May 18, 2024

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Interview with Jürgen Spiegel: Music is always in motion, stagnation is death: Video

Jazz interview with a selfish musician, drummer Jürgen Spiegel․ An interview by email in writing.

JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music.

Jürgen Spiegel: – I grew up in Bremen and started playing classical music and later I got into drums. My first instrument was a violin and then I heard the AC/DC record “back in black” and when I heard this album I just wanted to play drums. I loved the energy in music and the best way to transport it was on the drums. That’s why the instrument has grown so dear to me because it’s just so incredibly honest.

JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?

JS: – My sound has been developed the most through other people and making music together. I think the most important thing is to make music with people and that’s how I tried out a lot and was able to gain a lot of experience. I started with heavier music and this music has always fascinated me to express a lot of emotions with few means. You don’t hide behind fast notes and complicated things. It’s easy and starts right away. I developed my sound the most through listening habits I wanted to sound like and in the end that’s what I came up with.

JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?

JS: – I’ve always listened a lot and played a lot to the music. When I was studying music, I also studied piano and I’m very interested in harmonies, so to speak. I also found the rhythmic very exciting and that’s why I don’t necessarily think like a drummer, because I took a lot with me from the piano.

JBN: – How do you keep stray, or random, musical influences from diverting you from what you’re doing?

JS: – Music is always in motion and of course influences are very important and you develop. Stagnation is death and that is why influences are also decisive for a career. If you were dull to do just one thing at a time, you couldn’t grow.

JBN: – How do you prepare for your recordings and performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

JS: – I believe that preparation is very important and that in order to be at a certain level mentally and physically you have to be able to delve into something. Otherwise you just stay on the surface. I try to get involved in the moment and be open to the unexpected. I am, so to speak, my own listener at the concert and try not always to react but also to act. The moment and the music lead me to the place that is meant for me.

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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

JS: – I believe that the great problem of our time is intellect and not enough soul. We want to measure and explain everything and have no more patience to feel what arises from the soul. Only the soul can touch us and structure this together. Of course I need a certain intellect if I want to change a lightbulb and not emotionality. It’s only different with music because it’s a form of communication and it’s an exchange between the audience and the artist. I can of course hide behind a lot of notes and scales and complicated things, but I can’t manage to play a simple song that many people just want to hear again. music can be insanely complicated and also very simple. It takes time to experience beauty. Time is love and many people don’t have time to listen to music properly. Everything has to be fast and affective to get attention and that’s why the intellect is so dangerous. You think something is good because others tell you so, and the intellectual mostly agrees because it’s factual reporting like science.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

JS: – I can only convey what I have inside me. The audience can inspire and influence me to bring it out of myself and that’s why it becomes a shared experience between audience and artist. In the end, both of them don’t know exactly what happened and are then both enthusiastic that it turned out so beautiful or so ugly.

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of standard tunes are half a century old?

JS: – The difficulty has nothing to do with age but with listening habits. There used to be more jazz music on radio shows and nowadays it’s just a mush to hear on the radio stations. Where do young people come into contact with jazz music and where can you experience it live? Nowadays a lot happens in the streaming area and there is no emotional connection to really good live music. In Europe there are many cities where this music is encouraged and heard a lot. My experience is Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin. The club culture is strong there and young people can get a lot of this music. I think more young people will be able to get back into contact with a real form of hand-played music. I am positive.

JBN: – John Coltrane once said that music was his spirit. How do you perceive the spirit and the meaning of life?

JS: – The meaning of life is to experience things actively and that’s why I think John Coltrane said that his mind is music. He experienced himself through music and thereby recognized himself and a lot of supernatural things as well. Everyone has to find their own purpose in life and music can help with that. Music is non-verbal communication and therefore has tremendous power. The spirit that weaves and permeates everything and sustains life and time is often found in the music of many brilliant composers and musicians. Maybe even with the homeless man playing the harmonica under the bridge. We just have to listen.

JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?

JS: – I wouldn’t change anything. The world is cause and effect and man has the power to decide what becomes of it. Do we go left or do we go right or straight ahead. Music can only reflect our development as a human being and if it is ugly and soulless, current music will also show it. We can’t turn back time, but we can make the future better with our choices, also in the music industry and for the artists. Music must have value again and mean something to people. The devaluation of music today has reached its peak and is clearly reflected in the remuneration of streaming services. Nevertheless, more people go to concerts and want to see something real and not just hear something out of the can.

JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?

JS: – I’m open and listen to a lot of classical music as well as a lot of older jazz artists and also a lot of rock music.

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine: where and why would you really want to go?

JS: – If I was in a time machine and could travel to the future it would be great to reach more people through my music and also to combine the music with a classical orchestra.

JBN – SS: – A few thoughts on your wonderful answers. Youth listens to jazz. Evidence of this is the jazz festivals and concerts organized by me in Europe. You have said that you would like to be invited to concerts, clubs, festivals, but nothing in this life is one-sided. I, who am the organizer of several jazz festivals and many concerts, do these interviews also for the purpose of getting to know the musicians, getting to know their intellect. I also want to see if musicians are willing to share their modest means with those who do good for them. In your case, I saw no, so you can never appear in many European festivals and clubs, until you reconsider your attitude towards those who do good for you.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Jürgen Spiegel - Wikidata

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