About Clark Nova

Born on a Sunday morning in late April 1981. Subsequently fitted with all a life on the road needs. Brought up in the uplands and depths of Stölzinger Gebirge, I basically know that it is better to be good to animals: They’ll be there for you and your loved ones when you need them most.

First bands between 1994 and 1997, moldy rehearsal rooms, warm canned beer, gigging in youth clubs, churches, parties, yard sales, … Once participated in a band contest and complained about the jury being biased during prize-givin. So eventually they never invited us back again. (We had won.)

1997-99. First Recordings

I had so many bands and projects piled up that I spent more time sitting in the rehearsal room drinking warm canned beer waiting for musicians to show up than anywhere else. Luckily Timo, multi instrumentalist and a close friend, had a better adherence to schedule and we were in many bands together.

Timo and I started sharing a three bed room apartment with garden. We organised a pretty nice party in that garden once; all I remember is the 5-0 being overly polite (was I standing on the rooftop, endangered to trip?), taxis queuing up in our small street around 3 or 4 in the morning, a little black dog that got stolen by neighbours, and the fact that both of my projects, the cocktail bar and the super-8-film installation were a great success on their own: The cocktail bar for obvious reasons, the super-8 installation instead more to its unexpected qualities as a passable surrogate for the fireworks we totally had obliviated.

We quit most of our band projects, made some money on the side by mending and customising electric guitars, giving workshops to young kids who wanted to form a rock band. And we started our recording project “Supermono”: Two stereo tape decks, and a brand new yamaha 12/4 mixing console (man, were we proud…) were our little lo-fi studio. We were even asked to record other musicians!

Today Timo is a freelance sound guy in Hamburg, Germany, doing both, live events and recorded music. Check out his references on soundguy.de!

As a next step in our development I bought a four track tape recorder and started recording my own ideas and songs.

1999. First performances as Clark Nova

While sitting in a local pub, someone tapped my shoulder, asking whether I was Clark Nova. That rang a bell, as I had written that name on some of the tapes of my four track recordings I had given away occasionally: I had recently become a huge fan of W. S. Burroughs’ novels, especially Naked Lunch, where the protagonist’s typewriter, the Clark Nova, more and more develops a life of its own, ends up giving orders to the writer – quite the contrary of what one would expect.

As the music I was able to record now with the multi track recorder appeared remarkably closer to the tunes I had in mind, I figured this must be an outstandingly able, maybe even independent-minded device. I borrowed the name from Burroughs and the recorder became my Clark Nova.

And when this guy was tapping my shoulder, I answered “Yes, of course.” to the question whether I was Clark. And also did I respond positively to the following booking request for just some days later in his club.

1999 was also the year I met Mirko Köhler aka. Fuse-Empire and Nikki Sudden. They were touring together and it turned out that this was only the first of many beautiful encounters with these two guys. Alas, meanwhile I also have to look back to not only the first but also the – at least in this life – last time shared with Nikki.

Most of the first Clark Nova gigs were together with Mirko from Fuse-Empire and Boris Klabunde and we eventually formed the group “Hunky Dory” which never really made it to any kind of public cognition but nevertheless we had a great time writing and playing songs.

1999/2000/2001. Klabunde & Nova, More Berlin

2001-2004. Novasound Studios, Berlin and Releases

2002/03/04. Johnny Zabala, Clark Nova Five, Entcasht

Gigwise a very intense time. While still actively touring and performing with Klabunde, work with Johnny Zabala intensifies. Sometimes guest musician with J.Z. & The Signs, numerous in-promptu gigs nearly everywhere.

Performances with Nikki once in a while, but also a lot of Baked Beans in his apartment. At times I am quite unsure if I ever had proper meals apart from this during these years. Had discovered a different diet.

2004/05/06. Off to the Coast: Baltic Sea

Love is a powerful thing. In my case it made me move to a remote area that surprisingly had a lot of interesting places and people in store. No reason for regrets, Kiel has almost always been good to me: It still feels special to visit Jörg aka. Prinz Willy, Bambule and of course the seals in the marine institute.

The end of this era seems marked by March 26th, 2006 when I returned from work to find my answering machine full and my girlfriend at that time crying at the kitchen table: Nikki had died.

2006-2012. Virtual Freelance Brain Surgeon

What a new experience: Learned how to meddle with brains without having to open them at all! After having returned to Berlin Actually, I have never really left this position but have managed to install some improvements to the actual surrounding and circumstances so far. Working on that.

2009. Learning Bluegrass

2009-2012. Secret Agents Mäkkelä & Nova