Playlist: HITS magazine

To celebrate the release of our first print issues, here's a playlist featuring all artists involved.

HITS x Berlin

We hosted our very first live gig in Berlin - and this is what it looked like.

Cover The HITS

Our latest video series - covers performed by our favourite acts, exclusively for us.

Video Interview: Scenic Route To Alaska

Melting away in front of Stuttgart's castle, we had a chat about touring, band names, Toy Story and a lot more.

Find us on YouTube!

Visit us on the 'tubes for interviews, exclusive performances and outtakes.

Martin and James StageIt Concert.

Hey guys,

I just got back from a concert. 
It was lovely.
I was wearing my pyjamas.
I sat on a super comfortable couch.
My cat sat next to me.
We had front row seats.

No, I did not have too much Whisky - everything I just wrote is true! :D

My favourite band, Martin and James, did an online show on 
The guys are in Los Angeles right now to record their next album. But since they missed their wonderful fans, they played a little online show. (Ok, I'm not sure if that's the reason, but let's pretend it.)

The show started at 12am (Los Angeles time) but for me it was 8pm - the perfect time to go to a concert / or let the concert come to you.

I think it was very new and a bit strange to watch a concert on the internet because you're sitting at home, singing along and then you start to clap. But nobody actually hears it.. Uhm. Alright.
But I think us fans who were watching found a great way to show the guys we liked it. (*claps* *claps* *applause*) 

Here is the setlist:


I really enjoyed hearing them again and even though it wasn't a real concert it was very special.
The lovely chat afterwards reminded me of the real pre-show chats so it felt really familar. 

That's it for now. If M&J should read this - enjoy your sunbaths and have fun working on the album - we're all very excited to hear it! Thanks for your music, you don't know how much it means to me! :)

To all of you lovely readers - don't forget to check out the giveaway - here. 

x Vanessa.

Card/letter + giveaway.

Hey guys,

yesterday evening I sat on my couch, lights were dimmed, my fairy lights on the floor gave the room a nice christmas feeling, the snow outside made it even more realistic. (Yes, I said snow. Germany apparently decided to dress up for Halloween.) 
Then I brought out my little basket filled with letters and cards I got from (Twitter) friends over the years and remembered what I did last winter: I sent out lots of cards to friends all over the world and it was wonderful! I love love love writing and of course receiving cards and letters. 

I decided to do the same thing again this season of snow.
 Not only because I love writing but also because I think it's a tiny but cute and honest way to thank everyone who helps me out with this blog.

 You know it's very unreal to sit here, write this post, put it online and then get feedback. And getting feedback from you means so much to me. 

With sending you a card/letter I really want to give back what you guys give me. Reading the comments you leave or just seeing the views I get makes me so happy. 

Ok, now here are the details - and only the details, no cheesy words ;-)

  • cards/letters will be send internationally
  • each card will be designed differently/unique
  • you can get a card by leaving a comment on THIS post or any of the contact ways HERE
  • out of all "card receivers" two people will also get a little present (people will be picked out randomly)
Of course I need your address to send you a card, so if you're under 16 please ask your parents for permission. I am not going to post your address anywhere.

You can leave a comment or message me until November 30th. (I know I'm early with this post ;))

I really hope you like this kind of thank you. It would be sooo cool if I could send you a card.

x Vanessa.

Interview: The Arkanes

A day at the beach: the waves crash against the rocks,
the sky colours the water light blue,
people lay in the sun and relax,
children run around and collect sea shells,
couples walk along the beach,
a family takes pictures for the family albums,

and a few people build a house.
A house in the sand.
And as they build it, they talk about things,
things that go on in their lives.
And you are invited to listen to them.

Hey guys,

whoop. It's time for the third part of my interview series. 
And guess what? Yes, I'm very excited to present you the questions and answers. 
Of course I asked the questions - but who answered them?
The Arkanes. Well, actually Chris did, the lead singer. 

The band consists of: 
Chris Pate (vocals + guitar)
 Lee Dummett (bass + background vocals)
 Dylan Cassin (guitar)
 Andy Long (drums)

To describe their music I would use the words rock, great lyrics, great melodies. 

Get to know how they roll in the interview:

house in the sand: Let’s start this interview by talking about your influences: the Beatles, Nirvana and the Foo-Fighters – in which way do they inspire you and your music? Were they the reasons you started making music?

 The Arkanes: Nirvana, or more specifically Kurt Cobain was the reason i got 'into' music, but the reason i started 'playing' was because i loved it. Listening, writing, Playing, the whole lot. I find Its the only way i can express myself, and to be honest its the only thing i am actually good at, other than being an idiot of course. I do stupid things all the time like set myself on fire or get ran over or let Dylan shave his initials into my ass hair and things, so its good to escape from the torture of every day life (lol).

house in the sand:  If you could choose any singer or band to work with – who would it be, and why?

The Arkanes: Definitely Dave Grohl. I know i'm in danger of sounding like a Nirvana freak here, but he is awesome. Drums, bass, guitar, screaming vocals, dressing up as satan, he's got it all musically. PLus i think he would make me laugh til my lungs caved in. I would tell to ease up on the ''Just another...'' Lyric though. He uses that term in pretty much every song, which has to stop. Or Jack White, oooh, i forgot about him. Hes ace too... I cant choose, dont make me choose!!

house in the sand:  I found a quote by John Lennon which kind of is the oppossite of what you like to say. It goes like this: “I always like the studio best, once I got the hang of it and the control. I like it because it’s complete control.”
What do you think about it? You prefer being on stage, don’t you?

The Arkanes: To me there is not drug like being on a stage. Its an addiction that you cant shake. Having hundreds of people chant the words to a song that you wrote 6 months earlier in your bedroom is unbelievable. The studio is great, but its pretty strict. Regimented. Sorry, i will rephrase that.. I AM pretty strict and regimented. I want everything perfect, or better. I am never happy with my vocal takes and i always want to start songs from scratch after we have recorded them. On a stage there are no rules or boundaries. You are free.

house in the sand:  Out of all songs you wrote yet, which one is the one you’re most proud of?

  The Arkanes: There are a couple of songs that i am very proud of for different reasons. 'Skeletons' from our Don't act like you know me EP is great because i really got the message across in the lyrics and said exactly what i wanted to say, to whome i wanted to say it to. I am also proud of a song called W.A.R (Which is on our forth coming album) because it depicts society as we know it today, and makes you question the very meaning of the word 'free'. However My ultimate favourite is a song called 'Nuclear', (also on our up coming album). I wont tell you what it is about though, i want you and your readers to tell me what they think the lyrics mean. Its more interesting that way. 

house in the sand:  You were on tour with Jim Kroft in May. What was that like?
And if you’re going on your own headliner tour – who would you want to open up for you?

The Arkanes: Jim was an amazing character. So Benevolent and full of life. I think we taught him a few things about hanging with the British boys though, especially ones of the Liverpool variety! The Arkanes and the JK crew spent 24 hours a day with each other and we absolutely loved it. Brilliant guys. Especially Ondrej, he was my favourite because he was insane. I would love Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to support Us on tour because theyre cooler than Jack Frost eating ice cubes in Alaska, but i suppose it would be the other way round... for now!

house in the sand:  Since you’re working on new tunes right now I just have to ask you if you can tell us anything about them. What are the songs going to sound like?

The Arkanes: The new material is pretty full on.The new album (Still to be christened with a name) packs more punch than the EP did, a lot more in fact. A critic once described us as "Oasis being punched in the face by Queens of the stone age." I think that says it all really. We are recording it in Liverpool with a guy named Mark wainwright who is an extraordinary producer. He has an uncanny ability to parallel our Live sound with the recordings and make us sound like THE ARKANES, not some half assed wannabe's from the London scene. He also has the patience of a saint. Last time we where in his studio (3 days ago) we got drunk and had a huge band brawl over what songs where going on the album, ''Well at least your passionate.'' Mark said as he cleaned up the broken bottles. Anyway, we have a short list that we are going to record, and then choose the album from there. Your going to love it!

house in the sand:  It’s pretty obvious that you love Liverpool, the city you’re from. Why should everyone go there at least once?

The Arkanes: Liverpool is unbelievable. Such an enchanting place for new arrivals. It is historic in more senses than just music. But I think its the people that make a city what it is. Each city has its own personifications that its citizens seem to adopt. For instance: people from Manchester take on the Gallagher persona, acting like Liam and Noel and getting up to some 'in your face' no good antics. People from Liverpool act like Lennon and Mccartney, and what wasn't to love about those guys?! We love Liverpool with a passion, and we are all huge Liverpool FC fans too, although we're not doing so well at the moment. But like the badge says, "we will never walk alone".

house in the sand:  Please complete the following sentence: We are The Arkanes and we …


house in the sand:  Is there anything else you want the houseinthesand readers to know?

The Arkanes: Only that i am so tired whilst i am writing this and most of it may not make sense, so i apologise in advance for that. Also that we are coming to Germany early next year to promote our new album release, so keep a close eye on our facebook for dates/releases etc. i think thats it??? is it?? Who cares.

Big big thanks to Chris who answered all the questions while being tired. Thank you a lot for helping me taking this blog to the next level,  I owe you something! 

Link party time:

Help me with a click! ;)

Little note: I just want to let you know again that everyone can leave a comment and I'd love you to do that! :)

I hope you enjoyed it, stay tuned for the next interview.

x Vanessa.

Jim Kroft supporting Livingston.

Hey guys,

do you know that feeling when you want to tell the whole world what you experienced but you feel like you can't find the right words?
Well.. that's exactly what I feel like when I think about what happened last night. I went to the Livingston concert in Frankfurt. And to be honest, I didn't know a lot of their songs - now you're probably wondering why I went there then - I tell you why.
Because of the support act - Jim Kroft.
If you know me you know how much he means to me. If you don't ... after this post you will.

I got to know Jim in February. He was supporting Martin and James on their tour. I went to the show in Cologne and actually got to know another great musician Dan Dietrich as well. 
When I first saw him on stage, I did not know how much he was going to change my life. I've been able to see him going his way for eight months now and I am more than proud of him.

It's actually not that hard to describe why he means so much to me. His music is honest, his words are true, his thoughts are deep and inspiring.
But what makes him even more special is the way he cares.

I can't even describe how much he has supported me with this blog and with everything else going on in my life. Not only with his music but also with his words and acts.
There was a time where I wanted to delete this blog because some people where giving me a hard time. I don't know why but for some reason I knew that if I was going to tell Jim what was on my mind it would help me. And it did, because he took time to sent me a wonderful message which still makes me smile. He made me stronger and made me rise above the mean people. Because of him I carried on.

If everyone was like Jim, the world would be a better place.

Coming back to yesterday... it was enchanting.
So when my Mum and I got into the venue the security guys checked my bag, saw my camera and told me that I wasn't allowed to take it with me. (For some reason they did not read the email I sent a month ago telling them I would need my camera for journalistic work(also showed them my press card)).
Well, you can probably imagine how a blogger without a camera feels. At a concert.
I just stood there (before the show started) and really felt horrible. (I guess there is some pressure when you own a blog.. :D)
Anyways, I got the idea to ask the merch guy if he could ask Jim to help me. Of course the merch guy could not leave the merch stand but luckily right after I explained my problem Jim entered the room. Mister merch guy called him over and told me to explain my problem to Jim. (At this point I really want to thank the merch guy for his help. DU bist genial.)
So, Jim came over and first of all asked how we (Mum and I) were doing. Then I explained that the security people took my camera (I know it is their job, I'm not maaad ;)) and before I even could blink Mr Kroft took me with him and helped me to get my camera back (And at this point I have to tell you - his German is brilliant!!!) But the way he helped me was.. wonderful. He said that I was a good friend and that I need my camera back. Like.. a good friend - I still can't believe it. Being friends with a hero .. wow.

Then the show started - the first support act was called "My first band" and heeeell - they rocked. The lead singer had so much energy and danced on stage and just blew me away. Great guys - great band!

So and what comes after the first support act? Right - the second support act which was the great Jim Kroft with his great band.
They rocked from the very first second until the last. They played "See How The Darkness Grows", "Through My Weakness", "I Hope You Know", "Tell Me (where to begin)", "The Great Doomsday Story", "The Jailer" and "Waiting For a Healing". (I hope I got every song.)
The crowd went wild, sang along and really everyone had fun. It was magical.
For the last song he got Paolo from Livingston on stage so they played the song with two drummers - magical, just magical. 
George, Ben, Dan and Ondrej - I salute you.

After Jim was finished we decided to leave front row to make some room for real Livingston fans. I hope someone enjoyed that. :)

At the back we soon spotted the wonderful Mr Kroft talking to fans so we went there as well. So we waited a little bit and then also talked to him. And I really hope you guys won't be mad if I don't share the words he said now because they mean a lot to me and I'd love to keep them.

But what I definitely want to tell you is that he now also got the Jim Kroft bracelet I made. :) Means everyone else who owns one is now wearing the same - yaay. :)

Then my Mum took a picture (actually two) of us and guess what Jim did? Put his hat on my head. That was way too cool. :)

Also I have to mention that Livingston rocked! I'm definitely a fan now and I hope to see them again. :)

So people, you may assume that I had a wonderful evening. That's true. Here are some pictures:

Roadtrrrip. :)

Dear Jim, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart - you are wonderful and thinking about what you've done for me makes me get all teary eyes. I am honoured to call you my friend and it means the world to me.
 I once promised you to never care about what other people think of me again. Now I want you to promise me something - please never ever change the way you are - and never give up doing what you love.

x Vanessa.

As usually - link party time: 
Jim Kroft on Twitter

House In The Sand on Facebook

Update: check out Livingston pranking Jim:

Also check out Jim pranking Livingston:


What's in my concert bag?

Hey guys,

since I'm going to go to the Livingston / Jim Kroft show on Saturday I thought it's time to get back into the concert mood again. The last show I've been to was in August - check out my review here.

So to get back into the famous pre-concert mood (every concert addict understands what I mean) I decided to pack my bag for you guys. I ran around in my room and put all the things I'm gonna take with me to the show together.
Since concerts are always road trips for me (because no freaking artists decides to play near to my hometown. Shame on all you favourite bands of mine. :D ) I have to take a lot of stuff with me. But I leave most of the things I don't need during a concert in the car.

Here are the things I take along:

This is my concert bag. I almost take it with me to every show.

My notebooks. The purple one is my blog-book where I write down thoughts and the other one is for autographs.

Of course I always bring the concert tickets with me. And my purse (for money, press card, and so on)

Depending on the weather - umbrella and/or sunglasses.

Since I took the pictures with my camera this one is my old one just to show you. Usually I take my Canon 1100D with me.


And since I'm a little diva, I'm bringing some bits of make-up with me.

What do you concert addicts take with you? :)

x Vanessa.

All in one.

Hey guys,

happy Sunday. :) 
Can Sundays be happy? Like .. when you know that the next day is Monday? Well...

I am so happy that I finally found time to blog again. It's been way too long since my last post but school took a lot of time. 

Yesterday I finally could take my camera to the horses again and take some great pictures. I am so happy about how they turned out so I'm going to post a few. :)

The views this blog got this month have been breathtaking. So thank you to everyone! :)
To welcome the new readers I want to ask you guys for blogposts. What would you want me to blog about? I had a "how to study" blogpost on my mind but I'm not quiet sure.

Next Sunday I'll finally be able to post another concert review which excites me so much. I'm going to see the lovely Mr Jim Kroft again supporting Livingston. I haven't seen Livingston before so I'm soo so so excited to see/hear them. 

So you better get ready for a review with tons of pictures. :)

I'm also very excited for Taylor Swift's new album - Red. I'm already in love with "I knew you were trouble."  - it's a masterpiece.

And now to the last random thing I need to tell you - there are going to be a few more interviews online within the next weeks. :)))

Ok, now here are the pictures: 

I hope you liked it and please leave some requests for blogposts! :)

x Vanessa.

Interview: Ryan McNeil

Hey guys,

today I am going to release the second part of my interview series. Last week you got to know a lot more about Martin and James. You found out what they say about working together for about 15 years, you found out what they think about each other and their fans. You simply heard a lot about the lives of musicians.

But what goes on behind the scenes? Well, today you will find out. Why? Because I got to interview Ryan McNeil - also known as Ryan the roadie.

house in the sand: So Ryan, Martin and James call you Ryan the Roadie. How would you describe your work?
Ryan: I would say Roadie sums it up pretty well. Basically anything that needs to be done when we are on the road, I try and do. As long as we get to the venue on time and everything runs smoothly with the show then I am happy. It can be anything from taking photogtraphs to doing merchandise or setting up the stage or probably most importantly making sure there is wine in the dressing room.

house in the sand: You spend a lot time with musicians. But what is your connection to music like? Do you play any instruments? What does music mean to you? And what kind of music do you like to listen to? 

Ryan: Music is a massive part of my life, I am a music lover. I play a little guitar, but not very well. I have always loved music since I was young and I have a very broad taste in it. The best thing about being friends with musicians is that I often get to see the creative process they go through when they are writing or working on new ideas, and to see how a song changes and grows over a period of time. 
As I said, I like to listen to a lot of different types of music, but some of my favourite bands are, Love, Fleetwood Mac, Josh Ritter, Tom petty, Modest Mouse....... I could go on all day, and of course Martin and James!

house in the sand: You’ve been working with Martin and James for a very long time now. You met them through school, is that right? How did you guys start to work together? 

Ryan: Yes, we all met at school and we quickly became really good friends from a young age and not much has changed since then.
We used to talk about going on the road together at some point when they managed to get a record deal. I was actually working on a boat in the highlands of Scotland when they moved over to Berlin at first. Then when they were signed to universal, they phoned and asked if I would like to come over and work with them on the road.I jumped at the chance, and the last few years of touring have really been amazing.

house in the sand: I think something every fan would love to know is: what is your favourite Martin and James song?
Ryan: Hmm, This is a really difficult question. I actually have a few that are my favourites. I would say, "Crashing into Love"," Broken sword" and a new one that is fast becoming a favourite is "What I'm searching for".
There are actually so many great songs its hard to pick a favourite.

house in the sand: What is your favourite part of being a roadie?

Ryan: Travelling, music and working with my best friends.

house in the sand: And your least favourite part? 

Ryan: Drives that are longer than 8 hours.

house in the sand: You also spend most of the time in Germany. How do you like it here? Does it feel like a second home to you? Is missing family and friends a big part of your life?

Ryan: I really love Germany, I have just moved into a flat in Berlin and I plan to stay here for a while. Its starting to feel like a proper home to me now and I always feel welcomed by all the people I meet. I do miss friends and family back home, but its only a 2 hour flight back to Scotland, so its never too hard to get back when I need to.

house in the sand: Please complete the following sentence: My name is Ryan McNeil and I …
Ryan: Love living in Germany!

house in the sand: Is there anything else you want the house in the sand readers to know? 

Ryan: Hmm, I think you have pretty much covered everything
.... I would ask the fans to share the youtube videos as much as possible, the more people who hear the music the better!

house in the sand: Ryan, thank you so much for taking time and answering those questions! I hope you had fun and won’t forget about the house in the sand.
Ryan: You’re very welcome, and the site is looking great. Keep up the good work!!

And again, at this point I want to thank Ryan for answering all of my questions and being super wonderful to work with.
I hope you enjoyed!

Thank you for reading! : )

Credits // Text & Questions: Vanessa Jertschewske | Answers: Ryan McNeil | Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske, Ryan McNeil

Tell Me (Where To Begin) - Jim Kroft.

Hey guys,

today's blogpost is totally not planned. :D I just got home and wanted to start preparing tomorrow's post which is the next interview. 

I just wanted to check my Facebook first and what was the first thing that I saw? A new Jim Kroft song. 

What was the first thing I did? Right - press the play button and listen to it.

And what was the second thing? Exactly - hit the replay button multiple times. 
And the third thing? Share it with you! : ) 

The song is called "Tell Me (Where To Begin)" and it is the first single of Jim's new album. 
Jim is also going on tour with Livingston - starting tomorrow. I am more than exciting to see him in 12 days because you all probably know how much he means to me. 

So - here is the most important part of this post - the video: 

I'll go back to preparing the interview for tomorrow. :)
9.30am - Tuesday, 09th October. :)

x Vanessa.