Interview: Lambert

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I first got acquainted to Lambert’s music through a friend who played me a piece of his. His vintage sound reminded me of anachronistic, though everlasting people that when they fall in love, they sit home and write down their thoughts. On papers, with pencils. These people also take long walks  when it’s cloudy. And when they visit their grand mother, they play melancholic tunes on her musty piano. Always using the damper pedal. So that she doesn’t wake up.

I started looking him up on the internet. All this wildness in his videos. Never polished. Just wild. And then I discovered all his reworks. He is borrowing music from Moderat, Tocotronic, David August and many more and making them his own.

Τhen one day I met him. And he is like that. An anachronistic-everlasting man in his thirties, who wears a mask when he plays music. Because it is just romantic. Not because he wants to hide himself. When we met, he had his mask in his backpack and two horns were pointing out. “That’s how you will recognize me”, he wrote me before.

On the 20th of October he will play for the first time as a headliner. Here in his hometown Berlin in the Roter Salon. His nature is kind and generous and here’s what he shared with me.

LSD: Tell us about yourself. When did you start playing music?

I was born in Hamburg. I started playing the piano from an early age. I tried to study music in various conservatories and academies but I soon realized that their way was not mine. I couldn’t see myself in this system. So I dropped out. I wasn’t a very successful student. It took me a lot of time to find my own voice.

LSD: The first thing that struck me in your music was the sound of your piano. Could you tell us how you record it?

Once I bought a piano because I liked how it looked. Soon I realized that it sounded bad… I had to find a way to make it sound better. So I used an invention that’s actually not mine. Many pianos have a piece of cloth between the strings and the hammers, so that their sound is damped and it doesn’t annoy the neighbors for instance. So that’s what I did. And it worked really well. On this piano I composed my very first tunes.

LSD: Do you download music from torrents?

I actually never download music. No wrong! I downloaded one song years ago, when the whole download thing was out, just to try out if it works.  It was a song from the band White Lies I think. But I never did it again. I like to have the album in my hands, with it’s artwork. It is like a holy procedure to me. Downloading or even buying mp3s online miss this. I still go to record shops. There is one in the Bürknestraße and in Reichenbergestraße that I like. I also buy after shows at the merchandise. And I like vinyls. The cover is bigger.  And plus it has this thing that you have to change sides… If you have to switch sides on a  record it means you have listened to the whole. With mp3 you check your emails at the same time, you chat. It’s not the same. If you listen to a vinyl your are stepping back from everyday life and that’s how it should be. The vinyl market is actually growing because of this reason. In my shows I mainly sell vinyls than cds.

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LSD: Do you listen to music everyday for pleasure? How often? What kind of music do you have on your smartphone (if you have one!)

yes I listen to music everyday. It’s anyway part of my job. I don’t have a smart phone. I have this first generation cell phone that looks funny. I want to go back to Nokia so that I can play snake again. Smart phones don’t do it for me… They would keep me distracted. I don’t want to check it all the time and be impolite to others. I prefer to talk. Like we do now.

LSD: What radio stations to you listen to? 

I listen to Radioeins, flux fm, Deutschland Radio Kultur. But I don’t exclusively listen to all that arty stations. Sometimes I enjoy “pop corn” radios. All that music for the masses, it’s interesting to listen what’s going on out there.

LSD: You are projecting a mystical persona. Is it a promotional trick or is this a statement of your right for privacy? What do you think of the social media? 

the mask is an esthetical statement. I was looking for an image that would fit my music. An image that brakes the romantic candle- light atmosphere that people project on piano music.  As for the social media, I don’t have a problem with that. Actually without it, it would have been much more difficult for me to make music. I like not to have to involve many people  in my job and do stuff by myself. I also enjoy very much the communication with people who like my music. I answer very gladly to them.

LSD: Your videos are as special as your music. Who’s behind them?

I do almost all the videos by myself. With a camera and a stand. In one video my dad pressed the record button!  However, the videos of my own songs in Sardenia  were made by some friends of mine, Niklas Weise and Tillmann Roth.

LSD: You chose Berlin as your current hometown. What do you like about this city?

I came here after I was out of the country for a while. I wanted to come back, but not back to my hometown. So the only choice was Berlin at that time. It’s been six years now. I never thought of moving away. I don’t go out a lot and I don’t take all the night life you can get. I just enjoy having beers with friends. It feels like home.

LSD: Where do you go out on a Saturday night?

there’s a place on the Wienerstraße, a bar that’s called Madonna. A sticky bar with normal people. I really like it there.

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LSD: Do you like 2014? Or would you prefer to live in another era?

I especially like  2014! It was a  good year. I believe it’s dragging to be nostalgic. It’s distracting people from doing what they have to do.

LSD: Your musical genre is very specific on your first record: piano music. Are you planning to keep this as your trademark or are you willing to experiment in the future? What are your plans? 

I am working on my 2nd album right now and I am doing a collaboration with David August. I still want to keep the sound that I have. The solo piano will always be part of my main show. However, sometimes I like to invite musicians. On Saturday in the Roter Salon for instance there will be a drummer who will play some songs with me on a prepared drum set. All in a minimalistic way.

We are giving away two tickets for Lamberts concert on Saturday the 20th of December in the Roter Salon. Just send a mail to win@localsuicide.com to get the chance to win 2×2 tickets.