- Plattenkiste - 20080612 - Grobschnitt Part 2


On June the 5th, I am starting a series of shows concentrating on the German bandEroc Grobschnitt. Part of this will be a three-hour interview that I had with Eroc. Eroc was Drummer and creative Mastermind of Grobschnitt from the beginning in 1970 untill 1983. In 1983 he left the band at a time when he had achieved everything he wished for as a performing Artist. Since his departure from Grobschnitt he is concentrating on the technicial aspects as a successfull producer in the eighties and since the nineties as a high profile expert for mastering. He remains as one of the most reputed protagonists of the German and the international musicscene and I regard myself very fortunate for the opportunity to have this long and in depth conversation about his career in general and Grobschnitt in particular.

So join me for this exceptional month-long series of shows about the most unique and wonderfull among all the German bands and come to know one of the most gifted musicians ever to come out of Germany.


Grobschnitt

Original Grobschnitt
To the left, the historic picture of the original Kapelle Eliah Grobschnitt from 1916.


Grobschnitt was a German rock band which existed between 1970 and 1989. Their style evolved as time progressed, beginning with psychedelic rock in the early 1970s before transitioning into symphonic progressive rock, NDW and finally pop rock in the mid-1980s. Grobschnitt, unlike other bands, utilized humor in their music in the form of unexpected noises and silly lyrics and concepts.

As was common with many German bands of the time, Grobschnitt sang in English until the early 1980s, despite touring exclusively in Germany. The band accrued a loyal fan base through its live performances which included pyrotechnics and German comedic sketches. Highlight performances include Solar Music, an extended mostly-instrumental piece which lasted up to an hour. Grobschnitt were also known for their stamina on stage, frequently performing shows in excess of two hours.


1970s

Grobschnitt formed in 1970 from the ashes of The Crew, a psychedelic rock band led by drummer Eroc (Joachim Ehrig). Originally an eight-piece band, Grobschnitt released their self-titled album on Brain in 1972 before paring down into their standard five-piece unit. Their first record differs much from their more recognized symphonic sound.

Ballermann, released in 1974, featured new classically-trained keyboardist Mist (Volker Kahrs). Released as a double-album, Ballermann featured humor and silly songs which followed from their entertaining live shows. The second record contains the first released version of "Solar Music", an extended instrumental suite which originated from The Crew in the late 1960s. "Solar Music" would see frequent performances throughout the band's career as well as being released in two more versions during the band's existence.

By 1975, Wolfgang "Popo" Jäger joined Grobschnitt as a bassist and the group released Jumbo. Jumbo fully realized the symphonic style the band had developed, featuring lush keyboard usage. 1977 saw the release of Rockpommel's Land after a German lyric release of Jumbo in 1976. Rockpommel's Land would prove to be Grobschnitt's first success, sales-wise, despite the waning appeal of progressive rock.

Grobschnitt live 1Solar Music Live, released in 1978, consists of a longer version of the "Solar Music" suite first revealed on Ballermann. Solar Music Live also succeeded in good record sales.

By 1979 Grobschnitt moved towards shorter song-oriented releases. Merry-Go-Round would be Grobschnitt's last release during the 1970s. Songs within contained humor critical of current music trends (disco), commercialism and America.


1980s

Grobschnitt released another live album, Volle Molle, in 1980, documenting the recent Merry-Go-Round tour. Popo was soon replaced by Milla Kapolke, before recording the Illegal album in 1981. The subsequent Illegal tour was highly successful.

Keyboardist Mist left Grobschnitt before the 1982 recording of Razzia, a NDW-influenced album. Toni Moff Mollo, a friend of Eroc and long-time performer in live shows, was promoted to full member. Grobschnitt's single from Razzia, "Wir wollen leben" ("We Want to Live"), remains a minor footnote in NDW history and proved to be the band's last success.

Eroc left Grobschnitt by June of 1983, leaving Lupo as band leader. In 1984 Grobschnitt released Kinder und Narren, sporting a distinctly 80s sound with the help of the DX7 synthesizer. Grobschnitt, having abandoned "Solar Music" for several years released a new live version in 1985, Sonnentanz. Fantasten followed in 1987.

After Eroc's departure members of Grobschnitt became more transient, many of whom came from the NDW band Extrabreit. Eventually, with the release of Last Party Live in 1989 Grobschnitt disbanded.

Personnel
Eroc (Joachim Ehrig)
Lupo (Gerd Otto Kühn)
Mist (Volker Kahrs)
Willi Wildschwein (Stefan Danielak)
Popo (Wolfgang Jäger)
Toni Moff Mollo (Rainer Loskand)
Milla Kapolke
The stage names of the band members often have a meaning: "dung" or "nonsense" (Mist), "wild pig" (Wildschwein). Lupo means "wolf", but in Italian.
Main releases
Grobschnitt (1972)
Ballermann (1974)
Jumbo (1975) (in English)
Jumbo (mit Deutschen Texten) (1976) (in German)
Rockpommel's Land (1977)
Solar Music Live (1978)
Merry-Go-Round (1979)
Volle Molle (1980)
Illegal (1981)
Razzia (1982)
Kinder und Narren (1984)
Sonnentanz (1985)
Fantasten (1987)
Last Party Live (1990)