This interview was submitted to Pierless Music by ‘Indieed Kids’. Thanks very much to them for allowing us to use it.
Otti Albietz: The Inside Story.
We recently had the opportunity to interview local acoustic sensation Otti Albietz. It’s taken long enough but here it is, hope you enjoy it!
IK: First things first how are you?
OA: I’m well, thank you!
IK: You said you were leaving town for a couple of days, was that band related and if so what can you tell us about that? OA: It was music related, a gig and some promotion. I went to visit my girlfriend after that too, and that was bloody lovely.
IK: Before we jump into the interview proper, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself? What do you do in your spare time, are you a film fan etc? OA: Communicating, creating. Sometimes I love films, ‘Fargo’, ‘Pina’, Tidelands’, ‘Liar Liar’, ‘Brazil’, and most things stupid and funny. I use my travels to look for tatty antique books on different intriguing subjects. Carve wood, paint, write stories, play with ideas and indulge in G.L.F.A.!
IK: Unfortunately we have only heard of you at a local gig relatively recently, so seeing as we don’t actually know, how long has Otti Albietz been a thing? OA: He’s been a thing since I realised he could be a thing. I could say birth, though it wasn’t till last year that I actually accepted that I wanted to pursue music in the way I now do. I’d written, and performed in various band set ups till then. So, in my heart ‘Otti’ has been a thing since music first embraced me in dreams, though actively only the last 2 years. I collaborate with many musicians when recording and also at certain gigs. So there’s not a band as such, more an orbiting collective of individual musicians.
IK: You’re clearly a very talented musician, what can you tell us about your musical background? Have you been in bands before, what was your first instrument and when did you start playing it? OA: I do enjoy listening and learning, discovering through intrigue. I’ve been in various bands as singer and guitarist. ‘State of Miasma’ till ’07. We recorded an album that has never been released. ‘Dusty Rosko’ till earlier this year, who released an album called ‘nextwave-heavysoul’ last year. First instrument was my voice, as I used to go for long walks, from the age of 5-6, and sing to myself. I always wanted to learn cello, but got a guitar as a present instead. Played guitar off and on till 11-12, then gave up. When I was 15, I began writing music more enthusiastically. I used any instrument to accompany, though guitar being one of the more versatile and useful to me, I stuck with it more often.
IK: In our review of your album ‘Initial Thoughts’, we made a brief comparison to Jack Johnson. You seemed a bit put out by this, so who would you say your main influences are, and what in particular inspires your lyrics? OA: I don’t mind hugely, I just never listen to Jack Johnson’s music. I’m influenced by anything that gets to me. A melody, feeling and words that mean something and communicate something. I like emotional fulfilment that can hopefully be shared. Creative influences in short are, Hendrix, Debussy, Nikki De Saint Phalle, J S Bach, The Beatles, Department of Eagles, King Crimson, Herman Hesse, George Elliot, P J Harvey, Cohen, Hundertwasser, David Deutsch, Laura Veirs, Zappa, William Godwin, John Coltrane, System of a Down, Thomas Brown, Miles. Could keep going, it all does something.
IK: Following on from the previous question, what sort of music did you grow up around? And are there any local bands that you are a big fan of now? OA: I grew up around King Crimson, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Leonard Cohen, Small Faces, John Martyn, Caravan, as my dad listened to them. I like a bunch of local bands, though I don’t get to see a lot of gigs, so may overlook a few I haven’t seen. Zoe Konez, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, Sand Rabbit, The Kid Kapichi, Ceyote, Tim Hoyte. Any band that George Macdonald is in and any band Darren Morris is in (maybe they should form a band?!).
IK: You recently mentioned to us that you had signed a new record deal, how much can you tell us about that? Is there perhaps going to be a tour involved? OA: It’s with a label called BBE, a true independent, as in I can meet and speak to those that turn the cogs. They’re based in London, and have a lovely office here in Hastings. The album was produced with master-sound-craftsman Harvey Summers and is to be released very early next year. There will be a single in the coming weeks/month! There may be a tour, i’m still in organize mode, so no details, though it will mostly be the south, with a popping into Aberdeen.
IK: A slightly more personal question perhaps as we draw towards the end, which of your own songs is your favourite and why? OA: I don’t have an answer really. Every song ends up finished, recorded and on an album, because I have had moments of liking it and that changes with the weather.
IK: Before we go, we asked a couple of friends if there were any questions they were dying to know the answers to and one seemed to come out on top, so we have to ask. Can you tell us a little bit more about the dancing man (he plays live with you, on the keyboard we think) OA: His name is Thad Skews, a great friend, film /performance collaborator, songwriter and musician. I play drums in the band ‘Unicorndad vs Robodad’, in which we interpret his gorgeous songs in the style of AAAAH. We have our first EP out on vinyl, with Gensing Farm records. He is also an astonishing illustrator, who has already created the cover to my third album. A lovely man is Thad Skews.
IK: Thank you very much to Otti Albietz for shedding a little light on himself as a musician, we wish him the best of success in the future!
You can find the aforementioned review of the Otti Albeitz album ‘Initial Thoughts’ here:
The ‘Indieed Kids’ blog can be found here: http://indieedreviews.blogspot.co.uk/