Knüppelfritze is a german band which is a heavy band. I like them a lot so I was “forced” to interview them and they have was so kind to answer a lot of questions from me in January 2016
Please tell me a little bit history of the group?
-The History or Story of this Band is very complex and a bit complicated. Of course everything starts with friendship. Most of us know each other since highschool and live in the same Town. Joe and Sally (Guitarist and Singer) were playing together in a Band called „Low Budget Kings“. After the Band broke up, they were still making Music together. In 2007 they eventually decided to give it another try. They asked Adrian who had been playing in a Band with Joe before (“What A Day”) and they hooked up with Felix, the drummer of the “Low Budget Kings” and started jamming.
After a short while everyone knew that they were clicking and it became their new project. The y kept rehearsing for a couple of months and came up with a set, which they could present live. The fact that they all had jobs, or where doing other stuff made it hard to play gigs for a lack of time. After two years the drummer Felix decided to split and go for another passion he always had besides making music and moved away.
So there they were looking for a new guy, trying out different drummers – with one of them they ended up playing one gig before he disappeared and broke of contact for some reason. After and before that short period with a drummer they still kept going. Adrian (the bass player) took over on drums and they even kept writing songs at that time. The search for a new guy went on for many months until Joe met a guy, who was a kick-ass drummer and asked him if he was interested in doing their stuff and joining the band.
(After Felix - the first Drummer of the Band - left the Band in 2010 because of a new Job in a different City, Sascha joined the Band as the new Drummer nearly 6 Months later). Joe, who was working as a Sound Engineer and Technician, met Sascha who is working as a professional Drummer/Musician since 2010 on a Concert. Joe was the Drum and Sound Tech for this big Show in a City near Frankfurt and Sascha played Drums at this Show for a Company called „Firedancer GmbH“ (www.firedancer.de). Joe also is the Owner of the Company „Kommune 2010“ which rents Rehearsal Spaces for Bands or Artists. Of course Knüppelfritze has a Rehearsal Space there as well. The Firedancers were also practicing there for some Shows, so they already kind of knew each other. So, in the End they talked for a while and after a short meeting one week later, that included an amazing jamsession with the other guys, Sascha joined the Band and is the Drummer since then.
Please tell me a little about every member in the group right now, age, family, work, interests and something bad about everyone? Earlier bands? Other bands on the side?
Sally is the Singer of the Band. He is 35 years old, has a Girlfriend and they have a Daughter together at the age of 4. He is working in a Skate/Sports and Clothing Store in Frankfurt a.M. Sally is totally interested in Snowboarding, Skateboarding, Longboarding, Surfing and all kinds of Fun Sports. He also is one of the singers of the Band „The Sunshine Conspiracy“. They mainly do Acoustic Stuff and also have a Record out there already. He also was the Singer of „Low Budget Kings“ and works as a professional Studio Speaker for major Brands like HTC and many more.
Adrian is the Bass Player. He is 31 years old and lives kind of on his own. He just finished University and will start to work as a Teacher very soon. He is very interested in Photography and also works as a Professional Photographer on Events, Weddings, Private Shootings and so on. As a rare left handed Bass Player, Adrian also played in several Bands already. He loves Nature, Sport and just enjoys his life. To earn some more money in his downtime, he also works as a technician at a big Event Company called „Satis&Fy“.
Sascha is the Drummer. He is 25 years old and the youngest member of the bunch. He is in a relationship with his girlfriend for a long time now and works as a Professional Drummer/Musician since 2010. He plays Drums, Bass, Guitar and sings for a lot of Bands, Artists or Music Projects. No matter if it’s live on Stage, at TV Shows or in the studio, he is up for everything that has to do with music. Sascha is also interested in all kinds of Sports, Nature and also works as a Fitness and Health Trainer in his down time. For more than five years now, he is the main Drummer for the „Firedancer GmbH“ which is one of the biggest Fire Show Companys of the World. When he is not on Tour with all his Bands, Projects or the Firedancers, he tries to work and practice as much as he can for Knüppelfritze or just jams in the Studio by himself. You can check out his official Facebook site www.facebook.com/saschabaranskyofficial for more information.
I can hear much different influences but mostly hardcore and some RATM, Clawfinger? Favorites from the past?
-Of course we all love Rage against the Machine but this is not our main Influence. Everyone in the Band listens to all kinds of Music and probably everyone has his own favorite. But we all like Oldschool Hardcore Stuff like Biohazard, Downset, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Deftones and so on.
Knuppelfritze are you satisfied with the name? How did it came up? Which is the best bandname you know?
-We are totally satisfied and happy with our name. It’s obvious that it sounds kind of funny or not really serious, but it stays in people’s heads and that’s also very important. We can’t even explain in short sentences how we came up with the name, but it happened at a rehearsal long time ago. Since then everyone is happy with the Band Name and we would never change anything. We don’t think that there is „a best bandname on Earth“. Every name has its own character and that’s what makes all of them unique and individual.
What´s the best thing with playing live?
-The best thing about playing live is the interaction with the fans. We all love to jump into the crowd and rock out with them. It always gives us the feeling, that we are doing the right thing and this fills us up with new energy. It’s very inspiring for us to see and hear the people sing along to our songs. Playing live is just a great feeling and besides making Records, this is what we live for.
And where is best to play? And the worst place?
How is to play this sort of music in Germany right now? Which types of bands do you have concerts together with?
-The Hardcore scene seems to be kind of dead sometimes, but when we play shows, there are mostly a lot of fans. Frankfurt actually has one of the biggest electro and techno scenes of Europe. There are a lot of clubs where they just need a DJ and no Band. But because of this fact, you get the feeling that the people appreciate our music even more. They are so used to either electro stuff or really Deep Tuned Metal Music that our Hardcore Crossover Style with Rap Vocals really seems to speak to them. We play together with all Kinds of Bands. Of course we have friendships with some local bands. For example „Nothings Left“ or „Yesterday I had Roadkill“. The Fact that we practice in Germanys biggest music community and our guitar player is the owner of this place, brings us in contact with bands from all over the world. For example „Thy Art is Murder“ from Australia or even „Stick to your Guns“ from California.
How would you describe your music in three words?
-Hard. Loud. Groove.
What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle ?
-We would not consider ourselves as a Punk Band. Punk surely has also a lot of influence on every person in the band. And of course it’s a Lifestyle that we kind of live as well. So it´s not only a word but it also has no deeper meaning for our Band.
How do you see on downloading, mp3 and that stuff?
-Every member of the band grew up with Vinyl, Cassettes or CDs. Back then it was harder than today to get access to good music and you were kind of something special at school if you had the new Korn Record or whatever. But of course you cannot change the technical revolution anymore. It’s easy and comfortable to put your music to every device you have, but sometimes we wish the old times back. People just don’t have a relation anymore on how hard it is to make a record or a song and put it out. And also they are not used to pay for it anymore. So if they pay, they pay not even one Euro. Brands like ITunes, Spotify, Youtube and all that stuff rule the music industry today. We cannot change that and if you want to spread your music as a band in this age, you have to get along with it. But still vinyl and classic records as a CD are the best.
How is it to live in Germany now? Politically?
-To live in Germany is okay. There will be always people that complain about the Government or Politics. That is also a thing that we can’t really change. We try to say what we think, but most of the time this has not a big effect on anything. We are glad that we have freedom of Speech and can just tell everyone what we think as a band.
Is there any good bands from Germany now? Is the punkscene/hardcorescene big? How is it in your hometown?
-As mentioned in a question above, the Scene seems to be dead sometimes. But we live in a place where it still lives because of all the bands we practice with at this big location. In general we would say that in Germany the scene is actually very big. It all comes to the extreme on the big festivals in Germany like Rock am Ring, Wacken, With Full Force and so on. There are a lot of great bands from Germany. They are not all Hardcore, but they play good music. The best example may be „The Beatsteaks“ or „Rammstein“. But also new, local bands like „Wolfdown“, „ Nothings Left“ or „Veilside“ are great.
What do you know about Sweden?
-Our guitar player joe is married to a Swedish woman. So he actually knows a lot about Sweden and is aware of the culture and traditions. The others are learning from him and his wife. But we all think that Sweden is a great and beautiful country.
Have you heard any good bands from Sweden?
-Yes, we all listen to some Swedish bands sometimes. Such as „In Flames“, „Arch Enemy“, „Soilwork“ or „Meshuggah“.
Your lyrics, who does them and what influences you? Is it easier to do lyrics now or was its easier to do it when you was younger? Never in German?
-Most of the lyrics are written by our singer Sally because he is the main one that sings them. But we all write lyrics at home and of course we share all our ideas in the rehearsals. The influences are different and it always depends on the mood. Everything can be an influence, not only political stuff. We write and play our music also in a Jam and on the fly sometimes. So the Songs and the lyrics just come out of us naturally. We use mostly English Lyrics but we also have German words here and there in our Songs. Writing is still the same, no matter what time you live in. We just write what we think, feel or want to tell to the people.
-Never say never.
Politic and music, does it goes hand in hand? Which is your most political song?
Best political band/artist?
-Rage against the machine.
Do you think that music(lyrics and so on) can change anyones life, I mean people who listens to music?
-Of course ! Just think about yourself while you read that question. And also think about what Lyrics or music changed your life.
Your cover on your CD looks really nice, is it important to have a record cover which shows people which type of music you play? Your favorite recordcover? Who does your covers? And do you have any good recordstores in your hometown?
-We think, that a recordcover should just speak out for the band. You can play hardcore or metal and also have a minion or whatever as a recordcover if this is your style. Everyone in the band probably has his own favorite recordcover and we don’t have one specific as a whole Band. The photo for our cover was taken by Adrian our bassplayer, who also did almost all the pictures of the band and the whole layout of the album. Our drummer Sascha painted the bandlogo and all the scripts of the Album. We still have good record stores around, but we can’t name any specific one.
Is it important to get out physical records of your stuff? Why or why not?
-We think that it’s still very important. It’s good that the people can hold something in their hand which is a piece or art from the band. Also we do everything by ourselves and it is just a part of the game for us, to give „a real record“ as a CD or Album Package to the people. It would be kind of sad if the people only download our stuff. There are also a lot of people who just have a lot of CDs in their car that they listen to. Not everyone has a USB drive in his car yet ;)
Please tell me a funny thing which have happened during your career and under some gig?
-Our album release show was pretty special. We planned it for months and started to build the stage a few days earlier. We had everything ready for the show and when it finally started, all hell broke loose. The whole power of the concert room went out during the first song. After we fixed it, the guitar amp broke down two songs later. The next song a string was ripped off the guitar. We had multiple technical problems and then even the Head of the Kick Drum was completely crushed almost at the end of the concert. It was the most chaotic Show we ever had and we will never forget this. But our fans were still there having a big party and we went through all of this with them together. Of course there are so many funny stories we could tell, but funny stuff happens to us almost every week. The Recording in the Studio was also very funny. You can check out some videos on our Youtube channel. We try to bring out a whole DVD of the best bandmoments so far very soon.
How does your audience look like? Which people do you miss on your concerts? Which is the biggest band you ever have played together with?
-The audience looks different all the time. It depends on where you play. Most of them are into hardcore music and also look like that. We don’t miss a specific kind of people. So far we haven’t played with popular bands. As mentioned we are friends with „Thy art is murder“ from Australia because they recorded their video at Kommune 2010. We hang with them for almost one week but never played a show with them. Our drummer Sascha shared the stage as a professional musician with a lot of „Famous Bands“. For example „Manfed Mans Earthband“ or „Tokyo“. But in our studio of Kommune 2010 we got in Contact with a lot of famous musicians and bands so far.
Please rank your five favoriterecords, five favoriteconcerts and five most important things in life?
-The five most important things in life are Health, Family, Friends, Music and Having Fun enjoying your Life. And of course our Band ;)
Top 5 Records:
1. Korn - Follow the Leader
2. Limp Bizkit - Three Dollar Bill y’all
3. Slipknot - Self titled Album
4. Pantera - Cowboys from Hell
5. Knüppelfritze - Bang your Head
Top 5 Concerts:
1. Limp Bizkit - Woodstock 99
2. Korn - Woodstock 99
3. Pantera - Monsters of Rock
4. Slipknot - Disaterpieces DVD live in London
5. Foo Fighters – live at wembley
Is it boring with interviews? Is it much interviews?
-We had not a lot of interviews so far. Most of the time we just answer questions from people that talk to us our send us a mail with their questions. It is not boring for us. It is interesting what people want to know from us sometimes.
If you could choose five bands from the past and the history and nowadays and both dead and living bands to have a concert together with your band. Which five have you been chosen?
2. Rage against the machine
4. Limp bizkit
Is music a good way to get out frustration and become a nicer person outside the music?
-Yes, for sure !
Which is the most odd question you ever have got in an interview?
-This question ;)
Which is the question you want to have but you never get. Please ask it and answer it?
-Would you like to headline Wacken Open Air this year ? The answer would be “Yes” ;)
Futureplans for the band?
-Rule the world and have fun while doing it !
-Having a good life, be healthy and never stop playing music.
Something to add?