German born and bred, musician Thomas Passon, has been playing music since his high school days, and played guitar for a touring band that took him to Turkey, South America and France. After his time in a band, he decided to go solo, and along with his touring bandmates, Marc Heidermann and Elmar Schmidt, they have released their newest album, Illusion.
The album’s debut single “Los,” meaning “go,” is enthusiastic, persuasive, and is about eagerly awaiting something to happen that could change your life.
Read on to find out what Passon has to say about his German heritage and its influence on his music, being in a band and going solo, and of course, his single “Los,” and the music video for it.
How has your German background influenced you and your music, or has it?
Thomas Passon: My European background has influenced my life. I used to travel through Europe a lot when I was a kid. I was in a school band and we toured all over the world as part of a project to promote the German language and raise interest in learning it. It opened my eyes and changed my perspective on life. We’ve seen many different cultures, heard many different languages, met many different people, all connected through their passion for music. Germany is just the country in the middle of it all. Realizing that the world is so much bigger and a lot of it happens right on your doorstep really helped me growing up and has made me who I am. My music is influenced by these experiences. I usually mix things together that some might see as single entities that don’t harmonize.
Love your credo, “The best thing you can be in life…is yourself.” What does being yourself mean to you?
Thomas: You are ever evolving, ever learning, ever experiencing. Being myself is to let the little adaptions during this journey called life form you. You are the sum of your experiences.
But of course “being” is an illusion.
Your debut release, Illusion, came out not too long ago. What was that creative process like?
Thomas: I like writing by recording single ideas and puzzling them together on the computer rather than jamming together with the band. I like the vibe it creates, it’s more pattern based, more mechanic, you have more control, less emotion. We then write the lyrics and form the songs. Once our blueprint is finished we start properly recording. That’s how we worked on Illusion.
You also went from being a backup in a touring band to going solo. Was that challenging for you, or did you gladly welcome it?
Thomas: The good thing about being in a band is you constantly get direct and very honest feedback by your band members. Sometimes annoying feedback, but it keeps you going, pushes you to please everyone. When you work on songs alone and just have sporadic feedback it is quite difficult to know when you are satisfied. So, it can be challenging, a constant fight with yourself.
Your latest single and music video for “Los,” is full of passion and life! Can you share with us what it was like filming it?
Thomas: Filming was not very spectacular, quite the opposite. But I liked playing with the raw material. We wanted to align the cuts as much with the music as possible; using them like another musical instrument.
Who was your first concert and do you have an overall favorite, so far?
Thomas: My first concert was a German band called Grobschnitt at the age of 10, I guess. I went to many after that, but I couldn’t pick a favourite. Most shows impress me in some way.
What was your first album on cassette, CD and/or vinyl?
Thomas: The first CD I owned was Simple Minds – Real Life, a gift from my uncle. I still listen to the album from time to time.
Which five albums and/or artists would you not want to live without?
Thomas: None. There are so many different sounds around us that are worth listening to. That’d be enough.
What are you currently listening to in rotation? Reading?
Thomas: I very seldom listen to music. If I do, the music has to have my full attention. I’m not able to multitask (to listen to music in the background). Especially when I’m writing and producing, I don’t listen to other music; it distracts me and I can’t focus anymore. But I read a lot. Currentl, I enjoy Neuvel’s Themis Files.