Lukasz Polowczyk photographed by Bert Spangemacher

SPOTLIGHT ON LUKASZ POLOWCZYK

Rhyming “words with sound and sound with things visual” isn’t just another catch phrase, Aint About Me exceeds expectations, inviting you through new doors to the spoken word action.

Photography BERT SPANGEMACHER
Text F. GONZALEZ

A serendipitous move from Warsaw to New York City exposes a young man (Lukasz Polowczyk) to a new world of hip-hop and counterculture lifestyles, and opens the flood gates to a whole world of musical influences. Years of absorbing sonic genres has resulted in a unique approach to spoken word that flows in and around an ambient atmospheric soundscape weaved together by elements from jazz to electronica and everything in-between. Sounds are not just a backdrop to the words but a symbiotic flow between them. It is a journey that started in youth and continues in their 2020 release – Aint About Me.

Interview: Lukasz Polowczyk

Lukasz Polowczyk. a poet / spoken word artist who works and lives in Berlin
4SEE Spotlight – Lukasz Polowczyk

 

Artist Name : AINT ABOUT ME
Genre hardcore spoken word, experimental electronica, modern jazz
Members and Instruments
Lukasz Polowczyk (vocals), Jan Wagner (music)
Based in Berlin
Playing together since 2020
Listen on Bandcamp

Lukasz Polowczyk's Aint About Me
Lukasz Polowczyk’s Aint About Me
Available in book, prints and a series of tapes at Bandcamp

Describe your band / music / style in three words.

Blood, peaches, metal.

What did you listen to when growing up?

I discovered hip hop at an early age, I was probably eight or nine, we had just moved from Warsaw to New York with my family. Looking back on it, hip hop was my gateway to counter culture. I wasn’t just blown away by the music, but everything that surrounded it: the fashion, the graffiti, breakdancing, beat boxing, the whole style element, etc. I was straight drunk off of that energy. I can vividly remember the first time I heard Whodini’s “Five Minutes of Funk!” I heard it on the radio, and it felt like a thunderbolt just hit my spine. I mean this literally! I felt a strong energy coursing through my body, something that I’ve never felt before, and, unfortunately, never felt with this intensity ever again. Ever since, I’ve been chasing this feeling and energy.

Music icon(s) and the reason why.

I definitely look up to John Coltrane! I admire how committed he was to the evolution of his sound. I return to ‘A Love Supreme’ at least a few times a year. What baffles me about this record is that it doesn’t seem to age, at all! Most records from that era sound dated now, but this one doesn’t seem to have a time stamp on it. It’s as if it somehow transcended the weight of time. Another person that I look up to is Rick Rubin, he’s not a musician per-se, but a producer. I love how he’s able to help artists find their personal and artistic truth, and how he manages to capture that “on tape”, time and again.

Who are you listening to right now?

My friend Marc Jacobs just released his new album under the moniker Prairie, it’s called “The Bird Said: Cut Me Open And Sing…” It’s been on heavy rotation for a minute! It’s very personal and singular. The records that hit me the hardest do two things to me: sonically they take me to places that I haven’t been to yet, and they feel thoroughly honest emotionally. This record ticks off both of those boxes. I love how textured the sound is, and how the synth sounds bleed into the field recordings. It’s like, with every song, you’re being handed a page torn from a diary, but in the form of a distillation of a particular moment. I highly, highly recommend it!

Lukasz Polowczyk photographed by Bert Spangemacher
4SEE Spotlight – Lukasz Polowczyk


Can you describe the craziest or funniest thing that’s happened on tour?

On my first cycle with music, which ended something like 12 years ago, I got to open up for Missy Elliott. It was with a collective of producers and vocalists that I was moving with at the time. I got on stage pretty much right after a twenty-hour-plus journey from Barcelona to Kuala Lumpur. The funny thing is that I had only spent 15 hours in Barcelona, the day before, as I just flew in from Brazil, which was also a 20-hour or so journey. So, when I hit the stage that night, I was flying! Like I was having some out of body experience. The energy from the crowd was what was holding me up, physically, and keeping me awake. After the show, because of some strange movie-like domino sequence of events, I never got paid for this show. I ended up running with the promoter’s wife from thugs, or so I was told that that’s what we were doing. At one of our stop-overs on our escape route, we met a gangster-turn-magician who broke down the situation to us. And, eventually, I ended up at a 7-11 with another poet/emcee, hanging out with Mohammad, our taxi driver, after pretty much kidnapping him for trying to rip us off. Epic!

 

Favourite performance venues or music festivals?

It’s strange to answer this question at a time when live music is not really an option, at least not in the way that we know it. A lot of the venues and festivals will probably have to close for good, in the coming months. This is kinda heartbreaking! I secretly hope that the scene will eventually reboot with a greater emphasis on community. The fact that we will bounce back is inevitable!

Three words to describe your fans.

Hardcore nerds and freaks.

Favourite eyewear brand?

I had a pair of these gold vintage Cazals. I rocked the shit out of them! Unfortunately, they broke. Maybe one day I’ll get another pair. I am by default drawn to objects that have an ‘80s DNA.

What is the best thing about the next project you’re doing?

An illustrated book that will accompany and complete the AINT ABOUT ME record will drop in the coming days as of November 30th. I’m really excited about sharing it with the world. My brother Art Jefferson penned this deep intro for it that straight brought me to tears, when I read it for the first time! Because he really saw me! As an artist and a human being! And he managed to connect the dots in a way that no one has, to date. Art is also an alien, cut from a patchwork type of cloth. The illustrations for the book were drawn by a young lady who goes under the alias Rrrumburak, she’s only 15 and is already killing it! She draws with such detail and her lines are so clear and present! Her father, who is a dear, dear friend of mine, he designed the book. He works under the alias Animisiewasz. He’s one of those designers that possess this gift of actually breathing soul into design, the same way a musician breathes soul into music.

Where do you see yourself in ten years‘ time, where would you like to see your music and at what scale?

I want to preserve the freedom to explore music, to experiment and grow with it, craft-wise, but also in terms of my spirituality or humanity. It would also be great to be at a place to have the means to realise the wildest ideas that come to my mind. I want to continue to be surrounded by like-minded artists, who are on a similar trip to mine, who see music as Art and use it as their spiritual practice. Basically, I just want to have what I have now, just slightly scaled up.

Philip Zoubek Trio

SPOTLIGHT ON PHILIP ZOUBEK TRIO

Cologne Jazz trio, in definition only, explores modern territory of sound and autoschediasm.

Text F. GONZALEZ
Photography FLORIAN FRIES

Post WWII, Jazz made an impression in Europe and flourished in the ‘70s under German-based label ECM. Now based out of Cologne, but originally via Austria, the Philip Zoubek Trio carries on the tradition but adds a modern touch to piano (Zoubek), bass (Helm) and drums (Mahing). On their second outing, “Nonplaces” the trio offers traditional expectations but breaks away into new modern constructs that blend electronic harmonies and melodies while still delving into improvisation.

Interview:  11/2020 with Philip Zoubek Trio

Philip Zoubek Trio
4SEE Spotlight – Philip Zoubek Trio
David Helm (bass) | Philip Zoubek (piano, synthesizer, composition) | Dominik Mahnig (drums)

Artist Name Philip Zoubek Trio
Genre Avantgarde Jazz
Members and Instruments
Philip Zoubek (piano synth, composition), David Helm (bass), Dominik Mahnig (drums)
Based in Cologne, Germany
Playing together since 2015
Listen on Bandcamp / Spotify / YouTube

Philip Zoubek Trio "Nonplaces" cover

Describe your band / music / style in three words.

Detail. Chaos. Character

What did you listen to when growing up?

When I was a child, six years old or so, I was a huge fan of the Beatles, especially of how they were using harmony. I remember listening to their records a million times!

Also Morton Feldman for his transcendental sense of space, sound instrumentation and form.

Who are some of your music icons? Did they impact the way you make music today?

Jimmy Giuffre for bringing together avant-garde jazz and chamber music, and also introducing intimacy into free jazz. I could go on forever, here are a few more names: Coltrane, Xenakis, Bach, Lachenmann, Purcell, John Cage, Charlie Parker, Grisey… the list goes on.

Who are you listening to right now?

I am currently listening to a fantastic improv band called Demierre – Dörner – Kocher. I also stumbled on some incredible pieces by French composer Christophe Bertrand, and for anyone who wants to investigate the psychogenic aspects of music, I recommend James Tenney’s “Koan”.

Can you describe the craziest / funniest thing that’s happened on tour?

(laughter) The funniest tour related incidents, I wouldn’t dare talk about those in public! An absurd one was us playing an encore in a big hall in Siberia. After a nice set of chamber jazz music, my dear friend Hayden put on his Scottish kilt and took out his bagpipe and we played some very odd sounding blues. Lots of question marks appeared on people’s faces, and we could hear people begin to break out laughing from the audience…

Favourite performance venues or music festivals?

Definitely the Loft in Cologne, it’s a true gift to the music scene. I have had such incredible nights there! Thanks to the passion of Hans- Martin Müller and his son Benedikt. Go there if you can!

Three words to describe your fans.

Hopefully easygoing, relaxed and open-minded.

Favourite thing about eyewear?

I love wearing sunglasses, but I have the very bad habit of breaking them all the time.

What is next for you, an immediately upcoming tour or EP/Album?

I’m releasing two CDs that I am very proud of: one is my prepared piano solo program “VORTEX” and they other is with the amazing group “TAU 5”, which plays weird electronic music.

Where do you see yourself in ten years‘ time?

Hopefully I will still be as thirsty for music as I am now! The rest will happen anyway.

CECILIA LO

Cecilia Lo on nature, mystery, and surviving and even thriving during a very tough year for art by taking the time to appreciate, plan, and create.

Text JUSTIN ROSS
Photography CHARLOTTE KRAUSS

Cecilia Lo is a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on painting who lives and works in Berlin since 2018. She opens up to 4SEE about her international background and the particular challenges (bureaucracy!) but also the many rewarding experiences of moving to Berlin to pursue her career as an artist. She shares with us her highly personal approach to painting with wood as a canvas and the journey that her creative process follows along, resulting in each piece having its own story to tell. And, like of all of us, 2020 has presented a unique set of challenges. Cecilia recounts a few of her own, including her perspective on the political situation in Hong Kong, and how she has coped with them by taking advantage of peace and serenity offered by the plentiful natural surroundings that are pretty easy to access by bike or by train from Berlin.

Name Cecilia Lo
Age 23
Nationality Hong Kong, British
Medium Mixed media on wood
Based in Berlin
Recent/upcoming exhibition (projects) Rebounder Open Studio at HER Contemporary
Find more at website / instagram

Interview from October 2020

Cecilia Lo photographed by Charlotte Krauss in Berlin
4SEE Artist Profile – Cecilia Lo

Did you always know that you were going to be an artist?

I knew I was going to be an artist in my heart since I was a child, I love to scribble and always carry a sketchbook with me everywhere. Growing up in an Asian society, the thought of being an artist is purely a privilege; often being an artist isn’t even considered a “real” thing, but my family is incredibly supportive of my passion even if I am the odd one out in my engineering family! Art has been a pathway for me to construe doubts and thoughts into layers of certainties; I am true to myself when I make art.

What made you decided to study art in the United States and then move to Berlin after graduating?

I am originally from Hong Kong and I studied at a girls boarding school in the UK at the age of 13. I think that because of this experience of having to live aboard on my own since a young age I have built an immense curiosity and ability to adapt to new environments.

After graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design in the United States, I took part in the artist residency program at the Trelex Residency in Switzerland, then I came to in Berlin to join the residency at the Berlin Art Institute in the Summer of 2018. Ever since then I decided to stay. Berlin has so much to offer—I am grateful to be in a city of diverse art communities and with crazy buzz about it.

How do you think each of these places has influenced you so far?

It was a wild adventure for a 13-year old when I started going to a boarding school in the UK, a very different culture indeed, but after only about one week of homesickness, I adapted into that environment surprisingly pretty well. Having to live in the UK, I was trained to be independent and it broadened my perspectives toward western society. The US was even wilder because of the art school, my artist self fully kicked in from there. My clothes have been stained with paint and covered in wood dust ever since. And Berlin is no doubt the wildest so far, I love the experimental spirit of Berlin’s cultural scene—I love walking out my apartment in my pajamas and no one gives a damn; here is where I started to seriously believe in myself as an artist.

"Detail shoot" by Cecilia Lo (2019), mixed media on panel, 91 x 122cm
„Detail shoot“ by Cecilia Lo (2019), mixed media on panel, 91 x 122cm

Anything you miss about them that you just can’t find here in Berlin?

My family back home in Hong Kong, mountains and DAYLIGHT (except for summers in Berlin).

Do you find the art world competitive or supportive, or something in between?

From my experience as a young artist, I am blessed to have loving and supportive artist friends whom we exchange ideas, encourage and inspire each other to thrive, particularly in these current times of turbulence.

But sometimes I can’t help but feel the art realm is far too superior to reach. I see the art world as an industry after all; it is superficial within its own social bubbles and hierarchies, with the art market built upon the philanthropy, and social networks of the ultra-wealthy. I suppose it is just like any other field out there, there is always a certain amount of competition.

What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?

Never stopped making art and managed to deal with German Bureaucracy.

"Calling" by Cecilia Lo (2018), mixed media on panel, 122 x 122cm
„Calling“ by Cecilia Lo (2018), mixed media on panel, 122 x 122cm

Tell me more about your painting process. How did you develop it and in what ways do you think it reflects you personally?

I like to work on wood panels in comparison with canvas. It is very satisfying to incorporate scratching and sanding in my process, revealing the beautiful woodgrains underneath the paints. The wood panels are like a playground for me to explore textures and space. I don’t usually follow a sketch or a plan, I feel constricted that way, it is more like go with the flow… that kind of working rhythm.

My work is comprised of extensive layering processes. Each layer is a memory and passage of thought, of which audiences only get to see fragments. I like how personal the work can get. I like to envision my painting process as if I go on a long hike without a map. I get lost, unsure what is ahead but as long as I keep patiently climbing and walking, I know I will reach there eventually.

In what way is nature is an important source of inspiration for you? Where do you go for your nature fix in Berlin?

For me, solitude in nature is transcendental. It clears my eyes to see that, in nature, all entities, relationships, experiences and phenomena are equitably respectable. My work is a journey of manifesting the cyclical movement of life’s trajectory—it allows the power of nature to nourish my soul through immersion and acknowledgement of the interconnectedness of life.

Berlin is surrounded by natural diversity, I like to go for walks or run in parks to clear my head, I can also easily hop on the S-Bahn or a long bike ride to visit the nature in and around Berlin.

2020 has been such an unpredictable and tumultuous year, how was it for you so far?

It has been mentally and physically exhausting from having to constantly think about and confront micro-aggressions and racist interactions. And this pandemic has aggravated those issues for Asians like me. Soul cleansing is much needed every time, but I’ve learnt to see the bigger picture and handle it strategically. At the same time, it has been depressing to see the unceasing injustice, especially witnessing Hong Kong being politically suppressed.

I think mostly because of all this insanity, I started having more vivid, bizarre dreams. I keep a “Wild Stuff” journal on my phone, spending 5 to 10 minutes tracing the puzzling unconsciousness as soon as I wake up. I think it would be quite interesting to combine all the figments together into my work one day.

And how has your creative life been impacted by the pandemic? Has it influenced the way you think about art?

Despite the tremendous economic impacts and loss of countless souls, this pandemic has resulted in a wider lens for me, given me perspective and shown me a greater complexity that we are in. It helps to assess what we can and cannot control; we are simultaneously being challenged with decision-makings and the willingness to accept the change.

I learn to view my artistic journey through this wider lens, zoom out and be more fluid, accept the fact that cancellations and schedule changes happened but there are many alternative ways to manifest plans. There’s so much to learn, improve, sometimes changes help me to regroup and rethink.

What is next for you, an upcoming project or chance to see your work?

Meanwhile, a second lockdown is coming up, it is quite difficult to plan exhibitions during such unpredictable times. I have just recently moved into my new studio after a while of studio hunting and trying to balance job and personal practice, so for now my goal is to build a stronger portfolio, explore a boarder spectrum of mediums like sculptures and printmaking, widen my networks, but most importantly… carry on making a mess in my space!

Where do you see yourself in ten years‘ time, where would you like to see your artwork and at what scale?

This is always a tough one… 10 years ago I would have never imagined working and living in Berlin. I don’t know where I will be by then, but most importantly I would like my art to be an inspiration for people in 10 years.

Etnia Barcelona optical glasses called Orient Express
ETNIA BARCELONA Orient Express

 

ZORA KREUZER

4SEE x Etnia Barcelona’s Studio Series visits Berlin artist Zora Kreuzer’s studio to discover where her work with the perception of light and colour is leading her

Text JUSTIN ROSS
Photography CHARLOTTE KRAUSS

Drawing inspiration from unique natural and urban environments and architecture, Zora Kreuzer’s site-specific projects adapt to each place, reflecting her specific impression of colour and light. She wants you to see light in a new way, painting spaces with colour, or activating the exuberance of neon to cast bright beams and shadows that pick up on architectonic elements of the indoor spaces or public places where she installs her work. With so much of her work being something that needs to be experienced in person, and traveling also essential to install and produce it, the restrictions this year have been challenging to say the least. But it also gave her a chance to reflect more on Berlin and why it is still such a great place to be an artist.

We got the chance to speak to her from her studio and hear about her plans for new work as the art world also adapts.

Name Zora Kreuzer
Age 34
Nationality German
Medium Painting, Light Installation
Based in Berlin
Recent/upcoming exhibition (projects) Bark Berlin Gallery
Find more at website / instagram

Interview from October 2020

Zora Kreuzer for 4SEE, photographed by Charlotte Krauss
4SEE Artist Profile – Zora Kreuzer
Eyewear by ETNIA BARCELONA Lisa
Photographed during her show „The Sun is Shining Tonight“ at B-Part Exhibition @loopraum

It is clear that colour and light play an important part in your work, where did this fascination with these aspects of perception come from?

I had quite a colourful childhood with lots of crafting, painting, building things, etc. In art school I wanted to focus on the colours which were most important to me, so I started to work mainly with neon colours. From there I also started the work with coloured light. Growing up in Berlin, I was deeply influenced by the aesthetics of club lights. This fascination grew while traveling to different countries and for example studying in China for some time.

What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?

I guess every project or exhibition I did was important to get to where I am today. Currently, I really enjoy starting to work more in commissions, like permanent works in public buildings. I’m just working on my first public project in Berlin.

You grew up in Berlin and still live and work in Berlin. It is already a cliché to say that Berlin has changed a lot over the past decades but do you see something positive for artists in the way the city has developed?

It’s nice that there are so many creative people from all over the world living here now. Also I feel like the support for artists is better now. There is more funding for projects, exhibitions and studios. And you get access to so many workspaces, working groups and shops for special materials. I think Berlin is still a great city to live and work in.

You have traveled to some pretty interesting places through your studies, residencies and exhibitions. How have these travels influenced you or your work?

Traveling is important for me personally, but also for my work. I’m interested in the public space, so when I travel I like to research the architecture, and also the use of lights and colours of a place. I work a lot on site-specific projects, so the work changes with the environment I’m working in. I did some nice projects in Australia and it was great to work in a different surrounding; I was impressed by the different natural light and the colours of the landscape.

What does the studio mean to you? How do you get into the right frame of mind to create in your space?

The studio is crucial for the preparations for big projects, but also for my painting practice on smaller scale. To get into working mood I definitely need good music and coffee and then I just have to start working. The beginning is always hard…

4SEE Artist Profile Zora Kreuzer photographed by Charlotte Krauss
4SEE Artist Profile – Zora Kreuzer
Eyewear by ETNIA BARCELONA Charles
Photographed during her show „The Sun is Shining Tonight“ at B-Part Exhibition @loopraum

Has the way you think about your work changed at all due to the impacts of coronavirus, either on your own life, or on society in general?

During the lockdown, when I was trying to work in my studio, I realised that I need more than just me and the studio. I really missed to go out and socialise, exchange with other artists and to look at art. For me it was a very unproductive time. Also many shows got canceled. My work in general did not change, and I’m lucky that some commission projects are still happening.

If you could place your work or develop an installation anywhere in the world, where would it be?

There is no specific country, but I always wanted to realise a big light installation on the waterfront of a lake or a river and to work with the reflection of the water.

Zora Kreuzer's Arcade, 2017, acrylic on MDF/ Fremantle Biennale (AU)
„Arcade“ by Zora Kreuzer, 2017, acrylic on MDF/ Fremantle Biennale (AU)

What is next for you, an immediately upcoming project or chance to see your work?

Due to Corona most shows planned for autumn were canceled but I just got an invitation for a show in December at Bark Berlin Gallery.

Where do you see yourself in ten years‘ time, where would you like to see your artwork and at what scale?

I hope I will still be fortunate enough to make art and be able to have a studio in Berlin. This will be the hardest to obtain. Probably I’ll end up somewhere (just outside of Berlin) in Brandenburg 😉

The Studio Series - 4SEE Magazine x Etnia Barcelona Artist Profiles

ETNIA BARCELONA Lisa
ETNIA BARCELONA Lisa
Egopusher's Tobias Preisig wearing SALT. Fuller sunglasses

SPOTLIGHT ON EGOPUSHER

This Swiss duo want to take you on an electronic cinematic journey that is also inescapably danceable.

Photography BERT SPANGEMACHER
Text F. GONZALEZ

Cinematic-electronica, sound all around you in the n-dimension that feels bigger than your surroundings, making you feel part of an epic tale that you can also dance to. Whether transported to a film like Blade Runner 2049 or directly to the dance floor, Swiss electronica duo Egopusher come up with sweeping electronic sounds of strings and beats. The soundscape is divided between Tobias Preisig (violin/bass, synthesizer) and Alessandro Giannelli (drums/synthesizer), whose sound was developed at live shows and refined in the studio. On this their 7th year they plan to play a few festivals and are really looking forward to the release of their second full length album “Beyond”.

Interview:  09/2020 with Tobias Preisig and Alessandro Giannelli from Egopusher

Egopusher's Tobias Preisig photographed by Bert Spangemacher at raw studios. in Berlin
4SEE Spotlight – EGOPUSHER Tobias Preisig

Artist Name Egopusher
Genre Advanced Electronica, Neo-Classical, Soundtrack Meets Club
Members and Instruments
Tobias Preisig (Violin, Synths), Alessandro Giannelli (Drums, Synths)
Based in Zürich / Berlin
Playing together since 2013
Listen on Spotify / Apple Music / Bandcamp

Describe your band / music / style in three words.

Intense, cineastic, danceable.

What did you listen to when growing up?

Tobias: We both have very different musical backgrounds, which is reflected in our music. Before Egopusher, when we played in Dieter-Meier’s (Yello) band „Out of Chaos“, we often drove to the concerts together and played our favourite albums to each other. Those are great memories!

Alessandro: My father is also a musician and used to have his own “Italo-Pop” Band, where he sang and played keyboards. Even as a small child I was allowed to watch his band rehearse. Of course, this influenced me a lot and made me want to make music myself. Musically, I went through pretty much all of the key phases. From David Hasselhoff and Roxette to Sepultura, to Big Beats à la Propellerheads, to Jazz and all kind of electronic music. A funny childhood story is, that every time when „The Final Countdown“ played on the radio, I was kind of hypnotized by the synthesizer melody. (laughter) Actually, I still am.

Tobias: Damn! I didn‘t know you also fell into the David Hasselhoff trap. That was actually the first cassette that I purchased, when I was the tender eight years of age. But my actual musical background also started with my family. I played Swiss folk music with my father and grandfather, just followed the melodies by ear and tried to emulate them on the violin.

As a teenager, I got infiltrated with Jazz. With a bunch of friends, we listened and copied all the records we could get our hands on. After school, I started studying Jazz in Switzerland and then in New York. Because violin in Jazz was such an odd and uncommon instrument, I learned from pianists, saxophonists and even a drummer, always trying to translate the musical message to the violin. Afterwards, I locked myself in the conservatory and studied classical music to be able to master my instrument. It took some more years to then let go of all these studies and find the space and discover my own voice on the violin.

Tobias: By the way, Alessandro, did you know that the famous melody of “The Final Countdown“ was created by a Swiss guy?

Alessandro: I do! And it was recorded at the Powerplay Studios in Switzerland.

Music icon(s) and the reason why.

Alessandro: A very inspiring figure for me is the recently deceased Ennio Morricone. I also have my father to thank for this. When I was a little child I always rummaged through his vinyl collection. One day, I discovered the „Once Upon A Time“ soundtrack and put it on. Nobody writes such beautiful melodies like Ennio, and I think this has influenced my musical path.

Tobias: Oh it‘s so hard to mention [just] one music icon. There are so many that belong to different periods of time. But what I realized is, that I never really had a violin idol. To me, I always want the violin to sound different than what I hear from violin icons. Maybe that has to do with my unconventional background and interest in music that was far away from traditional classical music. The only thing I constantly aimed for is to get as close with my instruments to the intimacy and truth of a human voice.

Egopusher's Tobias Preisig wearing SALT. Rockwood sunglasses
4SEE Spotlight – EGOPUSHER Tobias Preisig
Eyewear by SALT Rockwood

Who are you listening to right now?

Tobias: We share a common playlist on Spotify where we add inspiring songs. The playlist now consists of more than 300 titles. You can find everything from Arvo Pärt to Autechre and Charlotte Gainsbourg. At the moment, we are celebrating Rival Console’s new album “Articulation”. He has his own way of bringing electronic music to life, and we love it.

What is the craziest or funniest thing that’s happened on tour?

Tobias: Two years ago, we went to France to play at a festival. We were on the road with our sound engineer’s car, which was already very old and not even insured for international travel. In the middle of the motorway, and about an hour’s drive away from the festival, the car broke down. After a long back and forth, the festival had picked us up and we finally arrived just before the concert and went straight on stage.

Alessandro: This odyssey continued the following day, when we had to drive our drunk chauffeur super early in the morning to get to a next car rental. There were problems with the credit card and we already thought that we might have to stay in this French town. We also had a double show with Faber in Switzerland that evening. In the end, everything worked out, somehow, but it was a funny adventure. Our sound engineer’s car stayed there and was scrapped.

Favourite performance venues or music festivals? And why?

Tobias: There were so many! One of them is the „Tauron Nowa Muzyka“ Festival in Katowice in Poland, where we played in an incredibly beautiful and crazy concert hall. Or the Montreux Jazz Festival where we played with “Cigarettes after Sex”, three years ago, and were treated to raclette before the concert at the Claude Nobs Chalet estate.

Alessandro: In Berlin, we presented our last album at the Michelberger Hotel, in a very low key way. That was also a super beautiful experience.

Three words to describe your fans.

Diverse, faithful, beautiful.

Egopusher's Tobias Preisig wearing Oliver Peoples, photographed by Bert Spangemacher
4SEE Spotlight – EGOPUSHER Tobias Preisig
Eyewear by OLIVER PEOPLES Casson

Favourite eyewear brand?

Tobias: There is VIU, a small and friendly eyewear manufacturer from Switzerland. They have super beautiful models of glasses.

What is next for you, an immediately upcoming tour or EP/Album?

Alessandro: Both at once! On October 9th, our second album „Beyond“ will be released on Quiet Love Records. Until the end of the year, we will play some concerts in Switzerland and also in Germany. We are looking forward to it very much!

Where do you see yourself in ten years‘ time, where would you like to see your band / music and at what scale?

Tobias: We haven’t been around for ten years, yet. This year we will celebrate our seventh band anniversary. Firstly, we are very grateful that after seven years we are still making music together! Also, from day one, everything has grown organically and we have constantly developed. We hope that in ten years we will still enjoy making music together, that Egopusher continues to grow, and that by then we have hopefully played our Nightliner tour. (laughter)

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