After 3 years’ time, Ezra Furman finally returned to Munich! We were lucky enough to meet him for an interview before his gig.
His new album ‘Day of the Dog’, which is absolutely brilliant, is out now and available on CD & Vinyl! Check out his single ‘My Zero’ right here!
So first, how’s the tour going yet?
It’s going good, really good. Shows are really fun. We had a few problems with loosing luggage and stuff, you know, somehow airlines are especially against musicians, but yeah, basically really fine.
Which artists do you think influence your work most?
Oh I don’t know.. When I was pretty young I saw Johnny Rotten on TV, and just the way he enunciates, really got me. And as a singer, I just wanna be a good enunciator, just wanna have good diction.
Maybe most of all Green Day influenced me, cause that was the music I first got over exited about. I didn’t really like music before I heard them, I was in seventh grade, and yeah.
How would you describe your music yourself?
Oh I try to avoid that question.. Find it, and listen to it.
I did, and I really love the new album!
Oh thanks! We used the saxophone a lot, there is lots of lyrics in the saxophone.
Are there any special topics you like to write about?
What do you think? I don’t know.. Mental illness. I like to write a little bit more clearly about mental illness. I feel like most of my songs are about being a little bit insane. Either like manic or maybe depressed sometimes.. more manic, also maybe frightened and excited haha!
Are there artists you would like to work with?
Yes I’d love to! There is a bunch.
I don’t know why but M. Ward comes to my mind first, he is really good. Well he’s more famous for his Band She & Him, but he had like all his solo stuff before that. He is a brilliant songwriter and producer. And he seems like he’s a great collaborator. I’d also just like to see him do more spooky stuff.. like his own work. She & Him is usually so sunny and happy..
Not as depressed as yours…
Haha! Well I just find it helpful to have music that is dark, or wild, that seems more helpful to me. But probably more people get more used out of happy music.. that’s basically good! But yeah.. I dont know haha.
Is there a newcomer band that you’d recommend to listen to?
YES! First thing what came to my mind was KRILL, they’re from Boston. Vacillate whether to tell you or not.. well I’ll tell you.
My brother is in that band, but they’re not like my band at all. They’re much more.. weirder I think haha.
I don’t like them more, basically I like them less, cause he’s in there.. But it’s like a little test how good they really are that I still like them even though my brother is in there.
But there are more good musicians, like TRISTEN.
Tristen is a singer who lives in Nashville. And she’s like the best singer I’ve ever met, she writes amazing songs. She has that song called ‘Gold Star’ which was, I think, my favorite song.
And a bunch more.. Well I do nothing but listen to music, and trying to tell people like ‘Oh you gotta hear this!’, but usually they just don’t care..
But those are definitely my Top 2!
I really love the song ‘My Zero’, is there a special story behind it?
You might be the first person who asks me that..
Well I guess it was kinda about running away, being a run away you know, being out of the doors for a while, which I really havn’t done. I was really trying to recreate the.. do you know the book ‘The Dharma Bums’ by Jack Kerouac? It’s an american book, I didn’t even finished it, it kinda pissed me off haha, I didn’t like it really much.
But it’s the first chapter which I really love. It’s actually just about this guy who jumps on the back of a train, takes it for a while, and then gets off and lays down at the beach.. sleeping outside, looking at the stars.. he is just like out here, out here alone, under the stars.
So first chapter from this book was in my head when I wrote ‘My Zero’.
What was the best experience you ever had on stage?
One time I got to perform in front of Lou Reed, 2008, which was crazy!!
It was right after my band was new and we went to that festival south by southwest, just because I knew a guy who was working at this event Lou Reed was playing (he was speaker of south by southwest 2008). And he just recommended by band to Lou Reed, and Lou Reed was like ‘Oh I like this band, put them on the show’… so that was an early, totally insane thing. Thats pretty sure the highlight of my career, no matter what happens.. My hero.
And the last one, have you got any advice for young musicians who are just starting with music?
First advice I would probably give is:
Stop it, give up. Like don’t try to do this professionally, don’t do this to yourself haha.
If this advice proofs to be un-doable, then my advice is, by all the time for everybody:
Say yes to everything, don’t be spoiled, be nice to everyone, just like do it all the time.
And someday, sometime, someone will see you doing it, and if you’re good at what you do, they’ll probably like you and yeah, I guess that’s my advise.
First quit, and if you can’t quit, then do it. Do it all the time. All or nothing I guess.
Or just do it sometimes.
Also don’t tell lies. Be nice.