We were on the search again and we were curious, surprised and excited. This time we discovered a real Berlin original. He grew up in Berlin-Schöneberg. He did not only experience Berlin history like the building and the fall of the Berlin Wall, he also participated and formed music history in Berlin. He saw Hendrix performing live at the Sportpalast and performed himself on countless Berlin club stages. During the last years he was only seen in the credits at the end of movies. We are talking about Andreas Hommelsheim, who produced and dubbed one of the best known Disney-Soundtracks in Germany. But his heart is beating for Jazz. Now, he started to reflect and went back to his roots. Together with two friends and colleagues he founded the band B3 and made a new album – BACK TO MY ROOTS. With this album he treats himself to the luxury of creative freedom. We met Andreas Hommelsheim and talked with him about his new album, his band, Berlin and much more.

The first question that comes to mind, when reading a band name consisting of numbers and letters is: What do they stand for? Which meaning is behind this name?

First of all, B3 stands for the famous Hommond organ. All famous Jazz artists played it, such as Jimmy Smith. The Hammond organ is a great instrument, which makes Jazz manifold and exciting. B3 also stands for Berlin and the three band members - Christian Krauss, Lutz Halfter und Andreas Hommelsheim. We all love working together and we all have the same expectations of our work and the quality of music we create. We thought the name just suits us well.

The Hammond organ is an electric organ.
The organ was originally marketed and sold by the Hammond Organ Company to churches as a lower-cost alternative to the wind-driven pipe organ, or instead of a piano. It quickly became popular with professional jazz musicians. Its use became more widespread in the 1960s and 1970s in rhythm and blues, rock and reggae, as well as being an important instrument in progressive rock.

The name of the album „BACK TO MY ROOTS” is a clear message. What are your roots and how did you find your passion for music and what role is Berlin playing in all of this?

Berlin is my home and my inspiration. Everything begins here. My family gave me music. When I was five years old I received piano lessons. On the weekends we always visited my grandmother and there was a music house. Nowadays, such things hardly exist anymore. In this house there were all kinds of musical instruments and people came together to make music. A jam session of generations you could call it, I was fascinated by that. Music can always bring me back to that place and time – BACK TO MY ROOTS. These memories are a part of me and my roots, but also my youth, my time at university, and my first performances on stage influenced my life strongly.

My parents sent me to attend a conservatory, where I received a very strict and ambitious musical education. After that I studied music at university, mainly to please my parents, but in my heart I was an anarchist and wanted to see the world from a stage, rock the audience and disobey the rules.

For decades you synchronized and produced film music, such as sound tracks of Disney Classics. Is that not something where you were forced to follow a lot of rules?

Yes, sure and that is what I learned to do. I also like the challenge of it. One could say that this is the highest level when it comes to working with music. The main focus with this kind of work is to match the work and ideas of someone else to another language and culture, without losing emotions and meaning, and in addition to that it also has to match lip movements. So, rules YES, but also creative, challenging, and ambitious. Not to forget, very rewarding. I like doing it and it is something that I do very well, but I also like trying new things.

When you were a university student, you also performed live on stage in some of the most famous Berlin clubs. But during recent years, you spent most of your time working in the studio. Did you miss the stage and is your new album a good excuse to go back into the lime light?

Yes, absolutely. To be on stage and rock the audience has always been an ultimate kick for me. Now, my band members and I are at a point in our lives where we can allow ourselves to do want we really want to do. We know the music business, with all its ups and downs. With our experience that we made over the years, we very much appreciate the luxury of being free in the creative process and in our decisions. This band and the new album are not about making money but rather about freedom, fun and cherishing what formed our lives.

Musical cinemascope – this is a term we came across when reading a review about B3 and their album BACK TO MY ROOTS and this is exactly what describes this music. It is a fusion project at its best, with a lot of differences and variations and still pure Jazz with all the facets Andreas likes about it. Andreas Hommelsheim himself describes it as music in pictures – a short film in tunes. Listen to BACK TO MY ROOTS and be inspired through your own cinema in your mind. The album is out on 31st January 2014 (under an own label – BLACKBIRD MUSIC). B3 will be on tour throughout Germany starting February 2014. Click here for more information, tour dates, and tickets. 

Quelle: Blackbird Music
... pushed by BANJO & ELFE.

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