Konstantin Gropper of the Get Well Soon one-man music project told DW he's "difficult to be around" when he's working on a new album - and what makes the tiny Haldern Pop Festival worth playing at.
Get Well Soon is not a band, but a music project initiated by German songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Konstantin Gropper. He performed at the Haldern Pop Festival for the first time in 2007. Wacken Open Air may be 10 times larger, but the annual event in the 5,000-resident town still draws about 7,000 visitors and is a hit with music lovers. DW met Konstantin Gropper before he headed on stage.
DW: You've performed at Haldern before - a festival known to be a kind of launchpad for musicians. Was that the case for you, too?
Konstantin Gropper: Yes, it was. We played here 10 years ago, and that first performance got me my first contract for an album.
What happened then?
Everything happened really quickly. My album was released half a year later, and I became a full-time musician. It all worked well, and fast.
The 2016 album "Love" is your latest, and also the one that has the most pop music elements. What inspires your writing?
I don't know. When I'm not writing, I listen to music a lot. I notice that I like a certain sound, a certain style or era, and that it is inspirational. In the end that turns out to be the new album's style. And concerning this last album, I had actually discovered pop music, which I had never really listened to before. In fact, I used to be rather opposed to it. But I found out that pop has some really sophisticated, great songs. I'm not that much into current pop music, but I enjoy the 1980s sound.
What can fans look forward to on your next album? On "Love" it was all about - love! What's next: hatred, or even death?
I'm actually working on the new album already, but I can't tell you much about it. I always try out a new style. It is important to draw a line after the last album, which already bores me at that point. For instance, I'm not into pop anymore.
Research for your albums is always intense…
Yes, reading and watching a lot helps me, and at some point there is this cosmos which I pick and choose from. The thing is, I want to create an album with a beginning and an end, and with a topic. That approach helps; it's what I expect from an album that it has a central theme.
On stage, other musicians join you, but Get Well Soon is actually a one-man show. You are the band. Isn't that difficult sometimes?
It's not the easiest of times for me when I'm just getting started, or until I get started. I think I am pretty difficult to be around until I have found my topic and can really get going. Because even now that I am working on my fifth album, I always question everything: I get up in the morning and ask myself what am I doing. But other musicians probably feel the same.
What is so special about Haldern? After all, you have played at large festivals like Glastonbury in England?
I don't really like big festivals. I don't like to visit festivals at all. But the charm of playing there is that you reach people who never would have visited one of my concerts. Also, our target group comes to Haldern anyway, and small festivals are not as dependent on huge crowds; they can be a bit more daring. To a certain degree they are curated and don't necessarily have to play what you hear on the radio.
Ever since launching his 2008 debut album "Rest Now, Weary Head! You Will Get Well Soon," Konstantin Gropper has been regarded as one of the most exciting names on the German-language music scene.