©  GSI
  1999 - 2009


Michaela Boland:
Robin, during your life you've done a lot of touring. Do you enjoy it in a different way today, to be live on stage, than for example 20 or 30 years ago?
Robin Gibb:
Yes, the difference is that the song catalogue we have these days is very big. We are very proud that we kept filling it over the years. Most of our life we have been composing and we always enjoyed that a lot. We are very proud of what we have achieved. So with this in mind, to be on stage and to sing these songs indeed is something different.
Michaela Boland:
Which were the criteria for you to decide which of all your songs to choose and use during your current tour and which not?
Robin Gibb:
You always have to make sure that there are not too many repeats. There is such a big choice. And of course there are some songs which you prefer to sing above others. And there are also songs that we wrote for other people and that we didn't record ourselves which I'm singing for the first time during these shows. Like for example "Woman in Love" written for Barbra Streisand, "Islands in the Stream", "Emotion" covered by Beyonce and Destiny's Child and made into a worldwide hit, "Heartbreaker", (Dionne Warwick) all songs that we normally would not sing on stage ourselves. Nevertheless these are still our songs. So the question is just how to perform those songs. Therefore each time we prepare for a show we go through the whole catalogue and consider what to do in which way. It's that simple.
Michaela Boland:
Some of the audience missed several songs.
Robin Gibb:
Well, people always want you to sing specific songs. But that would inevitably break through the pattern.
Michaela Boland:
One item in your show is dedicated to a certain DJ. Can you explain?!
Robin Gibb:
Yes, that is a brand new song which has not been released. It is dedicated to Alan Freeman who has been a pioneer DJ in the 60ties. He did pioneer work considering British music and song writing by paving the way for British music in the States, including The Beatles. He was one of the first to bring British music to the USA and has created a platform for it. This is meant to be a tribute to him.
Michaela Boland:
Normally Bee Gees music brightens you up. It makes people feel happy when listening to one of your songs, even if you just have been in a bad mood. What is the secret of this gift being able to give a good feeling to other people?
Robin Gibb:
That is not really a secret. I think what Robert Stigwood our manager once told us when we first returned to England and what we always kept in mind by the way, is the reason. He said, "Write 40 years into the future, write about human emotions!" And we always took that to heart. We always sticked to songs which would mean something to people who even were not born at the time. Everybody can identify themselves with human emotions. That's something which obviously unites all people, young as well as old. It's a part of them, they find themselves in these songs. I think that is the reason, these are the ingredients. Plain and simple: emotion, melody, and human relationships.
Michaela Boland:
Did you ever have an idol yourself?
Robin Gibb:
Roy Orbison. Years later he became a personal friend. He was my first inspiration when I was very young. The first record that I ever bought was one of his songs, "Crying". I was eleven years old and still living in Brisbane. He was just hot and modern at that time.
Michaela Boland:
What has been the most beautiful moment of your career?
Robin Gibb:
Writing songs. We began writing songs when we were eight years old. We were always listening to the radio and the three of us kept challenging each other to write a song that would be played on the radio some day. I really believe that the most beautiful thing in our career was and still is song writing and to be a songwriter. We were never taught how to compose. That has just always been in our heads. Music somehow makes you feel great, it can take you to another place, it just has so much to offer, much more than just words. It simply feels good to be able to write music.
Michaela Boland:
Which job would you have chosen if you would not have started a musical career?
Robin Gibb:
Well maybe carpenter or something like that, no idea. I've really never considered doing something else, because I love what I'm doing. I think I always had fun. I never could have done something just for the money and without really loving it.
Michaela Boland:
To what extent are you interested in any visual arts?
Robin Gibb:
I really like photographic art. Sometimes I'm also interested in painting, but I'm more into photography.
Michaela Boland:
Is it difficult for somebody like you who always writes his own material to understand how pop-stars are created in casting shows nowadays?
Robin Gibb:
I indeed do not quite understand this. I mean these are of course just TV shows. These programmes are very well made, a real show. It has nothing to do with good music, but with good TV entertainment. Ratings, that's what it is about. And that's why it's hard to believe the fact that these people will become stars. No idea if here really is talent involved or not. Conclusion for me is that record companies today are completely different than at the time we started in the music business. If you have gathered a wide range of songs, that is of course fine, but where are the new acts that start their career nowadays, how should they create this wide range that for example people like ourselves, Lennon/McCartney, Abba, Queen or Elton John have? Where are these new acts?
Michaela Boland:
Do you think it will be possible at all to create new bands of this order?
Robin Gibb:
No, not in this industry.
Michaela Boland:
In the early nineties there was a Bee Gees hit with the title: "Ordinary Lives". How ordinary are you living yourself? Could we for instance see you at home planting flower bulbs in your garden?
Robin Gibb:
No, not really. Songs in fact are biographic, but writing them is a bit like acting. You imagine another person in this song, but you do not necessarily render the life that you are leading yourself. I do believe that people like the idea that it's all about yourself, but if you did this, you would break down some day. Of course you just can't be everything you write about, but you can write about feelings which we always liked to do and still do. I believe that in the end it is a matter of converting the imagination into a song.
Michaela Boland:
As President of CISAC, an organisation for protection of world wide copyrights, you recently complained about huge copyright violation in China, Russia, Africa and India and sharply criticized these countries in public. What can in your opinion be done to prevent a worldwide loss of millions in the music industry, because in those countries copyright rules are often broken?
Robin Gibb:
First of all there are not only authors and composers involved, but it worldwide concerns as well designers, screenwriters, authors, in fact creators in general. The point is to protect the copyrights of these people. It involves intellectual property rights. It's terrible when suddenly somebody else owns your work and makes profit of it. And it's a fact that what a creative person produces is also a product, just like a material object. The countries just mentioned, mainly Russia and China, in this regard are not even paying their own people. As far as this is concerned they are on a level the USA, Europe or the UK already were around mid 18th century. Still lots to do and it certainly can't be achieved overnight to establish legal rights for creators in those countries. We first have to create a public consciousness for this problem, especially in these countries. I hope there will be a change. We have to go there and talk about it in these countries.
Michaela Boland:
Just one more question ...
Robin Gibb:
Yes, I'm male, I'm not homosexual. (laughing)
Michaela Boland:
As a pop-star, do you also feel the effects of the current world economy crisis?
Robin Gibb:
Well, as songwriters we are not living on credit actually. And it's all more or less a credit shortage. We are actually paid directly. Only when you borrow, you feel the effects. In this light it's actually a good thing to be in this business.
Michaela Boland:
Thank you so much for this interview and lots of fun during the rest of your German Tour.



Gibb Service International