“We are ruthless optimists”

“We are ruthless optimists”
All respect take off to (musically) explore new planets.
Image: Universal Music

It’s rare to find five people who have focused on entertaining other people with their music. Frontman Christian Stani feels that way. He spoke extensively with OÖN about the new single “Das wird Groß”, changes, experiences and future considerations.

OÖN: With “That’s going to be big” you are drawn into space in the video. Was it “Major Tom” godfather?

Christian Stani: No, not when writing. We’re all David Bowie fans, and we’re space fans. But that’s it.

OÖN: You could also interpret your flight into space in the video as meaning that you want to escape all the madness on earth. Or was it about perhaps recognizing from above what it takes for us humans to take the right steps on earth?

Christian Stani: It was primarily an escape song, but with a positive outlook. I study space and everyone knows that there is nothing close by like Earth. So we only have this one planet. We now have a chance to keep this place livable. Humans have the ability to preserve the planet, but at the same time they have the stupidity to destroy it. There is often a tendency to flee, but we believe in human wisdom.

OÖN: As an entertaining artist, you also have a responsibility, don’t you?

Christian Stani: Absolutely. Regardless of what you do, we are all human. In this respect, we musicians are also concerned. But pointing fingers isn’t our style. I don’t think you can reach people just by showing them what they’re doing wrong. But one can create a perspective that it would actually be different. That you not only have to back down when you change something, but that there are also advantages for human life if, for example, you create more green spaces and soils are not sealed.

OÖN: Don’t your cheerful songs contradict that?

Christian Stani: Even if we make positive songs to dance and sing along to, we are not unworldly (laughs). You can feel that nature is changing. That’s threatening.

OÖN: At the same time, artificial intelligence is practically around the corner and makes many things seem possible. Are you afraid of competition in songwriting? Have you already discussed this as a band?

Christian Stani: It came along so incredibly quickly and will probably be developed even faster. If you notice that the lyrics are written by an AI that aren’t bad, I’m sure there will be more hits. There will be more AI generated songs. It is to be expected that streaming services will generate songs directly according to users’ personal tastes. Things like that can happen. But I believe that a person with a guitar in the band can still attract and excite the crowds. It was always like that, it is like that and it will remain like that. There will be many AI hits, but the other will not die out. Computer music has never replaced real music, but it helps. Ka musical production would work without a computer. I think it will be similar with the AI.

OÖN: Music played live will always sound different than canned music. You’re a band and you feel it differently in a concert situation, it’s organic. Surely that can’t be replaced?

Christian Stani: I’m quite sure that it can’t be replaced. As soon as someone plays an instrument, there is something in the room, a mood, a vibration that cannot be replaced. There will always be a desire to express yourself creatively. It won’t be the case in 100 years either, that the AI ​​will do it that way. An AI can only imitate this suffering of the musician, but not feel it. It will always be there as long as there are people, because sensing is so deep inside us. Like the Internet, AI will be a part of our lives.

OÖN: How much has time and the changes in music changed your approach to music and songwriting in the past few years?

Christian Stani: It sure is different now. What I find interesting is that there are many different bubbles. The classic media, such as television and radio, are a bubble in which we are still inside. Since you are known, a star. But then there’s social media, where people are absolute megastars, but it doesn’t happen anywhere else. Everyone has their own platform and their own stars. We still make very classical music. Very young people sometimes only produce for social media, which means you need 30 seconds, it has to be noticed and the overall picture is not important. A new track comes out every three weeks. Everything is now moving faster and is consumed differently.

OÖN: Isn’t that going out of fashion as a classical band?

Christian Stani: I do believe that a band still has value, even for young people, because it’s something special. For example, it gave me some hope that Maneskin won the song contest and are now real rock stars. They offer a rock show like in the 1970s. Young people don’t know that. The need for its own stars and casual shows is still the same. The short-lived things are also quickly forgotten. This is a very own production, which is only geared towards quick click success. The other is the longevity. We see ourselves more as a band with classic songs that will still be interesting in a few years.

OÖN: And it’s the stories. You are storytellers in your songs, which may take longer than just two to three minutes. “Major Tom” wouldn’t exist in this epic breadth if it were released today, and yet the boys love the song too. So you just have to stay on the path, right?

Christian Stani: Exactly. Ultimately, quality always prevails, regardless of the genre. There are definitely very young people who I find cool, like Nina Chuba. I feel like there’s more to her than that.

OÖN: Today the mechanisms of the music business have also changed. Asking the songwriter again: In the past, a band, an artist would release albums at regular intervals, which were always a calling card of the moment in which they were created. Today, people often only deal with singles. How do you deal with such a rhythm?

Christian Stani: Albums are important to us. Normally everyone already has the desire to develop further, so an album is also important for the artists. Whether it still makes economic sense to produce albums is another question. Vinyl is strong again, so it makes perfect sense. If a young artist like Billie Eilish is still making albums, then it can’t be wrong.

OÖN: Is “That’s going to be big” now the prelude to a new cycle of All Attention? Where will the road lead?

Christian Stani: Into space (laughs). The song is also a message to ourselves. We want to take the next step. When a band has an “over-song” like “Marie”, then you have to emancipate yourself from it, but we don’t want to get rid of it. We still love the song, it opened so many doors for us. We still love playing it live. But the desire is to venture into new spheres and leave “Marie” behind us a little. Last year we visited very different planets within a week from “Starnacht” to “Nova Rock”. Now we want to see where the path leads us.

OÖN: Where was the reaction to you better, at “Starnacht” or at “Nova Rock”?

Christian Stani: Both worked incredibly well. We didn’t expect that. We try to carry an optimistic and humane message, because that’s what we are. We are relentless optimists.

OÖN: And? When is a new album coming from the merciless optimists on the new planet?

Christian Stani: It probably won’t be until early next year. The summer before is full of fine concerts.

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