NAS 10 Questions With Rod Fritz

[Interview Number 36]

This time, we get to know Rod Fritz. His track "Stay With Me" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.

Link To New Artist Spotlight Playlists:

Okay, let’s get into the Ten Questions for Rod Fritz!

𝟭. 𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗵𝗼𝗯𝗯𝘆? Originally from Hobart, Tasmania I pretty much grew up doing nothing but surfing. My older brother was the musician, he gave me my first guitar on my 18th birthday. I think I learned how to play Father & Son and Knocking on heaven's door back then Lol

I currently reside in Germany and I’ve been here roughly five years. It’s a reasonably normal story 😉 I was on world tour with my music, I usually go to the United States every year, this time I decided to go to the UK as well and then I thought to myself, while I’m here in England, I may as well go to Germany too. My mum is from Germany. Anyway, I was in Berlin playing some shows and I thought I would go visit my aunties and cousins in the south. So, one night while playing a gig down here I met this girl, fell in love and the rest is history. I try to get back to Australia every few years but this year, due to Covid, it wasn’t possible.

Other than that, I’ve played a lot of sports in the past. Surfing was my number one but now I mainly focus on playing music. There is no surf here in Germany but maybe I can get down to the south of France or Portugal at some stage soon.

𝟮. 𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗱𝗶𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝗠𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰/𝗠𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻? Well, aside from Father & Son, I didn't seriously get into playing music until I was around 19 or 20. I remember I was unemployed at the time and working as a roadie for a local band when I went to this gig and saw some guy playing saxophone. From that moment on, I knew, all I wanted to do was to be a sax player! That lasted about five years lol. You know the usual story, band split up, couldn’t get into any new bands and in the end the motivation just faded away. The problem with being a Sax player is that you need to rely on other people (as in the band) and I guess I just didn’t want to be relying on anyone other than myself any longer.

It was shortly after that I picked up that old guitar, mainly just for fun, and around a campfire one night some guy said he liked my voice, so I started to take it a little more seriously and play more often. After all, music and performing was still in my blood and I thought maybe this could be the avenue I could go down.

𝟯. 𝗪𝗵𝗼 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝗶𝗴𝗴𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗹𝘂𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀?

I grew up during 80’s and 90’s so I got into everything from Elton John to Nirvana. Ultimately, I’m influenced and inspired by a multitude of music and artists ranging from Cat Stevens, Bruno Mars and beyond.

I make a concerted effort not to listen to too much music. Especially not on repeat. For instance, I do not have a CD collection, or a favourite playlist and I rarely listen to music at home. If I am driving in the car, I might have the radio on but other than that I think it is really important as a music creator and writer not to be overly influenced by other artists, music and styles. Whilst it’s not really possible, unless you’ve lived you life on a deserted island, to remain influence free I can steer it in a way that it doesn’t impact on my writhing and creating all too much. My aim is to keep my music and songs as pure and original as possible.

𝟰. 𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗱𝗶𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗯𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰? I started writing at 26. At that time, I became seriously depressed. My thoughts had turned inward, and it was by far the biggest thing that had ever impacted my life so far. Initially music was my own personal therapy session! Song writing was one of the best outlets for me to come to grips with the things I was going through. My first album was filled with titles like, “Sad”, “Clouded”, “All the same” etc. I believe the album is still out there somewhere.

It soon became apparent that If my music could help me then maybe it also has the ability to assist others who were going through a similar situation. It was then that I turned my song writing around and started purposefully incorporating positive messages within my music. My last album is filled with titles like, “Don’t be Sad”, “All in front of you”, etc. Of course it still has some heart broken and sad moments but in the end it portraits a much more positive vibe. I don’t necessarily need to change the world but if I can get just one person to reconsider their options when their feeling down and out then I’ll feel accomplished. Let’s face it, the world in its current situation could use a lot more positivity.

𝟱. 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗴𝗼𝗮𝗹𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘆? The future is a fragile creature and can change within the blink of an eye. I’ve learned not to rely too much on it. I think for now my main goal is to complete the new album and continue to promote it as best as possible, focus on my live shows (when this COVID-19 thing is over) and just see how it goes and where it takes me. I'd rather be pleasantly surprised buy some unexpected success than bitterly disappointed for not reaching the goals I set myself.

𝟲. 𝗜𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗮 𝗹𝗼𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗶𝘁 𝗯𝗲? I’ve played a lot of shows and loved them all. Some of my highlights would of course be my tours of the United States where I played at places like The Viper Room, The Mint, House of Blues and several venues in NYC. My biggest loves are playing at outdoor festivals over the summer months. There is simply no better feeling than being on a big stage overlooking an open field filled with happy faces. As for future shows, most concerts and festivals that have fallen out this year have already been booked for 2021 but of course I’d love to get back to the States, UK and Australia. I think Edinburgh Fringe Festival would be a cool gig to play.

𝟳. 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗮𝘃𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗴? Oh Geez, how am I supposed to answer this one? There are so many great songs out there I couldn’t possibly answer with just one. When I think about songs like Hotel California, Wish You Were Here, American Pie, just about any Queen song or the many, many more songs out there I am continuously amazed by the lyrical and musical content. I am blown away at how many really fantastic and expertly written songs there are out there.

𝟴. 𝗠𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁? My most embarrassing moments happen in my dreams. I regularly dream of situations where I cannot get to a gig or lose or break my guitar. In my dreams there is always some obstacle getting in the way of me performing and I often wake extremely frustrated and disappointed that I couldn't do the gig.

In reality, there were a couple of awkward moments. I remember playing a show in NYC at the Gerritsen Beach Summer Festival where the subwoofer caught on fire and they had to call the fire brigade. And there was this time in San Francisco where I got incredibly drunk during a show. In Australia alcohol consume is heavily regulated but in the U.S they happily free pour and I guess I just wasn’t used to it. There was also this one time at band camp where I did something weird with this flute but I prefer to keep that to myself lol….

𝟵. 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗱𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗔𝗰𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗵𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁?

I guess I have played some cool gigs at some pretty special locations. I’ve also won a bunch of awards and been invited to some cool award ceremonies, but I think my biggest accomplishments are yet to come. Pre Covid, in 2018 I was nominated for both the German song writing awards as well as the European ones and whilst I didn’t win it was still a reasonably special occasion. I think I am writing and performing better songs now than ever before so I’ll just wait and see what the future brings. I'm not done yet :)

𝟭𝟬. 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝘀𝘁 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗮𝗯 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗶𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝘀𝗲?  To be honest I don’t like collaborations all that much. I prefer to go it alone! Having said that, I met Ed Sheeran a few years back whilst playing a resident gig at a ski resort in Sankt Anton on the Austrian Alps. Ed had a family function in our bar and I ended up talking to him in private for about 20 minutes or so. He seemed like a nice and interesting guy. I asked him if he was happy and he said,” It’s like any other job. 80% is unbelievably good and the other 20% is bullshit”! I liked that…

"Stay With Me" on Spotify

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