“Enjoying the moment is not only possible but crucial within the awareness of a bigger picture. One thing is adding to the other. You can enjoy each station of a journey while knowing where you want it to go, no?”
notes Anna Müller of HVOB and is hereby revealing an important part of the secret of why her and Paul Wallner have become such a success in a time where it is quite hard for artists not to disappear as fast as they come up. Enjoying the moments all along the way without losing the focus. Authencity and real passion and enjoyment for what you do can be felt in what you create and only then you can really touch someone else with it. And that goes for sure for the Austrian producer duo. Their goal to let HVOB grow naturally and slowly has paid off – some concert venues were sold out even before releasing their first track out of their new album SILK that is a joined collaboration with Winston Marshall, best known as the lead guitarist of Mumford & Sons. We elaborated on how the liaison worked out, grinned on their story about getting drunk with Dominican Republic promoters and reflected with them on the universal language of music.
photography by Lukas Gansterer
We followed you almost since the very beginning, and it’s just great to see your success growing. Do you sometimes find it difficult to keep up with what is happening to you as musicians or everything feels quite natural for you guys and your success grows in a speed that you can follow?
There is just a feeling of joy and thankfulness. We’re living the life we had been dreaming of. As you mentioned success, hm … that sounds a bit like having reached a certain point, being satisfied with that. This is not how we think. We’re more into finding the next step. Our goal has always been for HVOB to grow naturally and slowly – and it still is.
“Music and celebrating are not about race or nationality or language or cultural background, it seems to be about something different … music seems to be bigger than all that.”
What´s one of the main things that you have learned as musicians but also for your life in general since you first started to follow your career in music?
Don’t listen to people who tell you how you should do things right. Do the things you love, no compromises. Make nobody else than yourself responsible for what you achieve or when you fail. Don’t wait for something to happen, do it. Even cheesy sounding sentences are true sometimes.
Have there been any negative sides to the success? Such as more pressure, losing friends etc.?
You travel a lot, and I mean a lot. Some weeks ago we have been on four continents in one week. That’s not always easy. But playing sold out shows in China and Japan, South Africa und the United States is worth any exhaustion that you face.
It’s just always great to hear new things coming from you. So, end of March the new album called SILK is on the start. And you collaborated with Winston Marshall on it. And you were enjoying so much to work together so that instead of just producing a few songs together a whole album emerged at the end. It’s actually quite funny to hear that when you first received an email from Winston Marshall you thought it was fake and didnt reply. So what happened then, did he write again?
We received a follow up email, yes. So we are as happy as we’re lucky having met Winston.
“Don’t listen to people who tell you how you should do things right. Make nobody else than yourself responsible for what you achieve or when you fail.”
How was working with him – same wavelength between all of you? Or was it a bit strange as well for you as you were used to work just the two of you before?
It made sense from the very beginning. It felt absolutely right and it has never been strange.
Whitney Houston once confirmed in an interview that the third album is always the most difficult one. The first one (if all goes well of course) people love, the second one they are so excited to hear more from you so they are still in love but then the third one- that is where it gets tricky to keep the listener „motivated“. Is that how you feel about the third album as well?
We don’t really feel of SILK as being our third album. This is not HVOB, this is HVOB & Winston Marshall. So the third album is yet to come.
You start your SILK tour in April. Some cities have been sold out immediately – in others you were already moved to a bigger location due to the high demand. What a great feeling that must be for you! Do you celebrate those moments of success in between? Like drinking a toast to sold out concerts or something like that?
No. We don’t celebrate, but we’re extremely grateful. Some cities were sold out even before we released a track from the new album. We were blown away by so much trust of people in advance. There is no time to celebrate now, but I am sure there will be in April. smiles.
“Worry less about worrying. And worry less about worrying about worrying.”
Like you mentioned before already, you are travelling to so many places with your music. Indonesia, Australia, South Africa, Japan, China, South America, all over Europe, just to name a few places. Do you see a difference in the way that people celebrate at the concerts – or music and celebrating comes with a universal language?
No big difference, really. It’s not about race or nationality or language or cultural background, it seems to be about something different … music seems to be bigger than all that.
Was there any place or gig in particular that was a little bit more magic than others?
Australia with its stunning nature, or Tokio that feels like another planet, with its amazing food and its Karaoke Bars (where you can perfectly celebrate my birthday all night long), and this Japanese guy with his tiny restaurant who was cooking noodles for us every day (hey Josh!), or the Dominican Republic, where the most hospitable promoters get drunk with the best rum at the artists dinner before the concert and you try to stay sober until the concert. Yeah, a lot of special moments last year.
If you could tell your younger self 10 years ago about what you should worry about less, what would that be?
Worry less about worrying. And worry less about worrying about worrying.
Is your future of HVOB and your personal life paths paved with goals or you tend to live more according to doing what feels right in each moment?
Enjoying the moment is not only possible but crucial within the awareness of a bigger picture. One thing is adding to the other. You can enjoy each station of a journey while knowing where you want it to go, no?
Thank you very much for your time and good luck for the tour!
11.04. Salzburg / Rockhouse
12.04. Zurich / Dynamo
14.04. Paris / Nouveau Casino
15.04. Amsterdam / DGTL Festival
16.04. Brussels / Ancienne Belgique • SOLD OUT
18.04. Hamburg / Übel & Gefährlich
20.04. Berlin / Astra Kulturhaus • SOLD OUT
21.04. Vienna / Arena • SOLD OUT
12.08. Vienna / Arena Open Air
22.04. Brno / Fleda
23.04. Warsaw / Niebo
25.04. Prague / Roxy
26.04. Cologne / LMH • VENUE UPGRADE
27.04. London / Oval Space
29.04. Budapest / Akvarium
30.04. Munich / Backstage • VENUE UPGRADE