Rennen, um den Horizont zu sehen – A Singer of Songs sound so.

foto_von cindy

Ein Song von Johnny Cash hat Lieven Scheerlinck zu dem Namen inspiriert, unter dem er seit 2008 Musik macht – A Singer of Songs. Der Belgier lebt seit vielen Jahren in Barcelona. Im Oktober 2014 ist sein viertes Album From hello to goodbye erschienen. Darauf zu hören: Musik, um die Welt zu bereisen; Songs über das Ankommen und den Abschied und all die Dinge, die dazwischen geschehen. Im Interview spricht er über seine Liebe zum Songwriting und über Track 9, The Runner – Einmal um die ganze Welt rennen, das hätte doch was.

schreibstation: Why do you write the lyrics yourself?

A Singer of Songs: As a matter of fact I consider the lyrics the essential part of my songwriting. I work long and hard on the words of the songs. They are the core of the song. The melody always comes first, but it doesn’t become a song until the right words fit into it. And honestly, I couldn’t imagine a world without writing songs anymore. It has become an essential part of me. A way of saying things I never find words for in everyday conversation.

schreibstation: What comes first when you write a new song: the lyrics or the melody?

A Singer of Songs: Usually the melody comes first. Sometimes the melody already comes with some words, and then I build a song around those. But most of the time it’s just »Lalalalala« and then I turn those into words that try to make sense.

schreibstation: What makes great lyrics for you?

A Singer of Songs: When they surprise me when I write them. When they are honest and true. When they tell a story that makes sense. When they don’t need the word ‘love’ to tell a love story, or the word ‘hate’ for a story of hatred. When they are subtle and intriguing. When the language itself feels fresh and new. And of course, when you can sing them along as if they were »I lalalalala love you«.

schreibstation: How do you come up with the lyrics?

A Singer of Songs: Most of them are just hard work. Sit down with my notebook and a pencil at the table and just work on the words. But some of them fall upon me all of a sudden, mostly when I’m walking around town or doing random things. For example, the first lines of the new album (»Can’t you see I walk in tedious circles around the essence of me«) all of a sudden popped into my head while hanging my clothes out to dry. So yes, it’s all pretty unpredictable, which makes it such a beautiful thing to do. Though sometimes they are so hard to get to, that I would chuck my notebook in the dustbin and promise never to write again. But I always end up rescuing the book from the garbage to keep scribbling.

schreibstation: Does literature influences your writing? If yes: Which author or which book does so?

Of course. I love reading. Some authors are true inspirations for me. There are so many: Cormac McCarthy, Steinbeck, Tom Spanbauer, Neruda. I have read and enjoyed them all. And I have happily let myself be inspired by them.

schreibstation: What is the importance of the lyrics in your music?

A Singer of Songs: It’s essential. Without words music rarely really gets to me. I love listening to songs. And I love telling stories. If you get on a stage, you’d better have something to say.

schreibstation: When you´re talking about your music, are the lyrics a subject? If yes: Has it ever happen, that somebody saw something else in the lyrics than you did?

A Singer of Songs: The lyrics always come up, yes, though I wish it were more of a subject. But nowadays few people pay much attention to words. It takes a lot less effort to understand a song that just says »I love you«. People like easy and fast. But then there are some people who are eager to hear more, to make an effort to get a bigger and better story. And those are the listeners I really enjoy having. And of course people turn the songs into something personal. For example the song Little Sin from my previous album might be the happiest love song I have ever written, yet a friend of mine told me that it seemed the saddest love song she had ever heard. And after she had explained her point, I could see what she was saying. That is the beauty of songs, they become something else in every person’s hands.

schreibstation: What is the story of The Runner for you?

A Singer of Songs: Running is such a big thing right now. So many friends of mine have become passionate about it. They run marathons like I walk around the block. I think society tries to make us believe that we have to achieve things all the time. Get better, healthier, faster, thinner, more beautiful… Which is of course incredibly stupid and insane, as time and life will do just the opposite. Time will make us slower and less healthy and fatter. So we run to try to fight the obvious. The song is about a man who can’t stop running. Mostly because he’s afraid of what he’ll find as soon as he stops. He tries to see the horizon as a finish line. And after a while, the fact that he never gets there, becomes a sort of comfort to him. The more tired he gets the faster he goes…

schreibstation: Is there a favorite line you like to sing?

A Singer of Songs: Yes, plenty. »Out there the horizon like a line to cross, no one will ever try harder than he does« and »The air’s too loud to hear people saying that someday we all run out of road« are two of my favorite lines of the whole album. And somehow the song revolves around repeating »He’s so out of breath sometimes« over and over and over and over…

Aus der Puste kommen sollte, wer sich in der ersten Dezemberwoche zufällig in Spanien aufhält; denn dort spielt A Singer of Songs in Zaragoza (3.12.), Pontevedra (4.12.), Lugo (5.12.), Santiago de Compostela (6.12.) und Vigo (7.12.). Anhalten, durchatmen, zuhören, genießen – dann weiter die Welt berennen.

The Runner, reinhören und rauslesen:

When the house is still quiet and the day ain’t but a promise

He puts his running shoes on

Early morning air hits his face like a bullet

He takes a deep breath and then he’s gone

Into the silent suburb that he now calls home

He feels concrete shiver under his feet

Far away the fields burn to gold as if to say

They’re the promise he once made but didn’t keep


He ran yesterday like he runs today

He ran yesterday like he runs today


Cars, houses, people blend into the same thing

The world gets blurrier the faster he goes

Adrenalin starts pumping, sweat pours down his face

His heart is racing like it’s never raced before

Like a one-way journey or a mad escape

No looking back, the future will catch up

Out there the horizon like a line to cross

No one will ever try harder than he does


He ran yesterday like he runs today

He ran yesterday like he runs today


The air’s too loud to hear people saying

That someday we all run out of road

When his muscles start aching

He tries to go faster than he already goes

But he is so out of breath sometimes

But he is so out of breath sometimes

But he is so out of breath sometimes


He ran yesterday like he runs today

He ran yesterday like he runs today

He’s running away…


Bild oben: von Cindy Ruch bei einem Konzert diesen Sommer in Barcelona.


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