Introducing: Hendrik Otremba

Musician and author Hendrik Otremba is the first to host our Books and Bowle event series, a fun evening with good stories, great talks and of course delicious drinks. We had a little talk with him about his inspiration, vision and evening plans.

Please introduce yourself

My name is Hendrik Otremba and tomorrow I’ll turn 35 years old. I was born in Ruhrgebiet-area and live in Berlin since a couple of years now. I’m the singer of a band called Messer and sometimes I paint pictures. I work as a teacher for creative writing at a Fachhochschule. I published two novels. I’d like to have a cat.

When and why did you start writing?

When I was (more or less) able to write more than five words in a row. It was a detective novel, but I got out of power and interest after the detective entered his bureau, where he threw his hat on the floor and scared a spider. I continued writing this novel about 25 years later and it became my first book. Meanwhile I have written as a scientist, a journalist, wrote poems, lyrics, essays and things I’ll never talk about.

Who inspires you on a personal and a professional level?

Scott Walker. Tarkowski. Bolaño. My friends. And I don’t see any difference between a personal and a professional level.

Some people might want to know where people see themselves in 5 years. But considering the topic of your book we’d rather like to know: Where will future Hendrik be today, 50 years from now. What do you think?

I hope that 50 years from now on this planet will be a place where people are able to live. Then I’ll be driving around in an old rusty transporter until I slowly disappear.

Where do we find you on a Saturday night?

While I’m answering this question the next Saturday is tomorrow, sept. 21st – my 35th birthday. In the evening I will read from my book Kachelbads Erbe to some young booksellers that have a gathering this weekend, after that I’ll probably go home and to bed because my week until now already had some heavy aspects of weekend-behaviour.

What’s the craziest thing that ever happened to you?

Most of the things that happen to me feel crazy in a way, so this one is a little hard to answer. I’m driving home from a trip to Vienna right now, where I was reading from my book at Literaturhaus Wien. I was visiting some friends and stayed for a couple of days. I made some new friends as well. The other day I went to a recordstore in the 7th district called Substance and talked to some Peter Brötzmann- and Scott Walker-experts and suddenly the world seemed so small and connected to me. Feeling like a stranger to the world most of the time and then suddenly meeting people you have such a strong connection with is a crazy thing.


Thank you! If you'd like to get to know Hendrik and have a look into his new book 'Kachelbads Erbe', swing by at our Books and Bowle lectures in Hamburg or Dusseldorf.

Picture Credit: Kat Kaufmann