It’s been a wonderful road so far as a musician. I’ve grown up during the years when the music industry has gone from collapse to collapse, and I’ve witnessed it die like a boar being attacked by a pack of ravenous hyenas. My journey so far in many ways has been defined by this context. The need to marry my dreams with a reality unwilling sometimes to provide a stable support structure has shaped my story. It’s taught me lessons which are timeless and which one day I hope to pass on to my children. That we are defined by our reaction to difficulty. That there is always a way to get something made. That compromise does not have to mean dilution but can, if you stay true to your own values, help keep things moving. That an unlocked door in an abandoned building in a foreign country does not have to mean fear. That a parents death can be a beginning and not an ending. That trying to sleep next to your band while shivering in the back of a white van forms a friendship that is deeper than any falling out can last. That you only understand the meaning of a favor when you have nothing much to give in return. Mainly at this point, I am just utterly grateful that I have reached the point where I can continue. For every brick wall I’ve come across, I have found a support that has helped me keep going. The world provides angels, helpers and guides if you are willing to step out. And each time you meet one you learn that faith is not exclusively God’s domain, but is in fact an expression of what is potential in the world and in our enduring humanity.
Human life is a journey. We are all born. We all die. What we do in between defines who we are, and how we are remembered. After years as a musician, I realized that I had been living with an unnamed frustration. I wanted to release more regularly than the traditional album cycle. I wanted to to bring my music to people in reality rather than in the cyber world. More than that, I wanted connection, camp fire, campervaning – to share my music behind the great firewall of China, the desert of the Sahara and the open endless roads of America. What is music for? Had i forgotten? What are the colours of my dreams, the shape of my subconscious longings? I decided that in order to find my way, I needed to get lost, to set out into the unknown, and to hell with sense. As a result my »Journeys« project was born. It is an independent project – one man, one guitar, one camera. In a fractured and fragmented world, I’ve decided to seek its heart, and to find out for myself what its people think. At my core I believe that human beings want to be unified, not divided, that we want to progress peacefully, that when measured in total it our kindness that will defeat our cruelty. In order to find out for myself, I have set out on my journey.
After playing the V-Rox festival in Vladivostok Russia, I was invited by Split Music to tour in China. I wanted a deeper experience than traditional touring allos, and so they set me up with a 2 week residency in Jianghu Bar, Beijing. From there I flew to Chongqing in central China and played many shows while making my way via train, plain & automobile to Shanghai.
I was introduced to a one of a kind German man named Mark by a friend at Sony ATV publishing. Mark had abandoned the music industry some years ago, and felt something of a kindred spirit. He found himself in Kenya, ran out of money and decided to build a cabin on Zanzibar. It is from there that he has shaped his life and his dream of connecting musicians worldwide with the local scene, and vice versa. I’m incredibly excited to be playing shows in Zanzibar, Tanzania and Kenya, as well delighted for the involvement of theThe Goethe Institute. Finally, thank you Gibson guitars for their support.
I often spoke with my friend the photographer Bastian Fischer about the refugee crisis. We followed the situation closely, but felt a sense of uncertainty about how we could contribute. In January 2016 we caught up with a beer and realised, that the only way we could find out was by going. It led to the next two months living in a small yellow van. Driving down from Berlin, we arrived at our starting point, Lesvos. From there we travelled through Greece, spending 3 weeks in Idomeni after the border closed, then making our way through the Balkans discovering what life is like there as a refugee. It was a life changing experience, and which brought human rights as a central theme to the “Journeys” project.