Spotlight – meets Linda Mar (11th May 2021)

Linda Mar (or Linda Marlen Runge, which is her civil name) is truly a multi-talent in performing: Likely, most people know her as Andrea “Anni” Brehme, a role, which she played for five years in the very popular German TV series Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten (“Good Times, Bad Times”). She also acted in a couple of other TV productions. Linda, however, is also a very talented musician. She was part of several band projects, In mid-April, she released her current single, Irgendwann (“Sometimes”). In this Spotlight interview, we talk about all of her artist live – but of course especially about her music. I really loved to learn about Linda Mar in this chat – enjoy! meets Linda Mar

Linda, you did so many things in your life, it is hard to find a good start of the interview. I just take a statement from your website “I like changes, that’s why I have been to a lot of places in this world. Nice ones and shitty ones”. Which are the nicest places you lived in?
Haha okay, that’s a tough one cause yes there were many places and I think if I have to pick a favorite I’d have to pick the one that changed me and my life the most which would definitely be Guadalajara / Mexico. I met my brother there with whom I formed my Band Lejana, I met the coolest and most unique and lovable people there AND Mexicans are my soulmates when it comes to humor. Mine is too dark for most of the Germans.

And, vice versa, do you also want to share some thoughts about the least favorable ones?
In the quote from my website I didn’t only refer to places I lived in or I went to – places can also be on your very inside and the shittiest place I have ever been to was definitely the place where I felt unwanted and like a loser cause I let the opinion of certain people reign the thoughts of how I felt about my very self. That was a pretty shitty (and LONG) period and obviously that lead me to a bunch of shitty places inside and out. Im glad I met the right people who helped me discover peace and freedom within myself. Once you got this, there are no shit places anymore.

You are an actress as well as a musician. On the music side, many people know you from a song, Far Away, which has been recorded as part of a very popular German daily soap, Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten. How was it like for you to combine your talents in that way to a major public?
I honestly didn’t even know that ‘many people’ know me from the Far Away song since we never released it but okay that’s cool! It was a decision to make at first since writers and producers back then had an idea of how the music of my character should sound and I didn’t like what they came up with at first so we all sat down and decided to create something together. I didn’t write Far Away, but the first version of it was in German and was supposed to be more pop than singer songwriter so we decided it would be cooler if Anni could sing in English – good decision since we had a fanclub from people of more than 26 (!!!) countries for that specific love story.
After that the composer Uli Beck and me started writing together for Anni. That also was a good decision cause we stayed friends until today and now we work on my solo music together again. (the term SOLO keeps confusing me by the way. I work together with Uli and other musicians, so actually the term isn’t correct)

At GZSZ, you played Anni Brehme, who is showing another character, Jasmin, her bisexual side. I heard that you got a lot of great feedback about it. Is that still the role people identify you with most?
To be honest I don’t know and I don’t really care where people ‘know me from’, to me it is important that people can identify themselves in whatever I do. The feedback for playing Anni was enormous and I loved it because I wanted to portrait an authentic lesbian woman who treats her sexuality in a healthy and free way and hearing that so many people fell in love with her natural spirit showed me that I reached my goal there. You know when I was a teenager I wasn’t what you’d call “a normal girl”.

My parents divorced on my 13th birthday and after that my brother and me went to live with my mom and life wasn’t easy back then. So I had a lot going on inside of me that I couldn’t let out because even in the early 2000’s it was not supposed as “chique” for a girl to say “I AM NOT FINE” or ‘ “I DON’T WANNA BE LIKE A GIRL SHOULD BE IN YOUR EYES” and i carried a lot of pain around. I didn’t find help in other girls who where like me, cause I was living on a small village and there were no other girls like me so I found help in music, in riot girls from bands or in characters from TV shows that I could identify with – even a total fiction cartoon show on MTV called ‘DARIA’ helped me to feel less lonely.

So when they offered me the part I was like ‘Ok. If you play a lesbian tomboy you’ll go there without compromise and you’ll help girls out there to be a bit cooler with who they are’ and yeah. It worked.

So to cut it short: I absolutely have to problem with people identifying me with Anni still cause I LOVED playing here and obviously a huge part of myself is in her and vice versa.

I guess working for a daily 30 minute TV format is extremely stressful. What did you learn most during that time?
Discipline. I didn’t have a lot of that before I started working there and that’s the truth. I was an irresponsible and never on time f*ck up and since day number 1 on set I knew ‘okay that’s not gonna work here, you gotta get yourself together’ and i am very thankful for that cause being disciplined and being responsable made my life a whole lot better.

Heading back to your music, you lived in several countries. You were born in Marburg, a University town in Germany, later lived in Los Angeles and Mexico. How did that influence your music?
Marburg definitely planted the Rock’n’Roll seed since there were many concerts of – don’t laugh – really cool coverbands. My music taste was always at least ten to twenty years behind so good coverbands- and Marburg had a lot of them (two of them with my uber-talented stepfather on guitar) – played music from the 60’s to the grunge 90’s basically every weekend in some crappy bar or tiny open air festivals, which was my favorite thing to do back then. Also in Marburg, there is the KFZ Club where a lot of good Rock’n’Roll bands used to come and return every year like Mother Tongue and Tito and Tarantula, which I became friends with. So when I went to Los Angeles I already had cool people to hang with.(Oh AND I played in my very first band back then in Marburg when I was 16).

L.A. was a short but intense time with an eye opening experience when it comes to music cause. Oh my God, there are SO many great bands that you get pretty down to earth after one night at some small festival and you feel pretty Wayne’s World like: “i am unworthy, I am unworthy”… From there I went to Guadalajara Mexico and to be honest what’s going on there musically I have never experienced in any other place anywhere in the world. ‘Cause people there knew so much more about music than I when I came there that I felt stupid at first. When some Mexican twenty-something who looks like someone who works in a bank tells you about German Krautrock Bands like GURU GURU – that’s pretty amazing!

So, Mexico made me study Rock’n’Roll history. For real. And it widened my spectrum obviously even more, cause I found out more and more about cool and unknown bands from all over then world. I also found so many, many talented people there because everybody plays an instrument, everybody has at least one band project. And the coolest thing about Mexico and the influence it had on me: It made me trust in what I do. ‘Cause people were so open to me and my “i have three chords and I never sang before but I have those songs” that they started a band with me that is now existing for eleven years and I can honestly say that THIS saved me.

Part of your musical career in Mexico was the band Lejana, you founded with your guitarist Eder Perales. What does Mexico and Mexican music mean to you?
Oops I think I just answered that. Just a little add on about Eder: He became my true brother. From Day Number One we had a connection that we couldn’t describe in words. We both had similar traumas/experiences in our pasts, we both have similar family stuff to struggle with, and we fulfill each others talent in a way that just works. I never know what I do, he always knows what he does. Fantasy meets rationality maybe – we are a German- Mexican Yin and Yang maybe. Gin and Mang? Not always in total balance tho. When it comes to final song decisions we were close to fist fights a couple of times 😉
Oh, and about Mexican Music: Traditional Mexican Music gives me the chills whenever, wherever. Mariachi and Ranchera music immediately set me into a state of trance and meditation and I can literally beam myself to another place within three seconds once the guitar and the guitar and the trumpets start playing.

If somebody wants to get into your music with the band, which Lejana song would you recommend to listen and why?
Two worlds. Cause it sounds like the feeling I had when I first came to Mexico. ‘from now on my way or the highway’…
Then I would continue with Devil cause I just simply love it.

Another band project your are in is Blood & Honey, which you founded with the Irish musician Chris Morrin. What kind of music are you doing in that project?
Blood & Honey unfortunately has been over for like 4 years now- we never split up for real or anything but apparently it is not the right time for us to continue making music.
It was pretty cool folk-indie music based on female/male duets with pretty bittersweet lyrics and instrumentals. I still love the tunes. Maybe one day that album will come 🙂

Of course, we should head to your latest single, Irgendwann. First of all, what did you make to record this song in German?
Irgendwann is a lock-down baby from 2020 like all the other solo songs that will be released. And the lock-down was a pretty awful moment of desperation for all musicians, artists and the crews behind them. I felt so down and so desperate the moment where I grabbed my guitar that I didn’t have the energy to think about lyrics in English, I just started singing in German – cause that’s the language I think in and that felt pretty right and honest.

What is Irgendwann about?
I won’t tell! That’s in the hands (or heads) of the listeners fantasy… The headline could be ‘Irgendwann’ is an Ode to relationships worth fighting for, to your own depression that drags all the energy out of you and that takes you to dangerous walks on the borderline but specially to hope and dreaming cause as long as you keep walking forward – even in tiny baby steps- that’s a progress and progress is good.

The song is released under the name Linda Mar. What can fans expect of Linda Mar in the future? Any plans for an EP or album or a tour?
For now its dropping releases whenever it feels right and if it keeps feeling right we might have an EP by the end of the year- and about touring I’ll speak once touring is allowed again…

Last, but not least: in your “GZSZ” online profile, you state that your favorite holiday destinations are California, Mexico and Eastern Europe. Where will your first holiday trip go to after the Covid-19 lockdown?
Viva Mexico, Cabrones <3


Follow Linda Mar Online



All pictures: artist material. Photographers: Alejandro Torres, Serkan Sevindik in Berlin

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