Gefragt: Der Wahlberliner Ian Fisher im Interview!

Gefragt: Der Wahlberliner Ian Fisher im Interview!

Ian Fisher & The Present © Jarred Gastreich & Anna Kohlweis

Ian Fisher & The Present © Jarred Gastreich & Anna Kohlweis

Gerade vor einer Woche kehrte Ian Fisher & The Present von seiner ausgiebigen Tour durch Deutschland zurück. Das letzte Konzert endete am 17.06 in Wien. Während jener Tour nahm er sich die Zeit etliche Fragen über Folk im Allgemeinen dem Soundkartell zu beantworten. Das ganze Interview könnt ihr auf Englisch jetzt hier lesen!

Soundkartell: How important is social media for you? Is that the contact to the fans for you? Don`t you think that especially through social media the real value of the fans is getting lost?

Ian: Like for all independent musicians, social media is extremely important for me. The old forms of media, like TV and newspapers, don’t really appeal to many of my listeners. More of my fans, or potential fans, get their cultural-news from the internet. Furthermore, as an artist with a limited budget, social media is an inexpensive way to connect with a large audience. Social media, however, is not the only point of contact between my fans and myself. It is the most constant one, but I would say that the “realist” form of contact for me is at live performances. I play a lot of concerts all over the world and meeting fans face-to-face is the most important means of contact for me. That is not to say that the “real value” of fans gets lost through social media at all. Social media is just a means to an end. It allows for an artist to let his audience know what he or she is doing and it gives the fan power to find out what an artist is doing. It’s a fan hearing a new song from an artist they haven’t heard before or coming to a concert of an artist who they are friends with on facebook that is the real point of contact. Social media is just the road map that points artists and fans in the right direction.



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Soundkartell: What makes a fan a „really fan“ to you?

Ian: I guess a “real fan” is someone who feels the music and can relate to, or at least desire to a certain extent, what they perceive as the identity of the artist.

Soundkartell: What is „Why Do I Go?“ about? And what is „Rotted on the Vine“ about?

Ian: I wrote “Why Do I Go?” when I was questioning the motivation behind some of the decisions I made and I wrote “Rotted on the Vine” when I was thinking about the timing of my actions.

Ian Fisher & The Present © Jarred Gastreich & Anna Kohlweis

Ian Fisher & The Present © Jarred Gastreich & Anna Kohlweis

Soundkartell: With which topic are you involved in your lyrics? There is something that is discussed most?

Ian: The focus of my lyrics has changed several times in the last few years. I once focused more blatantly on political issues, but realized I was externalizing a lot of my own issues on the world around me, so I started writing about how I felt instead. Then I realized that the way I felt was largely a product of the political and economic issues around me and that no matter what I write it will always be perceived differently by every person that hears it. Thus, to answer that question, I’d say that my main topic is how I view myself and the world. That’s pretty vague, but you can read into that any topic you’d like.

Soundkartell: In Germany nearly every Radio plays the song „Let Her Go“ from Passenger. Do you think this type of music you make – it`s probably folk – is the right genre which is heard by a bright mass of consumers?

Ian: I don’t think there is a right or wrong genre for large audiences to listen to. If the question is if I think that the type of music that bands like Passenger and Mumford and Sons make can appeal to millions of people, then the answer is obviously yes. If the question is if I chose to play music that can be vaguely associated with bands that I don’t listen to like Passenger and Mumford and Sons, then the answer is no. I think that it’s great that this pop-folk genre has become popular in the last few years, but it’s popularity isn’t the reason why I play the type of music I make.

Soundkartell: Do you think Folk wasn`t so popular as it is at the moment?

Ian: I would guess that Bob Dylan sold more records than all these contemporary folk bands combined. Thus, I’d imagine it’s been more popular than it is now at some point or another.

Soundkartell: When you are playing a live show, which mood would you transfer to the audience?

Ian: Generally, I would like my audiences to feel good. More specifically, I’d like them to feel understood, entertained, and like they are receiving something.

Soundkartell: Do you think your music is made for a bigger audience like in a stadium? Or do you prefer to play in a small club where the mood is more intensive?

Ian: I don’t really view the music that I make as Ian Fisher & The Present as something that is made for a stadium. It works best in theaters where people are sitting and listening.

Soundkartell: Do you remember the moment when you`ve realised that you can life from the music you are producing? How was that moment?

Ian: The path I took to become a professional musician was a long and blurry one. There was never a specific event that marked the transition from the life I had before to the life I lead now.


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Soundkartell: Two things that we German could do better than you in USA.

Ian: Germany has a much better infrastructure than the US. That is to say that the national train system and the local mass transit systems of nearly every Germany city are one thousand times better than any system in the US. I also find German news media to be much more fair and factual than that in the US.

Soundkartell: Some short questions. To what you are addicted?

Ian: I’m addicted to the internet.

Soundkartell: Three things that you do right after getting up in the morning.

Ian: 1. Turn off my alarm because I woke up before it. 2. Check emails. 3. Get on a train, plane, bus, or in a car.

Soundkartell: Which talent would you most like to possess?

Ian: The ability to concentrate.

Soundkartell: On which phenomenon would you like to have a finally answer?

Ian: It’d be pretty interesting to know what’s on the other side of a black hole.

Thanks for the interview!


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