Interview with Ziggy Alberts
22.9.15 we left Stavanger to hear Ziggy Alberts sing and play his left handed guitar in a tiny book café in Bergen. After the interview it is safe to say that he is one of the most compassionate, authentic and inspiring people we could ever dream to have our first interview with. Through our conversation we learned about his musical influences, passion for the environment and plans for the future...
When and why did you start playing music?
I first started playing an acoustic guitar in 2011. At the time I thought I would become a journalist, I actually wrote for a couple of surf magazines. I think it turned from stories and writing to putting stories into songs. I started writing because I had things I needed to work through. To do that you need to express yourself and you can do that through writing. Music is just another way of writing.
Who inspired you to start playing and writing music?
The first group who inspired me to start writing music was a group named Horrorshow. Which is hilarious because it's an Australian rap group. What I like about them is that their music is not gangster rap, but more poetic and acoustic.
If you could describe your music with three words, what would it be?
I would describe my music to be a work in progress. It has only been four years since I picked up a guitar. Every time I would do a show, a tour or a new recoding, I always learn a lot. I'm always showing people the best I can give now. It will be better soon, but I might as well show you now.
Did you always know music would be a part of your career path?
Actually I had no idea, I though I would be a writer, a dentist or use my grades and become an engineer. Instead I chose a very different path. I was very passionate about writing, but really didn't think of a creative career until I was suddenly immersed in it.
Who is your favourite artists at the moment?
Ben Howard was someone I listened to a couple of years ago. I am probably more inspired now by my friends who play music. We are always pushing each other, being supportive, and we all want each other to do better. People like Dustin Thomas, Garrett Kato, Nick Saxon are other people I get inspiration from. I find myself more inspired by the individuals behind the music and the quality of the person, rather than if they are successful. It's more about how the person that is behind the music.
Where in the world do you get your inspiration from?
It's a cliché but you can get a lot of inspiration from traveling. I think it depends on how receptive you are. Right now I live in a van, so I am not inspired by my home, because I don't have a one. I try to make home wherever I go.
Favorite thing about Norway so far?
My favorite thing about Norway is that there is a lot of good in the communities. There has been a lot of open arms. I also think the surfing scene is different, you are all encouraged to be together, whereas where I am from its all about being on your own. People here are just so happy to be surfing, it doesn't matter how good you are. Norway also have a great appreciation of music. If you make the effort to come here, you will find people that are receptive and they want to connect. Norway also has an incredible landscape, with beautiful mountains and such. The Australian and the Norwegian cultures are so different.
What essentials do you bring on tour?
My essentials to bring on tour would be cd's, because it's so amazing both financially, and for your music. I also bring a left-handed guitar. Other essentials would be my Hungarian passport because my mom is Hungarian, and that is the reason I have the opportunity to tour Europe more easily. Now I feel like a good team is a big essential. I am traveling with my sister (my manager) and her boyfriend who is the filmmaker.
Have you always been an environmentalist?
I think I was always aware because I grew up by the beach, it was a priority to climb in the trees, to be in the ocean everyday and to go to skate parks. I remember that one day there was an oil spill, and we were not allowed to go in the water. Whether or not you are an environmentalist or not, it sucks if you can't go in the water. From there on I became more and more aware. I prefer to say I am an environmental enthusiast, rather than an environmentalist. In my opinion the word environmentalist is too open, I try to just collect information and share it, because I am not the expert. Hopefully with my music I can be able to share that knowledge with other people.
My music is not about saving and protecting the ocean, its more like "hide and seek", people may not be aware that they are singing about the environment. Lately I have become more and more passionate about the environment because I have seen and experienced more.
Best advice you've ever received?
A friend once told me to always remember how important music is to the world, and how you always have to keep sharing. Another thing I was told was to care a lot for the things that matter and care less for the things that don't.
Maybe not the best advice I have received, but the best I have heard is to do everything on your own terms, not on somebody else's. I saw that in my own father who ran his own business since he was 25.
What can we expect from your upcoming album and songs?
One of my new singles are called Runaway and it's a song that's a bit 50/50; the song is neither a sad song or a happy song. It's a good neutral and it's a bit more mature than my previous work. My songs will not change much, it will keep being me, but it's got better mixing and a few more instruments.