about entertainment, show and self-staging.

What can fans expect from your newly released album “Freak Out”?
It took us years to finally release “Freak out”. It is a great combination of indie, a little punk and classic rock. Although some lyrics go a little deeper and encourage thinking about it twice, it is full of verve, danceable tunes and fun. Its main themes are about personal struggle (“Even if”, “Oh Lord”, “Better on my own”), how we see the world and the people around us (“Fake reality”, “EGO”), how to deal with that and get over it (“Revolution”, “Freak out”), topped by a charming ballad (“Lovefool”). Thus, it is a precious little piece of us, meant to be fun and entertaining.

Jane Doe interview with Noisy Crumb

How is the (male) audience reacting when a bunch of power-girls like yourselves are hitting the stage with indie punk-rock tunes? Admittedly, pure girl-bands are much rarer to be seen in this musical style than guys. I am wondering if you can realize any difference…
Being an all-female band is a double-edged situation. Sure, at times blunt sayings like “Show your tits!” occur, but are not the common rule. Some people are tuned softer in their musical judgment, saying things like “They are just women!” or “Considering they are women….”. Again others are even harder to convince, thinking “They only have tits bonus. First they should prove that they can rock!” Both can be arduous! We see ourselves simply as musicians who want to have fun on stage and are happy every time we get the audience to have a good time and enjoy our music and show.

Being all girls, would you say you have more catfights within the band than others, because of this? And how do you handle them?
Honestly, we can’t tell since we don’t have any direct comparison. However, we all made our individual experiences in “man-dominated” bands before Jane Doe and, as far as we can tell, disagreements and conflicts happen quite naturally when a bunch of people work together creatively. And sometimes men are even more bullheaded and diva-like than women! However, within Jane Doe small differences are quickly solved without any catfighting and hair-pulling. After all we are not just band members, but also friends. With one exception: When it’s about who gets the last salmon sushi, friendship comes to an end! ;-)

What was the weirdest thing ever happening to you as a band?

Once we meet the guitarist of Jan Delay’s band for a cup of coffee. He was so curious about our music that we spontaneously invited him for a small rehearsal. At that time we played in a grubby, dirty 10qm room - without windows, heating or toilet - which we shared with three other metal bands. Without turning a hair he sat down on this horrible piece of sh**, which used to be a couch once, and got totally absorbed by our music. He really liked our music. That’s probably not the weirdest thing happening to us, but one of the coolest ones. You know, some things happen, but you never talk about it ;-)

Noisy Crumb's Girl Power Weeks with Jane Doe

What was the greatest gig you ever played and why?
In 2014 we had the chance to play as support for The Bones at Stattbahnhof Schweinfurt. This was a special gig for us, because we are also fans of their music. It just feels awesome to play on the same stage, at the same night with a “famous” band, whose music you love!
The greatest Jane Doe gig so far was clearly our release of “Freak out” 2015. We finally reached this milestone and now everyone can listen to Jane Doe whenever they want. Our support acts, the audience and fans that night were overwhelming and really made it an unforgettable night for us!

Touring, giggin’, video filming…. – what are your next plans for conquering the world of indie rock? Any nationwide or international projects planned?
Coming up is probably a music video shooting for “Freak out” next spring. Moreover, gigs, gigs, gigs! Likely we’ll do a little touring in and around Germany and possibly play many Open-airs. The new impressions and experiences will clearly give us some inspiration for new songs.

Thanks for the interview, ladies! And my dear readers, make sure to stay up-to-date with Jane Doe on their Website and Facebook page and check out some of their songs on Soundcloud.