Paul Pizzera and Otto Jaus say the summer of 2021 was the most challenging but also the most rewarding of their lives. The second Amadeus Award as “Live Act of the Year” went to the music cabaret duo in the summer. And considering the difficult concert situation they found themselves in during the pandemic, it feels a lot better for the two than the first.
“We had a whole series of beach chair concerts in Germany,” remembers Otto Jaus in an interview with the KURIER. “The ones in the back row were very far away and people sat in their beach chairs not knowing what was going on in the baskets in front of and next to them and didn’t dare to get up.” After two shows we knew how to deal with it and we were able to encourage more people to get involved. However, that was extremely exhausting.”
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Still, none of them want to waste time this summer. They gained a lot of knowledge and the feedback from the audience was “indescribable”.
For example, when they performed in Mödling after the pandemic, it was their first show. “Distance rules still applied, the hall was only half full and people had to wear masks,” says Paul Pizzera. “When you were in the full Stadthalle in Vienna before, it was a big change, both visually and acoustically. Despite the masks, people could see the joy of being able to attend concerts again. We were greeted by an incredible burst of energy from the audience that we could never have predicted.”
Pizzer and Jaus not only put in a lot of effort and meticulous preparation for the live season on stage, but also in front of it.
“We love being on stage and having a good time with people so the lockdown has been unbearable.” We started rehearsals as soon as we were allowed to meet again in 2020. We have stated that we can perform again at a later date and that we want to be prepared. We were actually the first to get back on tour in early June.”
Another factor in Amadeus’s victory was undoubtedly the duo’s unique combination of music and cabaret, of serious and satirical content.
“Because we come from cabaret, it was immediately clear to us that we wouldn’t say between the songs: ‘We wrote this song in Italy,'” explains Jаus. “In between songs we like to keep people entertained with entertaining conferences.” We believe that keeping the viewer’s attention on the show is crucial. And we do that by addressing serious issues with humor, but then breaking the humor and dealing with the tragedy that’s present in some of our songs. Then it’s back to serenity.”
The song “Klаnа Indiana” is a good example of this. Pizzer and Jaus use the video’s intro to send a strong message: they advocate not being ashamed to seek psychotherapeutic help when the soul hurts.
“One might think that therapy is no longer a taboo subject,” explains Pizzer. “However, as evidenced by hundreds of letters showing that someone in my family was inspired to seek treatment because of your video, such news is clearly still relevant.” Many people are still ashamed of homophobia and racism. Unfortunately, when they need such help, it is mostly men who are trapped in patriarchal structures and consider themselves weak or unmanly.”
© Image: APA/GEORG HOCHMUTH
The song “Klanа Indian” is a foretaste of the forthcoming third album by Pizzer and Jаus. It will be released in November and is described as “cross-genre with cheer, tumult and hilarity”. The duo also recorded two a cappella songs, which was their first.
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