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All fun comes from satisfying curiosities- interview with Jerome Reuter from ROME


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Since we need to wait another few weeks for new album, let's fill time with this exclusive interview with Jerome Reuter, that took place in Pitcher, Luxembourg. 

Let's start with the Hell Money, the title, what is money for you? Hell or a blessing?

The title itself doesn't refer to my view of money, that's another question. I don't really like talking or thinking about money. It’s just all around us all the time. Nauseating. As to my work, well I could of course do a lot more money with stuff that could be played on mainstream radio. Like poppy stuff, haha.

I can't imagine you making pop music...

There's a lot of pop elements in ROME, actually. There’s some catchy stuff. There is a certain amount of pop in there, so I could write songs staying in the pop kind of thing, but I tend to make it more complicated and weird and hard for people to follow. Actually, on this album there was a clear decision to go against that. Songs are not like- verse, chorus, verse, chorus,... A song starts somewhere and just goes somewhere else, and I have this sort of atmosphere build and I just cut it and do something else. There is a couple of songs that start out being very gloomy and in the end they're almost light. I like that, just toying around without necessarily having stuff that people can sing along to. I think it works though. I know a lot of people are having a hard time with it. But personally, I'm very satisfied with this album, I really like it.

It takes time to know this album more, I just had like 5 days for listening and it was not enough.

Yes because the songs are not like I said- couple of lines and here comes refrain, we sing alone, there's a chorus...

You can't sing them under the shower...

Not really, no. Unless you sing all of it (laugh)

Quoting you "Hell Money' is an emotional tour-de-force through the twisted inner workings of a tormented individual. A journey into a heart of sadness, where greed, addiction and self-immolation have taken their toll on sanity. " As an artist you must have greater sensitivity than an average human. Is this journey called life a torment for you because of that? What kind of demons haunt you?

I guess the demons are on the album (laughs)

They definitely are! Starting from Fester.

Yeah, there is sort of journey going on there, starting with Fester, I think it's like an individual going through all the motions and in the end there is this ballad, that kinda resolves it, I think that last song is kind of appeasing, like this peaceful end to all that is very fucked up. That was the idea I guess. Throughout the record there are different kinds of demons, that are portrayed.

Are they all yours?

They're actually all mine.

Oh my god...

Yeah, I know, I know...(laugh) But I try to sing about them in a different way. I don't want to be overdramatized – "Oh, look at my life, ohh.." So I try to break away from that, but in the end it's all me.

Ok, let's talk about the art on the album. You have put Christ figure on the cover of Fester and on some pics you have posted on FB you stand with the same figure, covered in chains. Are you trying to say, that religion or belief is a burden, a chain that ties? Or do you follow Marx's thought, that religion is opium for masses? Or was it just a provocation?

There is some sort of provocation there certainly, I mean especially like we are in Luxembourg now, Lux is pretty catholic, but it's not necessarily very religious, coz people are quite rich so they don't care about God. But we have a very conservative society. I'm not religious at all actually.

An atheist or you just believe in Something?

Actually I don't believe in anything.

You have to believe in something. In yourself maybe?

Only in the morning.

But it helps!

Of course! If I’d have to name something I’d say I believe in my work.

But the work is part of you.

Yes, sure, but it's not like I believe in myself, I just believe in living your life, and trying to cope with things. I'm not an idealist either. I guess I'm longing for something like an ideal,though. In some way we all long for something higher, that comforts us.

Salvation...

For me that salvation lies in art. That's why I mean I believe in my work, coz that's actually comforting to me and helps me get through the day. That thing with the crucifix that was just linked to the artwork itself. Few years ago I saw some pictures of this guy, Michel Melinger. He's the one who did all the photographs. Some of those photographs were shown in an exhibition I saw. I got in touch with him when I was working on this album. I realized- this is actually something that might work, so I called him up and we met. He actually let me search through his archive. Of course, I chose the creepiest stuff, haha. I think we have the same kind of demented humour.

So they were not made specially for this album?

No. All the photographs I used are part of this series he started like 20 year ago. There's a lot of different elements in there, I chose the gloomiest stuff. So this picture was actually taken in his basement, when we were shooting photographs for the press release. I went to his place a couple of times, one time I would go through all his drawers, all his stuff, it was like this huge chaos.... really amazing! And every 10 minutes he would come running to me "Oh, look, I've found this!" At one point he had this Jesus photograph with this dead rabbit. "Oh that's great! That would be great for the single", so I chose that one, thought that was a strong picture, but it didn't really fit with the album, it was too specific, so I took that for the Fester single. The crucifix was still hanging there, it was like- "Oh, I'll take it and pose". He and I got along very well, I guess we're brothers in spirit, he's got a very dark side too. It's this kinda of stuff that just happens when it feels right.

It's like instinct. You see something and suddenly you realize -that's what I was looking for.

Exactly. It's just like the work in the studio. You prepare your stuff, you work on it, you write your songs and whatever you think about how you're gonna arrange it, but in the end when you're working on it in the studio it changes instantly, because...

It's a process.

Yes. You can do demos, but I don't do demos, I never do demos, so when I start recording- it's different when you hear a guitar and you hear the voice and it's a different kind of room, so you just go with what you hear. So, when you have your plan at some point you just throw it away, coz it's all different. I like that part of the work. Keeps you on your toes.

It's more creative than planning and doing stuff according to the plan.

Yeah, that's why I still like working in a studio, because a lot of people today just do all the stuff at home, and they take their time and they go back and forth, they're changing stuff... I don't do that, I just go into the studio and finish a song in one day. I like this ultimacy.

I have found a very wise sentence: "Musicians let us feel emotions, that we could not feel without their help." E.E.Schmidt.
What kind of emotions would you like to wake in your listeners?

Oh, I don't know (laugh). There is no plan...

So you let them discover your music in their own way? I know you don't like analyzing your work...

Yes, but about emotions- you know you can't control them, you can't sit down and write a song like " I wanna get that feeling out of you now by writing this..." That doesn't work. As soon as you start doing that or trying that- it's pathetic. So I start working and I use what I feel, what this thing makes me feel like and I'm trying to transport that, but most of the time I really dont know what I'm doing. I like to work and I like to bring out different stuff within myself and within the work. You're reacting to stuff, you start somewhere and you just see where the road takes you, you try to make it clever in some way, obviously, but for me it's all about seeking some sort of truth. Something that feels true to me.

Universal truth.

Maybe universal, yes, maybe. I don't know. So far I've noticed that when I like something, when I really like what I've done, usually other people like it as well, but it's not like a rule. Sometimes I aim at something specific and it's done and I'm satisfied and then I read some comments, and people like it, but they like it for different reasons, and they see stuff in it that I don't see and go "Oh actually they're right, I didn't see it".

I like your comment on "I die: you die" review of the Trilogy, where you commented- Hey, I wasn't even aware of half of that stuff! It was so funny!

Yes, but that thing was a bit different because there is a huge, specific and complex theme to it, so I tried to include a lot of different things, there was a lot of literature there and obviousy lots of history stuff. Sometimes you're not aware of all the different aspects and they point out something, like some coherence that I wasn't even aware of. But I guess it's something you are subconsciously know. Your know what feels right but you don't necessarily know exactly why.

I listen to your song and think- oh it's about that. But after like 1000 listenings I realize- hey this song is completly different, totally not about that, but something else!

That's good! It should be something that you go back to and find new stuff in. I don't like the things that you hear and you instantly know- oh this is about that and you know all about it. It's boring. I try to do stuff that you have to listen to a couple of times (laugh). But the other thing is, when I finish something, like a year later when I'm working on something else, and for some reason I hear something I did in the past, it's immediately clear what it was about. I talked to my brother about a specific lyric on Masse, mensch, material years ago, and he said- this is about our father, and I was like: What? You're crazy. He said- nah, I'm pretty sure it is. And I went back and listened to it, and said- oh shit, you're right, it is! It is something I was going through, something I was feeling and I put it down on paper. For him it was obvious, very obvious, but for me it wasn't. After he told me I realized that actually it is extremely obvious. But it's like when I write something I feel- oh this is very cool, very clever, nobody knows what I'm talking about, not even me... Then in the end it's very simple, in the end it's actually not that clever at all.

Oh, it is.

Sometimes it might be, but that is a coincidence again.(laughs)

Listening to Fester I can't resist comparing it to Song of Joy by Nick Cave. I know you mentioned him among the artists you are inspired by, was he inspiration for this song or it's just my sick mind?

I was inspired by a movie from Lars von Trier, he did this Europa-trilogy, and there was this one scene in the beginning of the film, that has some weird emotion. I liked that emotion so I tried to recreate that in my own ways.

Let's talk about the creation itself. How does it happen? I mean-you sit and you just hear music in your head?

Sometimes I just sit somewhere and there's a melody popping up in my head and I go like, Oh this is good, I should write it down. When I get home, I start working on the guitar or piano, but most of the time I just sit around, playing the guitar and then I find a chord progression I like and usually pretty soon I find a vocal melody to go on those chords, and that's how it starts usually. I just play the guitar and then something happens. Or it doesn't happen and I just stop, but sometimes it happens. But I don't sit at home playing guitar that much actually, usually I try not to do any music, and then when I start doing music, I'm fresh, so I can do new stuff. I don't rehearse or anything, I try to do as little as possible. Sometimes when I'm at a friends' house and he's got a new instrument, I borrow it and I start playing, and usually then that something new will be coming out, cause you’re sort of exploring new terrain, learning a new language in which you will need to express yourself, like with the banjo. There is one song on the Hell Money album, that is just a banjo. I just bought a banjo, I thought it was a cool thing to have, to add a different feel to a song. That song, Pornero, was written right then on the spot and I don’t think I ever touched that banjo after recording it. Most of the writing comes from playing around with the guitar or sometimes I do come up with some sentence that I like and I have a melody in my head, then I try to find the chords to that melody for that sentence and then I start writing the song from that sentence, I find the other words, then I look at the song and that's when you start thinking, what could the song be about, what should I change, what should I add etc. In the old days I worked a lot with samples and other found sound, so sometimes I would hear something in a film and go "oh,this is a nice moment, this should be much longer!" and I just loop it...stuff like that.

You loop it and got a song.

Yeah, that's how it happens sometimes, it's just something that you're longing for, something you find missing in the world. It’s a need and a curiosity. And all fun comes from satisfying curiosities. When you're interested in something and you want to find out about stuff, that's when you're having fun, and that's usually when good stuff happens, because you want to make something happen. There's a belgian singer Jacques Brel, he said that: Talent doesn't exist. The only thing that exists, is that your need to do something. As a young kid, and I'm talking like 5 years old, people said- oh, he's got talent for music. But that was just because I liked hitting on stuff that made sound, I just liked sound. I didn't have a talent for music, I don't believe in that. I just liked stuff that made noise.

Someone said that talent is 99% of hard work and 1 % luck.

Exactly! There's a lot of work involved, that's true. Even if you have so-called talent, that doesn't help you if you don't sit down and work for it. It's just work. Like you said- musicians just found a way of expressing stuff, that other people don't have, it's not like we feel more. We're not more aware than anybody else, we've just found a way to express it.

But that's an advantage...

Maybe yes. I guess it's an advantage being a lawyer or doctor. Being a musician is not really an advantage (laughs)

I mean- sometimes I feel urge to create something, but I don't know what or how. It's annoying. You know how to do that, you just write a song.

Yeah, but it's not that easy though. Sometime it just doesn't work. But that being said- I don't sit around, waiting for the muse. I saw interview with Nick Cave on YT, and he was talking about his creative process. His process is very good, it's the one that makes most sense to me. There is a certain amount of discipline necessary for you to get anything done. So he has his office, that he goes to every day in the morning.

Like work.

Yes, it's like a regular office job. He just sits there and works. And of course sometimes he goes back home and hasn’t "done" anything, nothing happened. But he was in there and tried to make it happen.You work on other stuff or related stuff that you have to do as a musician and then, through that, you end up in some place that's maybe inspiring. When you work on an album, the period when you have to be inspired is very, very short. Like Hell money- I wrote it in a weekend. Then there's months of work involved. You just need a second to have the idea, but to make the idea happen that's just work, and even we don't have to think that hard, it's not like some philosophical ultra-powerful way of thinking, it's just work, you just sit there and think about- how can I get this done, how can I make this sound good and interesting and not repeat myself or somebody else? That's the hard part, to come up with something that is uniquely you and doesn't sound like somebody else, because when you grow up, you're obviously influenced by what is around you, what you like, and especially, as a musician, you grow up and you want to be all these other singers or actors or whoever- you see them and hear them and- 'Oh I wanna be that guy, he's cool and he's got cool songs, he 's got great persona' and you wanna be him. That's a very natural thing. So the job you have is to get passed that, and realize that what made these people great was that they didn’t care what people said, they didn’t want to fit in anywhere and just did what they felt was good.

To find your way.

Yes, and sometimes in order to find your own way you have to initially somewhat imitate, copy and steal from the best. You have to start somewhere. Tom Waits said something of the sort once...

Yes, I even got that quote here: That you go through all these different phases of being this other person, until after a while you are left with what is truly yours.

Yeah, exactly. I think that's why I'm very happy with Hell Money, because to me it's very personal album, but also something that I feel like that's really me, that doesn't sound like another band. There's a lot of stuff in my older work, that's clearly from another band, I'm not denying that. There are influences from all around, but you have to go through those emotions in order to find yourself. The goal is to end up with stuff that's truly yours, uniqely yours, then again- I've found this, but you can't stop there, you have to go back and be influenced again by other people, so you come up with something new. Like on Hell Money there’s a very obvious homage to Swans.

Do you aleady have concept for another album?

Yes, but I usually have two or three ideas for future projects, and especially when there's a theme involved, something like the trilogy of last year, those things can take a lot of time to finish. I am working on something right now, actually. I had the idea for that like years ago, but I wasn't ready then, I had other stuff going on. Actually after the trilogy, I started working on that, and I already have recorded couple of songs for that album.

Any hints?

No:) I did a couple of songs and then I felt like- 'Bleh, this just sounds like something I've already done'. So I was kinda stuck, like an impass. I'm not AC/DC (laughs). Something you expect, you want that sound, that guitar- and they deliver that, but ROME is a different kind of project, when you try to come up with other stuff.

(new album will be released August 2nd, you can preorder exclusive fan set here: http://www.fantotal.de/en/rome/fan-set-rome-a-passage-rhodesia.html, Ed.)

When it comes to this kind of classic bands- I used to listen to a lot of heavy metal and hard rock, and when those guy from the band was trying to make something new, to explore some new ways in their music, the old fans were saying- omg, what you did with your music, we're not listening to you anymore!

There's two ways of doing it- either you bow down to those expectations, like- this is the band and that's what we're supposed to do, this is what we make our money with, so we stick to that. And that's ok, I'm not saying that's wrong. It's a job, and it's a very fun job a lot of the time. But what I and many other artists out there do is different in the way that we are in search of something real and uncomfortable. And in the end it's ok, because people know that they're gonna get something different every time. And it’s ok as long as the essence of the project remains intact.

You've made the soundtrack for a movie. Is this movie relased or...?

I did a couple of soundtracks actually, in last two or three years. One for a French movie, I think it was released in France now...not sure. I’m kind of out of the loop...

Can you give us the title?

Comme un Homme. Another one‘s called Silent city. A dutch film production.

Sometimes a film isn't released for years because they're waiting for the right moment or festival to come along to present it. So I don't really know what the deal is with these and other films I’ve worked on.
(Silent City was released October 4th 2012,  Ed.)

Are you going to keep livingroom concerts still on? Or it was just one-year project?

The idea was to do a tour like, but that didn't work out because of the extreme distances to link, so we did a lot of individual concerts here and there in Europe. There are still one or two in the works. We did some in the US too, actually. That was a lot of fun!

It's something interesting in that festival in Wrocław that you played, because all other bands playing there were totally different cup of tea.

I like that, because you have a different crowd then. If we just play with the same bands all the time it's boring and only the same kind of people turn up for the events. We play a lot with dark folk bands obviously but we always liked playing with bands from other genres.

Are you not affraid to lose fans, because of the new album? It’s a totally different album. Some people might not get it, get the idea.

I guess I ought to be afraid of that every year, haha. It’s part of the work to risk something. I try not to read the comments, but sometimes I do of course, and in this case, I think I've read about the same amount of people who really like it and those who didn't like it. But that's ok. I think it's how it should be, because anyway, whatever you do, lot of people will not like it for some reason or other. If you do exactly what people expect, they might think that's boring, and anyway, the more you think about what people might want, the more it's gonna be crap. So maybe we will get new fans with this, maybe we'll lose fans, I don't know. I think it's the natural course of things that you lose some of the fans and you gain some new fans...

I'm obviously very glad if people like it. I'm very proud of this album, and if people don't like it, I'm still proud of it. Something like Nos chants perdus took a bit longer for people to accept, for example. I try not to worry about these things too much. I spend my time worrying about my next record, anyway, haha, but when it's done I don't worry about it anymore.

It's released now, so...

Yes. It's too late then (laugh).

May I ask for the inspiration for your song Odessa?

That was just rooted in the theme of the album. This picture I had in my mind, of these people standing on the ocean and thinking about going some place else. You don't knowif they have just arrived or are about to leave, but there’s anticipation in the air...it was the first song I wrote for that album, I think.

I was just wondering why the name and the place?

I saw picture of that city, very old picture of that period and it was just inspiring.

For a second I thought Odessa was half mythical organisation, which helped the former member of SS and so on.

I think that's the funny side of the story, that's why I like it- people would get this wrong. I just liked the place because – just look on the map where it is, it's betweeen worlds. That's what I like about the idea of that place, because it's like on the brink of stuff, that kinda reflects the situation described in the lyrics. So for me that place is also torn by different forces. You know the band is called ROME, it's also a city, but it's just me, that's the same with Odessa, it's a city but it's more like an emotion.

I wouldn't even dare to ask about the source of the name, I can't avoid looking back in history.

Of course, but that's the good thing about the name, you can come up with your own stuff, but the truth is it's just from my name Jerome.

But it fits.

Yeah I think so too. It's not a good name to google though (laughs).

Speaking about google, why your website is forever gone?

We're working on a new one, it should be on maybe in the end of this year. For a long time there was no use in having a website, because Myspace was really like the place to be as a band, but that place died, and then was FB, but FB is not cool, so now it's time again for a website. When I started it was enough to be on Myspace to get the connections, to get people interested in what you did. I wasn't in charge of the webpage, it was a friend of mine and we don't work together anymore, and he asked what do we do with this page? I said -oh fuck it, we don't use it anyway and there was a lot of work to be done then to keep it updated and interesting and it was done in very basic way... it sucked.

I never saw it when it worked.

It was just a regular homepage. Nothing fancy. I’ve been busy with other stuff so I couldn’t take care of the new one yet...I should get some secretary or whatever, haha. But the new one will be pretty simple too, I suppose.

Simplicity is best, you know.

Yes, but it sometimes needs more adjusting to really look good.

Now some questions from your fans. Where and what exactly were you studying? We know about Manchester and Heidelberg.

I studied German and English literature. I did that because I didn’t know what else to do. I have the degree now, but I’m probably never gonna use it. I just knew I didn't wanna get some real job right away, so I started studying because I was really interested in the subject matter, and I had a little job, so 3 days of the week I would work and 2 days I would be at Uni and on weekends I would be in the studio. That was my life up until the time I signed with Trisol. Then I stopped working.

You were selling absinthe, right?

Yes! There's a shop/bar in Heidelberg. When I moved there, coincidentaly that was the moment that the shop opened so I instantly was one of their best customers, but since the really good stuff is really expensive, I had to come up with something to finance that habit of mine, so I just started working there (laughs). And it was a cool job because I didn't have to be there every week, had flexible hours so if I would go on tour or come back here for the summer that was no problem, the job would still be there when I came back. And the owner was a friend in the end, everytime I'm in the city or somewhere near I still go and see him. That's actually where I wrote the songs for Berlin, I wrote them under the counter.

Under the influence of absinth?

Yeah, yeah maybe some of them (laugh). The shop would open at 12 and go on till 8 pm, it was 8 hours of straight work, but depending on the month there would be no customers whatsoever, we would have 3 or 4 customers in a day. So you would sit around all day and listen to music..

You could have read books.

Yeah I read a lot of books and I started working on other stuff, I did work for Uni, I wrote songs, that was great about the job too, just sitting around. And then there were other periods, when there were a lot of tourists in the city and that would be like hundreds of customers every day, so around Xmas it would be hell, whole place would be full of tourists. The earlier months of the year were rather quiet, though

I know it's common question, but how many languages do you speak?

Luxembourgish, French, English, German.

How about Spanish?

Not really, I do undestand when people talk slowly, but I don't really speak it. I had a couple of lessons, but it's enough to order a meal.

Thats enough. And a beer!

Yes (laughes)! That works. I don't really speak it, but I would like to. I would really like to be fluent in Italian too. I think I will start learning that one pretty soon, because I have many Italian friends

Are you learning it or you just would like to?

I would like to, and I will, at some point. As soon I have more time.

That means never.

Probably, yeah (laugh)

There were a few questions about the ring you are wearing. Is it a family jewel or...?

No, no, it's just a ring I've bought in a shop in Heidelberg.

Fans would be disappointed.

I've found it and I liked it, I bought it and I wear it. It was very cheap too. I'm sorry to have to disappoint you (laugh).

You have influence on people, with your music. Do you ever felt like guru or a leader? Do you ever wanted to be a leader?

No no no. I wouldn't like that, coz it's a lot of pressure on you, haha. I don’t think musicians are that powerful anyway, to be honest. And being a leader...it's not for me. I like to keep to myself. I like the quiet, solitude. I don’t like crowds.

I wanna ask you about the song Pornero...

I'm not gonna comment (laughs).

...I didn't actually google anything ...

And that's good!

...but the girl that is...an actress...were you inspired by that? Or is it some kind of wordplay?

I think....I think I shouldn't explain everything.

I was intrigued!

That's good, that's good. That was the point!

Not to mention the way you "sing".

It was a telephone actually. A real old school telephone that we used as a microphone.

I thougt it was computer.

Yes, there are all these effects you can use and you can buy this multi-effect plugin, that have the effects of, let's say telephone or old radio, and it sounds a bit like that, but that's crap. If you want it to sound like an old radio, well just use an old radio and sing through it, for example. that's what we did here with a telephone.

I would like to see that:D

It was funny! That song was easy to do, coz it was just a banjo and a telephone.

Song for a banjo and telephone.

Yes, and it works, I find. That song was done like in one hour or so, coz it's just like four tracks- telephone, a little keyboard and two banjos, so you mix that in 10 minutes and it sounds good. You don't always have to record hundreds of tracks with thousands of guitars and drums to make it work.

Simplicity is best.

Yes. Sometimes it's really best. And certainly cheaper in the long run, haha.

How do you see yourself at the age of 60?

Same as now. Maybe limping.

I mean this more like a cosy cottage countryside with grandchildren or just still with the guitar on stage.

Yeah.. well, but 60 is not that far away.

Oh come on. How old are you? Thirty?

I was born in 81. I know a lot artists who are over 50 or 60. And I know for a fact that they still feel the same way as they did 20 oir 30 years ago. They may smell differently though, haha. Nothing changes here. (points the head) I don’t think we learn that much in life. You may think that you get more clever and wise, but... that's not true. You learn, obviously, and there are some mistakes that you don't repeat. I don't know what will happen in my life obviously, but as far as my career goes, I know I will never make that much money with what I’m doing. There’s no big break ahead, there’s just work and trying to create something substantial that may or may not pay the rent.

I recently saw an artist who is almost 60 now and he's still touring, he's doing okay now and his life hasn't changed in the last 30 years and I don't think mine will. And it's not something romantic, it's what we do. As a musician you don't get the same kind of pension as a state serviceman or whatever so... I don't think there‘s gonna be a lot surprises, I'll still be there, singing, I suppose. If I can and if they let me.

I was asking more about your vision of the real life because you don't know what happens tomorrow. So maybe just an idea of being old.

Like I said, I don't think I'll change that much.
Just like Lemmy. *imitates Lemmy's - laughter* No, no, but you know, he has obviously has had some success, also financially speaking, so that he can live in Hollywood, but he is the same guy as he was 40 years ago and that's how it should be. I guess in the line of work I'm in, I'm not gonna be able to buy a Ferrari (or a tank) anytime soon, so it's not gonna affect my life. 

But you actually don't need a Ferrari.

I have decided not to need the things I can’t afford, haha.

When you're finished with an album, do you need time to recover or you just start working immediately on the next one, or is it just like a few albums are made in the same time?

No, I usually work on one thing. I have other ideas for the next albums, I try to assemble ideas and take notes, but only work on one thing seriously. When you plan ahead for too long, then songs will sound the same. But when I work on something and it's done, there is this sort of pit you fall into.

And you take a vacation.

I don’t believe in vacation. I try just to keep the ball rolling, it takes so much energy and time to get into that place where you are creative and where things start to happen.

That's what I'm asking, how to you recover that energy, because it's huge giveaway.

One way of dealing with it it's just not to stop, and that's usually my way of doing it.

You're a workaholic.

Yes, I guess so. When you're in that place and things come together it's often easier to just go on than doing other stuff instead or going on a break and then having to start all over again, but sometimes that happens, when you are depleted and you need time away from it all. And usually for succesful musicians, when they relase an album, it means they have to be on tour for a while and they are on tour constantly and they don't see their homes for months, and when they're back they are even more depleated and it takes a long time to recover and get creative again. But with ROME it's different, we're not that succesfull, we don't do tours that last for months, we do shows all the time, though. A lot of the time I'm in the studio during the week, and on the weekends we play shows, I'm going back and forth. And it's actually cool for me when I'm working on something, to take a break from the work and play the show, and get back with a clear head. That’s enough of a break for me. I'm basically working all the time. I like to work. And sometimes I don't work, sometimes it doesn't work. But even when it does it doesn’t feel like "work".

Isn't it boring? I mean the routine itself.

No. It's not boring at all, especially if you play shows. And when I say we play shows, that means that you're on stage for 2 hours, but you're on the road for 40 hours haha.

What happens tour, stays on the tour.

That's true, but that’s a different subject matter all together, haha. There is a lot of stuff happening, it's a lot of fun. When we play shows there is specific percentage of hard work, it's a lot of stress sometimes. But there are other moments where it's just being on a vacation with your friends, I mean that's how we look at it, anyway. Of course we are stuck on airports, and we're waiting for buses, and waiting in hotel lobbies, it's a lot of waiting, but when you're doing it with friends, it's fun.

The company is most important.

Yes, that's the reason why I chose this new band now. We've been working like 2 years? June 2011 was the first show, we started that in the end of 2010, so it's been two years now that we work as this group, and it's me and all my friends. The three people on stage with me are my closest friends, and that's great when you're on tour, because first it is a lot of fun. And if somebody has a bad day it's ok, because you know the other guy so well, that if he's in a bad mood you just leave him be for a while, and it's ok, it doesn't reflect on the band, you don't start to worry- 'Oh, is he thinking of leaving the band? Is he not enjoying himself or the music?' It used to be different, being on tour for me used to be annoying, I didn't really like it. I like to travel, but touring isn't travelling. Touring is waiting around and rushing to places and flying back the next day, you don't see a lot. You just rush through. So you just see hotel lobbys and airports. It's very boring and nauseating sometimes, and if you're doing it with people that are good musicians and not close friends, it's just personality clashes all the time and it's very very annoying. It's a good thing about this band now- I alwasy realize that when we meet to travel for the show everybody is really excited, everybody is looking forward to it, because we just love each other's company, and that‘s great, that's how it should be, it's like winning a lottery, if that is your job! That part never gets boring. When I'm back at my desk it's not boring because that's what I really enjoy doing the most: creating something.

You are extremely lucky in that matter.

Yeah, I guess I am. But every one around me has to suffer for my dream, haha. Life with a musician is not necessarily fun.

But you're a loner, so...

Yeah, in some way, of course. A long time ago I was much more of a loner, though, but also- with this band ist's different.

You seem more comfortable on stage.

Yeah, absolutely. And that's not because I'm a better musician or surer of myself, it’s because I enjoy doing this with people I like. I don't have to worry about them. I don't have to persuade them to think this is cool, coz that's what you have to do a lot with people who are new to the music or who are just basically mercenaries. Some of the musicians I've worked with were very nice people and they were great musicians, but the world of ROME was always strange to them, so it took a lot of energy for them to understand it, and to work in that situation. But with these guys we've been working together for so long and we've known each other for so long, we're working as ROME for 2 years but we've known each other forever, like Tom, who's on keyboards, he's been like my best mate since I was 13, and 2 years later I met Eric, and inbetween that I met Patrick, who's on percussion now, so we go way back, we've been playing in different bands before, like small school bands. Mostly Punk Rock.

What instruments you play actually? So far we have guitar, banjo, piano, drums...
.
That's about it. I started with guitar, as most people do, I was playing a lot in different bands and usually everybody can play guitar so I said- I'll try the bass, so I started playing bass and I did play bass in one of my first punk bands. In my very first band I played the drums coz nobody else wanted to. And I was actually pretty good at it for a while. Then I stopped, but I still record the drums myself on my albums... but that's very easy stuff. Pretty much everything you hear on the records, except the strings, everything else I did myself I think. And some piano stuff that's more well done -that wasn't me (laughs). But usually it's me, but it's very simple stuff.
I have no classical education.

You said at the very beginning that when you were a kid you used to like making sounds and your parents thought that you have the spirit for music, did they try to sign you for some kind of lessons?

No, luckily not. They decided not to do that. They asked me and I said no. I didn't like to go to school as it was, and if somebody asks you -would you like to go to another school? "More school? Fuck you!"

How about private lessons?

My parents were just thinking aloud- should we send him to regular music school? And luckily for me my father had to do that as a kid, and he's not a musician, and he was forced to do it, so he said I'm not gonna do that to my son, ever. I'm not gonna send him there and ruin him for life, so I'm very pleased that they didn't send me to music school. When I was 14 I think I was a self-tought guitarplayer, I knew there was a lot of techniques that I didn't know how to do yet, and so I took lessons for that. But it was my idea and I payed and learned only what I wanted to learn. But it was like half an hour every week. I did that for 8 months. I've learned a lot of technical stuff there, think I’ve forgotten most of it already, though. And I never learned how to read notes. (laugh).

In the end- any special message for polish fans?

I'm very happy that we finally managed to play in Poland and I hope we can come back soon!

Thank you for your time.


My special thanks go to Leopold- for help with the interview and all the other help:) 
LD
Author:
Translator: Lady Dragon
Add date: 2014-06-12 / Interviews


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