Robert Carl Blank / The stage is my home


German born guitarist and singer Robert Carl Blank developed his craft as a musician from simple beginnings. As a teenager Robert created his own backing tracks using just a drum machine and an old tape recorder. By the age of 16 he was acting musical director for a number of bands and projects, demonstrating a rare sensitivity in the arrangement and interpretation of other people’s songs. Now he is touring as a singer/songwriter with round about 80 gigs this year all over Europe. We talked to Robert about his future:

Interview: Rock Schmidt / Photo by courtesy of Rock Ya Events Hello Robert. Thank you for taking some time for the interview. How are you doing?

Robert: Hi, I’m doing fine, cheers. Pretty busy times at the moment. The new album is awaiting its release this fall, and there’s a lot of stuff to think of in the run-up period. We´ve heard you will play more than 80 gigs this year. How does that make you feel?

Robert: Well, actually the total number of gigs this year will be around 150, like last year. It makes me feel great because the stage is my home. I love the whole buzz of travelling and playing and meeting new people. I can’t get enough of it. However, I’ve learned to calm down a bit, too. I used to play around 200 shows annually. How would you describe ROBERT CARL BLANK and his music?

Robert: Ah, that’s not so easy (laughing). Let’s try this: I am a hard working, disciplined dreamer, whose heart keeps yearning for something that it hasn’t found yet. But I’m optimistic, the glass is always half-full! So the songs that come out of me often have melancholy and soul-searching woven into their core fabric, but I don’t stop there. I feel a lot of different things, like everybody else, and I don’t like to keep my material down to one basic emotional stream. I ask a lot of questions, maybe that’s one thing that is definitely a Robert Carl Blank thing … You started promoting your new album “Rooms For Giants”. What´s the message behind this title, and when we can expect the release of the album?

Robert: I struggled with the album title for quite some time. Always a tricky question, how to frame one’s work with a title. There is a song on the album called “Giants” and I think it’s one of the central songs. In fact, during the writing period the songs themselves turned almost into giants for me, in the sense that they can have an overbearing presence on you. And it’s not easy to find room, or a room, for a giant, if you know what I mean (smiling) You have travelled many places in various countries. What was your most memorable experience in your past?

Robert: There are many. I played a house concert in Australia a couple of years ago at a place called “The House With No Walls”, and I had no idea what to expect. As it turned out the concert was held in a house without any walls in the middle of the Australian rain forrest. The roof was basically sitting on long logs. The owners built it themselves after their daughter had been raped and murdered. They had experienced such a great loss, they decided to build an open house … As we found out, there is a Scotland tour being planned at the moment. How did this come about, and why Scotland?

Robert: Pierre from RockYaEvents and I met a few years ago at a gig in Germany. We talked and later wrote emails and he eventually organized a gig for me in the city where he lived. He moved to Scotland last year where he and his fiancée now live

, and he approached me with this idea. He offered me gigs in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kinross … Would you have said no? We all know that Scotland is famous for Whiskey and pub culture. Do you like Whisky and what is your favourite one?

Robert: Ha (laughing)! In fact, I loooove good whiskeys, and my favourite ones are the smokey ones. Once a year I afford myself a bottle of Lagavullin, and if things are ok on the financial side I even go for the destiller’s edition. Apart from good Single Malt Whiskies, what do you expect from this tour?

Robert: Good Beer! (laughing) No, I am looking forward to see a bit of Scotland. I’ve never been there, so no matter how great the gigs will go, I’m sure I’ll have a ball! Scotland is famous for its nature, and for aged and weathered places and buildings. I want to see all that! And trips like these usually impregnate you with a thousand new song ideas, so I’ll bring a lot of note books, that’s for sure … Do you have musical role models? And who are they?

Robert: I don’t think I have role models as such, but I tend to watch and steal from the masters in the trade, like everyone else does, too. I have been influenced by tons of writers, singers and guitar players. Many of them singer/songwriters like myself, but also by a lot of cool Pop and Rock bands. I still listen to The Verve a lot, for example, or even Oasis. I think they wrote fantastic songs! Some others I could name from the top of my head would be Counting Crows, Crowded House, Powderfinger, Marc Cohn, Keb Mo, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, U2, John Mayer, Johnny Cash, Shelby Lynne, Tina Dico, the list is endless really. My latest musical love affair is Rachael Yamagata … Last question already … What are your plans in the future and what should we look out for?

Robert: Well, this year we’ll release the new album, like I said at the beginning. We will shoot some more skydiving videos, because we will feature that aspect of me a bit more. I am an addict! I go skydiving whenever I can! So, hopefully there will be tons of cool skydive videos with some of my music up on the net soon. If things go according to plan there should be a bigger national tour with the whole band, so that’s very exciting news! Also, I already have finished writing another album. So, if things go the way I want them too I will start recording sometime this year again. I just have too many songs in me, I guess … Thank you very much and good luck for your future …

Robert: Thank you for the interview!

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