THE Swiss Garage-Blues guru Fai Baba…
announces the release of his new single, Can’t Stop Loving You. It is a fantastic song and shows an inventiveness and quality reserved to a selected few. The song explores new emotional and sonic dimensions: aspects that the musician seems to assimilate naturally into his solid core. I ask him about the song and the band he tours with; what lies ahead and whether he is coming to the U.K. in the coming weeks/months.
I learn more about music in Switzerland and how Fai Baba’s music comes together; why he spent time a shaman in a tepee – and whether his new music provides a sense of rebirth and perspective.
Hi, Fai Baba. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey. I just came back from L.A. and I've got bad jet leg - but I'm full of energy!
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
I'm a Psychedelic musician from Switzerland.
You are from Zürich, Switzerland. What is the music scene like there and are there quite a lot of great local artists?
Zürich is famous for Techno but there's an Indie music scene from time-to-time - it's a small city, so there's a small scene.
Can’t Stop Loving You is your latest single. What is the story behind it and who came up with the idea?
It's a song for the one you love in your life.
If you lose your way, just listen to the one you love. I wrote the song but it’s arranged by the whole band.
How do songs come together for you? Do you write in stages or sit down and ensure you pen an entire song? What is the process for you?
It's always different.
Mostly, I just sing a song and there it is.
Can’t Stop Loving You has a wonderful, trippy video. It sounds like it was quite a gruelling and challenging shoot. Can you guide me through it and what it was like?
It was shot at some beautiful waterfalls in the valley of Maggia - in the Italian part of Switzerland. We were swimming and diving in the cold and crystal -clear water - and were absorbing the magic of Mother Nature.
Tatum Rush directed. What was it like working with him?
Tatum is a good friend of mine and working with him is always so much fun and a real adventure.
In preparation for your latest song; you gave yourself up to a ceremony conducted by a shaman in a tepee. It involved an ancient brew named Ayahuasca. Why did you do that and did you need to shed off bad spirit and becoming reborn?
I was going through a lot of changes in my life lately and the Ayahuasca ceremony just came as a natural part in my life - and the medicine, indeed, gives you an experience of a rebirth.
What was it about that period of your life you felt the need to shed an old skin – castigate burden and demons?
The main thing was that I quit alcohol and hard-drugs: life is just too beautiful to be drunk and high all the time.
I hear so many different blends and genres in your music. I can imagine your upbringing was eclectic. Can you remember the artists you grew up listening to? Do you find yourself listening to a wide array of artists?
It was mainly The Beatles and The Rolling Stones we were listening to at home. I listen to all kinds of music.
There's something nice and interesting in all genres...
You are on tour – going on tour – with a great live band. Can you tell me about your band and how you met them?
YEA! I have the most awesome band! We all love each other and always have a great time when we are on tour together.
We all met in Zürich because we all live there.
The fifty-or-so dates you have will take you across Europe. Any countries/dates you are looking forward to? Is each show going to offer something new?
The big cities like Berlin, Paris; Amsterdam, Reykjavik; London, Barcelona etc. - but every gig is different for us cause we don't just play a show: we play real, live music.
IN THIS PHOTO: Björn Magnusson/PHOTO CREDIT: Lisa Lurati
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
Mind Games by John Lennon
It's a record with many true love songs.
A by Cass McCombs
It reminds me of a good time in my life.
Focus Level by Endless Boogie
When I hear that record, I go crazy.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Do what feels right - and drink lots of water
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can each name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Fai: The Mamas & the Papas - California Dreamin’
Oli: The Velvet Underground – All Tomorrow’s Parties
Rodi: Beelzebub - Bruford
Domi: Motörhead - Ace of Spades
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