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INTERVIEW mit dem Musiker und Video-Producer Uli Sailor

INTERVIEW with the musician and video producer Uli Sailor

I met Uli Sailor by chance at the new, sustainable fashion fair "Beyond Fashion Berlin". He actually has less to do with fashion and worked there as a video creator. After a very entertaining evening, a few weeks later I was at a "punk rock piano concert" by Uli Sailor... because his passion is actually music.

JB: Can you briefly introduce yourself?
US: Heyho, my name is Uli, I live in Berlin, I'm 46 years old and I mainly work as a musician and video producer. I originally come from Jülich in North Rhine-Westphalia. My musical career began there and after studying in Cologne I moved to Berlin for work in 2005. I found it to be the best here of all the cities I had gotten to know so far and I would like to stay here.

Uli Sailor
Photo credit: Daniel Koka

JB: How did you get into music, or rather punk?
SK: In the early 90s I ended up in a guitar-rock-punker clique in my hometown, through which I met my first bandmates. We were called The Drunken Sailors , we rehearsed in my parents' basement and recorded the first demo tapes. Our drummer was constantly bringing in tapes and CDs from new bands; today you would probably call him an influencer. These included NOFX, Lagwagon and Propagandhi, who simply hit us right in the heart musically and lyrically. We really wanted to make music like that and really got involved with writing songs, rehearsals and playing concerts. We have come relatively far, it must be said, although we were denied greater success.

JB: What instruments do you play?
US: My mom sent me to piano lessons in elementary school. When I was 12 I was allowed to choose an instrument and I picked up the saxophone. To this day I don't know why I chose that, but now I've got it under my belt, ha ha :-) I always did the lead vocals in my bands, and I also taught myself to play rudimentary guitar in the early 00s, because I really wanted to be able to do that. Later, when I joined Terrorgruppe, I bought a Theremin on Ebay for €99, and since then I've officially been a multi-instrumentalist.

Uli Sailor piano live
Photo credit: Simon Beha

JB: Is there a favorite song or music band? If so, why this one?
US: The band that is most important to me of all to this day is Propagandhi from Canada. They combine everything that is important to me about punk rock and hardcore. The musical perfection and tightness, the lyrical and vocal uncompromisingness and an instrumental power that is second to none. It's because of them that I started playing punk rock and when I look at their work today, even after all these years, it reminds me why I do all this.

JB: What projects are you currently working on?
SK: After Terrorgruppe disbanded, I started my solo project, Punk Rock Piano. Last year I released 2 cover EPs on which I play the punk songs of my youth on the piano. I'm currently working on my own songs. There are a lot of ideas that I would like to implement and the response has been really good. I'm playing a few very cool support concerts in the spring, a few festivals in the summer and then planning to release my first singles in the fall.

Punk Rock Piano #1

Punk Rock Piano #2

JB: How do you make your money ?

US: I earn my money as a video producer. I shoot and edit videos for small and large clients, mostly with a focus on social media. Since I worked in television for a few years, I get a few jobs in that direction every now and then.

JB: What makes you happy?
AS : I read the book “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi during my sociology studies. And then actually found that it helps if you make sure you experience flow in different areas of your life. This means both in the private and professional spheres. By the way, it's not that easy to manage all the time, but apart from the family, the two areas that are most important for me to be happy are music and sport.

JB: What does a typical day in the life of Uli Breitbach look like ?
US: A typical day in my life takes place 80% in front of the computer. Write emails, edit videos, manage social media. Of course I also spend time in the rehearsal room, on shoots or on tour. However, the last few years are not entirely representative; Corona has limited the range of action quite a bit. I'm currently working on getting out and about more. It's only now that I realize how much I missed that.
JB: Where do you see yourself in 5 years ?
US: In 5 years I would like to make money with music (releasing records and playing concerts) and make videos as a hobby on the side. It's difficult to plan, and it has to grow organically, but if life were a dream concert, then I would like it to be exactly that.

JB: What comes to mind when you think of the following keywords?

Social media: a blessing and a curse. I think it's a disgrace that you have to market yourself as a musician and that this is also sold to you as freedom. Essentially, you're producing free content for the big tech companies, who are making a killing off your data and ultimately retaining control over your reach. It's true, of course, that it can give you a lot of independence, especially if you have an existing fan base to fall back on, but most bands and musicians simply don't have that. If you want to make a living from music, you have to accept a precarious life. And in addition to your artistic work, you should ideally do some commercial and promotion/marketing training. This is challenging and I can well understand why older students in particular are throwing in the towel here. It's overwhelming to have to fight on so many fronts at the same time.
Music: Is absolutely the focus of my life.
Role models: I couldn't single out one person here. Over the years I have met many interesting people, absorbed a lot, and integrated the most interesting approaches and perspectives into my life. But just as some people would say now: “ Harald Juhnke, that’s my role model.” ” I don’t have anything like that.

Flow: I tattooed it on my forearm. An elementary particle for happiness. Corona in particular has killed a lot for me when it comes to flow. Now I have to get that back and some things have to be worked for.

Flow Tattoo
Inspiration: Inspiration comes unexpectedly and usually while traveling.

Adventure: It would be nice again after the Corona years, you spent a lot of time at home on the internet.

Video Recap “Punk Rock Piano Tour 2023”
Sources and more information:
JECKYBENG Outfit : Urban Outdoor Sneakers, Merino Beani

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