Friday, 2 December 2016

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

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 www.museek.de, 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 museek.de? 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 museek.de, 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, museek.de 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 museek.de ;-)

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!