When one takes the multi-talented musician like Vinzenz Stergin and pairs him with Adam Betts the outcome is the eccentric duo known in the musical realm as simply Stergin. Together their songs deliver synth bass with eccentric melodies and more. Most of which can be heard on their latest single, “Bloodmoon,” which has an eye catching video that we chatter with Vinzenz about. We also touched on his Frank Zappa appreciation, working with Adam and what’s to come.
Kendra: You’ve always been a fan of the more eccentric styles like psychedelia and Frank Zappa. Were you type of kid growing up who stood out from the crowd?
Stergin: I was always more drawn to people/things that weren’t common. Growing up in a place where there is more or less just one kind of people who all have the same background I was always searching for the odd. I liked to do things differently, dress differently and enjoyed the attention I got because of that. When I was nine my sister helped me to dye my hair green and my mother only found out after it happened which was funny. I also was the class clown looking after everyone having a bit of fun besides learning maths that got me into trouble every now and then.
Kendra: Sticking with Frank Zappa, I recently talked to a woman who coached him vocally. When you started getting into music, did you take any sort of lessons or were you a natural?
Stergin: When I first started to discover music and performance I was very little and just loved to entertain people. I grew up in the Austrian mountains where local brass bands are the musical center of cultural events. My first job when I was about five was to pull the drum, which was on wheels, for the bass drum player when the band was marching. I was quite a curious kid and natural in trying out things. My parents were very supportive when they noticed that I like performing/music and I got different instrumental lessons from an early age. I always explored and experimented a lot myself as well and trying out things, failing and trying it again feels natural to me. I like that feeling of uncertainty whether something works out or not. In that moment you know anything can happen which is exciting.
One mystery to this day is when I begged my parents to get a saxophone but then got a Glockenspiel for Christmas. They still owe me an explanation for that.
Kendra: When it comes to how you and Adam came to be, what kind of movie genre do you think your story would be?
Stergin: I’d be a hitchhiker on a quest to find the holy grail. Adam would be a guy with a car taking me on board and we’d be talking about the holy grail, climb some mountains, eat chips, escape zombies and listen to weird music. So probably a horror action comedy.
Kendra: Now onto your video for “Bloodmoon.” I love the simplicity of it that. Did you play a hand in the conception of it?
Stergin: Yes I did. I met the very nice and creative young Greek art student Mariana Patsi through Greenwich University who I approached. We had some coffees, looked at some art we liked, talked about our favourite TV shows and films and agreed on a style. The storyline is based on the actual night when I wrote the song. A couple of months back I schlepped me and my girlfriend on top of Blackheath in London at 3am in the morning. We were going to watch a rare lunar eclipse coinciding with a supermoon. This was the first eclipse of this kind since 1982, and the last until 2033. When we got home I went into the studio and started to write “Bloodmoon.” While I was working on the song I could see the earth shadow gradually easing and kept looking back out of the window until the shadow was gone. The couple appearing later in the video (the one with the planet & flower heads) was an actual old couple where the husband schlepped his wife onto the same spot. They came by car and were both wearing their bathrobes which was very funny.
Kendra: What are fans going to get when you drop your EP, Carmel Tony in Her Pleasuredome?
Stergin: The EP will contain three songs and a remix. Furthermore, I’m working on two new music videos at the moment which will be released around the EP. The EP will be available as download first and hopefully some vinyl copies. I will also explain the title of the EP.
Kendra: In the grand scheme of things, I loved what you had to say when you noted you were a “work in progress.” Do you mean that as a person, an artist or both?
Stergin: I mean it as a person and an artist. I tried to do everything perfectly for many years but got frustrated at points. Since I accepted that many things in life happen the way they are meant to happen and that you can’t influence everything I try to enjoy the ride and play with the cards I get dealt. Artistic projects are never finished and are just snapshots of any given moment. I enjoy the feeling of uncertainty as I’m a dreamer and when things are uncertain anything can happen. Being outside my comfort zone always has some kind of adventure in it and I enjoy that feeling.
Kendra: With that, let’s end with what you have coming up in the coming months and the new year?
Stergin: I’m working on two new music videos with my team at the moment for the rest of the EP songs. I’m working on more songs and it looks like a whole album will follow next year. In fall I will also do another series of my Monday Evening Bathroom Sessions where in the past I covered the #12 of the US Billboard Charts for 12 weeks or turned newspaper articles into songs. I plan to be playing more live concerts in the new year as well with hopefully a longer tour in the spring. Maybe even in California.