We’re huge fans here of Gin Ga so we were delighted when Emanuel Donner contacted us about his new solo project “Eugene Delta”. We loved his new EP “Black Dogs” and followed up with this interview where he talks about that, his influences, Gin Ga and he gives the thumbs up to Meno and Mickey (interview coming soon too) amongst others.
Is “Black Dogs” your first solo work?
Why the name Eugene Delta?
Eugene Delta is a pseudonym, an alter ego, a character, close enough to my own person, but with individual stance and experiences, able to incarnate my believes, ideas and dreams and act them out – sometimes in subtle gestures, sometimes in big adventures.
Has Gin Ga officially broken up or will you be back together again?
No, we just took some time off – a kind of sabbatical.
What precipitated the sabbatical?
I think after 10+ years working on Gin Ga we all felt the desire to create some space for exploring all kinds of different musical notions and possibilities outside the Gin Ga universe. So we are currently all working on “solo” projects – Alex and Klemens with ‘Mickey’, Matias with ‘Meno’ and me with ‘Eugene Delta’.
Were you part of the song-writing team in Gin Ga?
I was (and still am), although I was more of an arranger, particularly choir and string arrangements.
How different is it to be flying solo? Are you feeling scared/excited/liberated or all of the above?
It is very different. While there’s a lot of experience I can fall back on and many of the processes are similar or somehow related, other things feel like how it felt when I first started making music 10, 15 or even 25 years ago, in both an exciting and partly very frightening way. That said, although it is a “solo” project, I feel really lucky to have found two inimitably great people to work on it with: Philip Waldenberger, a magnificent sound engineer, musician and producer, and Florian Nemeth, a brilliant drummer and musician overall. Extending this collaboration and the accompanying friendship is a journey of its own and one that I’m really looking forward to. So the short answer: All of the above!
We love the video for “So Long”, it looked fun to make, was it your idea?
Fabian Lang was the director and together we came up with the idea. It was fun indeed!
What is your favourite song you’ve written?
I’m not sure. I like them all for different reasons. Maybe “Yesterday’s Dream”. But probably even one of the newer ones, which are yet to be released.
What was the first piece of music you loved, and why?
Strangely enough, when I was 5, I fell in love with an old record of Beethoven’s violin concerto at my grandparents’ place. I listened to it over and over and when I started to play the violin 2 years later, I was feverishly looking forward to the day I’d finally manage to play it myself – and though I never really did, it was a great motivation and always kept me going.
What song by another artist do you wish you had written and why?
Probably “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. It’s just a really great, imaginative composition and the realization and final recording was and still is a one of its kind, fantastic piece of music. Queen have been my second love (– after Beethoven 🙂 and I’m a fan to this day.
What artist(s) has been your biggest influence and in what way?
Well, Beethoven and Queen. I guess there are a lot, but a few (and maybe the most influential) of them are: Tom Waits, Bonnie Prince Billy, Björk, Radiohead, Abbey Lincoln, Portishead, Pearl Jam, My Dying Bride (Doom Metal band featuring a violinist – very important to me at the age of 12—14). More recently, FKA Twigs and Kendrick Lamar. And I’m sure I’m forgetting many other important ones.
Name a song that makes you happy and why does it have that effect?
Tom Waits – Dirt In The Ground. It makes me happy for it’s one of the most heart-wrenchingly beautiful songs I know. And every time I hear it, it makes me feel so many things, one of which is happiness. Probably also categorizes for the “I wish I wrote it”-section.
What’s exciting you on the Austrian music scene these days?
If you don’t already know them, check out: Leyya, Bitten By, pressyes, Meno, Mickey, Pilot Jr. T_A-Z, Thirsty Eyes and Marvi Phoenix.
What’s your idea of success?
Honestly: To have a channel, an outlet for my music and enough people interested to be able to continue creating music without having to think too much about making money another way.
What question would you like to be asked that you never are and what would your answer be?
– Who invented the circular saw?
– That was Tabitha Babbit in 1813.
When next for Eugene Delta?
There’s already quite a lot of new material waiting in the wings – so watch out for the debut album sometime in autumn hopefully!
Emanuel did this super drawing for us too, it’s now hanging in the Austrian wing of La Gelleria De La Switeaux.