Interview: TUSKS

Interview mit TUSKS

Emily von TUSKS im Interview

Hamburg, Montagabend, leicht über 0° sau windig und Zeit für ein Interview mit Emily Underhill mit ihrem Projekt TUSKS. Verabredet waren wir direkt im Venue, in der Nochtwache. Für einen Montagabend ein schwieriges Unterfangen, da Montage ja immer schwierige Unterfangen sind. Egal wie entspannt das Wochenende war, am Montag hängt man immer durch. Als wir Emily kurz vor dem Gig trafen musste sie grade den Merchstand herrichten und wirkt ein bisschen zerstreut. Montag eben. Wenn ich Emily von der Grundstimmung beschreiben müsste: Grund entspannt, mit sich im Reinen und wirklich charmant sympathisch. Nachdem im letzten Jahr mit „Avlanche“ ihr neuestes Album erschien, ging für sie das Jahr 2020 gut los: Ihre erste Headliner Tour durch Europa. Am Samstag stand Kopenhagen als erster Stopp an. Jetzt also Hamburg, dann Berlin Köln und noch ein paar weitere Städte.

Nachdem sie schon im September in Hamburg beim Reeperbahn Festival ihre neue Platte vorgestellt hatte, war sie also wieder zurück. Hamburg mag sie. Vielleicht weil das leicht kühle und karge Wetter dem in London entspricht. Vielleicht aber auch, weil sie weiß, dass sie sich hier schon eine gute Base an Fans erspielt hat. Ich würde sagen es waren so an die 60-80 Gäste in der Nochtwache. Ich hatte TUSKS nicht zum ersten Mal live gesehen. Im März 2017 war sie schon mal Support für ALPINES im Häkken. Schon damals war ich für ihre Performance, ihr Feingefühl für Melodien und ihre Texte Feuer und Flamme. Für das Interview hatten wir uns eigentlich an die 30 Minuten Zeit genommen, plus Fotos. Doch irgendwie ging das alles schneller als gedacht. Es sprudelte aus ihr geradezu nur so heraus. Wir sprechen mit ihr über ihre Ellbogen Verletzung, über stressige und schmerzliche Situationen, ihre Songtexte und auch darüber wie sehr sie sich auf ihre Tour freut.

Vor dem Interview & Konzert in der Nochtwache/Nochtspeicher

 

How are you doing?

TUSKS: Yeah I’m really good, thank you. It’s really nice to be back in Hamburg. We were last here in October? Eehm, yeah September during Reeperbahn Festival.

After your serious injury to the elbow – do you deal differently with “stressful situations” today, which in retrospect seem totally ridiculous?

TUSKS: (laughing) I’m definitely doing better in dealing with stress nowadays then I used to be. But I don’t know if that’s down to my elbow. I think what it has done is maybe realizing that I’m not invincible, ‘cause I think I’m one of the people that would be like “I will be fine, I can just do it.” If I believe I can do I will be fine. And then I’m like “ouch!” So now I think I think like it’s limited me. It’s maybe be like I realize my physical limits, I think.

How quickly do other problems suddenly vanish or disappear after such an accident and what does this do for you in dealing with fearful situations?

TUSKS: (thinking) I think the thing around my elbow is, I had a like my relationship broke up, my elbow, my mental health was really bad and I think all three of these coming at once and hitting me. I don’t know, but I think it’s one of these things where you are brought bottom in your life. Well, it can’t get much worse and then coming back from that. I guess makes you less worried about that it happen again because you know that you can deal with that and you know that you’ve gone for it before and say: if that happens again you are fine!

„It’s really nice when people come up and say: All that was a great and I was really connected with this part of the song and they have kind of agreed with you.“

Is a gig like today a stressful situation for you that you have to face?

TUSKS: No! It’s really nice actually because I’ve got my band I’ve playing for ages, I mean Elly on guitar it’s her second gig, but the rest of that I’ve been touring and playing for ages now. So it feels quite comfortable. And we’ve done a tour through the UK so the songs feel quite comfortable. And yeah some of these songs we’ve been playing now for three years or so. So it feels really nice on stage. We are not all like “Oh god does this all work?” It feels really enjoyable.

Really admirable how you did it in the past two years. Reeperbahn Festival, support shows album production, you really stepped on the gas… Do you like to be admired afterwards for how you master your problems and everyday life?

TUSKS: When I was a child, I was really shy and quite independent. I don’t think I’ve really do to be admired. I think it’s more my own personal drive. So I want to achieve something and if I achieve that I feel good about myself right or not someone else that I’ve achieved it well I’m not. So it’s more my own goal I think rather then other opinions on it.

TUSKS im Interview

Thanks to you, there are moments in your songs in which you can speak or think openly about topics such as depression, sexism etc. and you can understand through your lyrics how it is. What do you think we need for development so that these topics are no longer taboo?

TUSKS: Yeah and I think it’s something that slowly is getting better and better I guess. It takes everyone a little while to understand these issues if they haven’t got experience of them or understand how to help other people through them. So I think yeah having it in music is really good, because if you are going through that you are on a stage and or you are maybe worried or scared of that you can’t talk about it. I think having something you probably don’t even know, probably from the other side of the world singing about the same thing you are going through I think makes you feel instantly so much better than the feeling of going through it alone. So I think having those issues highlighted in music it’s probably on the first steps and than the more mainstream that issue becomes the better I think everyone get dealing with it and the more information there is about it.

TUSKS im Interview

I’m definitely doing better in dealing with stress nowadays then I used to be. But I don’t know if that’s down to my elbow. I think what it has done is maybe realizing that I’m not invincible.“

Do you think it’s getting better as well if you repeat it again and again on stage?

TUSKS: Oh I think personally for me it’s maybe more consciously. I felt like consciously it’s not anymore but I feel like I have sort of doubt with these issues and I feel like it’s more cathartic like writing the songs and releasing the songs. Rather than playing them again and again. Because you’ve kind of already had that like expressive energy and be like: Yes that’s what the songs are about and I wanna make a statement or I wanna inform people. And so I think an initial release is more powerful to me than singing them again and again. But it is really nice when people come up and say: All that was a great and I was really connected with this part of the song and they have kind of agreed with you or they had the same issue. I think having a connecting with people who you don’t know thats really nice.

Now you’re going to go on stage right here. What is your own expectation for tonight?

TUSKS: Oh, I’ll get on stage, sing some songs, have a good time. Hope that some people will come and enjoy it. I guess that’s all. You can’t really expect.

Ich bin erstaunt über Emily, ihre positive Energie und auch ihre Performance auf der Bühne. Am Montagabend in der Nochtwache war ich wirklich begeistert, wie sie es schafft das Publikum regelrecht zum Schweigen zu bringen. Sie hören ihr wirklich zu und sind aufmerksam ihr gegenüber in dem was sie auf der Bühne tut. Da macht es auch nichts, dass sie sich an einer schwierigen Stelle verspielt – sie nimmt es mit einem Lachen hin und ich als Zuhörer empfinde es eher als angenehm, dass solche „Fehlerchen“ passieren. TUSKS gehört für mich zu einer der begnadesten Songwriterinnen und schafft es auf der Bühne egal ob solo oder zusammen mit ihrer Band eine Symbiose zwischen ihren Melodien, Texten und dem Mitempfinden der Zuhörer zu schaffen.

 

 

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