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Sandra Keplinger, Dominik Gubi und ich haben Amanda Palmer in einem kleinen, kitschigen Hotel beim Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof getroffen. Das Ergebnis war dieses Interview, von dem später eine deutsche Kurzfassung im WIENER erschienen ist. Hier das Original.

Die Air France hat Mist gebaut und Amanda Palmer erst einen Tag später von Paris nach Wien befördert. Die Nacht verbrachte sie in einem miesen, kalten Hotel, aber mit Rotwein und über 1000 Fans, die ihr beim spontanen Ukulele-Webcast die Stange hielten.

Dass Miss Palmer beim  Interview trotzdem nicht übernachtig war, sondern charmant, witzig und eloquent, grenzt an ein Wunder…

Umso übernachtiger war (und ist) die Redakteurin, die sich den Palmer’schen Ukulele-Livestream in Echt- und zur Unzeit angesehen hat. Deshalb gibt es hier auch keinen Interview-Feinschliff, sondern Amanda Palmer in (almost uncut) OV-Version.

Wer Finetuning, Übersetzung und Sandra Keplingers extrem witzige Fotoserie sehen will, ist hiermit aufgefordert, sich den nächsten WIENER zu kaufen! :)

I heard that you are single-handedly going to save the music industry. How are you planning to do this?

I’m not gonna save anything. I don’t think the music industry actually needs saving. I think the music industry – as it is – just needs to die. It needs a complete rebuild from the ground up which obviously is already happening.
And it’s not that the music industry as we know it is dying and then a new industry which kind of resembles it is going to spring up in its place. What I see happening is that music as we know it, as we experience it, the way we find it, listen to it and connect with it, has changed completely – and will change for this whole new next generation of people.
It’s “small” – and it’s much more empowering the artists who are making it because they can directly give, make and communicate with their fans. Unlike the old days where everything had to be giant or non-existent.
And everybody is doing it themselves! They’re doing it in different ways but artists are having to just simply do that themselves. Just the way it used to be – way back in the day: you had to have supporters, you had to have patrons, you had to go from town to town with your story and hawk it – and hope that it sold.

But you are still with your label, with Roadrunner?

I’m not at liberty to discuss but I can tell you that the news is looking good.

In your song you said you were “tired of sucking corporate dick”…

That was very black and white, obviously. I have different relationships with different people at Roadrunner. Some of the people there are great and some of them are terrible. And the relationship hasn’t been good for a long, long time. But they did help the band a lot in the early days of the Dresden Dolls.

What do you think of Radiohead’s idea to offer their album by digital download, allowing fans to pay whatever they think is a fair price? Do you think that might be a business plan for future artists?

I don’t think there’s gonna be ONE way. It’s gonna be infinite possibilities. And it’s gonna be up to the artists in question to decide how they want to exchange their goods for money. There’s gonna be an infinite variety of ways that you can have music, experience, profit, connection… There’s so many things you can do as an artist! There’s so many ways you can choose to do it.
I think some bands are gonna do it the Radiohead-way and for some bands who are at certain points in their careers it’s gonna work…

Will you do it?

I’m not sure.

Did you ever bittorrent any music?

I don’t use bittorrent but I have a friend who understands a lot more about finding music on the internet than I do. So every time I need something… (laughs)
So I’m like a lazy indirect bittorrenter. But I feel no qualms about downloading music for free. And I buy a lot of music. I do. I usually do whatever is easiest. And if I feel like I’m directly supporting someone by buying their music, I always do it.

This is a quote from an article about you: “Amanda Palmer, it turns out, isn’t in the business of selling music so much as she’s in the business of selling the experience of being a fan of Amanda Palmer’s music.” Would you agree?

Well, if that is true, then it’s also true for Radiohead and any other band out there. Because it’s never just about the music. Never ever. I don’t buy that for a second. Because behind the music is always the people. And the emotion and the intention. And when you buy the music, you’re buying everything. Or when you’re downloading it for free. It’s impossible to separate the art from the artists who are making it and the stories behind them. It’s everything, all mixed up together.
Sure I can believe that that’s true – but if it’s true for me it’s pretty much true for every artist out there. I don’t think I’m special that way.

But you spend A LOT of time connecting with your fans online. Do you think it enhances your creativity or does it mean you have less time for your music?

It’s a choice I make and I often regret. But then again every artist has to make that really difficult decision about how to spend their time. And there’s everything from hiding in a cabin in Bali and playing your guitar all alone to living in the middle of New York City and doing flash gigs on Twitter every afternoon, being hyper-connected and not spending a lot of time on your musical craft.

So you got your musical craft on the one end – and on the other end you have what you’ve got to do to actually take your music to people and wave it around.
And EVERY SINGLE ARTIST I KNOW struggles with this question. I don’t know a single fucking person who makes art who doesn’t worry that they’re too much on this side or too much on that side.
The people who I know who spend a lot of time on their music are jealous of me because I’m so disciplined with my blog and I look at them and I am jealous because they are so disciplined with their playing and I feel sometimes they are so much more passionate about the making and the writing. But we’re all looking at each other going “Well, YOU’ve got it figured out.”

Yesterday you said, you never would have learned to play the piano had there been internet when you were a child.

I may have learned… I don’t know if I would have written songs. That’s a really good question.

You argued that boredom was part of creativity…

I think so. I think boredom is very important for imagination. But everything changes, right? And so I wouldn’t wanna sit here and be like this grumpy old person judging the teenagers nowadays for sitting around on the internet all day for all I know their minds are developing creatively in a new way that I never could have imagined. Because of the constant input and the constant sharing and the constant stimulus and the inspiration.
I didn’t have all that because it was just me and and the records and my thoughts. And maybe really rudimentary pac-man on my parents’ computer. That was it. No internet, no international connections, no finding fans of the bands that I loved. But I don’t think one is good or bad. You get really really fucked if you look at the world that way. I could sit here and judge and say: “These kids are all gonna be fucked and they’re not gonna make good music.” But actually that’s bullshit. I know a lot of sixteen-year-olds who are great songwriters, they practise their instruments, they’re passionate about making music, about writing, about making art. So as long as I see it existing I can’t sit here and preach that there’s some sort of artistic death going on in the next generation. It’s just not true.

What’s it like to be part of the super-couple of geekdom?

I think Neil’s more of a geek than I am. He’d probably say the same thing about me though.
How does it feel to be in a relationship? I don’t fucking know. It’s like trying to explain a colour. I really love him. It’s an incredible relationship. I feel incredibly lucky that we’ve found each other. And I’ve never been able to be so completely myself, you know, inside of a relationship. Where usually in a relationship there’s a lot of changing and adjusting and figuring out and compromising, endless talking about how to do what. And with Neil it’s just so easy. We’re so easy for each other. It sometimes scares the shit out of me because it feels too easy. Like the work should be harder. But there’s almost no work – I really understand him and he really understands me and there’s not much else to talk about and we get to just go and have fun.

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