"I miss all concerts, big or small"
Standing on big stages is not possible for Schiller in the pandemic. In an interview, he reveals why he remains optimistic.
Schiller alias Christopher von Deylen (50, "Dream Of You") has musically returned to the place he left six years ago: On his new album "Summer in Berlin" he plays with sounds again – this time the city of Berlin was his Inspiration. In an interview with the news agency spot on news, the musician reveals what fascinates him so much about the city and where he currently lives. He also talks about the possibilities of concerts in the corona pandemic and which new roommate he found in lockdown.
You publish "Summer in Berlin" in February. How does that fit together?
Christopher von Deylen: Opposites attract. (laughs) Right now we are all dreaming of a carefree summer, and because I like to make soundtracks into dreams, I chose this title. Berlin is a metaphor for a place where people with a wide variety of backgrounds come together.
What do you think characterizes the summer in Berlin?
von Deylen: There is a film by Wim Wenders with the title "Der Himmel über Berlin". That is actually pretty good, because especially in summer the sky over the capital is epic. Then there are the many green oases that make this city very magical in summer.
The title track is a remake of Alphaville's hit "Summer in Berlin". What does the band think of your version?
von Deylen: I am very happy that my new version was well received by Alphaville. It is always a risk to transform what is actually a perfect piece into a different sound.
"Summer in Berlin" is supposed to be a preview of what we can expect from you in the future. What can your fans look forward to?
von Deylen: My motto is: "The journey continues". I am glad that there are so many people who accompany me on my sound journeys. Every album and every tour is an inventory of a specific moment on the timeline. Where will the journey go in the future? Time will tell. Life can be full of surprises that I want to give as much space as possible.
In this day and age, a short attention span is common. Why did you still decide to release a box set with eight hours of playing time?
von Deylen: Everything in good time. Of course there are situations where a compact pop song is exactly what you need right now. But there are also moments when you want to let something go. A little break, so to speak. Or rather, dream time. In return, there is a piece on "Summer in Berlin" that is twenty minutes long and takes the listener on an extended dream trip.
You travel all over the world and describe yourself as "self-chosen homeless". Would you still call Berlin your home?
von Deylen: Berlin is definitely ONE home. I spent a lot of time there and know the city very well. It makes it very easy for you to feel connected to her, even when you are not there.
What do you find so fascinating about Berlin?
von Deylen: Berlin is a placeholder for fantasy and unlimited possibilities. This is of course also available in other places in the world. But somehow this city seems like a microcosm of the entire world. A "tiny planet", so to speak. The city's contrasts can be incredibly demanding, but they also exert a tremendous fascination on me.
Where do you currently live?
von Deylen: At the moment I am in exile in the north German plain. (laughs)
They found a new roommate in lockdown – a cat. How did you get the pet?
von Deylen: Suddenly the cat was standing in front of the door. At first sporadically, then more and more often. I never really had much to do with cats, I was more of a dog person. Because of his persistence, the hangover sneaked into my heart and he literally moved in with me. I can only guess where exactly he comes from and how his life has been so far. Or maybe it's better that way. He now goes by the name of Balthasar. But of course he usually doesn't hear what cats are like. (laughs)
You are known for your creative concepts and new ideas. Have you already thought about alternative options for live performances in the corona pandemic?
von Deylen: Yes, I have. There are many possibilities as long as you avoid contact with the audience and, above all, within the audience. But since this closeness is an essential part of a concert, one of course removes a supporting pillar of this communal experience. As it looks at the moment, we will have to deal with this for a while. But I remain optimistic that things can really "start" again soon.
Often you get inspiration from special places, but traveling is currently not possible. Is the corona pandemic also a musical inspiration for you?
von Deylen: Good question. Fortunately, there is no B-sample in life. So I can't say exactly how "Summer in Berlin" would have sounded without a pandemic or whether this album would even exist in the first instance. At the moment, I definitely enjoy being in the studio and can concentrate very well on new melodies and sounds at the moment.
How much are you currently missing the big live concerts?
von Deylen: I miss all concerts, big or small. Exchanging ideas with the audience is an essential part of my energy budget. With every concert you learn something new and often new songs emerge on stage that otherwise would not have happened to you.
You have been on stage for over 25 years. How do you look back on your career so far?
von Deylen: Not at all. I always look ahead. Where else? (laughs).