German-native Dirk Taubenheim is the mastermind behind the solo project The Gatsbys (named after his love for the book by Fitzgerald). Today he discussed with us the start of his musical journey, the meaning behind some of his songs and his upcoming plans for the future.
Dirk has been making music since 1987. In the beginning he wanted to be famous, saying he had an abundance of raw energy and power that needed to go somewhere, so he decided to put into music. During this time, Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev opened the country to the West and Dirk said it was an exciting time where the world was changing. During this revolutionary time, he started a punk band.
“The punk band I started with was not good but loud,” Dirk said. “But anyway, it was a start.”
Following this, Dirk would later form the Britpop/new wave band called The Drowning Dolphins with another guitarist in 1989. After some lineup changes in the early years, all members from 1993 have stayed on board. The band played a lot of gigs in its hometown of Hamburg, Germany, and they were growing a steady fan base.
The Drowning Dolphins has supported bans such as Kitchens of Distinction, The Fall and Mark Burgess (The Chameleons). After a vinyl and mini-LP release, the group went on to CD titled “Brighton” in 1994. However, in 1997 the band split from frustration when the record label company refused to sign the band for a second CD release.
“What I learned from the Dolphins is how to structure a song, not to take it all too serious and never forget the fun part besides the work a song means,” Dirk said.
Some ideas Dirk had at the time wouldn’t work with The Drowning Dolphins, so he started the solo project The Gatsbys.
“I also learned how nice it is to make music together. I’m missing that sometimes when I’m doing all the stuff on my own.”
To combat the isolation within his solo project, Dirk likes to collaborate from time to time with other musicians and artists on Soundcloud. One of his partners is Alex Arcady. Together they have been making music under the name “The Gatsby Twins.” One the duo’s song is titled “Shoot Me Down,” which tells the message of someone who would rather be shot down than to continue on through pain.
Emotions are a big part of The Gatsbys music. One track, “That December,” always sends strong feelings free since the song’s co-writer passed away 4 years ago, and Dirk always thinks of him when he hears the song.
Throughout the years, Dirk has learned that whether making music alone or with friends, the most important part is to have fun doing it. Currently, Dirk is planning on working on a new CD project under “The Gatsby Twins” name. To stay up date with Dirk’s ongoing musical projects, follow The Gatsbys and The Gatsby Twins on Soundcloud.