Interview with Axel Breitung
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and what do you do?
After the end of the musicbiz (as I understand the biz), I've founded a video department in addition to my recording studio. Now I work as a productioner in my own company and make videos and animations for advertising use in the internet.
2. How did you get involved in music and do you have a music background?
Yes, from the middle of the seventies until up to the middle of the eighties I played guitar in some bands (Pop and Rock). In the early eighties I started to compose music and produce records. 20 years later I got an echo award in the category Best German Producer 2002.
3. Tell us about your musical career. How did it all start and describe the projects that you have been working in and how they were set up.
My first releases were some records I did with together different bands (to get gigs). At that time producing records was very lavish and expensive. In 1982 I got a deal with Phonogram Records as Axel B.1985 I had my first charthit ‘Touch In The Night' with the Pop project Silent Circle (#15). After some hits I left the band and produced some records in the style of Italo Dance (Joy Peters, Michael Bedford etc.). I worked for the Zyx label and produced some very successful mixes ‘Italo Boot Mix Vol. 7 and Vol. 9'. In the late eighties I produced ‘Der blonde Hans von der Bundesbahn', it went in the charts and became also a smash radio hit.
I the early nineties Rene Baumann (DJ BoBo) came to my studio and I recorded with him the first album. In the following 10 years we produced (and wrote) hit after hit (ca. 30 single chart hits and 10 albums in the German charts). These records were also hits in a lot of other countries. In the end of the nineties I produced a very successful album with the artist Vanessa Amorosi, which got chart notations all over the world and 7 times platinum in Australia. One year later I got my first No.1 as composer ‘Spirit Of The Hawk' by Rednex was the most successful single in 1999 in Germany and sold one million copies. In 2002 I produced with DJ BoBo ‘Chihuahua', I think it was the worldwide most sold record I ever produced. Beside all these acts I worked for a lot of artists, labels, record companies, composed music and did remixes.
4. Besides music what other hobbies do you have?
My profession is my work and my hobby, there is no time to do other things beside.
5. Where did you get your inspiration from?
From other artists and their music, you can't reinvent the music. I tried some things and forgot it, and I tried some things and thought wow that's what I'm looking for. Every artist, composer and producer needs some experience and has to handle his trade – this is the a must to be on top.
5. What other music interests you?
I like a lot of music and also different styles. But this is not the most important thing, the composition has to be liquid but not too simple, the artist has to sing unique and the production has to be straight and clear.
6. The modern music studio has moved from hardware to software. What are your thoughts about that change ?
So a lot of musicians are able to record their own stuff in a good quality and it doesn't cost the world. The technical equipment is a real overestimated faktor. And if you are not sure 100% in using a device you will rather downgrade the result as improve.
7. Can you try to explain how you compose a song? What comes first - melodies or rhythm and why?
First I start with a playback and try some melodies and hooklines to see if it fits.
8. What has been your biggest musical challenge so far?
Difficult to say, I had some complicated artists and songs to produce. In the end it is up to you to answer if you did a good job or not.
9. Is there anything that you dislike about genre Italodisco / Eurodisco?
Why should I ?
10. Are there any group or artist(s) that have influenced you?
I think a lot of music rendered a contribution to my personal choise, difficult to say which music gave the biggest input.
11. I guess this question follows on from the next but do you have a favorite artist and why?
I don't want to name a single person or band.
12. Do you have a favorite Italo- or Euro-Disco album and why?
No, because I don't know if I've listened to all of them.
13. Would you be interested in working with other artists. If yes who would that be?
My daily work doesn't give me the time to work with other artists. Maybe it will change in some years, lets see...
14. Are there any future plans, perhaps new album?
Definately not by my own. But maybe I become surprised.
15. Any thoughts on how we could improve the genre (musically and gaining more mass appeal)?
Today the internet is the benchmark of almost all things. Perhaps music will only take place here one day – uncorporated. Live music will ever exist for sure.
16. What's your favorite TV show?
I don't like TV shows.
Now for something light hearted. Just give the answer to one you prefer or “Neither” if they aren’t applicable. (No explanations required!!)
1. Tea or Coffee? Tea
2. Market or Shopping Mall? None of both
3. TV or Sport? Sport
4. Books or Cinema? Cinema
5 Resort or Camping? Resort
6. Summer or Winter? Summer – but not too hot
7. Cat or Dog? Dog
8. Beer, wine or Spirits? I don't drink alcohol
9. Blonde or Brunette? Brunette
10. Sweet or savoury? Sweet
18. What should your fans do if they would like to contact you to give some feedback ?
I'm a composer and producer, maybe it is hard to say but if I would like to get famous I became an artist. I would like to stay in the background. Thanks for your understanding.
19. Before we end this interview we wonder if there is something that you like to say to your fans:
Thanks for listening to my music, thanks for all the years and thanks for the truth.
Once again thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. It is very much appreciated! We hope this gives the Italo Disco community a little better insight into you as an artist.
Thank you Axel
Space Sound Team