photo by Simone Sandahl
a sensitive soul.
What inspired you to make music?
It all started in a very classical way at primary school. A school band had formed and was still looking for a singer. Since I had already been given a part in a theatre where I was allowed to sing (and i liked it quite a lot), I invited myself to join the band as a singer. From there on there was no way stopping me.
Which song reminds you of your childhood?
We often had a dutch radio station on at home. Phil Collins was often on, which I liked a lot. Somehow his voice reminded me of my uncle. It still does today, but it also reminds me of the time at home in Uetliburg, a small hamlet in north-eastern Switzerland.
What was the first song that made you cry?
Remember (from the Lion King) by Hans Zimmer.
The scene is so sad and the music hurts so beautifully...
What is your best childhood memory?
There are so many nice memories but what I found really funny is when my father brushed my teeth and "accidentally" brushed the toothbrush all over my face. 😁
What feeling or message do you want to give your fans with your music?
One aspect is certainly that you should not be ashamed of anything:
To be able to speak openly about feelings or psychological problems, to think freely, to break taboos, to critically question the traditional in order to move forward as a person and as a society.
What is your favorite song at the moment?
a few of my all time heroes:
What Tobias Jensen is listening to.
Which album did you listen to the most last year?
That was inevitably my own. When I'm fully in the process, I have to listen to the songs up and down in all stages and work on them until everything is just right. But other than that, according to spotify wrapped, it was "seeds in sand" by Elder Island.
What's the most beautiful song lyric you've ever heard?
Fourth of July by Sufjan Stevens gets me every time.
Which artist would you like to release a song with?
Right now I would love to do a song with my good friend Poly Augustine.
What inspired you to name your ep "night shift"?
It was definitely the night shifts that were necessary to get the ep done the way I imagined it.
- so I got inspired and used it for my ep title.
photo by Simone Sandahl
Describe yourself in one word.
Which song on the ep "night shift" was the most difficult to write?
Battles. Battles was written quickly but it was difficult for me to release the song. Because the song is very intimate and painful for me, it was such an uncomfortable feeling that even people who are close to me will hear the song.
It was a very special experience.
Tell us something about the history of the "Young Love" music video.
We wanted to show the people in Switzerland a slightly different landscape than what they were used to and for this purpose we went to Denmark to visit my mother. Here we met the actor Martin Krause, who joined our adventure and drove with us to the northwest coast of Denmark to shoot the scenes in the video with us. It was two incredibly instructive, long and hard days. We drove over 2'000 km in a few days and shot from the first to the last sunshine to try to realize the best possible video despite a small video budget.
How do you go about coming up with a new idea for a song?
Most of the time it's a guitar part or a beat structure that sparks off a squadron of cell phone recordings. In the best case, the ideas just bubble up until there's enough material for a whole arrangement. I usually only write lyrics in a second step, when there is already music there.
I believe in capturing the ideas as soon as they are there.
That can mean recording in the middle of the night or early in the morning. so in addition to the cell phone and laptop demo recordings, I always have running sketches of ideas and lyrics. on the one hand for specific songs but also general ideas i want to try out. when it comes to lyrics, I don't make life easy for myself, because especially when the song sketch is good, the pressure is greater, because you don't want to water down the already existing, good idea. sometimes it works better, sometimes less, but you only have to share what you are happy with at that moment. Like a photograph, actually.
In which country would you most like to go on tour?
So next on the wish list would be Germany and the Scandinavian countries for sure :-)
Tell us a little about the background story of one of your songs.
To go into a song in depth would be almost a little too personal for me, or sometimes too painful. But what I would like to reveal is that for me every song has to be about a certain theme, like a kind of blueprint. I have therefore briefly noted to some of my songs released so far, what's at the heart of it for me.
What would you be doing now if you hadn't become a musician?
I would have studied either psychology, law or dentistry. I was lucky!
How do you deal with negativity?
I always try to put it in perspective and make the best of the situation. There is a danish saying
photo by Pascal Küng
Are your songs based on your own experiences or are they based more on fictional situations?
Both. There are deeply personal songs that are a bit uncomfortable to publish. but also some where I rather take the role of the observer and then there are ones where I first thought they were about myself and then I realized they were actually about someone else. so actually exactly the opposite of what, for example, Paul Simon had to admit with the song "the boxer". That was just personal.
Describe the feeling of being on stage and performing live.
It's one thing to perform your songs on stage and sometimes pour your heart out.
But when people sing along to your songs, it's such a special honor.
I am so deeply grateful.
What is the best advice you have ever received as a musician?
"you are much bigger than you know" - thanks rainer kuhn.
You are also a member of the band Karavann. what is your fondest memory of being a part of the band?
Fabian (the other "founding father" of the band) and i grew up in the same small village and have known each other for more than half of our lives and have been making music together for just as long. We swore all the things during our youth, to stand together on the stage of the Hallenstadion and much more. admittedly not all of these promises, but at least some of them, we could realize over the years. we have played on really big stages, celebrated our first joint radio airplay, released our first cd and much more. There is no substitute for such a connection and experience.
Tell us briefly about the music you are currently working on.
At the moment I'm writing my first solo album. I don't want to give too much away yet, but it won't be too long until you can listen to it. I'm really excited about where the journey is going and so looking forward to hopefully new faces, new concert experiences and new stories that no one will ever believe.
Thank you for the interview, Tobias!
review on the ep night shift
Not only does the ep night shift radiate very real and powerful feelings, but it also gives its listener a comforting and secure warmth at the same time.
It is not something just embellished with empty and merely beautiful-sounding words, but it is a very honest composing that has the power to touch everyone who encounters it in a very natural and beautiful way.