Paul Kalkbrenner is not a German electronic musician/producer. He is THE German electronic musician/producer, also an actor starring in the 2008 cult hit Berlin Calling. The soundtrack of the film went platinum and made the hit single Sky & Sand the unofficial anthem of club-going Berlin. We caught him doing a bit of press in the penthouse.
ARMAN: The movie Berlin Calling which catapulted you to international stardom is a snapshot of the Berlin zeitgeist. What's it like to be a bonafide icon?
PAUL: Yes, it’s pretty crass if one becomes the projection surface for so many people. Sometimes, at my concerts, people don’t even know that I’m not Ickarus [his character in the film] which is fine as long as they’re leaving the show with a smile on their face.
Has the movie had an effect on the Berlin club scene?
It's definitely added to Berlin’s club tourism. You have masses of the so-called “EasyJet-set” flying in on weekends for a 48-hour party. I even think that I should be getting an annual percentage from the Board of Tourism...
Jokes aside, I think a lot of tourists are coming to Berlin and it's terrible when they're turned away at Watergate or Berghain [Really, really, really popular clubs]. Even the world-famous Berlin after-hours are getting out of hand. I remember we used to be excited when the party went to 8 am, then 11 am or on New Year's Eve until 2PM. Today you can go until Wednesday. There’s no beginning and no end anymore, which is a bit sad.
You’re starting your US tour at Webster Hall, are you excited?
Yes, but also a bit nervous. We came with a whole crew, and we're doing pre-sales for venues that hold 2,000 people in six cities, which is pretty big for someone who's not well know in the US.
That’s pretty humble for someone who plays arenas around the world... How do you view the current state of electronic music in the US?
Oh, I don’t know much about that. Even though the whole EDM stuff--a la Avicii and Guetta-- is not my thing, I'd say it will eventually be beneficial in the long run for musicians that we like and win over new listeners. So this is definitely a positive movement. Sometimes it takes a butcher to path a way...
Last but not least, you just checked into The Standard, East Village, what do you think about the newest member of The Standard family?
It's super! I stayed in both of the New York and LA locations. Being up here in the Penthouse is ‘der Chiller’. Hopefully we can do a party in here next time I come.
PK at the Standard East village
Paul Kalkbrenner's latest album Guten Tag is available on iTunes now.