After more than 2 years of silence following their forming in 2015, German noisy shoegaze alt rock act RYT have finally released its debut record ‘Bipolar Love”, a surprising DIY record that darkens the sound of your favorite pop love songs and crafts a scenic record wholly influenced by Robert’s experience and musical explorations. He recently moved from Berlin to Szczecin, Poland (yes, he did!) to find some more peace and quiet, and return to his family roots. Berlin is great, very dynamic and all, but serene it is not. We spoke to Robert about his story, inspirations, and how all these led to the creation of this new interesting band.
The aim of this interview was not to hold a position of the magazine that conducted the very first interview with the next great thing in rock music, but rather to keep the DIY spirit alive, maintain a solidly varies blend of styles covered on IDIOTEQ and gain some insights into how independent artists operate.
Hey Robert, thanks for joining us here on IDIOTEQ. How are you? and what you´re up to recently?
Hey, thanks for having me :)
I´m fine, existential angst is down to a minimum and i´ve just spend 2 weeks in my hometown of hamburg with friends. I also released my first album incidentally. Now I´m home in Szcecin preparing to travel to Berlin tomorrow to see my friend´s band klez.e on tour. I´m being a busy bum :)
How did you end up in Szczecin? What made you escape from Berlin?
Well… I actually never really “escaped” Berlin, but I needed a break from it at the time. My Berlin is a dark place. Underneath all the hedonism, partying and pretend-openness I find that Berlin attracts mostly unsophisticated, nihilistic assholes who wanna do drugs and pretend they´re special somehow. (that´s how i ended up there in the first place, obviously :)
Also, I´ve always wanted to live in Poland at some point in my life. My parents are Polish immigrants, and I´ve been keen on properly learning the language and understanding the culture. And I was in love with a Polish girl, so I had to go with the flow :)
Poor you. Haven’t you heard about more interesting places to live in Poland?
I know, Szczecin isn´t LA, Warsaw or Tokio :) But I’m in Berlin every week almost. So I get my necessary share of metropolis then. When it comes to Polish cities, I’ve only been in Krakow a few times, and Mazury as a kid, but I´ll try to see most Polish cities when playing my music there in the future, and I´ll let u know how they compare ;)
Traveling-wise, can you share one of a few crazy encounters or stories that you just never get tired of telling?
Hm, the best stories usually have some incriminating details, and should remain unwritten therefore :)
Ask me again in person with drinks in hand ;)
Will do! How did your experiences shape your style of music and your songwriting?
Oh my god, that´s a complicated question :) I believe everything influences everything – so all we do is shaped by our experience. There´s a strong philosophical argument for the idea that experience and counciousness create the world. I´ve probably seen and been through some darker and weirder things than the average joe. On the other hand, I feel like I notice meaning and beauty where other´s might not. All of that influences who and what I am. So it´s complicated to say how exactly my experiences shaped my music, but i´m sure they did profoundly :)
That´s a long ass way of saying “I really dunno”.
Haha, sure! What is it that gives you inspiration when writing lyrics and working on a new track? Is there an underlying theme when writing new music?
Hmm…. another question that´s hard to answer :)
I think that all the music is already there, in the ether so to speak… and I think inspiration is a moment when our antennas somehow pick up on what´s in the ether. When I meet my muse, it´s usually for a very brief moment, and I´m often not even aware of her presence. I´m just like a shitty radio that happens to pick up a signal for a moment. And then i try to transcribe it somehow. sometimes it kinda works, usually it doesn´t …
I can´t be more precise that this. I have no system, no plan, it just happens. Because music is magic. Literally.
So how do you balance creative aspirations with a need for huge commercial success? For hw long do you think you’ll be able to stay DIY before you become abominably rich and famous?
:) I don´t believe I´m in for huge commercial success, and even though I´d like to make some decent money playing music, I don´t think an artist should and could plan for (financial) success.
I think the task is to be in union with your muse, and look for truth, meaning and beauty in the world.
If you´re true to your covenant, maybe people might notice you. chances are they won´t. But it´s okay. As long as the muse looks you directly in the eye from time to time.
How does a new act like RYT go about PR and general promotion? How do you plan on telling the world about your work? How important is that part for the project?
This is my first interview ever, and some of my friends probably don´t know about my music. I´m horrible at PR and promotion :)
I´ve been around and working with music half my life now, and I´ve spent the past two years with a man who´s been hugely successful in the music business before. I hope i´ve picked up a few things here and there.
Promotion and PR is very important, maybe the second most important thing in music besides being unique…
Personally, I ´ve always struggled with this side of the business. and I know many talented artist who can´t figure this shit out either… but what I´ve learned recently is that if you have something to say, you gotta say it repeatedly!
It might take 1,10 or 100 years for someone to listen to you, but if you give up too soon, nobody gets to hear you.
I don´t really know what specifically I gotta say, but as you can tell by the length of my answers- I can´t shut up about things.
Can we count on some live shows in the coming months?
Yes, definitely! I´m working on bringing this shit to the stage. RYT isn´t a normal band, it´s mostly me by myself, and a couple of friends who feature more or less regularly. RYT has members in Canada, China, Poland and Germany – I can´t fly everyone in to play in Kolobrzeg or Potsdam :) but I need to be on stage regularly, and I will be :) you´ll be on the guestlist when we come through your city :)
Awesome! :) Ok, so what’s next for you? What are your plans for the near future?
More rehearsals, finding ways to be fully independent and still able to gig, annoying people with my music a lot, and I´m already working on my second record, wich will be way better of course :)
Great, thanks Robert, thanks for your time and take care! The last words are yours.
Once again, thanks for having me. This is like interview NR 789 for you, but it´s interview NR 1 for me, and that´s special :)
I really like what you do. You never belittle anyone´s creative attempts here, you don´t seem bitter, you don´t focus on the negatives.
You seem to be doing this for the love of it, and that´s something I find very cool and admirable :)