Interview: Klaus Schulze (solo, Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel) -2013

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HIT CHANNEL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: May 2013. We had the great pleasure to talk again with legendary composer, Klaus Schulze. He is one of the most important persons in electronic music and he has influenced many musicians in various genres. Recently, he released the new studio album, “Shadowlands” and “The Schulze-Schickert Session”, his collaboration with Guenter Schickert from 1975. Read below the very interesting things he told us:


First of all, congratulations for “Shadowlands”.  Is there any specific concept/theme or basic idea behind the creation of “Shadowlands”?

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Not really.


Do you think Thomas Kagermann’s violin gives an extra “colour” to “Shadowlands” album? Did he record his parts spontaneously or you gave him specific instructions?

Of course it gives. That’s the reason I “used” him for the music!! He knows my music, he does not need any special instructions.


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Recently, you released “The Schulze-Schickert Session” with Guenter Schickert from 1975. Why did you decide to release it for the first time after 38 years? Do you have any clear memories from that session?

I did not decide. My friend and publisher Klaus Mueller asked me again, if we can release this old recording, finally. He had asked me before, when he did the “Edition” sets in the nineties. But then I had a not so good memory of this spontaneous recording, and we had enough other unreleased solo material for the “Editions”. But now, in late 2012, he gave me a CD-R with the music, found some titles for it, and “forced” me to listen to it. And now I said: yes, you can do it.


Are you currently in the studio? Are you involved in a new project?

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No, and no.  After a new album is released I rest for a while, don’t work in my studio.  At the moment I do nothing special, just laying on my couch, watch a bit TV, read, and give telephone interviews because of the recent release of “Shadowlands” and “The Schulze-Schickert Session”.


Lisa Gerrard participates in “Shadowlands”. Are you planning to do more work together in the future?

Lisa’s voice on “Shadowlands” are SAMPLES. She was not in the studio with me for this album. I used parts of former recordings that I did with her voice. Of course I would like to work again with Lisa, she’s a wonderful human being. And she likes me, too. But she has so many work to do…


“Timewind” (1975) album is a masterpiece in my opinion. Do you consider this album as an important one or it is just another release for you?

Many thanks. But, every album that I do and release is of importance to me, at time of release. Otherwise it would be a bit silly to release it. That this album became a “classic” among electronic music fans is very nice. Maybe I should mention that I recorded the long A-side (“Bayreuth Return”) live in my “home studio” in my bedroom, on two-track tape, between 10 p.m. and midnight.


Some people say that downloading “destroys” the album as format. Do you agree with this or a good album will always be superior?

The music of an album is one thing, and the package and marketing of an album is another. Of course, the two are connected. This new way of purchasing (more often: stealing) music by download is not exactly what a serious composer and musician wants for his music. The “value” of the music seems to be less, today. The music is so easy to get. No one collects albums anymore, young people have Giga or Terabytes of music on their hard disk, or their mp3 players, they don’t listen carefully anymore, they don’t look at covers and read the booklet text. This new technique is made for POP songs, not for serious music. But because pop music is 90% and serious music only 10% of the market, the industry will go on to work and support the easy listening pop market.  Time marches on. We have to live with it, if we like it or not. I’m dualistic with my opinion about this topic.


Do you believe that analog sound is warmer and sounds better that digital one?

The sound of a recording is much more dependent on good/bad equipment: plugs, sockets, cables, amplification, the room you are listening in(!), etc.


Great singer/songwriter, Roy Harper told me in a past interview that “Acoustic instruments and people-sized instruments are perhaps more real, for real people, than Stadium Rock or Industrial Rap”. What’s your opinion?

My friend and publisher, Klaus Mueller, was a great fan of Roy Harper, at least during the seventies and eighties. I don’t have an opinion about “Stadium Rock or Industrial Rap”, because this is not my world and it is not my interest.


I know that you are a big admirer of J.J. Cale’s (American songwriter, he also wrote “Cocaine”, which became famous by Eric Clapton) music. Have you ever thought to approach him for a possible collaboration?

Yes, some years ago I asked him (or his management) for a possible collaboration. Sadly, the answer was negative.


Is there any particular film director that you would like to work with him on a soundtrack?

No particular. Many. Any.


Martin Gore of Depeche Mode told you that you are a hero for him. Many musicians also believe the same, but you don’t really care about these comments. Do you think an artist shouldn’t care about other people’s opinions?

Of course I care about people’s opinions about my music. Everybody will be loved by others, or? Especially if these people are experts in the same craft. And the “normal” people? Of course, no difference. After all, I live from their sympathy.  I have met Martin Gore and the Depeche Mode people after one of their recent concerts here in Germany, we had some interesting, pleasant private hours in the lobby of their hotel.


During our last interview (November 2010) you said that I was you very first contact from Greece and that you have never got a fan letter or any other reaction from Greece, although you do music for 40 years. Have you received any feedback from Greek fans or promoters since then?

I don’t remember any. But it’s the same with many other countries and even with the whole continent of Africa: Just ONE from there who contacted me during the last four decades. I remember him, first, because he writes me from South Africa regularly, once every seven years or so. And secondly, because his name is Dennis Moore …and if your readers don’t understand …let’s see Monty Python. Many thanks for not forgetting me and asking again some interesting questions.


A huge “THANK YOU” to Klaus Schulze for his answers and to Klaus D. Mueller for his valuable help.

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