thie.me | Jens Thieme views and discussions

thie.me | Jens Thieme views and discussions

thie.me | Jens Thieme views and discussions

Willy Vlautin

Deep, low & lovin'

There is nobody these days who impresses me more than Willy Vlautin when it comes to unbiased reflection on the lowest of the low, the outlawed and the broken.

Weeks ago I ran into a radio show when driving home through the Vailais Alps at night about Richmond Fontaine and its lead singer and text writer Willy Vlautin. Ever since I have been listening to their albums, to Vlautin's solo songs and I simply had to buy his books as well - I am obsessed with Vlautin.

The simple honesty and unshaded truth about the unlucky of us, widely referred to as white trash people or worse, the brutal reality visualized in words so powerful they make you scream when reading Vlautin's tales of restless search for sense and humanity in drowned existences, make him an artist of value and a hero for the small people.

Having lived and worked in the Southern U.S. I have seen and experienced what it must be like to walk through life without a lot of hope and on 3 dollars a day if that much.

Vlautin's poetry comes from he simplicity of his words and sounds that do not compete with but compliment the exhausting battle of daily routines without a job, without a clear vision of goals and without a future that excites.

It is the very complicated existences that fail on simple truths, the absence of hope and support, the missing link to the motivating example or role model - the reflection on dull, dusty and rotting dreams, far astray from reality that create this utterly sad romance between failed lives and the solidarity of hopeless stigma that gives way to predictible tragedy in Vlautin's texts, lyrics and songs.

I will keep daydreaming about this other side of earth that hides in shame or screams in pain without us ordinary or blessed people even comprehending the meaning of the pain felt by Vlautin's characters that are as real and as many as broken dreams in our days.

Willy Vlautin

Richmond Fontaine