How do you see the idea of failure?
Failure is like being sick. It happens and then you get over it. There has been lots of failures. In the past I tried to bring a gong orchestra to festivals in Europe. I was contacting some festivals and I was telling them that using the word tribal, like ritual or shaman, “you just want fake ones, you don’t want the real ones, I would really love that you integrate the real ones. The ones that are still there, that still exist in the tribal world. This is the end! You have the money, they don’t cost more than a rock band”. But it has never worked out. My failure was that I’m not an organiser, I just concentrate on music. At least there I can limit the amount of failure because it’s mostly being involved in my story and how I can convince other people that this is interesting.
The only time I managed to move some musicians was not far away; from the Chinese border in North Vietnam and bring them to the Goethe Institute in Hanoi. It was a 500 euro concert. For the German Cultural Center this was nothing. Each performer got 100 euro, I got the same money like each musician, and for them going back home in their village with 100 euro is incredible. And it’s nothing! You change the life of people just by giving them a little credit like that. But I could not develop that.
Basically, I am seen as a fascist. I don’t follow the bullshit of being decent. I was ranting against the policy of Ausland
in Berlin of 2017, where only women could perform. Creating divisions that don't exist. Ausland was never ran by pigs who said you cannot play here because you’re a woman. They were never part of the discrimination, so why do they feel so guilty that now, men have to be excluded? This is ridiculous. Sorry. You are fighting something that doesn’t exist and you were never part of the problem. Every political issue is biased with some wrong ideas.
All these issues are really embarrassing and I realized they are totally taboo in Western Europe: It’s a shock for them to see that I am interested in the same cultural sphere, in the same arty small world, and at the same time I think different than them. They think that if you’re interested in this kind of music, you need to have a certain mindset, and I don’t. In South East Asia you don’t get brainwashed with these ideas, like here, so in a way I maintained a relative freedom of thinking, because I was not transformed by the media, but by my own experience, and experience is not a moral standard. I don’t carry all this leftist baggage of fake equality and fake evaluation of individual freedom and that I come from the privileged world that has to repair from its colonial guilt, I feel zero guilt! Do you hear me?
Most of the world doesn’t give a shit about individual freedom. Let me tell you a story just for the sake of telling you a story, please try to visualize: in December 1999, I’ve just travelled long hours in a plane from Vienna to Nairobi, a night train to Mombasa, 30 hours of cheap bus to Dar es Salaam, and the last ride is to reach town from this bus-station 10 km outside of town. I take a taxi, well, honestly, that car is a complete wreck; there’s no windows left, I am exhausted, sweating dirty, could not get anything to eat because of Ramadan. On the way the car nearly broke down, we reach town, hey, yes, a red-light! We stop, and at the exact same moment, an extraordinary brand new black Mercedes with driver stops at the same height, then about 15 children beggars surround my car, all asking at the same time for money. I am overwhelmed but can’t stop laughing, pointing to the children the car of someone who looks like a true rich man, no! No one dares to go and ask the black businessman in black suit and tie on the backseat of his car, it’s the duty of this dirty white guy to entertain himself with guilt!
Nowadays you are only allowed to unmask the shit of your own people (and believe me, I know a lot about French shit) and are automatically suspicious if you dare to show the shit in other countries, cultures or religions.
Main photo credits: Andrei Mușat / Kink Gong live at Outernational Days 1