Between Heaven and Earth, from Berlin to Melbourne and Perth

I’ve been in Limbo, in more ways than one, for the past year and a half. I ran away with the circus you see, stepping into the sparkly shoes of Sxip Shirey, the former band leader and creator of this critically acclaimed show. After sold out daily performances in Australia, I took a well needed break and returned to Europe to celebrate Saint Sylvester, or New Year’s Eve to you and me.

While visiting friends in Sweden, my wife and manager Melissa and I were inspired by the serene, quiet beauty of the snow covered forests outside their studio, Loveballs Labs Vallentuna, and shot the video to accompany mine and Moe Jaksch’s interpretation of Berlin folk band 17 Hippies’ song, Solitaire. The footage was captured on an iPhone 6 (DIY punk spirit at its finest!) and handed it over to Martin Mostert for editing. The track, produced by Pebble Music’s Chris Lastelle, features on the second disc of the 17 Hippies’ new “Best Of” double album, Anatomy & Metamorphosis, to celebrate 20 years of creativity and collaboration.

17 Hippies’ singer Kiki Sauer wrote Solitaire as a memoire of a woman’s tragic tale of loss when her Russian lover is sent away to fight on the front line, never to return. In the video, I play the part of the Russian soldier who, trapped between worlds, tries to reach out to his love, while she searches the forest for him, unaware of his ghostly presence.

Although it’s not the first time I’ve collaborated with the 17 Hippies (Flame Girl) it is the first time I’ve recorded a song in French, which made the endeavour lots of fun, but quite challenging! Other contributors to the album include Stoppok, Les Orgres de Barback and Marc Ribot, among others.