TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI I PHOTOS: CHRISTOPH KOESTLIN
ALBUM is the new release by the accomplished and ever-evolving songwriter and musician CLUESO. It holds a sonically colourful bouquet of the past years’ singles, bound together by a title he himself describes as the loveliest understatement ever.
With a little help from his friends, CLUESO takes us on a journey fueled by emotional introspection and musical energy. We spoke to him about the recurring themes of mobility, nostalgia and time.
Discover Germany: Mobility and inspiration from distant places are still a strong theme on ALBUM – how did you experience the absence of mobility during Lockdown?
Clueso: Horror! No, really – for me as a person who likes and needs to travel, it was the opposite of what makes my life good. I did some trips within Germany to get to the studios, but even those were somewhat gloomy if not downright scary at times. So – my motto for the time between promo period and the upcoming tour is: travel! I want to go to Florence and literally just sit and watch the doves. That in itself would make me real happy: to be somewhere abroad and not even do much, just sit there with a coffee, taking it all in.
Discover Germany: Hotel California describes being stuck in a kind of limbo – whoever checks in can never really get out again. What, apart from the famous Eagles song, was the inspiration?
Clueso: Obviously, the Eagles were describing a specific music scene and its symptoms. Well, I had my first record deal at 19 and I had already been a musician for three years at that point. So in a way I can fairly say that by now I’ve seen it all! Also, the guitar sample to me has an almost film-like quality to it and then I took inspiration from books describing this feeling of melting in the sun – like, for example, Homo Faber or The Shadow of the Wind, you know – when the descriptions transport you.
Discover Germany: You still write a lot about your hometown, Erfurt. With Heimatstadt, one could say you’ve written a love song for it. What forms the strongest bond with your ‘home turf’?
Clueso: I think those who like to travel a lot also enjoy returning home. It is that special feeling when you pass the city sign, or even a field – I could identify a Thuringian field just by the look and smell! Erfurt is a lovely town and to me it never gets old. That is where my friends and family are and where I love to return, always.
Discover Germany: What impact does friendship have in your life, both at home and elsewhere?
Clueso: Friends are the true magnets. I have lived in other cities, such as Cologne and Berlin, and it is always the people who make a place the right one to be in.
Discover Germany: Your song Alles zu seiner Zeit is a song about patience and translates to All In Good Time – Is time something that’s ‘good’, to you?
Clueso: Oh my, that’s an amazing question. And I think, yes. You know, for any creative process, time and even boredom can be gold. Obviously, songs can also be written during hectic periods, but to give things more time is always a plus. For example, when we were in the studio during the pandemic, we knew we could have the next day as well and that was brilliant. We ended up not needing it, because the mere option was so relaxing that we did excellent work in one. Of course, there is also that other side to it – because as humans, we are all bound to time.
Discover Germany:Three years ago, you described the perfect CLUESO day to me as the one after a period of rest. What makes a perfect CLUESO day today?
Clueso: I think that hasn’t really changed (and that is where Florence comes in). And I can always apply that accumulated energy very well afterwards. It is wonderful to have a day here and there without any obligations. The thing is that I always have many ideas about what I should do with it and, in the end, I spend more than half of it in the tub…
Discover Germany: Which is not the worst thing…
Clueso: No, it isn’t! (laughs) And by the way, Badewanne (tub) would be another great song title.
Discover Germany: Back to the theme of mobility – are you looking forward to touring again?
Clueso: To see this album performed live is something we’ve all been looking forward to – I can’t wait!
New album ALBUM – release date: 1 October 2021 please check the website for tour dates www.clueso.de
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