We recently caught up with DrawnSword, aka Raffael Scheiber, to chat with him about who he is and what his music is all about. His new EP, ‘Still Too Few’, is an improvisational delight, and we hope to review it shortly.
EP: What’s the Raffael Scheiber story?
RS: I moved to London about 8 years ago because I wanted to take music one step further than I’d previously been able to in my hometown of Munich. I spent the first 5 years working in bars, trying to find my feet and battling mental illness and sort of lost focus and touch with music for a while, about 3 years ago I found my love for music again and started writing and never really stopped since.
EP: Describe your music.
RS: Classic songwriting like The Beatles or The Velvet Underground with a Hip Hop edge and electronic textures.
EP: We’re listening to your EP – who would you say are your musical influences? And who are your influences in life?
RS: Madlib, J Dilla, Randy Newman, Paul McCartney, Gil Scott Heron, A Tribe Called Quest, The Whispers, Rick James and Sun- Ra.
Everyone around me, whether it’s people I pass by on the street or dear friends. I try to learn and be influenced from and by everything and everyone.
EP: What’s your take on the current state of the music business?
RS: It’s a bit like the wild west out there. I think it’s exciting. You don’t need to rely on the actual industry as much. You can create your own brand and walk your own path.
EP: Along the same lines, what advice would you give to anyone just starting out in music? And what do you wish someone had told you before you started?
RS: Do it for the love of music. Create, create, create, create, create, create create, create. Don’t buy into this inspiration bullshit and wait for it. Work comes from work. It doesn’t matter what you fill the empty paper with in the beginning as long as you fill it with something. I believe it doesn’t matter what you have, it matters THAT you do. There is no perfect moment or wizard spirit genie in a bottle that does the work for you. Just sit down and write for an hour and SOMETHING will happen. Whether it’s good or bad doesn’t matter. You’re just gonna have to trust your taste and skill ( which you will develop by keeping doing this).This goes for both questions.
EP: Where will you be this time next year? In 5 years? 10?
RS: Hopefully doing the same thing, just on a bigger scale.
EP: What’s your favourite song on your EP, and why? What inspired it?
RS: That’s kinda like asking a mother, what’s her favourite child but for the sake of entertainment, I’m gonna say ‘The Spirit of La Masia’ because it is the most ambitious piece I’ve released. I wrote it at a point in my life where my friends started disappearing because I started pursuing music to a point where I wasn’t a friend/there anymore, but I knew I was doing the right thing because it made me happy and not suicidal anymore. Perseverance and believing in yourself and needing to tell myself that, is what inspired it.
EP: How do you write your music – does it all come together as one or do you write the lyrics first and the music next, or vice versa? Or is there another method altogether? And do you have to be in a particular mood/location to write?
RS: I normally just mess around with whatever instrument is around, whether it’d be a guitar, a piano or a drum machine/sampler or even a drumkit or a harmonica or a pen and paper. This EP is very much based on improvisation, just getting lost in the zone. At some point a structure would establish itself and then I’d hone in on it. Very often I would not remember how I wrote songs. I write and play because it keeps me healthy so mood or location don’t really matter.
EP: What question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview but nobody ever does?
RS: That Dilla swing, how do you get that Dilla swing???