INTERVIEW | Joël Ziegler (Private Blend X): “Music comes straight from the soul”

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BR: Since you are now a world-class band, we would like to hear how would you represent Private Blend X to the people?

PBX: Private Blend X is Music and Passion, Emotions and Feelings. The Music comes straight from the soul, it is real. No Matter where you live and who you are, the music is there to fulfill you with positive feeling or let you think about situations in all our lifes. At the Live-Performences of “Private Blend X” you will feel, that they like what they do. It is a time to have fun and to forget the problems we all have.

BR: How did everything start? Was the beginning difficult?

PBX: Jojo the Bandleader allready played with Beni at the Bass in an other Band before. But after three years they decided to change the direction and make it more professional. They founded “Private Blend X”. With Thomas at the guitar and Freddy in the first 2 years on the drums they started to write songs an get push their project.

After a half a year of practice, they already won their first competition, out of which one the first records have been resulting.

A year later they have been discovered by Warner Music and won the Warner Music Special Award as band with the most potential.

They startet to play concerts in clubs, bars, at birthday partys, weddings and company partys. In the 3rd year thgey made 3rd place at the Soundcheck competition by Coca Cola.

The beginning is very very tough, because you have to work over years to build connections, to get a name. And even then you still need some very good luck to be able to success in music business.
It is a very tough and evil business where nobody gives you something for free. Normally you would have to work on your own, try everything without any help. And if you once have success, suddenly everyone wants to be with you.

BR: What is “Private Blend X”? Does the name hold some sort of meaning?

PBX: The name describes the music style. Private Blend means, that these guys playing their own mix of music, they do what they like to do, thay play this music, that they would like to hear on the radio.

BR: Tell us about the rest of the band.

PBX: The actual band mambers are: Benjamin “Pneu” Leumann at the Bass. He is studying Jazz at the Music University in Luzern. He is a very good Bass player and does the most of our graphic designs and Homepage. He was part of the Band even before the band has been founded. And very important.

Mathias “Meuse” Meusburger is our drummer, he is from Austria. He leads his own drumscool and became father some Months ago. He is in the band since a year and replaced freddy at the drums, who could’t anymore put that much time in the project.

Thomas Möhr play the Guitar. He is the younges of our group. And a very Talented Musician. He brings a lot of latin style into our Music what does perfectly fit.

Than me, Joël “Jojo” Ziegler, the founder, Bandleader, Singer and Songwriter of “Private Blend X”. I am in private sometime a really shy guy, but when I am on stage and I feel good, nothing can hold me back.

BR: What are your role-models? Who inspires PBX to make such great music?

PBX: All bandmembers are inspired by several and different Musicians. But to count some of them:
Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Jason Mraz, Milow, Dave Mattherws Band, Maroon5, Nickleback, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Queen, etc.

BR: Some of the original band members are no longer with you. Why is that?

PBX: Sometimes the life-situation of some people changes, and they are no more able to put so much into the project. These are always very hard desicions for everyone, but if someone can no more put enough into the project you have two ways.

First you will wait for the other and slow down, that maybe could cost you a career. Two: You split up, and search for another one, that maybe gives you more possibilities. But anyway, we always discuss this things in the band, and try to find the best solution. In fact, every time when someone leaves the band it throws you back in time for a half a year.

BR: Since Thomas was in Niš, he must have told you about it. From his words, would you ever come to Serbia?

PBX: I have a lot of friends in Serbia, that comes form my work in the Pestalozzi Children Vilagge years ago. I definitly wanna come to Serbia to play, I already planned it the last two years, but never had the chance to realise the tour. I hope very hard, that I can soon come to Serbia to play some concerts, get to know the people and learn more about the culture, because I really like this country and its people very very much. And to be honest, they may have some of the most beautiful women;-)

BR: As we have heard, you got a contract with “Warner Bros Records”? Is it still active?

PBX: Actually we never got a contrect with Warner Music so far. They showed big interests and still do, but as we had some internal problems this year for wich we have to find solutions, we couldn’t sign this year. For example the life-situation of Thomas changed in summer, that is why he will leave the band. So we are searching an new guitar player. That takes some time to find a good one, but we hope for a sign next year.

BR: Since you are a songwriter, please explain to us, do you write songs yourself or?

PBX: I write most of the songs on my own. Some songs I wrote with the whole Band. And a canadian friend of mine somethimes corrects my lyrics. But it is all handwork. All our ideas and our emotions in the songs.

BR: The song “To all my friends” is your most popular hit on youtube. Who is it dedicated to?

PBX: The song is dedicated to everyone I know, and everyone who knows me or us. All our firends and families that supported us soo much over the last years, without them we could never come so far. They deserve a lot of respect and love from us. Also our friends in Serbia. Actually we have after switzerland, the most fans in Serbia.

BR: What is the bands’ other occupation besides music? What do you do when you’re not PBX?

PBX: In fact we have a pretty normal life. We all ar working, for that we can live. I personally have 3 jobs beside music. I work early in the morning from 5:30 till 10:30 in a Wallmart where I put the new delivery in the shelves. Than I go home, eat breakfast, change clothes. Then from 11:00 till 14:00 I work in a frestaurant as waiter. The rest of the day I have for Music. At the weekends I work in another Restaurant as waiter from 16:00 till 23:00. But that just when I don’t have a concert. Like this I am flexible, but it is a though day

BR: What do you think about the internet in the music industry?

PBX: The Internet changed the whole Music Industry. Musicians are not making a lot money anymore with selling records. Beacause you will find it for illegal download too.But for marketing and getting known the Internet is a very important instrument. As Musicians you have now a lot more options to get famous. Youtube, Facebook, Myspace etc. are very important platforms. If you have luck and if you do well you can connect a lot of people with you and your Band.For Labels it is very important that a band has a lot of fans on facebook, a lot of views on youtube. Because the music industry is a money industry. And the more fans you have, the more records you’ll sell.
So even if your music is shit, but a lot of people watch your clips, because they wanna laugh. you will get famous because they can sell your shit. All the medial instruments have a hugh power. They can decide if you get famous or not. The sad thing about it is, that not your talent and your passion counts. Just the market counts if they can easily make money with you.

BR: Since the band has existed for 2 years or so, where was your best show held at so far?

PBX: I think we had a lot of best shows. It is hard to compare the concerts, cause everyone is a new one, new day, new situation, new crowd. But the best shows have been the shows where we could touch the crowd very deeply. I remember one show in a small Bar that is only open on Fridays. We played an acoustic Gig there. The crowd sat on their chairs, and while we played the bar was closed, so they had to concentrade on us. While the concert it was very quite, a lot of people closed their eyes, so that they could just listen. During our powerful songs some people clapped their hands, others just enjoyed. And then we played some slow and beautiful songs. I remember that I played the first time an Adele cover. “Someone like you”. It was a beautiful athmosphere and I could see tears in the eyes of the people, we all have been very touched, I had goosebumps on stage. I think that was one of the greatest moments, in a room with just 30 or 40 people.

BR: How did the audiance accept you in general?

PBX: I cannot remember any concert we had, where the people didn’t like what they heard. In general they are very suprised and they like our music very much. Most of the times they start to dance and sing with us, cause some songs you won’t need to hear twice till you can sing along.

BR: Any anecdotes from performances that you would like to share?

PBX:Once we made street music in St. Gallen. It was my first time and I have been a hell of nervous. But as we started, the people forgot that they wanted to go in a shop, they stopped and listened till we finished.

BR: What are your touchiest moments?

PBX: My touchiest moments on stage are always when I present a new song for the first time. A song with a deep meening, with a lot of truth and emotions in melody and lyrics. I totally dive into the song. I sing it with closed eyes. When I am finished and the crowed liked it, this is a very thouchy moment. Some songs I wrote about personal and real occurences. I know that most of the people will not understand what I sing. But during the song I have all the feelings I had at this moments i sing about. So in the end I feel like they understood what I wanna say, and that my message found some ears. That is just great.

BR: Is it easy to get famous in Switzerland?

PBX: Actually it is very hard. The market in Switzerland is not so big. And the Radios are not very patriotic. SO in other countires a lot of songs from local bands are played. The Swiss Radios inform themselfs by the US-Hitparade. Wich means that just a few local bands have the chance to get a song into the radio. For us it was great, that other countries just play what they like. SO it came that we sent our CD to Radio Zrenjanin, where we have been in the Top 5 Charts for 7 Week or so, and one week on Position 1. This was awesome. On this occasion, we wanna thank all our Serbian friends and fans, and we hope that we will soon be able to come to Serbia, tho see you again.

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