Paul Weber © Tim Loebbert
Songlines mit Paul Weber
Paul Weber is the name of the artist who manages to combine guitar music with depth of content, choosing a modern and timeless sound, with pressure and fine intensity, as it has not been heard in Germany for a long time. Recently his EP "Alles im Arsch" was released.
"Leaves are falling / just like us" - "Auf und Davon" opens the EP with drive and Springsteen vibes, is a road movie song driven by longing, wanting to get out the door. It makes the opposite of our lives tangible again right now and makes us forget reality for three minutes.
Weber's musical beginnings are quite classical: a school band with first, self-written lyrics, at that time still in English. After graduating from high school, the band scattered in all directions: business studies, law, Münster, Jena. Weber prefers to play living room concerts instead, lets himself drift. At some point he discovers German lyrics for himself. "The first album by Wir sind Helden was a revival experience for me". With his trenchant, strong-attitude way of writing lyrics, Weber places himself somewhere between Element of Crime, Die höchsten Eisenbahn and Von Wegen Lisbeth. Lyrics timeless and opinionated. "There are so many German words, you first have to find the right one. I'm looking for phrases and words that haven't already been said a thousand times." He succeeds. Weber draws strong images, shows attitude without stiffening into a moralizer. "It's important to me to be political - but that's because I'm a political person. I don't want to write protest songs, I prefer to observe." Paul Weber grew up in Cologne, after graduating from high school he worked as a draftsman, became fascinated by architecture. Architecture and music - there are parallels: "You design something, create a space where people can feel at home, can meet. You create things that don't exist yet." Paul Weber has created his own space, lyrically, musically and aesthetically. Responsible for photos and videos are two old school friends who have been with him for a long time. Cologne plays a big role for Weber, the lyrics of the EP were written in Ehrenfeld - in the lyrics the FC plays in the pub, "Alles im Arsch" describes crumbling dreams in the structural change area of NRW.
"I asked myself what I should say about the shift to the right in Europe, but I didn't want to join the attitude: every conversation ends immediately. Dialogue is important, as hard as it is!!! "It's all fucked up" gets to the heart of the matter, puts itself in other perspectives and tries to understand how hopelessness turns into hate. "Much has been promised and little has remained. Disappointed hopes lead to dark thoughts. Of course, none of this is a reason to vote right. But you have to show alternatives, have better ideas, bring people back to the right. In the end, we live in a democracy, and you need majorities. We all don't want to live in a divided society." "Men", in turn, plays with role clichés, asking the question of what it actually means to be a man in the year 2020? From biting irony, something unifying and reflective emerges. Smart German-language music doesn't have to be artificial, even role cliché criticism can be fun and wink with the eye.
Paul Weber came to architecture because he had flunked the theoretical part of the exam for his music studies. The practical part he masters with ease, you can hear that: Everything should sound maximally live. "You should hear what is there. No additional tracks! The Berlin producer Tim Tautorat is responsible for the sound of the EP. It's a raw, energetic sound. Pearly Sam Fender guitars meet Strokes dirt, Jacob Streit (guitar), Nico Atzeni (drums) and Denis Stadermann (bass) sound modern and direct. "Zugvögel" is from a time like now: it's already insanely dark, you'd like to see the sun again, come out - the longing for better times. Out of the winter depression. The song was written at Cafe van Dyck in Cologne-Ehrenfeld. "I always knew when the sun was in the street at noon - and noticed, now the days are getting longer again." Weber's lyrics are direct, honest and manage to avoid hackneyed German pop metaphors, instead drawing authentic images taken from life with a fine stroke. There was still a bit of time left in the studio; "Close Your Eyes" wasn't actually on the list for the session. "The energy fit, it all felt good. Then we just went with the first take." You can hear that - and it says a lot about Paul Weber's approach, about being able to create spaces to feel and think from the moment, showing attitude without being ideological. This is exactly how German guitar music must sound in 2021.