As part of our blog series introducing you to the very talented tutors we’ve secured for our new BIMM Hamburg college, we thought we’d introduce you to Guitar Tutor, Deniz Erarslan. Here we ask Deniz about his experience in the industry, career highlights and what he’s most looking forward to about the launch of BIMM Hamburg.
For more than a decade, Deniz has been the guitarist and co-songwriter of Hamburg-based indie band FOTOS. He’s also toured the world, played major festivals in the US and Japan, and released four critically acclaimed albums. Deniz is also a live and studio session guitarist who has worked with acts including Boy and Clueso. Keep an eye out for him on TV every Monday night too, where he plays as part of the house band on ‘Late Night Berlin’!
So, let’s hear from Deniz…
What inspired you to work in the music industry?
Like many other kids, I was totally attracted by punk music in my teenage years. When my first serious band in the late ‘90s got signed by a record company, I made my first early experiences in the industry. Although we were dropped shortly afterwards (due to our lack of success) I knew I wanted to be a musician for the rest of my life. The travelling is my favourite part of it!
What’s the proudest moment of your career so far?
Touring the United States and Canada with Boy was definitely a highlight of my life as a musician. Playing shows in America is very special and quite unusual for any band from Germany. Another very proud moment was when my indie band FOTOS played in Paris a couple of years ago and Thomas Mars, the singer of French band Phoenix, and his wife, the film director Sofia Coppola, came to see us.
What are you most looking forward to about teaching at BIMM Hamburg?
I’m looking forward to helping young guitar players find their own voice. After almost a decade of making a living as a guitar player and playing in various bands and across many musical genres, I think I can give a bit of advice. I was always drawn to jazz and pop music beyond the mainstream and would love to explore different guitar styles of the past and present with my students.
What advice would you give to music students about to move to Hamburg and begin their studies with us?
I moved to Hamburg 15 years ago because of my band FOTOS, and I definitely don’t want to live anywhere else. I like that it’s a very walkable city. All the great venues are in walking distance, from Reeperbahn’s Mojo and Molotow, to Übel & Gefährlich and Knust.
Who are your favourite guitarists of all time?
George Harrison, Bill Frisell, Johnny Marr and Nels Cline.
Photo credit: Christoph Koestlin