Eurovision

Unheilig: “My best way to express my thoughts is in my language.” [Interview]

The German act for Copenhagen will be determined tomorrow. escXtra.com was lucky enough to speak to one of the biggest names of the German selection. They’ve sold millions of albums and now they want to fly their flag in Copenhagen: Unheilig! Read what the lead singer, Der Graf, had to say below!

escXtra.com: Hey Unheilig! First of all, thank you for your time! How do you feel, a few days before Unser Song für Dänemark?
Der Graf: I am a bit nervous and I´m really looking forward to performing the show. I´m really happy that I take part in the show on Thursday. But at the moment I am quite busy with TV shows, interviews and  more that I don´t have much time to think about the performance in Cologne. For sure, I will be very nervous when my show time is coming up.

X: Could you tell us something about the history of your band?
G: In 2014, UNHEILIG celebrate 15 years of existence. That´s the reason why we release the first UNHEILIG Best of album. The compilation offers a perspective on 15 years of musical achievement and the eight studio albums to date.

X: Now, you’re without a doubt one of the biggest names in this selection. One of your latest albums sold over 1,5 million copies, your 2010 single Geboren Um Zu Leben stayed in the charts for 105 weeks. Does that increase pressure for you?
G: Yes – on the one hand it does. But on the other hand it is a kind of motivation. I love producing music and I am a perfectionist.

X: When you were applying for the national final, you said that it was a childhood dream of yours to go to Eurovision. What makes Eurovision so special for you?
G: In my childhood it was a tradition to watch the Grand Prix with the whole family. It was a family event. As a music-loving boy it was fascinating to see the stars – everyone performing its own song. I was watching the shows and were thinking: one time I want to be there. Especially the winning of Germany –Nicole- in 1982 was very special to me.

X: The poll you launched about Eurovision participation was a very convincing ‘yes’: 94% of the vote were in favour of you applying to participate. Did you expect to have such a big majority behind your participation?
G: The result has surprised me. Actually I expected some more “no´s”. But the big majority has shown me that I really should try to sing a German song in such an international contest.

X: Now let’s talk about your songs, Als Wär’s Das Erste Mal and Wir Sind Alle Wie Eins. We haven’t heard the second song yet, but Als Wär’s Das Erste Mal definitely follows the new style you adapted with singles such as Lichter der Stadt. Do you think that kind of songs work better in Eurovision?
G: The audience will decide who is going to go to Copenhagen or is to win the contest. The concurrence is very strong and it won´t be easy for everyone. I´m performing my UNHEILIG music and I hope that the audience will like my songs and will vote for us.

X: You clearly stated that you want to sing in German would you go to Copenhagen. It has been seven years since Germany did that. Why do you feel so passionate about singing in German?
G: German is my mother tongue. My best way to express my thoughts is in my language. When I have been started with UNHEILIG I sang in English. I realized quickly that I need to write my songs in German. I would like to build a bridge to the listener. That´s only possible in my mother tongue.

X: Eurovision usually is seen as a contest with pop and dance songs. Unheilig wouldn’t immediately fit in that picture, so how would you convince Europe to vote for you if you win Unser Song für Dänemark?
G: I want to convince Europe with my music!

X: Are you a Eurovision fan and do you have an all time favourite Eurovision song?
G: Yes I am a Eurovision fan. But I don´t have any favourite song.

X: Finally, do you have a message for the readers of escXtra.com?
G: Hey everyone – enjoy the Eurovision Song Contest 2014! It will be a great contest with great artists.

escXtra.com would like to thank Der Graf for his answers and we’d like to wish Unheilig the best of luck in tomorrow’s Unser Song für Dänemark!

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Nick van Lith

I'm one of the founding members of ESCXTRA.com. Eleven years after the start, I'm proud to say that I am now the Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful website. When I'm not doing Eurovision stuff, you should be able to find me teaching German to kids... And cheering on everything and everyone Greek, pretty much. Pame Ellada!

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