Interview for Lithuanian web-magazine “City”. Nov.5th 2012 – Alexander Rybak

Alexander Rybak about our people, the gay pride parade and a crazy fan.

Source: published 5.11.2012. Link to original article here  Text by Žurnalas Mieste. Photo: @LNK

Found by Erika Jasiūnienė and translated by Jolanta Esu. English revision by Katie Anderson.

Alexander Rybak, the singer and Eurovision winner (26) agreed to give, without a long hesitation, an interview for the magazine “City”, even though he is currently terribly busy with his new work and promotion. We spoke with the famous conqueror when he was preparing for a flight to Ukraine.

– Wait a minute, I’ll immediately walk past the gate and will answer any questions, said Alexander at the beginning of the conversation, and he kept his word with a vengeance.

– Alexander, where are you now, and what are your plans for today?
– Now I stand at the airport in Oslo, soon I will fly to Kiev, Ukraine, where I will present my new single in the Russian language, and a video clip as well.

– This year you visited Lithuania. What are your memories of our country?
– I really enjoyed your powerfully-voiced singers (Alexander participated in the musical project “Voice of Lithuania – red.past.). Lithuanians seemed very warm and very ordinary people. Therefore I love them. Your people are not trying to look better than they really are. They listen more than talk, it is a great asset.

– A few weeks ago you presented your new song and musical style. How do you describe the new Alexander Rybak?
– I like to improvise with new styles of music. I don’t like to stay the same. I try to show people that with my instruments, voice and violin, every time I can be different. Can I imagine myself on stage without the violin? Yes … I have tried it several times (laughs). By the way, on stage I can not only play music, but also make people laugh. I could improve a humorous program with musical elements.

– What’s most important to you, before going on the stage?
– Properly preparation. Last year, I travelled everywhere I was invited. However, over time I noticed that I could not normally prepare for a concert. Therefore, this year I accepted less than half the gig invitations.

– Let’s talk about the non-musical things. Are you often “Googling” and “YouTubeing” yourself?
– (Laughs). Previously, I was Googling myself, but now I don’t. But I always follow the comments on YouTube under my videos. I also, at least once a week, write something fun on Facebook for my fans. There are half a million of them.

– Every year you travel a lot. Have you already forgotten the number of countries you have visited?
– Yes, I lost count of how many countries I have visited. For me it is a great privilege. Usually I travel alone, I am not attached to anything and I love it. In all countries I find a lot of friends. However, it is bad that because of my schedule is not always possible to meet them.

– The entertainment stars say, that it is impossible to be to popular, if you are not a scandalous celebrity. You agree with that view?
– Yes, I think sometimes you need scandals. I am originally from Belarus, and the people from that culture often have scandals. And I don’t think it’s bad. I am glad that the fans know me from both the positive and the negative side, not only the Alexander Rybak with a peaceful image.

– So, what are your bad qualities?
– I do not trust anyone. The better I know someone, the less I love and trust them. I do not want to belong to anyone! I always have my plans, and care about them. In addition, I have a categorical opinion, it is difficult to over-persuade me.

– In August, on your Facebook account, you announced for your fans that one of your biggest dreams is to take part in the gay pride parade. This year you fulfilled your wish – and marched along with the gay and lesbian community in Belgium. What are your memories?
– I think the gay pride parade is very important to my non-traditionally oriented fans. My mother taught me that you should not judge any people. I think that the gay world is very large and that is not an illusion. It’s a fact. And they need to have their own festivals. Most importantly, people need to be nice to each other.

– Gay marriage – A controversial issue worldwide. What do you think about this?
– On this point, I am pretty conservative. I think we have to follow tradition, but I am also fully aware that we can not violate other people’s rights. We can not build rules for someone – people just need to focus more on themselves rather than others.

– What do you think, who is your main audience – girls, women, boys, and maybe seniors?
– In the concerts I mostly notice girls, but more frequently they come to my performances with their boyfriends and dads. Thus, the number of male fans at my concerts is growing around the world. I am glad that more and more listeners assess me not as a boyfriend, but as an artist. For them my music is important, not my gender.

– You have many fans in Lithuania. When can we expect to hear you here?
– I organize my grand tour next year in the spring. It is very likely I will visit Lithuania. Maybe even a few cities.

– Is it possible to invite you to a personal celebration – a wedding, a birthday party? Do you only give concerts in big arenas?
– One day there is 20 thousand people, while another I give concerts for three hundred people. Especially if I appear as a violinist, not as a pop artist.

– In the new song you sing about a story that happened to you – one of the crazy fans who harass you. I know one such in Lithuania. You have not created this new piece about her?
– The fan is from Israel, not from Lithuania. Anyway, I endlessly love my listeners. I love that they follow me, and sometimes knock on my door, but the girl from Israel hasHAS gone too far. I felt uneasy and even wanted to go to the police. And finally, I decided to take a look at that story, musically, and create the song “Leave Me Alone”.


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