“The ashtrays were still full”

Theater man and musician Rudi Mühllehner © Schneider

Rudi Müllehner runs the Linz grandstand together with Cornelia Metschitzer. The Linz theater man used the hold still forced by the virus to live out his passion as a singer-songwriter as RAUL (“Rudi from Linz”).

The album “Da Regn is nu woam” combines older and newly composed songs, it will be released on Wednesday.

VOLKSBLATT: How are you, how are the stands?

RUDI MÜLLEHNER: On March 7th I was on stage for the last time. If you are a rampage pig like me, you miss a stage and an audience a lot. A few performances took place in the stands in October, now it’s closed again. But we try to be constructive and plan ahead for the time “after Corona”. That gives us support. We are sure that our audience will not forget us and come back. We all just have to be a little patient now. But it will be all the more beautiful afterwards. That might sound naive, but for me it’s the only possible attitude in this situation.

Older students think of the former Real Madrid striker when they think of “Raul”. Did you still experience it?

He’s my generation and I’ve always admired him as a footballer. At the moment he annoys me because if you google “Raul”, he always comes and never me. A tip: I’ll come to “Raul Liedermacher”.

How did you get into singing, what is the relationship between theater and songwriting?

At the age of 15 I started to play the guitar and also sang to it. The theater came over me later, at the age of 18. It was the first time I stood on a stage, acting, and tasted blood. Then I became an actor, but also always remained a musician.

They tie in with a chanson tradition, with German songwriters like Reinhard Mey. Music for closer listening. A message even at a time that was very loud during “normality”?

Yes, definitely. I believe in the power of simplicity. During the recording in the studio I said: “We’ll leave out everything that’s not missing.” What’s left are my guitar and my voice. I asked for a sound from Florian Wöss from Frogmountain Records in Wilhering, where I recorded the album. I said: “When you put the CD on, you should have the feeling that I’m sitting in the living room and playing.” I think he and Michael Haider from AlphaMastering managed it pretty well.

I find it wonderfully defiant how you lovingly cultivate the untimely. In “Novembergefühle” there are still “full oschnbecher” or two that are “pudlnockat in the bulk”. “Im Caféhaus” is a song of praise for classic, analogue searing. Is it wrong who is accusing you of nostalgia?

I will be 46 years old in January. The fact that I’m no longer 20 is also reflected in my songs. When I wrote the song “November Feelings”, the ashtrays were actually still full. At least mine. And I’m nostalgic anyway.

A classic for grandstand fans is “A bacon bread and a salmon bread”. About the impossible love between a “dodn sow” and a fish …

Two people who come from completely different walks of life meet after death and fall in love. They notice that they are not as different as they thought they were. But the realization comes too late: you are already destined to be eaten.

Life is short, hopefully love is great?

I believe that love comes everywhere and all the time. We just let ourselves be constantly distracted by trivialities. Our main focus is always on something completely unimportant. Even more dates, even more customers, even more money, even more premieres, even more viewers. I say: get off the gas. Listen to the children and watch the elderly, the beetles and the storks, help hedgehogs hibernate, petting dogs. In short: enjoy love.

You did not escape the virus while composing, you wrote the song “Das Spiel (Mensch gegen Corona)”. In the audience of this existential football game the allegories of flora and fauna that shout: “Corona, g’winn!” Black humor a way out of the tricky situation?

Black humor is a means of survival for me. Having a satirical view of things often enables me to laugh instead of crying. And sometimes my humor is really awful. You have to know me to know what I mean. I try to avoid that in public. In songs you can go very far again. For me, the difficult global situation also has to do with the focus on unimportant things. Even more power, an even bigger empire, even more influence. But nobody can give you a satisfactory answer to the question “What for?”

Christian Pichler spoke to RUDI MÜHLLEHNER

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