an interview with Craig Walker

an interview with Craig Walker
Hello Craig how are things in Berlin?

Berlin is still in a kind of lockdown mode. No bars, restaurants, clubs, cinemas etc open yet. It is very quiet apart from the parks, when it is sunny. Overall, people have accepted and practiced social distancing as the way things are gonna he for the foreseeable future. There is a lot of uncertainty about the future. Berlin is a poor city compared to the rest of Germany. It has a high number of self-employed people working in the creative and artistic fields. The longer restrictions on live performances in all the artistic fields continues, the more difficult things will get here.


What is your main project right now?

My main focus right now is on the Craig Walker & The Cold project with Erik Alcock (The Cold is a nickname for Canada) a great Canadian producer/artist, who’s also based here in Berlin. Eriks written songs with people like Eminem, Pink, Celine Dion. We started writing together about six months ago and we clicked immediately. We have the same love of Bowie, Beatles, Lou Reed etc and we realized about four songs into writing together, that we were onto something new. The songs are all written and finished and we are now at the mixing stage. We plan to release the album this year.


What are your thoughts on this CoV 19 situation we are in?

It’s surreal. I flew into Rome on February 6th this year and they took uv temperature readings at the airport before letting us in. From that point onwards, I’ve been taking the threat of it seriously. I think the virus has made everyone check their own mortality and the vulnerability of humans as a species. The most surprising thing for me was the obvious unpreparedness of most governments for a situation like this, with a few notable exceptions, such as Taiwan and South Korea. Germany has so far handled it well by testing, tracing and protecting care/elderly homes, early on.


How an artist can overcome all these difficulties?

There’s gonna be tough times ahead. People in every walk of life will be massively affected. From a musicians point of view, it’s hard to see how live music can happen normally, till there’s a vaccine or immunity is reached. How long that will be, is the 60 million dollar question. Also how long can venues, nightclubs, theatres etc survive without income of any kind. I think artists are very resilient though. We have had to adapt to changes in social climates before and no doubt it will happen again. I’ve managed to stay creative during the lockdown. I have a studio at home and these days I spend a lot of time working in my pyjamas.


Are we heading to an Orwelian state?

It does feel like big changes are coming. The planet is overpopulated and the numbers keep going up. Climate change is undoubtedly happening as predicted. Old political ideologies are now reappearing. Despite history telling us fascism and extremism lead to very ugly conclusions, they have become almost normalized today. If anyone will be Big Brother, it will be the corporation’s, who are already ruining the world. I despise what these multi-national corporations are doing. They have us all in their pockets. They don’t give a fuck about people. The dollar and expansion of wealth is all they care about.


Do you think that art has a bigger voice/role right now?

It’s a weird time. Many people face uncertain futures. The working and middle classes will be the worst affected by this economic virus also sweeping the world. I think people do look for solace in music and art in times of trouble. The 50’s were full of novelty and fun records after the Second World War. People didn’t want any stress. So, the social climate, can for sure influence people’s artistic tastes. It would be nice, if people look for something with a bit of depth and meaning. Instead of the mindless ‘let’s party - life’s great’ music, that has dominated for the past decade.


Tell us your favourite records for this year?

I’ve been so locked into finishing the Craig Walker & The Cold record and doing other stuff like writing with other artists, I really haven’t been listening to much new stuff this year. I’ve been revisiting a lot of old stuff and getting into music that I hadn’t listened to in the past. People like Elton John who until seeing the recent movie, I had pretty much ignored. Also with streaming being so easy and such a vast selection of music to choose from, it’s a never ending voyage of musical discovery.


5 books and 5 movies for quarantine?

Elton John - Me Albert Camus - The Plague David Hepworth - 1971 never a dull moment Prince - The Beautiful Ones George Orwell - Coming up for Air The Joker, Jacobs Ladder, This Sporting Life, Melancholia, Barry Lyndon.


Shall we expect a new Craig Walker album or do you prefer singles?

Yeah Craig Walker & The Cold album will be out this year.


Do you like Spotify?

I think it’s a good platform as a user. It works well and it is user friendly. As an artist, less so. They don’t pay writers a fair % yet, in my opinion. The system of playlists and curators, leaves it very difficult for non major label artists to get on those lists.


What did you learn through this crisis?

I love working with people in person more than I realized. I’ve missed that human connection in the studio with other people, being creative. I learnt also that I don’t need much to get by and be happy. Being healthy, with a family at home and enough food to live on, is enough. As long as I can be creative too - I’m happy.


How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who followed his passion and didn’t take the easier, softer way.



What do you remember from Greece, your fondest memories?

I have so many. Playing shows to amazingly warm crowds has been a big highlight for me. But also getting to travel around the whole country playing acoustic shows was a wonderful experience for me. I’ve really seen a lot of mainland Greece. It’s a beautiful country. I always tell my friends, don’t just go to the islands. The mainland has so many amazing places to see. Lastly, I have met and made long time friendships with lots of amazing Greek people. I love Greece.
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