Singer Max Giesinger starts the summer with new songs and a tour. In an interview with Stern, the 33-year-old talks, among other things, about the true story behind his single “Taxi”.
Your new song “Taxi” is about meeting a woman in a bar and taking a taxi together in the summer of 2012? Did this encounter really take place? Yes, that’s how I experienced it. I have tried to describe it in as much detail as possible. It was a warm summer night in Karlsruhe and I had the feeling that I was meeting a very cool woman. The feeling probably didn’t deceive me, otherwise I wouldn’t have dragged this topic around with me for so long. But we just couldn’t manage to ask each other for our phone numbers and then suddenly she was gone. At the time I thought maybe we’d run into each other again in Karlsruhe, but we never saw each other again.
Were there any other special moments or events during a taxi ride that you remember? There is an Indian taxi driver in Hamburg who is also a musician. You get in and 30 seconds later his own song is playing. He published a song about Hamburg. I’ve ridden it twice and it’s a party every time. In Berlin, several taxi drivers have already given me relationship tips. Those were very interesting conversations.
There are seven new songs on your new album “Four and a half”. When were they created? Did they already exist when the album “Vier” was released in November 2021 or were they all written and produced in the past six months? They already existed. Like the titles on my album “Vier”, the new songs were created during the Corona period when I was collecting material with a few songwriting buddies. At the time we just couldn’t decide which tracks to put on the album. I didn’t want to put too many songs on one record, so we held back a few. These seven new songs are now on “Vier Einhalb”.
One song that stands out is “Pulverkeg,” which is broadly about the climate crisis. The topic is not new. Why have you released a song about it now? You didn’t really know any political songs. So far, my songs have mainly been about interpersonal issues. “Pulver keg” was created two years ago. I wasn’t sure if people would believe me or think: ‘He’s going to jump on the bandwagon’. But right now there’s a phase where I thought the song has to come out now. The current world situation certainly also played a role. We actually already have enough to do with the climate crisis, and the current situation in Europe has almost pushed it into the background. We should do everything we can to prevent the climate catastrophe. I don’t want to dictate to people what they should and shouldn’t do, but maybe with the song I can make a few people think more about how you can do a small part.
From June you will be on tour. A welcome distraction from everyday life for many fans. How are you as an artist on stage? Can you play lighthearted and ignore the fact that there is a war going on in Europe right now?When I’m on stage all I think about is the show. My job then is to distract people from the current situation. If I stood up there and just talked about heavy topics, it wouldn’t feel good to me. There must also be a space where you can let go and laugh. This gives you energy and strength, especially in the current time. People don’t come to my concerts so that I can stand on the stage and lament the world-weariness. Sure, showing compassion is important, but we mustn’t forget to have fun at certain moments.
You were part of the German ESC jury this year. What do you think of Ukraine’s victory? The ESC is actually a non-political event. But I think it’s a very nice and important sign that the whole of Europe has stuck together here. Apart from that, I also liked the song. I think he would have ended up in the top ten anyway.
Who were your top three favourites? I liked the song “Hold Me Closer” by Cornelia Jakobs from Sweden. I found the Brit very likeable, Sam Ryder. He has a great voice. And the appearance of the Spaniard Chanel was impressively professional. During rehearsals I thought it was Camila Cabello on stage. Singing, dancing, everything together had an international level.
Germany ended up in last place again – wrongly? Our song wasn’t bad and Malik Harris is super likeable. I honestly don’t know what caused it. I can’t imagine that Germany is perceived as unsympathetic in Europe. Especially after Michael Schulte’s fourth place in 2018. Apparently we don’t meet the musical taste of Europe. In Germany we celebrate different music than the rest of the world. The ESC has its own rules. Either you deliver a blatantly emotional performance or you put on a bombastic show. I don’t think I would have had a chance there with “80 million”, although the song was very successful in Germany.