INTERVIURI

Interviu Jerome Reuter (ROME)

«Nu am intalnit niciodata o persoana cu adevarat talentata care sa nu treaca prin momente de indoiala»

[for English, scroll down]

Pe parcursul unui deceniu, ROME a devenit un nume de referinta pe scena Martial Neofolk, cu nu mai putin de 8 albume lansate. Zilele acestea Jerome Reuter porneste intr-un amplu turneu, pe harta caruia se afla, desigur, si Bucurestiul. Cu aceasta ocazie Jerome a pregatit publicului un setlist care sa reprezinte istoria trupei, de la recentul A Passage To Rhodesia, la piese deja clasice, imbracate insa intr-o haina noua.

Pana la reintalnirea cu publicul din Romania, ce va avea loc pe data de 21 Martie, in Control Club, Jerome ne-a vorbit in cateva cuvinte despre pregatirile pentru viitorul turneu, dar si despre noul album, creativitate si „Monday Special”.

Salutari, Jerome! Multumim ca ti-ai facut timp pentru intrebarile MUZAHOLIC! Stim ca pregatesti un turneu aniversar: 10 ani de muzica ROME. La ce sa se astepte publicul de la acest turneu?

Ei bine, de curand am facut schimbari in line-up-ul trupei si drept urmare am schimbat putin soundul. Totul este deocamdata destul de nou, insa in ceea ce priveste piesele „clasice” sunt mai apropiat cu inregistrarile originale, in timp ce altele au fost usor modificate. Asadar, in cele din urma, avem ceva nou pentru public si, desigur, vom interpreta piese de pe aproximativ fiecare album lansat pana in prezent. Este un setlist destul de lung si o lista la fel de lunga cu spectacolele pe care le vom sustine.

Iar in ceea ce priveste concertul de la Bucuresti? Apreciez dorinta ca Romania sa se afle printre tarile vizitate in cadrul acestui turneu. Respect!

Ne face intotdeauna placere sa cantam in Romania. Oamenii au fost mereu amabili cu noi asa ca este intotdeauna o placere sa revenim aici. Nu stiu inca sigur ce vom face in cadrul acelui concert, e destul de devreme sa pot spune ceva, dar totul va fi bine.

Amintiri placute de la concertele din Romania? Au fost destule, heh.

Multe amintiri, intr-adevar. Dupa cum bine stiti, in ultimii 6 ani am cantat in locatii diferite, in orase diferite din Romania, asa ca avem foarte multe amintiri, pe unele dintre ele nici macar nu as avea cum sa le mentionez aici.

Turneu in State versus turneu in Europa: exista vreo diferenta? Aveti un public mai dedicat aici pe continentul european?

Este foarte diferit, intr-adevar. Adica, insusi faptul ca zburam pana acolo si tinem aceste spectacole este ceva special. Calatoria pana acolo necesita mult mai mult timp si efort decat in Europa. Este o tara imensa. Dar ne place foarte mult acolo si din fericire sunt foarte multi oameni care ne-au sprijinit enorm in toti acesti ani, asa ca asteptam cu nerabdare sa ne intoarcem acolo. Publicul pe care il avem in State este la fel de dedicat ca cel de aici, sincer sa fiu. Acesta a fost lucrul cel mai ciudat pe parcursul turneului nostru in California de acum cativa ani. a fost destul de impresionant, asa ca a meritat osteneala.

O ocazie speciala de a oferi fanilor un setlist special, piese noi alaturi de piese deja indragite.

Da, desigur. Vom interpreta cateva piese noi, apoi un soi de „best-of” care sa cuprinda celelalte albume. Avem pana in prezent peste 100 de piese, asa ca e de inteles ca nu le putem interpreta pe toate.

Aproape la fiecare concert ai fost insotit de alti membri. De aceasta data cum va fi? Si de ce atat de multe schimbari? Este personalitatea ta mai dificila, poate?

Da, sunt genul de persoana cu care te intelegi foarte greu. Oamenii de obicei ma suporta o saptamana doua. Insa sunt destul de bine rasplatiti, asa ca majoritatea rezista cateva luni. Trebuie sa mai spun si ca turneele sunt destul de dificile pentru ei. Trebuie sa imparta un singur pat, primesc putina mancare pentru ca imi place sa ii mentin slabi si nu au voie sa stea de vorba cu presa. Nici macar nu imi amintesc numele lor, pur si simplu ii numesc Tim. Pana in martie, presupun ca vor fi alti oameni in trupa, pentru ca il suspectez pe Tim ca incearca sa se reorganizeze.

Cel mai recent album al tau este uimitor, sincer! La inceput l-am ascultat destul de sceptic (pfff, iar Rome? Pe fiecare album acelasi sound). Trebuie sa marturisesc ca il ador acum. Are o savoare speciala pentru mine, o legatura cu Flowers From Exile, nu stiu sigur de ce. Care au fost reactiile primite pana acum?

Multumesc foarte mult! Sincer sa fiu, oamenii au fost destul de amabili cu noi in privinta acestui album. Ma bucur, desigur, ca a fost foarte bine primit de public. Nu poti niciodata anticipa genul acesta de lucruri.

A durat ceva timp pana ai pus cap la cap A Passage to Rhodesia si a implicat un proces creativ destul de laborios sau, mai bine zis, sa gasesti un sound de care sa fii multumit. Care a fost cea mai mare provocare in realizarea acestui album?

De fapt, partea dificila nu a fost atat gasirea acelui sound sau productia albumului, ci mai degraba in a compune propriu-zis piesele si gasirea tonului si a vocii potrivite pentru a face asta. Atunci cand am inceput acest proiect si am inregistrat primele piese, semana mult prea mult cu ceea ce facusem inainte. Mi se parea destul de plictisitor, desi piesele in sine erau OK, insa era ceva neinspirat la mijloc. Asa ca a trebuit sa revin asupra lor, sa reconsider totul si sa o iau de la capat.

Ideea celor doua parti A Passage to Rhodesia, si anume dinamic versus ambiental, a venit deindata ce ai terminat de compus piesele sau a fost ceva ce a aparut de la bun inceput?

Am luat aceasta decizie undeva la jumatatea procesului de productie, in ideea ca ar fi mult mai bine sa separ compozitiile ambientale. Cu celelalte albume mi-a placut sa le am unele langa altele, insa aici mi s-a parut ca partea ambientala nu scotea la iveala decat sample-urile si incetinea inutil ritmul albumului. In plus, aveam atat de multe lucruri pe care mi-am dorit sa le includ incat am simtit nevoia de a alcatui in adevaratul sens al cuvantului un al doilea CD.

Chiar si atunci cand sunt melancolice, piesele ROME au o tenta de optimism. Reflecta acest lucru in vreun fel modul in care lucrezi, simti sau gandesti?

Nu, nu sunt o persoana optimista, dar e in regula. Nu sunt nici idealist, desi cred ca oamenii tanjesc de multe ori dupa un ideal. La urma urmei, ce ramane daca nu disperarea? Am ajuns sa consider deznadejdea un fel de consolare. Asa ca eu sunt impacat cu asta. Cred ca asta imprima pieselor acel sentiment pozitiv.

Ar fi complet gresit sa vad in A Passage to Rhodesia ca pe un conflict universal dintre om si sistem, de exemplu, o tema recurenta in istoria omenirii?

Din punctul meu de vedere este OK.

Esti foarte interesat de istorie, de vreme ce o buna parte din albumele ROME au un background istoric. Care ar fi perioada istorica favorita sau personalitatea istorica pe care ti-ar fi placut sa o intalnesti?

Nu exista o perioada anume. Exista doar aceasta. Ma aflu acolo unde trebuie sa fiu. Viata de acum este la fel cum a fost dintotdeauna. Cu exceptia faptului ca oamenii nu se mai imbraca ca pe vremuri.

Am citit intr-un interviu acordat recent ca preferi sa lucrezi asupra mai multor proiecte dintr-o data, prolific ar fi poate putin spus. Cum iti pastrezi vie creativitatea cu atat de multe proiecte simultane?

Intr-adevar, lucrez la mai multe proiecte simultan, insa nu este neaparat o alegere. Presupun ca sunt destul de irascibil. Nu sunt neaparat prolific. Majoritatea oamenilor lucreaza asa din cate stiu. Daca iti vine o idee, trebuie sa o accepti si sa lucrezi asupra ei, indiferent ca incepusesi deja sa lucrezi la altceva.

Fernando Pessoa a spus candva: “The poet is a faker/ Who’s so good at his act/ He even fakes the pain/ Of pain he feels in fact.” Care este filosofia ta in ceea ce priveste creativitatea?

Fernando nu era un idiot si da, sunt un mare prefacut. De aceea incerc ca prin ceea ce fac sa creez ceva real. Nu urmez nicio filosofie anume. Fac ceea ce fac pentru ca nu as sti cum sa nu fac asta. Este ceea ce ma reprezinta.

Esti destul de priceput in ceea ce priveste vanzarea de albume, carti, CD-uri si DVD-uri, totul intr-o forma frumoasa. Cu toate astea, traim un moment in care muzica este in mare parte descarcata. Cum faci fata acestei tendinte?

Foarte prost.

Exista si oameni frumosi in aceasta industrie? Adica, oameni de care sa te simti cumva apropiat, pentru un motiv sau altul?

Da, de fapt sunt din ce in ce mai multe trupe fata de care simt o oarecare camaraderie. Unele trupe „mai tinere” sunt chiar foarte interesante.

Ce rol are spiritualitatea pentru tine ca muzician?

Nu cred ca sunt un om spiritual, insa cu cat inaintez in varsta devin din ce in ce mai mult o astfel de persoana, imi pot da deja seama de asta. Insa aceasta parte a mea nu este inca complet formata, asa ca nu pot vorbi foarte mult despre asta. Mai mult decat atat, chiar daca as sti, cu siguranta nu v-as spune.

Sunt momente in care te temi sau ai indoieli? Care este reactia ta in fata temerilor?

Sincer, in mod constant. Am inteles ca este ceva normal. Remediul meu de regula este sa compun pentru un nou album, insa ma tem ca nu tine foarte mult. Cred ca este blestemul omului creativ. Nu am intalnit niciodata o persoana cu adevarat talentata care sa nu treaca prin momente de indoiala.

A existat un moment care sa aiba un impact deosebit asupra ta?

A fost un moment destul de personal si nu as vrea sa vorbesc despre asta acum.

Ce altceva te intereseaza, in afara de muzica si istorie? Poate arta? Ce anume iti capteaza atentia in opera unui artist sau intr-o lucrare care te fascineaza?

Ei bine, de obicei este un acut sentiment de invidie. Ma gandesc ca vreau sa fiu eu acea persoana, vreau sa stiu tot ce se poate sti despre arta si viata sa si multe altele. Asta m-a facut sa intru in acest mediu in primul rand.

Am vazut ca ai pus bazele „Monday Special”. O idee foarte frumoasa de a face cunoscute si celorlalti trupe bune. Care este scopul acestui concept?

Ideea a fost aceea de a impartasi si celorlalti cateva ceva din lucrurile care imi plac. Dupa cum am spus, sunt un mare fan al muzicii si oamenii ma intreaba tot timpul despre astfel de lucruri, asa ca m-am gandit ca aceasta serie va fi binevenita…

Apropo, ce muzici ti-au captat acum atentia? Trupe sau albume noi…

Cred ca toate astea vor fi prezentate in cadrul „Monday Special”.

Motoul MUZAHOLIC este legat de ideea de frumos, fie ca vorbim de muzica, arta sau viata in general. Care ar fi definitia ta personala a frumosului?

Daca frumusetea ar fi doar echivalentul a „ceva dragut”, pentru mine nu ar insemna nimic. Daca definesti frumosul „ca pe ceva cu adevarat curajos, cu o anumita demnitate si curaj”, atunci inseamna totul.

Asadar, nu crezi ca arta trebuie sa fie neaparat placuta din punct de vedere estetic pentru a fi considerata frumoasa?

Nu, ce rost ar mai avea?

In incheiere am dori sa stim daca ai vreun citat preferat…

I'm trying to elevate small-talk to medium talk

- Larry David

* * * 

I have never come across a truly talented person who doesn't suffer from those terrible moments of self-doubt.

Over the past decade, ROME has earned Jerome Reuter quite a reputation in the Martial Neofolk scene, with no less than 8 studio albums released so far. The group will embark on a world tour, having of course pinned Bucharest as one of their destinations. In celebration of these 10 years, ROME have created a setlist that will represent the band’s musical history, from their latest A Passage to Rhodesia, to some of their already classic songs, reinterpreted for the occasion.

Until meeting them again, on March 21, in Bucharest’s Control Club, Jerome answered a few questions, talking about touring in the US and Europe, as well as about the new album and creativity, but also about his „Monday Special”.

Greetings Jerome, thank you for taking the time to answer MUZAHOLIC’s questions! I know you are now preparing for ROME’s ten year anniversary world tour. What are we to expect from this year-tour?

Well, we have recently changed the line-up of the band and changed the sound quite a bit because of it. It's all still a bit new, but to our understanding some of the "classic" song material sound a lot more like the original recordings now, whereas others have been changed quite a bit. So in the end we do have something new to show people and of course we will play songs from pretty much all the releases we have done. It’s quite a long set we are working on and quite a long list of shows we will perform.

And particular from the Bucharest’one? I really appreciated your wish to be Romania one of the countries from this tour. Respect!

We always love to play in Romania. People have been very good to us in the past and so it's always a pleasure for us to return. I don't know yet what exactly we will do during that show, it's a bit early to tell but I'm sure it's gonna be fine.

Some nice memories from your previous concerts in Romania? There are a lot, heh

Many memories, yes. As you know we have played different venues, in different Romanian cities over the last 6 years or so, so there are a lot of memories, some of which I couldn't even talk about here.

Touring in the US vs. touring in Europe: is it any bit different? Do you have a more dedicated audience here in Europe?

It is very different, yes. I mean, the whole enterprise to even fly out there and do these shows is something special. The traveling over there is much more time-consuming than over here. It's just a huge country. But we love it there and fortunately there are many people over there who have supported us tremendously over the last decade, so we are very much looking forward to playing for them again. The audience we have in the US is actually just as dedicated as over here, to be honest. That's what was so weird during the first tour in California a few years ago. It was quite impressive and tremendously rewarding.

Will there be a special setting, one which will include songs from the new album as well?

Oh yes, of course. We will play several new songs and then also some sort of "best-of" of the other records. We have well over 100 songs now, so we really can't play them all.

Almost in each gig here you came with other members. How will be this time? And why this changes so often? It’s your personality too high, maybe?

Yes, I am terribly difficult to get along with. People can only usually take it for a week or so. But I pay them very well, so that most of these people stay for a couple of months. It has to be said that touring can be quite tough on them. They all have to share one bed, they hardly get any food because I like to keep them weak and they are not allowed to talk to the press. I don't even remember their names, I just call them all Tim. By March, I presume, there will be different people in the band again, cause I suspect Tim of trying to unionize again soon.

Your last album is amazing, honestly! Even I have started to listen it very skeptically (pffff, again Rome? In each year one album, the same sound…. ), I must to confess you I adore it now. It has a special flavor for me, a kind of link to FFE, I don t know why, heh. What feedback do you have received till now?

Thank you very much! Actually, people have been very kind to us and this last release, to be honest. I am glad, of course, that it's being well received. You can never really plan those things.

It took a lot of time to put together A Passage to Rhodesia and it involved a labyrinthine creative process or, to put it differently, to find a sound that you are truly happy with. What is the most challenging part about making such a record?

Actually, the difficulty wasn't so much about finding the sound or producing the record, it was more about writing the songs and finding the right tone and voice to do so. When I started the project and recorded some first songs for it, it just sounded way too much like something I had done before. It seemed really boring though the songs were ok, but it felt quite uninspired. So I had to go back, revisit it all and start from scratch.

Did the idea of the dynamic versus ambient A Passage to Rhodesia reach the surface after writing the main songs or was it rather your creative fuel?

I made the decision like halfway through the production that it would probably be best to separate the ambient tracks from the songs. On previous records I liked to have them side by side, but here it just felt like the ambient stuff was only showing off the samples I found and really just slowing down the pace of the album unnecessarily. Plus I had found so much stuff I wanted to include that I felt the need to make a proper second CD with that stuff.

Even when they are melancholic, your songs tend to have an overwhelmingly optimistic undertone. Does this reflect the way you work, feel and think?

I am not an optimist, no, but that's fine. I am not an idealist but I guess I am someone who is longing for an ideal. In the end, what is left but despair? I have come to find despair quite consoling. So I am fine with it. I guess that's what makes that uplifting feel.

Would it be completely wrong to see in A Passage to Rhodesia the conflict between man and, let’s say, system as a universal story, as a recurring theme in history?

Sounds OK to me.

You take a great deal of interest in history, since many of your albums have some sort of historical background. What is your favourite historical period or historical figure you would have liked the most to meet? Would you rather have lived in a different era?

There are no eras. There is just this one. I am right where I am supposed to be. Life is exactly the same now as it always has been. Except people don't dress as well anymore.

I read in one of your recent interview that you prefer to work on separate things at the same time, so to say you’re prolific would be a dramatic understatement. How do you keep creativity flowing across so many simultaneous projects?

I work on several things simultaneously, yes, but that's not by choice. I am just very moody, I guess. It's not like I am that prolific. Most people work like that as far as I understand. If something comes to you, you have to embrace it and work with it, regardless whether you had already started with something else.

Fernando Pessoa once wrote: “The poet is a faker/ Who’s so good at his act/ He even fakes the pain/ Of pain he feels in fact.” What is your creative philosophy?

Fernando was no idiot, I am a total fake, yes. Which is why I try to come up with something real in my work. I don't follow a specific philosophy. I do what I do because I wouldn't know how not to do it. It's who I am.

You were amazingly adept at creating and selling the book, CDs and DVD in beautiful packaging. However, it’s clear the momentum is now on the side of downloadable music. How are you coping with this trend?

Very badly.

Are there any kindred spirits in the music scene? That is, other artists you feel close to - in sound or spirit - for whatever reason?

Yes, actually there are more and more bands out there I feel some sort of camaraderie for. Some of the "younger" bands are quite interesting actually.

How does spirituality inform your life as a musician?

I don't feel like I am a very spiritual man, but as I get older I become more and more so, I can already tell. But that side of me isn't completely formed yet, so there's not much I can say now. Furthermore, I believe if I knew, I wouldn't tell you.

Do you have those moments when you are afraid or doubting yourself? What is your reaction to that fear? What do you do?

Constantly, actually. I hear that's normal. My remedy usually is writing an album, but it doesn't work for long, I'm afraid. I think it's the creative man's curse. I have never come across a truly talented person who doesn't suffer from those terrible moments of self-doubt.

What event has had the biggest impact on your life so far?

That was a very private moment I wouldn't want to disclose here.

What interests you besides music and history, in general? The arts maybe? What is it that you look for in a work of art or an artist that you find fascinating?

Well, usually it's the feeling of total envy. If I feel like I wanna "be that guy", I know I need to know all there is to know about his art and life and what not. I am a fan. That's what got me into this business in the first place.

I saw you started “Monday Special”. Very nice idea to show to the others quality bands. What is the goal of this concept?

The idea is to share some of the stuff I like. As I said, I'm a fan and many people constantly ask me about things like that, so I thought I'd introduce that series to get it out there.

By the way, what kind of music you are listening today? What bands, new albums and so…

That's all gonna be featured in the Monday Special

We here at MUZAHOLIC evolve around the notion of “beauty”, whether it music or the arts or simply life itself? What does “beauty” mean to you personally?

If beauty is simply equaled to "something nice", it means nothing to me. If you define beauty by "something that is inherently bold, holds a particular dignity and composure" then it means everything

So, art doesn’t necessarily have to be aesthetically pleasing to be considered beautiful?

No, what would be the point of that?!

One last thing: is there a famous quote that speaks to you?

I'm trying to elevate small-talk to medium talk

- Larry David

ROME

::: jeromereuter.com :::

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