At ease across styles and genres,
Don’t You Like Dead Musicians team up for a ride across these troubled times. Swinging between social and political critique and the dream of an inclusive and tolerant future, they make full use of the sonic and timbral capabilities of their instruments to provide their compositions with both emotional depth and physical impact.
Through the use of acoustic and electric instruments, matching amplification and skillful sound processing, they provide a broad range of textures, where different voices take the lead and support one another. The original compositions alternate instrumental sections to song, ranging between free improvisations and structured, arranged parts. The inspiration for both compositions and arrangements comes from a diverse palette of musical influences, where blues, jazz and world music take the lead, mixed to folk and popular songwriting.
An even more prominent source of inspiration, though, is the sense of place: Don’t You Like Dead Musicians is a product of the Leipzig independent scene, a crossroad of migrants, travellers, artists, students and intellectuals, in which both “here” and “elsewhere” blend into every aspect of life in the city. Don’t You Like Dead Musicians travel with their feet and with their soul, and take their listeners for a journey across unknown and strangely familiar paths, to homes and families they yet haven’t met.
Don’t You Like Dead Musicians came together late 2012 as an initiative of guitarist Flo’ Kern and bassist Matteo Roggero. Both of them were and are still active in several music projects in Leipzig. Johannes Martin, who previously played and recorded with Flo’ Kern’s own blues project, was a natural choice for the completion of the band.
Matteo´s musical journey began in his native Italy at the age of 17, when he first got a nylon string guitar – an instrument he still owns and plays today. His interest quickly moved to electric bass, which became exclusively fretless in the turn of a few years, inspired by the music and legacy of Jaco Pastorius.
Matteo first hit the stage during his Berlin years (2001-2003), playing in a few local bands and developing a taste for improvisation and a lyrical approach to the instrument. It is however in Amsterdam, where he lived from 2004 to 2007, that Matteo discovers jazz and moves from electric to double bass, attending the workshops by saxophonist Peter Guidi and bassist Arnold Dooyeweerd.In 2006 he attends summer jazz clinics in Perugia, Italy (Umbria Jazz) and Siena (Siena Jazz), sitting in classes by bassist Paolino Dalla Porta and pianists Stefano Battaglia and Franco D’Andrea.
A further turning point in Matteo’s musical development has been a 2010 trip to South Africa, where he was first exposed to the music of guitarist and contemporary composer Derek Gripper. Next to the great inspiration in terms of rhythmic language, the discovery of Derek Gripper’s music has motivated Matteo to pick up the guitar again and start composing. Don’t You like Dead Musicians is indeed the first project where Matteo’s contribution involves composition.
Johannes´ musical career starts in the city of Rudolstadt and is shaped by a proximity to the legendary TFF Folk Festival as well as a big range of band-experiences in his youth.
After an obligatory seminar at the local musicschool he attends two years in classical music at the music academy of Kronach. Johannes is attracted by the auspicious city of Leipzig and moves there to study classical percussion and lectureship at the college of music.
Equipped with an abundance of live-experience, Johannes developes a spontaneous style of playing, always full of joy. Far away from cliches with a passion for improvisation and surprise.
Florian Kern was born and raised under the spell of the Blues. Being son of locally famous blues musician Ludger Kern, he was lulled to sleep by tapping feet and had his first live experiences dancing at the back on stage at the age of five. His father also gave him his first acoustic guitar when he was around 9 years old. Noticing an inclination to songwriting when life became troubled, he found relief in composing and experimenting with guitar and song.
Flo moves to Freiburg where he starts an acoustic duo with a bluesharper. Life pushes on to Leipzig where he is delighted by the abundance of musicians and inspirations and makes first attempts to play his own songs in the context of a band.
Somewhere within the years Flo evolves a fascination for african, particularly Malian music, which he understands as the origin of afro-american (Folk-) music and hence the source of his own musical roots. Equally attracting to him is the addicting sound of slide guitar, perceiving a vocation which he turns to all the more the years pass. Flos discovery of the weißenborn lap style guitar means another timbral dimension in his instrumentarium, containing a magic that moves the audience into a completely different world of sound.
Playing in various projects for several years, seeking the magic that lies in between the notes, Flo felt the urge to go back to his roots as well as to start something new. Don´t You Like Dead Musicians is the fruition of the latter.