»Lyrics give the song a feeling« – Owen Robertson sound so.

Owen Robertson kommt aus der Kleinstadt Cromarty in Schottland, unweit von Loch Ness. Seit September macht er seinen Master in Aquatic Science and Technology in Kopenhagen. Daheim spielt er mit anderen Musikern, hier klappert er die Open Stages zum ersten Mal alleine ab. Um Songs zu schreiben, muss er ganz für sich sein. Ich habe ihm im Listening Room gelauscht und wenige Zeit später hat er mich zum Klub Geyser eingeladen, wo wir uns vor seinem Auftritt zwischen Gitarren und Abendessen im Backstage unterhalten haben.

schreibstation: Why do you make music?

Owen: Well, I´m playing since I was 14. My house at home is full of music, my dad plays a lot. There was always something I could pick up and try, even if I couldn´t play it. So music was all around me. And at some point my friends said: let´s make a band. And we did and it was really good. And now I´m one of those, that continued doing music since then. I´m addicted to it. (lacht) When you have like a shitty day, it´s kind of meditation in a way. Just sit down and play guitar and don´t think about anything else. And if I don´t do it for a week or so, I get really stressed.

schreibstation: Do you write the lyrics on your own?

Owen: Yes. It´s something I´m always doing, even if I´m a really bad writer. (lacht) I mean, writing articles or stuff like this. But lyrics are ok. They just come along, like in the shower or so. The riff comes first and then you have a feeling for the song and you write on this feeling. But songwriting is so much like, you know – only you know, how you wanted it done. You have a vision of the song and you know how, you want to present it. Which feeling you want to have or which emotion you want to show.

schreibstation: So, what is the importance of the lyrics in your music?

Owen: Lyrics give the song a feeling. And in some songs the lyrics are really deep, but in some songs they don´t say that much, they just sound cool. But they still give a feeling.

schreibstation: What makes good lyrics for you?

Owen: I think good lyrics shouldn´t be that obvious, like »I love this girl, I love this girl«; that sounds really poppy and a bit cheesy. (lacht) When you get a phrase, you should twist it around, change it a bit, that it means something else. You make it different, but you can still relate it to the original. Like hide a bit, what you really want to say but still tell the message. But that is a very personal opinion, no one is right. Maybe you know The Tallest Man on Earth?

schreibstation: Yes, I do! Do you know his new song Dark Bird is Home?

Owen: Yes! Very good. His songs are very cryptic, I like that.

schreibstation: Do you think that good lyrics have to rhyme?

Owen: Lovesongs often rhyme, you know, like poems. That´s ok, but I try to get away from that. I mean, each lyrics have a rhythm, even if it doesn´t rhyme. Listen to songs from Bob Dylan, the lyrics don´t rhyme but they are awesome. And one more example for a really good musician, I lately found: Courtney Barnett. She´s from Australia and her lyrics are awesome as well.

schreibstation: Does literature influences your writing?

Owen: I don´t read books! Maybe I should read more. (lacht) But sometimes I use words from my studies, from science articles. They have some cool word. Well, but also literature influences a bit, the old classic stories, like the Greek myths for example. They are really good, I like their morals. And as a kid I heard a lot of book tapes. And I also like Shakespeare, the rhythms are really nice. I read Macbeth in school. I mean, I´m not against books. But well, some people read books, I play guitar – that´s my kind of vice. (lacht)

schreibstation: It seems, that some things from your past influence your writing…

Owen: I don´t really know, maybe. Yes, now that you say it. (lacht)

schreibstation: Let´s talk about Fog of war. Where did you write the song?

Owen: At home in Scotland we have that house in the country where I grow up, there I can write best. I like to play alone, in my isolation room. (lacht) No really, I do have to be alone to write songs but that’s when I am most at home. Sometimes you can spend all day just making a lot of noise, some days you can pick up the guitar and just start writing, that’s what happened with this song, you can’t force it. It’s like trying to fall asleep; if you’re trying, it won’t happen.

schreibstation: What is the story behind Fog of war?

Owen: There is an old saying that goes: you hate what you fear and you fear what you hate. The song deals with that. It’s a song about building up walls to keep people out, but only finding out later that you have built yourself a cage.

schreibstation: Is there a favorite line you like to sing in Fog of war?

Owen: Let me think, yes there is one: »You are the first I am the last, you stole the sand from my hour glass, and used to build your castle tall, and me I can´t get even in the wall«.

Fog of war – reinhören und rauslesen:

I push away before your close

I´d rather be alive than a ghost

My defense is a retreat

but there’s no honor in defeat

but there’s no honor in defeat

Fix bayonets ready for the charge

My old brain still holds these scars

Of you just standing in that door

I’m lost in the fog of war

I´m lost in the fog of war


Operator please, can you help me

Well you see I am haunted, by something that cannot be 

When the lights they go out, well I know that she´s around

Well I cannot look over, to the devil on my shoulder


You are the first I am the last

you stole the sand from my hour glass

And used to build your castle tall

and me I can´t get even in the wall

and me I can´t get even in the wall

Well I’ve fallen on my sword

these kind of thoughts can´t be ignored 

Of you just standing in that door

I’m lost in the fog of war 

I’m lost in the fog of war 

Operator please, can you help me

Well you see I am haunted, by something that cannot be 

When the lights they go out, well I know that she´s around

Well I cannot look over, to the devil on my shoulder

Info: Owen spielt als nächstes im Café Blågårds Apotek in Kopenhagen; diesen Mittwoch, 6.Mai.


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