While he may not look like the kind of guy you bring home to mama, don’t be fooled by Blaudzun’s dark hair and brooding profile. Entwining poetry, thoughtful perspective, and whimsical melodies, the music of this Dutch singer-songwriter can make even morticians feel warm and fuzzy inside. Blaudzun’s latest album, Heavy Flowers, has been a success throughout Europe and has earned him a nomination as Best Male Artist and Best Album from the Edison Music Awards. The first single from the album, Elephants has just started to work its magic in the States and we wanted to make sure we gave the Grooveshark readers and listeners a heads up on this Tastemaker. Just an hour before doing a televised performance in Belgium, Blaudzun hopped on the horn with Grooveshark and gave us the inside details on what we can expect from him this 2013 year when he makes his way back to the US.
In regards to music, what have you been up to in 2012?
Mainly I have been busy touring in Europe since Heavy Flowers was released early January, mostly Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland. The album received very good reviews so it’s been a pretty busy year so far.
What are some of your influences?
I grew up listening to my parents’ music. It was all Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, country songs from Nashville, and Jesus hippie music. I was brought up in kind of a religious family so they didn’t play Beatles *laughs*, I had to discover them on my own in my teens. And of course David Bowie and Radiohead were also some of the things I grew up listening to.
How long have you been making music for?
Well I cannot recall not making music or singing. I think when I was five or six years old I discovered how to record your own voice on a cassette player so I haven’t stopped since then.
Are your parents musicians?
My mother played piano and my father played guitar and they performed a lot in church bands so there was always music in the house. Actually the instruments that me and my brother use when we write songs and when we are on stage are actually the instruments that we used when we were kids.
Why did you choose the singer-songwriter route rather than with a full band.
Well I label myself as a singer songwriter but I came from a band history and played in many different bands. In the end I decided to start on my own and strip my songs from all the electrical stuff and the loudness that comes with playing in bands.
Your name is Johannes Sigmond, but your moniker Blaudzun. Where does that come from?
I am a big cycling fan, I go to races and the big tours like the Tour de France and I think it was like in 2006 or ‘07 when I was recording my first EP. I was reading about a cycling racer in the 70s by the same name and I just fell in love with the name Blaudzun. The name isn’t a tribute or anything, I just like how it sounds and looks.
What was the inspiration behind your last album, Heavy Flowers?
Well I think most of my songs are about love and about broken hearts. There’s always an element of hope entwined in. I always liked the sight of flowers at their peak and then the image as their heads become more and more heavy just before they die. It’s kind of like a marvelous meltdown. It’s just like people, we rise and then at the peak of our prime or bloom we crack and fall. It’s a beautiful decay and that’s kind of what heavy flowers is about.
Your first single off of Heavy Flowers, Elephants, you mention a girl that attempts to encourage these large mammals to sing. Is this song about a particular person and is Elephants a metaphor for something else?
Well it’s hard for a songwriter to explain his own music but there are quite a lot of metaphors in that song. To me it is kind of like a dream, a weird dream where I imagine myself hanging out with this girl. A beautiful and perhaps a bit dangerous wise sexy woman, and you can call her lady history. Actually, she is human history, she is the one who has seen it all, with all its horrific and also beautiful chapters. And I imagine what it is like to talk and hang out with this woman, maybe make love to her and get drunk together. And then find out about what human history is about and maybe understand myself a little bit more.
What projects do you have coming up in 2013 for our Grooveshark readers and listeners to look forward to?
I will tour both Europe and the US this year and I guess spend a few weeks writing songs in Spain. Working, on my new album but there is no hurry about that. But touring is what I’ll do mostly this year.
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