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Thursday, May 15, 2014

"FEEDING FINGERS: Cosmopolitan, Avant-Garde, or the Art of Absolute Devotion" - English Version of Interview with Justin Curfman for Amboss Magazine (Germany)

Below, you will find the English version of the May, 2014 interview with Justin Curfman for Amboss Magazine (Germany) titled, (in German): "FEEDING FINGERS: Kosmopolitische, Avant-Garde oder die Kunst der absoluten Hingabe" or (in English): "FEEDING FINGERS: Cosmopolitan, Avant-Garde, or the Art of Absolute Devotion"
The original publication of this interview in BOTH German AND English with photos, videos, etc. can be found here:
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English Version / (auf Deutsch): 
Since you have now settled in Europe, what reasons did you have for leaving the U.S.?
First of all, Andreas, I would like to thank you for inviting me to do this interview with you and I apologize for having taken so long to get back to you. We have been on tour through Europe and Great Britain for the past seven weeks, making it rather difficult for me to sit still long enough or to concentrate well enough to give to you and your readers a decent interview. This is my first music magazine interview done entirely in German since my move to Germany from the United States in 2010. So, it would be nice of you to tell me afterward how you feel my German-language skills are coming along after four years of study and integration into the culture. I would appreciate that.
Before we get started here, just to give everyone some impression of place, I find it interesting how culturally integrated much, if not most, of the world has become since the beginning of this century. For example, I, a citizen of the United States with a residence permit for Germany, am doing this interview with you, in German, now from the lobby of a hostel in Prague, just a couple of meters away from Charles Bridge, where I am seated next to a fellow from Pakistan, a lady from Argentina and two members of the house staff, one of whom is from Romania and the other, surprise-surprise, is from the Czech Republic. And we are all speaking some curious mixture of English and German to one another with just a splash of Spanish.
So, let’s get started then…
You’ve asked me why I left the United States. That is a difficult question for me to answer in short form. But, I will do my best.
I noticed in 2009 after the release of our second studio album, Baby Teeth, that the broad majority of our listener base was coming from the eastern side of the Atlantic. So, my little brain said to me, “Maybe I should be doing what I do where there seems to be at least a bit more of an appetite for this.”
Immediately after the release of Baby Teeth, I shifted my focus almost entirely on exporting Feeding Fingers to Europe, while in the interim, playing shows on the east coast of the United States – in New York, Miami, Atlanta and so on, to prepare for our departure overseas.
I then coordinated Feeding Fingers’ first European tour with the support of our chief producer, radio personality and post-punk pioneer, Jim “Coyote J” Battan.
Beyond that, among countless other things, the US economy was beginning to collapse. And aside from the physical separation of myself from my friends and my father, I could find no strong reason to remain in the United States. The country, for me at least, and I don’t feel that I am alone here when I say this, lost its luster a very, very long time ago.
So, I decided to go where my art and music were at least a bit more appreciated and in the process, make an attempt to escape the rather deep, multi-year recession the United States was facing. Unfortunately, the recession followed me to Europe as well! But I have far more work here to keep me busy and to cushion the economic blow than I had in the United States. Additionally, I had become a bit of a stranger in my own country. When I sized it up, I realized the States held virtually no interest for me as an artist, or as an individual any longer. So, I packed it all up, wrote “I Promise to Build You aMachine” and said, “good-bye”.
Could you tell us a bit about your current occupation and how the move has affected the band?
The current Feeding Fingers roster is the same lineup that has been in place since November 2010. That being myself, my drummer Daniel Hunt, and my bassist Bradley Claborn. Daniel has been with me since the formation of the band in 2006. He has played drums for Feeding Fingers since September 14, 2006, to be exact. And Bradley has been playing bass for the group since November 3, 2010. Daniel and I are the two original members, obviously. Bradley is the group’s third bass player since our formation.
My move affected the band in that we have been unable to maintain a consistent touring schedule, due to distance and matters of finance. A proper tour is a very expensive undertaking, especially for a band like us with no major label support and no proper marketing pigeonhole to crawl into. But the distance has not affected the material output of the band. I generally write alone, as I almost always have. I then teach my band how to play our songs in a live setting. Of course I open myself to their own interpretations and creative contributions for each piece, which is why our live sets differ quite significantly from the material on record. This is no accident. So, from that end, my move has affected the band very little.
Additionally, most of my time from May, 2010 until at least the spring of 2013 was spent muddling my way through the infamous German bureaucratic machine in order to obtain a proper residence permit, completion of required language courses, integration courses and so on. It is only until relatively recently that I am, respectfully, a legal resident of Germany and the European Union. It was no small task. It is particularly difficult for Americans, Japanese and Australians to properly immigrate here. But, I did it. And so, here I am, preparing to officially change my citizenship either this year or next year. I will be renouncing my American citizenship in order to become a German – at least on paper.
There is quite a lot of discussion going on within our camp about how to deal with the problem of distance for Feeding Fingers at the moment. For now, the way that it works is that we book tours either in Europe or the USA. Then, when we go on tour in Europe, my band leaves America and comes here to me. We then rehearse and hit the air, road and rails together. Then, in turn, when we go on tour in America, I fly over to them and do the same.
It took you three years to complete the production of, The Occupant. What were some formative influences for you during that time?
Well, it was possible only in the wake of the rather significant cultural shift, for me, from America to Germany that I was able to write and record The Occupant. I crawled through myself and out in many directions during that album’s production in Germany and Austria from 2010 to 2013. This is why The Occupant took so long to complete.
Formative influences for me during my time writing and recording The Occupant were almost entirely non-musical. My major influences during those three years were, more often than not, taken from my experiences in traveling throughout Europe and dealing with my integration into a new culture. During those three years, I had literally almost no time to listen to any music or to read much of anything other than German language workbooks and children’s literature.
The opener comes as a bit of a surprise – a text written by you, in German, is sung by a member of the Salzburg Boys’ Choir. How did you arrive at this idea, and how did the collaboration come about?

The first piece of music that was written for The Occupant was the song, “Where the Threads are the Thinnest”, which was written in my apartment in Köln during the summer of 2010. I wrote the second song, “Inside the Body of an Animal” the following year while living in Ingolstadt. After writing those two songs, I took a step back to evaluate them and feared that I was not allowing myself to step outside of what I had already done with Feeding Fingers with the previous three albums. I was afraid that I was traveling, again, into much too well-tread territory. Admittedly, those two songs could have easily found themselves at home on our third studio album, Detach Me from My Head, from 2010. So, from there, I decided that I needed to break away from the familiar entirely. I then, somehow, began listening to quite a lot of children’s songs and propaganda music from the early Twentieth Century, finding the similarities rather interesting and a bit unsettling. At about the same time I rediscovered the songs, “Once Upon a Time There Was a Pretty Fly”, written by Walter Schumann and Davis Grubb for the 1955 film, Night of the Hunter which I hadn’t heard since my childhood. This led me to revisit other songs like, “Oh Willow Waly”, written George Auric for the 1961 film, The Innocents and “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf”, written by Frank Churchill and Ann Ronell for the 1933 Disney cartoon, Three Little Pigs. Those three pieces of music affected me rather deeply as a child and upon my re-examination of them in adulthood I found them all still able to touch me in some peculiar way. 
From there, I decided to take it upon myself to write something which, I felt, might be able to serve as something of a complement or companion piece to those songs, coming from within my own ugly little psyche, while adding to it this odd element of a foreigner becoming familiar with a new language and the obvious, somewhat automatic surrealism which births itself from the brain developing new textual, metaphorical and symbolic associations with an unfamiliar language as a conduit for expression.
The melody to the song itself was written during my first visit to Prague in November, 2012 – a bus trip from Salzburg that I had taken in order to visit a rather comprehensive exhibition of the work of Czech artist and filmmaker, Jan Svankmajer and a very special exhibition at the Czech Museum of Music, showcasing centuries-old musical automata from all corners of the world. The melody came to me on the bus while en route back home to Bavaria.
I then received as a birthday gift from someone very dear to me in Miami a Teanola, punch-card, hand-cranked music box from a distributor in the UK, for which I punched the musical notes into a piece of paper which is cranked manually into the machine. The instrumental version of that song came to be the piece, “Walzer für eine Spieluhr”, which is the closing track on The Occupant.
Finding myself not wholly satisfied with the piece being simply an instrumental for a music box, I decided, then, that I felt comfortable enough with the language, to write my first German lyrics.
A few weeks later, I was in the lobby of a psychiatric clinic in Munich for reasons not as quite as juicy and dramatic as one might be led to believe. While there, I waited for someone for several hours, alone, with my notebook in hand and inspiration struck me. It was in that lobby that I wrote the lyrics for “Eine Einladung in Ihr Gesicht mit Liebe geschnitzt” in one sitting, knowing that the text should be sung by a boy. And given my location, I thought, why not enlist a member of the Salzburger Boys Choir? Who better?
The next day, I contacted the conductors, teachers and administrators of virtually all of the boys’ choirs in Salzburg and within the region. Rather quickly, a fellow by the name of Wolfgang Götz, a director of the Salzburger Festspiele and Theater Kinderchor, enthusiastically suggested to me that I come into contact with a rather exceptional boys’ choir soloist in the area by the name of Jonas Binder. I took the recommendation very seriously and immediately contacted Jonas’ mother.
Jonas and his mother familiarized themselves with Feeding Fingers’ music via the internet, which made me a little nervous. Yet, much to my surprise, the two of them asked that I send along the proposed piece in its rather primitive, demo form to Jonas to rehearse remotely while I arranged for a production meeting to take place at the Musikum in Salzburg, along the Salzach River.
Within a month or so, I secured a recording space at the Musikum for Jonas and I. I arrived rather early that day to set up microphones, notation, pianos, etc., expecting a very long and frustrating day of language barriers and childish enthusiasm turned to tedium, but I was completely wrong.
There was a knock at the door of my room at the Musikum. I answered the door and found a small, 12 year old boy full of smiles and excitement standing next to his mother, sharing in his happiness. Jonas shook my hand and asked right away, “May I play those two pianos?” Jonas jumped on a pair of pianos that I had rented for the production of The Occupant and began banging out an arsenal of modern American pop music, playing the pieces with a skill on par with most concert pianists at least in their early 20s. I hadn’t seen such energy and enthusiasm about life in such a person in at least 5 years. Jonas’ presence really fueled the session and made the experience of recording with him a real joy.
The way that the session with Jonas worked was that I would play the melody for the song on a piano, in sections. Jonas would then memorize the sections, piece after piece, in tone only. Then, he and I would work out how to have him sing the text, in a way which, we felt, worked best syllabically. Of course, Jonas’ English is very elementary. And my German is, by no means, perfect.
So, Jonas and I communicated to one another by mixing and mashing German and English during the session, while also with the occasional help of a very close, German friend of mine to serve as a bi-lingual mediator during the session when I would reach my limits with the German language and when Jonas would meet his limits with English. It was quite an impressionable experience for both of us, I am sure – dreamlike, really, in a certain way.

Another striking feature, I feel, in your work with Feeding Fingers are the titles of your songs – for example, “Paper Dolls Would Eat Glass for Us”, “Inside the Body of an Animal” and so on. How do you see the relationship between the titles and the texts, and how do you come to such exciting, yet oblique, designations?
This is a difficult question for me to answer. I do not know exactly how I arrive at this. I have been asked this many times before by music journalists, listeners and literary enthusiasts. I do not know how to answer this question. I am not entirely sure from where the bulk of my lyrics come from. It isn’t quite like “automatic” writing. Of course, what I do, I’m sure, has traces of the surrealist or avant-garde tradition, but nothing has “intent”. I never write with a “goal” in mind. I simply have the desire, the feeling to go within and I find myself, somehow, with a text. I would say that most of my lyrical themes originate with mental imagery and the lyrics themselves are the closest interpretation of what I am seeing that I can arrive at, though, of course, embellished a bit with considerations of melody and delivery. Much of my lyrics are written during long walks while speaking in tongues to myself until I find what I am for. I am sure that it must be quite entertaining for fellow pedestrians. This is why writing lyrics for me is such a long and sometimes agonizing process. Plus, I feel that with there being already so much music and literature out there in the ether that an artist must take special notice to do his or her best to avoid saying what has already been said a million times. Find new permutations.
Can you tell a little more about the lyrics , as they arise, where your sources of inspiration are ?
I will have to get back to you on that sometime probably in the very distant future. I apologize, Andreas.
Since the release of your song, “I am No One That I Know” last year have you gotten to know yourself a little better?
I don’t think so. I think that maybe if I did, there would be no real point in going on. Isn’t that true of all of us? I hope so. Contentment and death are, for me, synonymous.
If one decides to label your work as being more in the realm of either philosophy, social criticism, the psychological or the avant-garde, where would you classify your own writing and why?
I would say that my writing is almost certainly not an exercise in social criticism. If it is in any way, I assure you that it is unintentional. I find social criticism left better to conversation and activism, real activism – not “liking” or “disliking” something on Facebook. I find social criticism in art, more often than not, to be rather cowardly and passive-aggressive, really. I prefer, in matters of social criticism, a stance of active aggression. Of course, there are countless, very powerful examples of social criticism in art, but more often than not, I find it rather diffident and left more effective on the streets than on a canvas in a gallery somewhere that virtually no one will ever visit, or take seriously, or entombed on a playback device bound for the dustbin. For far too long, I feel, artists in particular have gone up a bit too feathery against politicians and so on. I think that we are approaching a time where the rats need to be physically smoked out – all of them. That we are living in the 21st Century and have the bulk of almost all of collected human knowledge available to us at any time on cell phones and we still live with and tolerate statism is, I think, a rather embarrassing blemish on the development of mankind.
Let me take a deep breath here and get back on topic…
My writing certainly dwells more heavily within the realms of the psychological and the avant-garde, I am sure, than elsewhere.
If you take the overall concept of Feeding Fingers – “looking at the lyrics, the videos, cover artwork and so on” we might be accurate in saying that it is a work of avant-garde art. How do you see the philosophy of Feeding Fingers?
The philosophy of Feeding Fingers… that’s difficult. I agree with you that our entire catalog can probably be viewed as a single, complimentary work of art with a definite slant toward the avant-garde, with some obvious empathy for pop. However, as for a philosophy… I think that I am still working on that one myself. I am not quite sure how to answer that right now, Andreas. What I can tell you is that our coming fifth album will definitely be a departure from Feeding Fingers’ back catalog, picking up where The Occupant left off, or maybe even fell short. Perhaps finding that “philosophy” is, in part, what the fifth album is all about. In a way, I hope so, for I would like some clarity about all of this myself. I would like to understand why I do this. Or maybe not.
You write melancholic music and your lyrics make people think. You encourage us to stop and stand still in a state on contemplation, at least for a moment, in a world that’s living and moving very fast. How do you see the reflection and interaction between your surroundings and Feeding Fingers? What is the effect that each has upon the other?

I find this question very interesting, Andreas. You definitely aren’t going the superficial route with me on this, are you?
As for the reflection of my environment through the spectrum of Feeding Fingers…
I can’t say that any of our material is a “direct” reflection. If anything, I feel that my environment is sort of vacuumed up into my nervous system, pureed and given back in these curious little amalgamations of text and sound with, of course, pieces of my environment still intact and hanging there like an old photograph of a family member whose avenue of relation is unclear, yet still a member of the family in some way or another – and maybe not always in a good way.
As for interaction…
I must admit that I do not think that I have explored that theme very thoroughly within the context of Feeding Fingers. However, I strongly feel that given our recent experience while on tour just last month, particularly with regard to our time spent in Poland, Holland and the UK amongst people that have touched my life in ways that I am still sorting out and also with regard to some absolutely life-changing things that have happened to me in the most extreme senses of the words both positive and negative during the past two years, it is time for me to explore this and integrate its impact into our work.
A year ago, you published This Voice Crawled Into Your Face, an illustrated 54-page songbook, collecting all of your lyrics for Feeding Fingers. How do you see this publication in the overall context of Feeding Fingers?
I don’t know that I see the publication of that book as being a “part” of the Feeding Fingers canon proper. I was reluctant to publish our lyrics throughout the duration of our existence because I saw them as being, on their own accord, as sort of “beside the point”. I don’t see the lyrics to our songs as being separate from the music, really. That is the reason why none of the lyrics appear in any of the album release sleeves or artwork. It was my choice to have them go unpublished. But, we were regularly receiving correspondence from our listeners asking for lyrics because of the rather surreal nature of them, leaving them open to misinterpretation, which I, personally, find quite pleasing. However, the majority of our audience is not made up of native English speakers. Therefore, the nature of the lyrics made it quite frustrating for many people to fully enjoy. So, from there, I decided to make the lyrics available to everyone as a gesture of our appreciation to our audience.

You have worked frequently with artist and animator, Steven Lapcevic . Have you given him a free reign in the visual processing of your music?
Yes, I have. Steven is very much like me, in that he is an artist led by intuition. Therefore, I give him one hundred percent total freedom to interpret and express his impression of the music for which he has created many of our videos. I have faith in him as an artist; therefore, I do not meddle around much in his vision. Additionally, his work gives me something to look forward to. I have very little to do with any of our music videos. I don’t want to impede upon the filmmakers’ creativity. I, myself, want to be surprised from time to time too!

Mr. Lapcevic’s music videos echo the surreal, a bit like Salvador Dali. How would you describe them?
Describing Steven’s work is very difficult for me to do. He and I have spent a lot of time together in New York, Prague, Salzburg, Munich and elsewhere both as creative partners and friends. So, we have gotten to know one another very well. He is one of my best friends. But, he and I both are, first and foremost, as I have already said, artists of intuition. Therefore, trying to mine a description or explanation out of him about his work is rather futile, I think. I myself can’t do it. If anything, I remember reading a quote somewhere of a film critic who described Steven’s animation work in a very pragmatic way as being something akin to, “Monty Python in hell.” That little quote stuck with me and I use it often when people ask me about Steven’s work.

Was there ever an idea between you and Steven, and possibly other filmmakers as well, with whom you are acquainted with, to make a Feeding Fingers music film – something akin to Pink Floyd’s “The Wall?”
I have often thought of the possibility of making something of a Feeding Fingers music video album, which would be an animation-heavy study, enlisting people like Steven, Robert Morgen, myself and others to work on it. The thought is very seductive and if finance made such a thing possible for me to work on full-time, I would not hesitate to create such a thing. The idea very nearly makes me salivate. We’ll see what happens…

In retrospect, what would you say are the most important moments in Feeding Fingers’ nearing ten years of existence?
In some ways, the group started, really, while I was still in high school in America during the mid to late 1990s. During that time, as a teenager, I was devoting nearly all of my time to stop-motion animation and writing music simply “on the side” to be used for soundtracks to various films that I was working on. So, I would say that the first important moment of Feeding Fingers would have to have taken place during that period of my life in my, by then, deceased great-grandmother’s abandoned, one hundred year old farm-house in a rural suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. I was allowed the isolation and privacy which I craved, sought and needed as a young artist to figure out what I wanted to do – what I wanted to explore. That was my playhouse, which has since been condemned and destroyed, leaving an empty plot with nothing left to show for it but a lonesome water well and two acres of wild grass.
Another significant moment in our history is the hospice care and eventual death of my grandmother, Mary, in 2005 – a woman who sacrifiiced her own musical and creative ambitions in favor of marital enslavement to a remarkably violent, alcoholic, ex-Marine. While on her deathbed, in hospice, she begged that I do everything in my life that I sought to do with absolute dedication, no matter what the odds or the cost. I honor the memory of the woman, without whom I would have definitely ended up being shuffled around in foster homes throughout my childhood.
As far as significant moments within the band as a trio go, I would have to say that our very first gig, played in November, 2006, supporting my good friend, multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Bützer was quite significant for us. It was with that show that I saw how much more to music there was to just writing, recording and playing. From that moment on, I built relationships with people, such as my friend Sharron von Hoene from the band Cinetrope,and Rabbi Patrick Aleph Beaulier, both whom remain close to me to this day, more like family than mere friends an ocean away – while those whom I knew from childhood have totally disappeared or have grown to despise me for not becoming an “adult” – or, in other words, a slave to debt and fertility.
One major moment in our history as a band serves as a bit of validation for the concept of the “butterfly effect”. We have a very good Dutch friend named Paul Tetteroo, whom I very nearly consider family as well at this point, who owns and operates a music distribution company in Holland called Sounds for Sure. Paul saw some promise in the Wound in Wall album, which was released as a partnership through my company Tephramedia and another company based in Atlanta, called Stickfigure Recordings – which is owned by another friend of mine named Gavin Frederick, another instrumental person in the early days of Feeding Fingers. Paul was distributing Wound in Wall though his company in Holland. From there, our chief producer, radio personality, Jim “Coyote J” Battan from The Edge Radio purchased a copy of Wound in Wall and had it shipped to his home in Birmingham, Alabama. Coyote J assumed, initially, that Feeding Fingers was a European band. However, upon receiving the CD in the mail and reading the liner notes, he learned that we were based, at that time, in Atlanta, Georgia. We were very nearly neighbors. He was shocked and as it turned out, during that time, Coyote J was in the middle of organizing a music festival in Birmingham, Alabama called, “Edge Fest” which he intended to be something of a going-away party, for he was leaving commercial radio. On that bill, he had enlisted IAMX to fly in from Germany to headline the festival, introducing IAMX to American audiences, as a matter of fact. He then contacted me and enlisted Feeding Fingers to play on the bill as a support band for IAMX. From there, our relationship with Coyote J has grown into a career-long commitment to one another both professionally and as friends. Without him, I am not so sure that Feeding Fingers would have continued to exist beyond the release of Baby Teeth in 2009. And from his love and dedication to the development of the group, and to myself as a creative individual, we have gone on to cultivate relationships with people such as our manager, David I. Nunez, and our co-producer and guardian angel, Dana Culling – along with hundreds of others who have given this project the unexpected longevity that it has enjoyed. And the only way that I can imagine to thank these people is by pushing forward and pushing even harder when forces push back – even with fists and skewers, when I must. What isn’t significant, really?

You’ve recently played in Warsaw with the pioneering post-punk group, Ausgang. Then, in April you played at the legendary, bi-annual Whitby Goth Weekend Festival in England. What is the meaning for you of these performances? Are these special places for you?
These performances, as all of our performances, are incredibly important for me. I really draw no distinction from one or the other. Larger concerts are no more or less important to me than the smaller ones. What matters to me is that all of our shows are played with honesty and creative integrity. And I find, when you do this, it is apparent to the audience. These two examples that you mention here, being Whitby and Warsaw, for example, were two of the most incredible experiences of my life, generally speaking – not just from a musical or professional perspective. Warsaw, in particular, is a very special place for Feeding Fingers – a holy place, I feel that I may say in confidence.
As for Whitby – that town feels, to me, as if it were constructed from the blueprints from a dream and the people there, like Martin Oldgoth Coles and his lady, Brigitte, are really just some of the loveliest people that I have met in my sphere of musical contacts. Do yourself a favor, Andreas, and read this novel in its original German, titled, Die andere Seite, or The Other Side, for our English audience, from 1909. The book was written by a rather well-known Austrian artist, at least during his time, named Alfred Kubin. Read his descriptions of a fictional city by the name of “Perle” and maybe you will see what I am getting at.

In addition to singing, you play keyboard, guitar and bass, switching from instrument to instrument during shows and often trading duties with your bass player. Are live performances not burdensome for you? 
Live performance is in no way a burden for me. The logistics of tour booking, travel, promotion and finance are my only real burdens. The live performances themselves are the reasons why I keep moving forward with Feeding Fingers in the first place. Yes, I have multiple responsibilities during our concerts. I sing, play guitar, keyboards and also bass at times during our concerts, yes. But, I disappear into them. This is why my eyes are closed during most of our shows. I disappear. There are no burdens… just cables.

In 2011, your first novel, Wrecker, was published. Could you tell us a little about the topic of the book and describe to us the difference between writing literature and writing lyrics?
Wrecker is a semi-autobiographical novel which, upon a recent second reading, seems to be a collection of quasi-fictional vignettes tied together into a whole by what seems to be my childhood alter-ego, Eric. The content of the book is inspired by my experiences as a child, growing up an exceptionally broken and dysfunctional home in the deep south of the United States, living off of welfare and food stamps during the early to mid-1980s.
Writing literature, for me, is an almost entirely different process and experience from that of lyrics. For me, writing literature is a much more fluid, contemplative and analytical process. I feel it to be rather therapeutic. However, lyric writing… that is something else. Lyrics are, for me, not so much a “writing” experience. I realize how esoteric that must sound. But, lyrics just come to me. I don’t necessarily write them as I do record them in pen and ink on paper as they come to me. While writing literature, I sit at a word processor or with a journal and pen in hand and I sit down to write. I decide to write. On the other hand, while writing lyrics, I sit somewhere, or walk, while in, basically, something like state of meditation or even a trance and I record what comes to me on paper. Afterward, I shape and sculpt the text to make it fit syllabically and melodically into a piece of music that I have written, which feels fitting for the text. Music always comes first. I also manipulate the source text in some ways as well, if I see some sort of theme or subtext within it which I feel could be explored a bit more thoroughly. But this is rare.
In short, I feel that literature comes from me while lyrics come through me. I hope that I haven’t lost you there!

What are your creative goals for the near and distant future?
I am one of those people that makes lists of goals to help keep up and to stay on task. Forgive me. My goals for the near future are to start our next tour of North America in October of this year and then to spend the next year and a half working as exclusively as I am able to on Feeding Fingers’ next album – our fifth studio album, as of yet untitled. That, I will be working on as I am scattered about in Germany, Austria, Croatia, Montenegro, Poland, the Czech Republic, Holland, the UK, Canada and the United States during the coming eighteen months, both privately and with musical colleagues. Additionally, I will be training a coming fourth member of Feeding Fingers in Salzburg, which I am especially excited about. I can’t say who it is yet, but what I can say is that she will be taking over and making additions to synth and keyboard duties for the band, as well as lending her talents to us on cello and violin, so that I may be a bit less encumbered while on stage and to add a new, richer dynamic to our live sound. During that time I will also be returning to my first love, stop-motion puppet animation, to work on a proper music video in support of the release and playing a bit more often in smaller venues throughout Europe, doing acoustic and semi-acoustic duo shows with our new member to sort of break her in.
As for distant goals… we will be booking a comprehensive tour in support of our fifth album, covering Europe and North America, without question. However, we will also be looking to elbow our way in to areas that we haven’t explored yet, such as South America, China, Japan and Eurasia.
Beyond that, I have a lot of distant, non-Feeding Fingers related goals that I will be tackling after the fifth album and its supporting tour are complete. I will be writing a second novel and finally making a proper, feature-length stop-motion animation film. I will also be experimenting a bit with theatre and working on several other things through which I hope that our audience will follow me. We will see…

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