"Vibe music at the date of the Love-Parade"
Initiator of the "Back Room Project" in the House of Cultures, a blues-musician with a sense for "Chicago-Slowness" and stage-act in the Quasimodo on the saturday evening of the love-parade with a "high-energy alternative program": Jean-Paul Bourelly is not only always good for a surprise, he also uses the means of the city of Berlin to set new impulses and by this opens the eyes of people (if they are willing to see).
After the band had spend hours in a traffic jam, the sound-check at the "Quasi" could take place only a short while before the beginning of the concert. So the scheduled interview was postponed until the last minute before the band finally hit the stage. - But: I faced a well-balanced, good-humored Jean-Paul Bourelly, who managed tuning his guitar and talking at the same time. And this is what we talked about while Reggie Washington (b) and Felix Sabal Lecco (dr) in the background were getting their things together:
Jean-Paul: O.k.- Shoot!
Carina: First question: Why do you play this concert at the date of the Love-Parade?
Jean-Paul: Why do I do it at the date of the Love-Parade? I think, a lot of good energy is around this thing. We were on tour, and we had the chance to do it before we were on tour. But one suggestion was: Love-Parade - and I just thought: O.k., the Love-Parade is going in one direction, we are going in another direction, let it just happen. May be I can add to that spirit by doing something else, you know. So I didnīt hesitate, I said: Yeah! Love-Parade is the day we do it.
Carina: You are the founder of the "Back Room Project" - at the press-conference, on the first day, I thought, most of the journalists couldnīt see what is new on this project. And I got the impression that they are not willing to give something a chance that is out of their reach of thinking. How did the idea come in your mind to start a project like that? And what do you think how is it going on?
Jean-Paul: Itīs going on very well. I am glad you said what you said, because I agree with it. But I think, that I just wanted to support something - in terms of new ideas. Thatīs really hard in this city. You know, people are not very often supporting new ideas like I feel that they could. This is really trying to be a progressive city. It should be nothing to embrace somebody who is experienced, who is trying to do something new. Some of the questions were really shocking to me, you know. And it just showed to me that on some level, in some corners, the city is very progressive and in some corners it is quite disfunctional. And I just want to be a source to open all that up. - So itīs going quite good. The first two concerts were great - the first concert was really great - it shocked me that nobody reviewed it. It shocked me, it really shocked me - I said: Itīs not possible! Nobody reviewed this one. But there was one review, our radio-review, for the second one... Itīs a story for people to write about. It is really benefiting the people, you know.
Carina: "The lonely one" - a song of your new CD "Vibe Music" - what does the text mean for you?
Jean-Paul: Oh, man! - itīs a whole fighting at the psychology of colonialism, colonialism in the head. ... And itīs just trying to make people aware - I donīt want to be moralistic or anything like that. But it was really my way of expressing: just be careful, you know, the message you take is open - is really open. Itīs always our aim to try to get people to stay open. Because if they donīt stay open, then they canīt hear our music.
Carina: You have learned a lot of techniques and this is a base for what you are able to play on stage. But then, how much feeling is in it?
Jean-Paul: Itīs all, itīs all feeling. I mean, itīs probably eighty percent feeling. You try to get your technique on a level where you can actually forget about it. Where it just becomes kind of subconcious. And then you can speak through the instrument. But if you contest for what you do, you canīt really speak. Itīs more like an 'exhibition'. - And you know, 'exhibitions' are fine, but they will never make anybody cry or open up your eyes or something.
Carina: What does it mean to you to be a musician?
Jean-Paul: That doesnīt really mean anything - it doesnīt mean anything for me to be a musician. It means more to me to be somebody who is expressing ideas. I love it that I am expressing ideas through sound. That is a way that I have learned, that I know very well and that I am comfortable with. I really couldnīt imagine doing it any other way - well I could, but not really a lot. I can imagine writing a book, directing a movie..."best movie of the..."- I can imagine trying it and try and have a good time. I know how to work with sound - I suppose anybody knows how to do something and how to manipulate a thing. Thereīs a certain amount of enjoyment in it. But as a musician - I donīt really think of myself as a musician - that would be too much like, you know: Somebody working at the 'Tankstelle' or something. Just: 'Play me this A-chord'. And - you know: "O.k., Sir! - Give me my money!' "
Jean-Paul Bourelly im Internet: www.bourelly.com
Photos by Carina Prange