The new album is called “55”, it is her third with a number in the title, and the word “number” has been chosen quite deliberately instead of “age”, although Ina Müller really has no problem with standing by her number. There are artists who run out of topics pretty quickly. They make a good album, maybe two – and by the third, at the latest, everything is just repetitions and self-quotations. And then there is Ina Müller. On her new album, she introduces twelve new songs that are completely different and yet completely logical. Ina Müller can do everything – from looking for an apartment to squirrels, from rock ginger to chanteuse. She talks to ntv.de about smoking, retirement (not hers) and options for Chancellor.
ntv.de: When we met for the album “48”, seven years ago, you already said: “A virus like that doesn’t take the schedule into account.” It was “just” a stupid flu that paralyzed you …
Ina Müller: Oh man, I remember! But now it’s something else …
How are you feeling at the moment?
I guess, like everyone else: keep your feet still, put on your mask, wash your hands, wait. You can’t do more than that. I’ve also postponed my tour to the beginning of 2022 – I don’t think that concerts can take place in the halls in 2021.
There are colleagues who are wondering how to proceed.
To survive you first need money, that is the most important thing. Of course, it’s not nice when we can no longer perform, but what should you do? Of course we, who have more reach than others, have to point out the status quo, speak for the community. When I tour, I tour with a team of 54 people, starting with the bus driver Bernie, who has grown dear to me, through to all trades. We have a lot of couples with us – and if both of them can’t work now, that’s tough. So it’s first about money, because you’re scared if nothing comes in! It’s about not forgetting the people who work for art.
On your new album you sing “We’re running out of time” …
… if you let her.
Ina – we are headed for retirement … How do we stop the time?
Well not at all, we let everything go on. Our ancestors had to go through that and we can do it now. In childhood, time actually passes more slowly, and I don’t know how that happens either.
In any case, you take your time between your albums. I hope you don’t wait until I retire with the next one.
I only make a new album when I can think of enough topics. I don’t have such uninspired clapping.
You also have other things to do.
That’s right, I also love my show very much, but I really want to get back on stage. Maybe we’d rather do another interview very soon, shortly before you retire.
Watching me, not on the phone.
I would also find that very nice. Is now due to the situation. But if that’s all you have to do without at the moment, then we’ll put it away easily.
How did you actually record “Ina’s Night”?
That was a little different. The show lives from the closeness that I have with my guests – close on the bench, nose to nose, drinking around a bit. Now we had to move the music outside and keep our distance. Unfortunately, the shanties also had to stay at home. Next year I would like to continue as before, with all the trimmings. There are those days when I run through the apartment and tell myself that everything will be fine. But there are also days when I don’t even want to get up.
As described in your song “Squirrel Day”?
Yes, then I crawl under the covers and wish that the good Lord has put everything away when I crawl out from under the covers again.
Usually I always have a plan B. And C. Can go to Z. But that doesn’t work right now, I’m powerless.
It’s a really unfamiliar situation. And wearing the mask is the smallest problem …
It’s really nice when you have a pimple on your chin …
… or is over 50. Masks are actually only stupid for the young, very pretty people!
Is “55” a Corona album?
No, I started with in November 2019, and that went into the first lockdown. Then in February we thought that the virus and the world didn’t sound good at all, but we celebrated my mother’s 85th birthday in a large group with many older people.
Touch and closeness and crowds seem quite unreal now …
Yes, madness, isn’t it? How we adapted that. Now when I see a film from the “pre-Corona period”, I mean: “Hey, you can’t do that, don’t get that close!” That worries me a little that we will literally adopt a different stance.
Let’s talk about something else: “smoking”!
With pleasure. Even if the song is not supposed to be a glorification of the cigarette – I know what I’m talking about! The non-smoking law worked completely for me: I first smoked less, then not at all and ended up being a pleasure smoker. But I think those smoking years through puberty and the twenties and thirties had a certain smoking culture. That means I always hung out with the smokers – if I had never smoked my life would have been very different. Different people, different stories.
Anyway, the smokers were outside or in the back …
… always in the back of the plane, at some point in restaurants too. And while the non-smokers in the front area had long since returned home, the smokers in the back only started to eat and continued to smoke without consideration. The smokers were always the last and it was always louder and livelier. Perhaps because they already knew that they weren’t going to get as old as the non-smokers, and therefore step on the gas. But it was worst on the plane. When we flew long haul and had a nice sit with the non-smokers and only went back to smoke. And when the train came, you looked for the wagon with the cigarette on it …
… today you pay attention to the wagon with the bike …
… and is thrown out anyway.
Are you actually happy that we still have “mother” as chancellor?
Yes, in any case! Just imagine if not! I used to think that only fat, tall men who make drowsy speeches could become chancellors. Like Helmut Kohl. I am a little afraid of what will come after Angela Merkel. As an emancipated woman, I feel a bit queasy when I think about the next election. For me, both Friedrich Merz and Markus Söder are a step back from where we are already.
Who would you want
I would want Ursula von der Leyen, she did so much right. But that’s what Europe is doing now. I find her smart and level-headed, and thanks to her many children, she is up to the ravages of time. So she also knows what moves young people. Plus: She is a woman and she speaks umpteen foreign languages. But it’s not coming back, is it?
I don’t think she’ll run here again, especially when you realize how badly you’re treated in the office of Chancellor.
Right. Oh, I hope that women are even more confident in their positions to network and pull the strings like men do.
We are constantly learning.
Yes, and I’m curious to see how the two of us will look back on the present in our next conversation. Will everything be back to normal then?
Sabine Oelmann spoke to Ina Müller
The Tour Ina Müller & Band starts on January 2, 2022 in the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and ends on
December 4, 2022 in Fulda