Eisenhüttenstadt City Festival: Interview with Michael Schulte – Free Post-Laser Concert on Saturday

His first songs were heard on YouTube, then he sang his way into the hearts of the audience on The Voice of Germany in 2012, and in 2018 he ended the long drought of the Germans at the Eurovision Song Contest, where he finished fourth. It is about Michael Schulte (32), who has become an integral part of the German music scene. He is one of the main performers of the city festival in Eisenhüttenstadt. Before that, he took the time to interview.

Michael, the city festival in Eisenhüttenstadt is one of a series of performances that you are currently planning. Be honest, did Eisenhüttenstadt tell you anything before booking?

I don’t know exactly why, but yes, I already knew the name. But I don’t think I’ve ever played in town. So this will be the first.

As an artist, do you derive anything from the cities where you perform?

Sometimes time is very tight. But there are also other days. I hope to see something in Eisenhüttenstadt.

Here we have the largest area monument in Germany with architecture from the GDR construction period.

Oh really? Insanity. Let’s see if I have some time to look at it.

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You are currently busy. When was the last time you were home?

I try to be home whenever possible. And I’m not on my way very often. Usually, the greatest feeling is two or three days. I’m trying to control it. It is like that almost every week. In summer it is perfectly fine, it runs from late May to September. These are three or four more intense months, of course also for my wife, because then she is often alone with the children. But there are also days when I don’t play a concert, but do something with my family.

Is your family something for you, where you recharge your batteries and where songs are made or at least ideas for them?

The situation as a father inspires me. All of this brought new topics. Then I go to the studio with ideas, meet my friends and start writing. Song ideas generally come from the things I have experienced that move me.

How long does it take from idea to finished song?

The goal is to complete the song in one day. Sometimes it’s two songs. If you are a bit experienced and have a close-knit team, it often happens in the blink of an eye. There were also songs that were created in two hours. You collect the demos, at one point you take them out of the drawer, decide which song should be the next single, and then you finally produce that song, make it perfect.

When you first heard yourself on the radio, it must have been spectacular. How is it now, after so many songs and years in the music business?

It’s always nice. I am really satisfied every time. I also jump through the sewers while driving and can see where I’m going. It’s nice, but yes, it’s actually a bit different. In the first few weeks, I almost went crazy every time my own song was on the radio. But now you don’t start screaming or jumping anymore.

Do you sometimes find mistakes in your songs when you listen with a little distance?

No, I actually did it before. Until the audio file is imported into systems, I am very critical. When I hear the result later, it is perfect for my ears. Then it is complete. Before I am almost too brazen perfectionist, every breath has to be fine, nothing can burst, I am very meticulous and sometimes it takes a long time to be 100 percent satisfied.

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Your music has changed over the years. Does it have to happen to be successful or remain successful?

It doesn’t have to, it just happens by itself, simply because there are outside influences. And of course, if the taste for music changes in a larger crowd, then something will adjust to your thinking minimally as well. Five or six years ago there was a wave of extreme folk and my music was a bit more folk – also because I like folk a lot. But after a few years, everything seemed to be gone. Everything has become fresher, more modern, more electronic. We also invite you to try it yourself. But I didn’t migrate from pop to rock, I just go a bit with the sound of the time.

How many gold records were there?

I think there are four so far.

Where are they hanging? In the studio or in the apartment?

I don’t have my own studio, I always go to my producer’s studio in Hamburg and that’s where the gold ones hang from the producers. But as an artist you also get a copy, and the gold ones are at our home.

A dispute over a fence between an Irish pub and the venue of the festival

Is the audience at the current concerts different than before Corona’s forced break?

No, not really. This is quite normal. People stand close to each other, all of them joyful. Summer concerts like this are really cool. And they are the same as three years ago.

Do you have more work to do now than before Corona? So according to the motto: Now everything has to be made up for?

No, I think 2022 is still a mixed year, there is still a lot of catching up to do which should have happened sooner. A real fresh start is likely to begin in 2023. Then you will go on sale with new concerts. We can’t wait to finally be able to play our tour in the fall which should have been in 2020. I released the album three years ago and we haven’t even toured it yet. It has to happen now.

Do you create new songs or do you always write?

Always. Constant. It’s not like it used to be. When I started making music more professionally, it was still like that, you started writing, collecting songs and eventually the album was ready. Only then did the songs appear. It is now an ongoing process. When the single is ready, you release it. I like that you don’t have to take a two-year break from writing an album and getting everything ready. I always write as it suits me. I’ve been releasing a song every few months for the past four years.

Do you hear old and new songs in Eisenhüttenstadt?

Exactly, it’s gonna be a mix. Most often, these will be those released after 2018. But not only.

Which song must be there?

There are a lot of them: ESC’s song “You Let Me Walk Alone”, “For a Second”, “Back to the Start” – these are the ones that definitely should not be missing.

Eisenhüttenstadt city festival: Michael Schulte and the band, August 27 at 22.00, main stage, Beeskower Straße. Before that, you can experience the city’s laser festival there.

You can find out everything you need to know about the Eisenhüttenstadt city festival on our live blog.

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