THE Austrian band At Pavillon…
have been discussing their new single, Lions, and what we can expect from them going forward. The band reveal how they got together and what sort of music they are inspired by; an album each that means a lot to them – I ask whether there are any tour dates coming up.
The guys talk about the scene in Austria and when music came into their lives; if they have favourite memories from music; what they want to achieve by the end of the year – they pick a great song to end the interview with.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Very exciting. The last couple of weeks, we have focused on the international release of our energy-boosting single, Lions. The reactions so far have been great!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are an Indie-Rock/Pop quartet based in Vienna, Austria. Tobi (Bass) and Paul (Drums) are our rhythm section - they keep the whole thing together. Berni (Lead Guitar) and Mwita (Guitar and Singing) represent the melody and entertainment section.
Lions is your new single. What is the story behind it?
There are those moments in life where we do not truly believe in ourselves. In such moments, it’s easy to follow empty promises of success but, in the end, you are caught by the power and will of everyone else but you. But, if we are aware of our inner-lion, we can achieve something great!
Lions EP is upcoming. Are there particular themes that inspire the work?
To us, diaspora artists like Freddy Mercury or Bob Marley are really inspiring as they had to face lots of challenges based on their social, ethnical; cultural or migrational backgrounds. To us, they are lions or, as Freddie Mercury would have called it: We Are the Champions!
How did At Pavillon get together? When did you start playing together?
Mwita and Berni have already been friends since their high-school years. They decided to play together when Berni was proving to Mwita that he could play the Harry Potter theme with his guitar on the back which, indeed, is astonishing! It took up until 2014 when Paul and Tobi joined. Paul was pretty shy and introverted at the beginning but, when he was playing during the rehearsal breaks, we knew what he was capable of.
Tobi came into rehearsal room as a Jazz guitar player who wanted to play bass as a musical compensation. Turned out that he is as phenomenal on the bass as he is on the guitar. With Berni’s sense for melodies and Mwita’s incredible voice, we knew we could write some good music. But, most important for us, was the fact that we felt like brothers from the moment we met!
You are based out of Austria. Is there a strong music scene there right now?
Definitely! Especially in the recent years, the scene got way more professional which is also appreciated by the international music business and media. From our perspective, we are really happy to see that more and more guitar-based bands make their way onto the global market!
When did music arrive in your lives? Which artists are you inspired by?
For Tobi, by the time he was in kindergarten, he was listening to his father’s old records: Led Zeppelin, Cream; The Monkees, Jefferson Airplane; The Beach Boys, The Animals, etc. This music fascinated and shapes him to this day. Berni started playing guitar at fifteen because he was obligated to do so in school. When he bought his first classical guitar, he just got addicted and couldn’t stop playing for himself at home. Paul, like Tobi, grew up on the record collection of his parents. It was (especially) Jimi Hendrix and his father’s hairstyle that got him closer to Rock music. The decision to study an instrument was done with the help of his parents, as his childhood wish was simply to play music on a stage.
Music arrived in Mwita’s life when he first started covering songs with his friends and they made up their own stories to existing songs. This was also the time when they went busking on streets. He is inspired by Benjamin Clementine - because he is one of the few who writes their music in an unconventional lyrical and musical way. This helps him to rethink his own songwriting.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
We hope that our upcoming album, Believe Us, enables us to play our first world tour!
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Well. There is this one memory that is quite important for all of us. At the very beginning, we were invited to play at a small festival in Italy. After an eight-hour drive, we arrived there and suddenly it started raining pretty heavily. So, when we entered the stage, there was literally no-one upfront. We looked at each other and decided to play this show as if it was our last. After a few minutes more, more people started to come closer to the stage despite the heavy rain!
At the end of our set, there was indeed a crowd who were applauding. Since this moment, we have decided to play every show as if it was our last! Because, if you believe in yourself and give everything, then you will be rewarded!
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
Mwita: Tokio Hotel – Schrei
I was fourteen when I bought this album. I could totally relate music and lyrics-wise to their music. This was my theme for a year. This album gave me strength, hope and energy at times where I felt down.
Paul: By the Way by Red Hot Chili Peppers
I was around twelve when it got released and my understanding of Rock music was still based on my parents’ vinyl collection. So, in 2002, I was at a drum weekend workshop which was in a really beautiful castle. While I was making my way through these huge corridors, I suddenly heard this crazy beat. I was following the rhythm and found myself in front of a drummer who was in his mid-twenties.
I was asking him which beat he was playing and he told me it was (the one of) By the Way by the R.H.C.P. As soon as I was home I went to the record store; I bought the album and couldn’t stop listening to it up until today. It was my entrance into Rock music - and I am so grateful for that.
Tobi: In fact, it was a ‘best of’ album from Led Zeppelin
Because of Jimmy Page, I wanted to learn to play electric guitar. Later; John Paul Jones taught me bass. I was totally thrilled by these musicians.
Berni: One of the most inspiring albums I ever heard is the album In the Woods from Francis International Airport
I love every track because it’s extremely atmospheric and dynamic. I still get many ideas for At Pavillon’s riffs and sounds from this record.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Mwita would love to support Phoenix. Ideally, we would be allowed to use this huge mirror they were touring with in 2017!
Might we see some tour dates coming up? Where might we be able to catch you play?
Our next show will be on Wednesday, 19th September at Reeperbahn Festival, Hamburg. The venue is called Indra. It is the first place The Beatles ever played in Hamburg.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Believe in yourself and love what you do. If you don’t do it, nobody will!
IN THIS PHOTO: Lo Moon
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
If there is any ‘off-time’, then we love to meet friends that we haven’t seen for a long time, go out for dinner; read a good book or convince our parents being a musician doesn’t imply we are junkies (smiles).
Finally, and for being good sports; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Her - 5 minutes
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