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Interview With Guitar Player, Composer And Producer Lars Rüetschi
Lars Rüetschi is a driven, passionate and charismatic artist with an eclectic approach.
Currently based in Berlin, Germany and spending a lot of time in Romania, Lars was raised in between his native Switzerland and the sunny nation of Brazil. This wildly diverse cultural backgrounds allowed an incredible exposure to different ideas and mindset, turning Lars into a true citizen of the world!
Inspired by artists as diverse as Pat Metheny, Mark Knopfler or Joe Satriani, Lars strives to create a unique compromise with his music, blending in great song-writing sensitivity with experimental and forward-thinking instrumental approaches.
You can head over to iTunes and Amazon, where you can preview and purchase Lars's latest releases spanning a wild variety of styles, including folk pop, fusion, world and new age!
Find out more in the following interview and let the songs tell you the rest of his story:
Hello Lars, thanks for taking the time to do this interview!
You are welcome!
How long have you been playing guitar?
I started with the age of 14. I played the piano before since I was 7.
What first got you interested in becoming a guitarist?
The influences of rock bands from the 80-ies wanted me to pick up the guitar, you know, all the coolness associated with electric guitar at that time (laughs)
But very soon this aspect diminished and I got interested in fusion music, the first jazz influenced album I bought was "Odds Or Evens" by Mike Stern. It was thrilling for me, this symbiosis of melodic pop influenced themes combined with virtuoso playing, but still involving the "dirtyness" of Blues-Rock.
What/who inspires your music?
I think one of my very first and important influences was staying in Rio de Janeiro when we moved there 1981.
This city is awake the whole night. It’s so hot, that you have the windows open all night and from the evening until sunset you heard samba sounds from the favelas (Brazilian slums). You might know the movie "City Of God". It was those times and the city was crazy: Crazy beautiful, exciting, but also dangerous and risky.
Our neigbour was David Tygel from the band "Boca Livre", the most famous Acapella Band at that time in Brazil. I was around 7 when I went to his concert with my parents. There the music caught me already, I felt it was my world, it was like magic and it was the first time I was hit by the love for art.
What are you trying to do with your music? What is your goal for your music?
First of all, it is an existential need for me. I don't know where I would be in life without music. It is a safe island to where I can escape, when I feel overwhelmed with the reality of life. On the other side it is also a release of my emotions, to transform them - good or bad - in art.
I m on a level where I went through all these things of ego, showing off and wanting to demonstrate techniques. In my time in Berlin I worked with some very good producers from the 80-ies and I learned to serve the music not opposite. I had to reduce a solo on 4, maximal 8 tracks and bring it on the point in that short time, without long fiddeling excesses.
My wife said once: "There are musicians and artists".
What she wanted to say with this was that some musicians "abuse" the music to feed their ego, others put themselves in the service of the music. This is a thing I tried to reach in the past decade, and I think just got more mature. I can let a song be without a guitar solo, if I feel it doesn't help the music. 15 years ago I would think: "How can I produce a track where my guitar skills are not seen, or for a better word, heard".
How do you feel when you perform live?
It's a completely different world than recording. I always compare it to the difference between shooting a movie and acting in a theater.
On stage the moment counts. I play very energetic and take risks. I want the people to take home an intensive experience.
I think you shouldn't go on stage, if you are not open to share a part of your soul with the audience, otherwise they may as well stay home and listen a CD. It is about a statement in the end, to transmit emotions and energies and to interact with the people. I play different on each evening, as people are different, locations are different and moods of the day are different. It is the joy of improvising and enjoying the moment. You can't freeze it.
Studio is another thing. Mistakes become annoying there, as a recording is a conserved thing and you don't have the charm of a live concert. There I go more safe. I love both. Studio work keeps me on the earth.
What are some accomplishments that you have achieved, and are most proud of?
Maybe it sounds strange and not connected to music, even though it is. I had to make some major changes in my life; otherwise I would burn down quite fast. I also found a life outside music, which at the end contributes to the music itself.
If you have anything else than music, you stand and fall with it. Good concert, you are high, bad concert, you are down.
That is also why I began to record and compose again. You can choose your hours and you have something "in your hands" at the end.
And the most important thing. I do have a private life now (laughs).
What one tip would you give to aspiring artists?
Play, play, play. Don't read too much on how to become this or that. Just listen to your idols and try to imitate them. This is also what I try to imply to my students. You will learn much quicker and be more motivated, if you aim after a musician you love. Even if this target seems to be very high sometimes, aim for it. One day you'll find your own style, but you need to get inspired by other people. Or put on the radio and try to play with every song. It's a great exercise, as you have to improvise, find the tonality and you'll become save in different music styles.
What do you see is in the future for the music industry? How do you think it will evolve/change?
I wish, I knew. Things go fast for all of us. Since the arrival of the internet the whole industry changed. To good and to bad. If you didn't have a record deal in the 80-ies, you had no chance. Nowadays everybody gets the chance to sell music on the internet, but without promotion it is difficult to spread the message. And even if somebody gets a deal nowadays, the budgets are just much, much smaller than 20 years ago. I think not many companies want to take risks with newcomers, to build them up and after 2 or 3 years the hype is over.
In many non music topics, I see people becoming nostalgic, missing the "slowness" of older times. Vinyl is also in fashion again. Maybe it will be a mix in the future of a virtual and digital world with an analog and "touchable" world.
I hope so at least.
Where can we hear your music online?
I would say, just Google me. You’ll find me on Amazon, iTunes and many of the online distribution companies. There are videos, live and studio on YouTube and of course also music on SoundCloud.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I m working on my own music at the moment. In the last year I released 5 tracks and am working on another 5. I have plenty of work on old material which just has to be brought out and finished.
Do you have any shoutouts you want to give?
Whatever you do, keep true to yourself. Never sell your soul to somebody who just needs you as an instrument for his own profit. As long you fake yourself to match in somebody’s image, you’ll never be happy. Maybe you think that it will bring you faster to success from the first look, but as fast you step up the stair, you'll fall just as fast. This is one of my philosophies: Easy come, easy go. Better take the extra mile and stay loyal with your ideals, good things need time!
Thanks again Lars for doing this interview.
You are welcome, thank you !
Cited from: http://www.crazypellas.net/cms/interview-with-lars-ruetschi-392/#ixzz35qPjrXUQ
listen to Lars Rüetschi's music: