Hamburg – The Gateway to the World for this Rising German Band
These musicians had to wait a bit for success to find them. Since 2007 the Hamburg band “Tonbandgerät” has played indie music with German lyrics – at first just for themselves and a few friends. Then, in 2012 their big break came! The quartet won the much coveted “New Music Award” and since then things have been happening for these four young musicians. They released their debut album “Heute ist für immer” (Today is forever) in 2013, went on tour across Germany and are now preparing for their four-week tour of the United States.
“It took us some time to get used to this success,” songwriter Sophia Poppensieker said. “It is really crazy that so many people can sing along with our songs. And now we get to be German-language ambassadors for the Goethe-Institut in the USA. Unbelievable!” In the first five years of their band’s history they’d only have five or ten people at their concerts. Only last year did the fan numbers grow. And now the band plays in clubs to sold-out crowds.
Sophia and her younger sister Isa, who plays the bass, formed the band in 2007. They immediately started the search for the right voice – and found lead singer Ole Specht on YouTube. Drummer Jakob Sudau joined in 2010. He and the two “Tonbandgerät” sisters knew each other from back in their school days.
The band’s lyrics revolve around their experiences after they left school, love and the positive side of failure. “For us, it’s about being on the road. Sometimes it’s a good thing to not take the regular path,” the songwriter says. They also sing about what they experience together as friends. “Because Ole is singing the lyrics and I’m writing them, it really has to be a joint operation.”
The band didn’t really put a lot of thought into the musical genre they best belong to. “We just did what we felt like doing,” Ole says. In the end, it became German pop. Why? “Pop music is really a broad spectrum. We felt like we had the most freedom there,” Sophia explained. She and her sister had another band before Tonbandgerät, and it played punk!
And why did they call the band “Tonbandgerät?” “A ‘Tonbandgerät’ [tape recorder] saves and preserves emotions and moments,” Ole says. “And that’s what we want to achieve with our songs. We want to keep these moments that we experience alive. And we hope that the concertgoers in the USA make some unforgettable moments of their own.”