Keyboard

Music

How it all began

I started with piano lessons at the age of six. My grandma thought its a good idea that her little boy learns to play an instrument. We had no music tradition in our family so I was the first one to play an instrument. My dad bought an old piano from a local farmer. The crappy old thing had spent most of its life in a barn and I was probably the first one playing it after decades. Well, it was not exactly a classy instrument but I wasn’t a good pianist either so we got along pretty well.

My first piano teacher was an old lady with a grumpy cat. She taught me classical masterpieces of Mozart and Schumann as well as Christmas songs. So the first musical event in our family was me playing Christmas songs and my dad and my grandpa trying their best to song along. I have to admit that I did not really enjoy the piano lessons but my grandma was pretty persuasive and so I practiced every day.

A couple of years later (and finally convinced that playing an instrument is pretty cool), I joined a proper music school and got lessons in jazz and blues piano. That’s also when I played for the first time in front of a bigger audience. I was terribly nervous but I did quite well. And playing rock or blues songs was even good to impress the girls. As I even got a brand new piano, I had really good reasons to continue. All this blues matched my rather depressing music taste of my teenager years anyway and I started improvising a bit.

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After my dad finally bought me a Yamaha PSR-500 keyboard I decided that I had to become a one-man band. MOI – the Mirror of Imagination was born and I spent hours and hours in composing some terrible pop and electronic stuff. Occasionally, I even asked my sister or my girl-friend at that time to sing my depressing lyrics but I was never tempted to join a band. I was quite introvert and my music was something very personal. So I did not feel prepared for sharing this with some band mates or even an audience. (Un)fortunately, all my cassette recordings of these days are lost and MoI finally died when I finished school.

For almost a decade I did not touch any piano. I moved to Frankfurt and could not take my piano with me. So I almost forgot the pleasure of creating music with my own hands. Only after we moved into our own place in Eysins, I decided that I want to buy a piano again. And at that time I remembered one of my previous challenges. I never mastered to play the Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven. It took me almost 6 months of intense work but now I love to play it for myself as I believe it’s one of the most beautiful piano pieces of all times.

Waitlist

In Geneva I got to know Markus, one of my former colleagues at Deutsche Bank. One day he came to me and asked whether I want to play in a band? He had that idea that we should revive the enthusiasm for music of our teenager times and create a rock band. He convinced 3 other guys and so we started meeting in his garage and playing “Join me in death” (HIM), “Mystify” (INXS) or “Knocking on heavens door” (Guns’n’Roses). It was just for the fun and my old Yamaha keyboard did not allow for something more professional anyway. But we really enjoyed meeting, jamming and pretending to be rock stars. In autumn 2014 we finally decided to be ready for our first gig. Markus invited all our friends to a birthday party and we played in his garage. It was cool to see that people enjoyed our performance. Markus was amazing on stage and we all felt and gave everybody a Wembley kind of feeling.

After this first little success and with Smokin’ Loken, our new drummer, we felt it’s time to take this a bit more serious. We rented a rehearsal place in St. Genis, bought some equipment including a wonderful Roland RD-700NX stage piano with damn cool synthesiser sounds and started to expand our set list with songs like “Karma Police” (Radiohead), “Resistance” (Muse) or “Smile like you mean it” (The Killers). Just before we were to play our first real gig at THE SCENE in Plainpalais we realised that we still don’t have a name. Luckily some guys from the organising committee of Fête de la musique in Cessy came to listen to one of our rehearsal sessions. They liked our music but told us that they have already enough bands. They said they will put us on the waiting list and asked for the bands name. Well – there we go…

Waitlist has grown up now and we have recently performed our first own song “Tell Me”. I really love it and I am so proud of the fact that it is all based on my little piano riff. It’s absolutely amazing to see how it developed with the help of everybody. Markus improved the lyrics, Andy created an amazing solo and had the idea for the bridge, James added a fantastic bass line and the 6/8 beat was Smokin’s idea. And the best of all: the audience loved it. Wow – we created a hit! Well, not yet but I am sure one day we will list to it in the radio (if there is still radio at this time). And there is more to come: wait for our next song “Count to ten”.

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Live your life, ride yourself – light and shade but still you steer.