By Nicholas Jason Lopez
No mistakes, just happy little accidents.
Wuerzburg, Germany-based punk rock outfit Bob Ross Outfit got their groove on this past August with a skate-friendly cover of Natalie Imbruglia’s 1997 worldwide hit “Torn,” right along with a grainy, VHS-quality music video that pays homage to the iconic original.
Since their 2016 formation, the band – consisting of singer/bass player Lennart Jäger, guitarist Jonas Schweizer and drummer Hannes Höhn – has made their name playing through everything from small clubs to big festivals, all throughout Europe.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Jäger about what they’ve been up to lately and more.
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the band name?
Lennart Jäger – Bob Ross kind of accompanied us in numerous nights. When you got home late from a party or whatnot, his show was always on TV. His soothing voice and calm being always struck me. When it came to finding a name for the band, this idea came up and we totally went for it.
Music Bugle – What directly inspired your single “Don’t Be That”?
Lennart Jäger – A lot of people compare a band to a relationship and there is definitely something to it! “Don’t Be That” deals with all the problems that come with it, all these emotional highs and lows and after all the magic that pushes us to carry on, but I like a more general approach lyric-wise and hope that people can draw the right amount of hope out of this piece!
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Lennart Jäger – All three of us are enjoying listening to all kinds of music, but the lowest common denominator is punk rock. The simplicity and pure energy still gets us every time, especially when it comes to live shows! We love to work in different influences and styles, but will probably always be punk rock at heart.
Music Bugle – What are your three favorite all-time albums?
Lennart Jäger – The Beatles’ ‘Rubber Soul,’ Die Toten Hosen’s ‘Live im Auftrag des Herrn’ and Refused’s ‘The Shape Of Punk To Come.’
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Lennart Jäger – Me personally, it has not affected me too much. I am still working the same job. The band had to stop rehearsing for months. Of course, we had to cancel a bunch of shows, but as we are not making a living from it, other artists were hit way harder.
Music Bugle – Have you been working on any new music?
Lennart Jäger – Usually, our main focus lies on touring as much as possible. Since Covid crushed all these plans, we started to put all our effort into writing new songs. So far, we are super happy how the songs turned out! We’ll keep you posted on upcoming release plans!
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Lennart Jäger – I actually like to randomly wander the streets and observe people from the distance in these situations.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Lennart Jäger – The Smith Street Band is on repeat for quite a while now. Also, Ducking Punches is on turntable pretty often. In the recent past, especially the latest Kali Masi album ‘Laughs.’
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Lennart Jäger – This is a tough one! On the one hand, it never has been easier to reach people worldwide without help by any gatekeepers. On the other hand, it also puts a lot of pressure on artists, always keeping your channels fresh and keeping up the posting frequency. You really need to figure out a healthy compromise, while not losing the focus on why you are doing all this in the first place. In our case, it still is writing music.
Music Bugle – What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received?
Lennart Jäger – To mix Becherovka with Tonic Water!