Longing For An Unsubstantial Infinity – Spot On: Maximilian Hecker

Your new album is accompanied by fourteen little self-directed films based on these special places. In which way did it change your feelings towards the whole travelling aspect of your tours?

Indeed, suddenly everything seemed to fall into place. With the camera as my partner, it’s not me as an outsider anymore, because the filming makes the before experienced painful feeling of being separated from a city’s community obsolete. My camera protects me from the nastiness of travelling, and I’m able to enjoy my journeys, even make spontaneous trips to cities and places just to indulge in my new hobby.

But do you, besides that new gained hobby, still feel that you are on the search for something special?

Of course I am. Hopefully that’s quite a normal activity, but I guess that most of the time, I’m too much of a restless and unsatisfied human being to understand that instead of searching for salvation in the outside world (a partner, attention and appreciation from others, goods etc.), I can only find it inside of me. Creating music so far has been the only real and mature thing I have done in my life. It allows me to perceive my soul, my true self. I write songs, because, to emotionally survive, I need to unblock the channel to my soul with the help of music to finally be able feel and to finally be able to express my deepest longing.

Could that search also be one for the feeling of »home?« I wonder, with all that travelling, if that term ‘even applies to you anymore?

Of course it does. I think it has become some kind of »urban myth«, so to speak, that I’m constantly on tour and travelling, especially to Asia. 80 percent of the time, I’m at home in Berlin and enjoy that very much. I even prefer to stay at my apartment most of the time and don’t go out too often. In other words: My home is Berlin where I know my way around pretty well and where my friends live, and it’s vital for me to have this sanctuary.

Tell us a bit about the places of the album. Which one of them means the most to you and why?

The songs »Untouchable (Kastrup part II)«, »Hennigsdorf« and »Kastrup« – that could be seen as metaphors for a voluntary isolation – portray the conclusion of the album and the end of my search. In the context of my regular, escapist trips to the bleak and deserted villages Hennigsdorf and Kastrup (the small village where Copenhagen airport is located), I am surprisingly able to find salvation and deliverance. Deliverance from the ghosts of my past, deliverance from my mirror image that I see reflected in the eyes of my fellow beings, deliverance from all social restraints. Because nobody is able to reach, look at, judge and touch me at these sites, and I feel sheltered and embraced by Kastrup’s and Hennigsdorf’s solitude, am finally able to accept myself and discover the ability to feel a – previously hidden – love for myself. My favourite place of these two, however, is Kastrup.

And you even compared Henningsdorf to Venice in the past. What’s so special about this place?

It’s where I have spent the last three New Year’s Eves – all by myself at a cheap and functional hotel in Hennigsdorf’s industrial area – and where I experienced an »Indian summer«, a newfound love for myself.

Asia is, of course, also represented on the record. You sing about the Beijing-based hotel »The Opposite House« and Seoul‘s district Gangnam. You are famous for your big following in those countries. Any explanation for this?

This might be just a thesis… I think that my music and East Asian pop music has quite a similar approach: It’s all about the longing to free oneself from restraints and about intense emotions. Emotions that, living in an East Asian patriarchal and stern environment, can almost only run free in dream worlds and art. The more the narcissistic and individual needs are suppressed in everyday life, the more a necessity for a valve, a parallel universe becomes. This valve for emotions – particularly in East Asia – is art. Most of the East Asian movies, the pop music and even the TV commercials are hyper-romantic and hyper-melodramatic and deal almost solely with man’s great longings, especially the longing for romantic love.