INTERVIEW 50. florian horwath

Florian Horwath is an Austrian musician that now lives in Berlin. With a childhood surrounded by memories of his parents' parties, Florian grew up to be a teenage DJ for friends and later on a radio station.
After two previous albums - 'We Are All Gold' (2005) and 'Sleepyhead' (2008) - 2010 saw the release of 'Speak To Me Now', his strongest album to date and one of the must listen albums of 2010.
A collection of sensitive and whimsical melodies and lyrics. As Florian describes in our interview "...has to do with being speechless, out of words, and at the same time wanting to express a lot... Maybe something like: talk less - feel more."

Below we go through beginnings, memories, meanings, what was and what will be.

01. Can you tell us what’s the earliest musical memory you can recall? When did you decide to become a musician?
I remember the parties my parents held when I was a little kid, and that they would dance a lot.
I don’t recall what was on the vinyls they played, but I remember listening a lot to one tape they had, which was I think called "High Life", a Party Compilation.
And it had songs like "People are People" by Depeche Mode, as well as some Boney M and "Words" by F.R David on it.
This Party and Music combination must have fascinated me a lot, because I started to actively get in touch with music through playing tapes to my friends at teenager Parties in our cellar, and was always the DJ around, organizing little happenings and taping everything I liked from the radio, much more than being a "Band boy".
I guess the -becoming a musician- decided itself, because it was something that dragged me towards music  and away from many other things, in a good way.
So, from deejaying for a long time and being in touch with mainly electronic music, came the records I started to make, which were not quite electronic (apart from a project called Grom with a guy called Michelle Grinser from Germany) .

02. If your music were a planet or landscape, how do you think it would look like?
It would be a desert with a blooming desert flower in the middle.

03. You used to work on a radio station as a disc jockey. What kind of music did you used to play?
On the radio, the program was everything we liked from Techno and Electro to Guitar Music and Hip Hop in the daily shows. I also hosted a show focused on House & Techno.
When deejaying in a club, I like to play everything I find, everything that has something to hold on to, a melody, a groove, beat, bass, some kind of magic. From techno to love songs, or both in one.

04. Moving on to creation processes: how was the recording of your latest album, ‘Speak to Me Now’?
The album has a beautiful selection of songs that wander through laid back/happy tunes like ‘Friday night vampires’ and ‘On the kitchen floor’ passing through lovely love songs - 'Oh how I long for your mistakes' and 'When we dance' - and sad love ballads like ‘My country soul’ and ‘In the sunshine’ (it took me some time to listen to this song without having tears in my eyes). How were the songs selected? Were you aiming for some sort of general theme or mood? What kind of music were you listening while recording the album?
Thank you!
Very quick: We had 3 days to record the whole album more or less. So, it was a very intense process. And, as the others didn't know the songs before, it was very much about being in the moment and trusting what the other one was doing. I think, this way, some magical drum patterns and sounds came along. There was no time to be complicated.
Yes, " In the sunshine" is very dear to me.  We now also started to play it live, and it seems to become slower every time, which is great. And also more and more naked, only the chords and the drums in the chorus.
The songs are a selection of what came around and said hello in the last years after the "Sleepyhead" Album. And these are the songs that I really wanted on the album.
I think it has a general mood to it, also because of the recording process, which glued the songs together somehow, I believe.
"Speak to me now" as a term, or picture, has to do with being speechless, out of words, and at the same time wanting to express a lot.
And the question, if everything that comes to your mind, needs to be communicated to the outside, or possibly some things are meant to stay with you and become weaker, when you spit them out. Not because you want to keep a secret, but because you possibly need to remain with the energy of the thought or stream of mind or emotion of it,  and not let it reflect, bounce on others. Maybe something like: Talk less- Feel more.

05. What are your plans for the future? A new album already on the making?
I just did the score for a movie. "Wie man leben soll/ How to live" by a great Austrian filmmaker, David Schalko.It contains quite a lot of new songs besides the instrumental score bits, and I am very happy about the result. Simple guitar songs. Also, I am preparing a new album, that might be very reduced and even simpler than the others.

06. Being from Austria, could you tell us how’s the independent music scene there? Any bands/artists that you would like to recommend?
There has been a lot of development in the last years. I had been living in Berlin for 5 years, and when I came back some years ago, I was stunned and surprised, because there are so many good and new bands and projects. A lot of alternative guitar music, also more experimental music, hip hop, electronic music. There are lots of good bands, so its hard for me to highlight just a few.

07. Do you get to live of your music?
Sometimes more easy, sometimes less.

08. Any music video that you think everyone should watch?
Of course "Baby You Got Me Wrong", sung by Nina Persson and myself.

09. You made a cover of Norman Greenbaum’s ‘Spirit in the sky’. Any particular reason for choosing this song? Any other song(s) you’d like to cover?
I love this song, because it is actually a dance track, I think, it rolls along like hell and is a spiritual, even religious song at the same time. In between naive and very conscious,  as far as I understand it. And also the video is fantastic, one of the best videos ever!

10. Name the perfect place and time to hear your music.
A place where you can feel the ground below and the space above.

11. Recommend something you've been listening lately.
"Twelvetwenty one" by my dear friend Peter von Poehl, who also recorded music with me in the past.
Truth by Alexander.

12. Anything else you feel like saying?
Love is Love is Love is the Drug.


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