There were many questions coming in after the session of the virtuoso. So we have decided to ask Mihael to clear some things up for us.
(All photos on this page is provided bij Freek Roerdink©)
Q: Hey Mihael, how are you?
M: Hey! I am good, thanks just before my afternoon powernap :p
Q: What is the program of today? How does a day of Mihael Hrustelj look like?
M: Starting a day with meditation or run or both, shower, guitar warmup, checking what I have to do today, computer work (e-mails, organizing concerts, PR…) composing, practicing again, meeting with friends and coffee here and there 😀
Q: How often do you practice?
M: I try to do it every day, as much as possible I still have so many things to learn that it is quite scary to me sometimes. But sometimes I want to just play and not practice. And then there are days when I don’t do anything with music but maybe just listen and days when I find myself not caring at all for anything. =D
Q: You seem to have a preference for using nylon strings, could you tell some more about this?
M: Yes it is my biggest love. And where I feel the most comfortable at. The sound of the classical guitar. I spent a few years deep in classical guitar music, I like the tone and I feel that it is the most honest what I can produce with an instrument.
Bass player Dejan Hudoklin
Q: How big of a part of your songs do you come up with during improvisation or in sessions with your MH3’O band members and how much do you write out?
M: Hm it depends, sometimes I do a complete score, sometimes just an idea and then bring it to the rehersal and then I record something what we play and bring it home, listen through again and sometimes I get really inspired by listening back to what we practice and then I develop a tune forward. Sometimes is also good to just jam in G7 for half an hour. 😀
The Mihael Hrustelj Trio on the Frequenzy Stage
Q: A lot of different influences can be heard in your music, where do you take your inspirations from lately?
M: I listen a lot to my ultimate guitar heroes: Sylvain Luc, Pat Metheny and of course the great John McLaughlin and recently I started to listen more and more to flamenco music, insane guitar and percussion activity going on there… and so much fire, like Paco de Lucia.
Others are Shai Maestro Trio, Tigran Hamasyan, Jaco Pastoriuous, Animals as Leaders, Bob Marley, Sting, Classical composers like Mahler, of course Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Satie, and Meshuggah.
Drummer/Percussionist Javier Herrero
Q: Which type of sounds inspire you besides the guitar?
M: Sound of piano specially when holding a sustain pedal… then everything sounds good :p, it might sound cliché, but all the sounds that nature can produce. sound of tabla (indian percussion).
Q: Is there a concept recurring theme, or storyline throughout your work in general, or to your EP MH3’O in specific?
M: Yes, every song is a manifestation of an experience that I had, or even dedicated to someone. For example the song Neretva I composed for my mother it is her favorite river. A song Selo is for my father and it describes a village where he lives. Raindrops was composed by being inspired by rain in the Netherlands
Q: How do you see the music industry changing over the next 5 to 10 years? Which changes do you think will have an impact on the way artists get ‘out there’ (both with releases and live shows) ?
M: Huh.. I can not really give a decent answer I am still searching how to get out there myself… . I think is more or less everything about concerts already, especially for smaller artists like us for example. Everything can be downloaded and the offer is so huge that it is just insane. But having your current work with you on something what you can share with people is of course a necessity for every musician. And I also think that having a high quality video footage of your work is the most important to get concerts. So for this I am also again, extremely grateful that we did this cooperation of ours with the Frequenzy team.
Q: What do you aim on doing in 2020? Reveal us a little more on wild future ambitions?
M: hmmm.. I hope that I will enjoy what I will be doing then, whatever that might be. Hopefully still music and that I will still be learning new things, be inspired by new music. I would love to tour all over the planet one day, it would be an absolute dream come true.
Q: What is a stage or festival you absolutely hope to be playing at before 2020?
M: It would be nice that I would get to such a level that it wouldn’t be a problem to perform anywhere. In every bar, café, venue and festival.
Q: Where should people go for great live shows?
M: I don’t know. I hope I am not disappointing you too much. With not so huge answers such as ….: yeah man I was in Beijing about a week ago and the festival there is really kicking ass. 😀
Most of live shows that I was watching were through you tube… But a great place to see some concerts can be our little Lantaren Venster in Rotterdam. Wow, I had some amazing experience there with concerts that I watched and great artists come to perform there.
Q: Which song should people listen to right now?
M: I would suggest them to take time when listening to something in the first place, to give time to music to develop, not every song gives a slap in the face in the first 15 seconds that we listen to it. And proper speakers or the best, headphones. Some people don’t realize how much joy music loses this way. Joy in music is very important! Hahaha! My favorite piece of music recently is from a live concert of Shakti with the great master Hariprasad Chaurasia on the flute the song is Lotus Feet. That always calms me down, in fact I’ve just put it on!