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30th August 2015: Video shoot above the roofs of Hamburg
After seeing our little trailer for the tour diary, I want to provide you with the first details about the tour: A photo shooting with Franz Schepper took place on 29th August, followed by a video shooting above Hamburg's roofs. The videos for ‘Road Rage Warrior’ and ‘Kaltes Herz’ were shot on 30th August according to the band's style, perfectly illuminated and with a motivated and good-spirited team. No other but FADERHEAD directed it. He also contributed a remix to the current record ‘V – Metal Machine Music’. For the curious: It was shot in Terrace Hill in Hamburg until 10pm.
3rd September 2015: Kick-off in the Netherlands
It took some time to publish this entry online. Why? It's quite simple – we directly drove from Hamburg to the Netherlands for the show in Heerlen on Sunday. Rehearsals lasted until the early morning hours yesterday in order to deliver a good show. After multiple driving hours, we (I'm already saying we because I feel so homely) were received well by the Dutch. The vibes were quite hectic throughout the day because we landed delayed. Landed is actually a wrong word for it since we were transported safely with the nightliner through the night. By the way, the bus has been baptised “whale”, quite fittingly since it's gigantic and black. Everyone has a bunk with curtains that can be drawn. There's also light and an USB-port – a bit of luxury. Back to the show in Heerlen: Over 200 people who rocked along to the new songs diligently got together for the ‘V – Metal Machine Music’ tour start. Yes, not everything went smoothly but hey, that's the way it is when the music is not canned but “handmade”. I asked some people about their opinion, the vibes of the audience were really positive and the support acts JANOSCH MOLDAU and THE RED PAINTINGS were also received well. After one round of loading in, a night shift on the part of the musician front and a drive through the Netherlands to Enschede, we arrived on time this morning.
What can I say about Enschede? I have never seen a venue as beautiful as the Atak and everything is perfectly organised here: If one has a “special wish” it gets immediately fulfilled. Since THE RED PAINTINGS are playing at the moment I cannot say much about the audience's reaction. There are fewer people here than yesterday, though, at least at the moment. This can still change, some don't like the support acts and “skip” those with pleasure. A short video of the tour kick-off is being edited and maybe you'll get a small live-glimpse into how it was like in Heerlen. You can find pics on Instagram, a tiny picture update will follow soon and this is what I want to continue tomorrow. I ask for a bit of patience since we don't always have Wi-Fi and we are all permanently on the run in order to deliver a good show to the visitors, to organise missing things or simply chill on a sofa during a five-minutes-break (this is truly necessary from time to time).
3rd September 2015: Jürgen talks about the tour kick-off in the Netherlands
Beware - this video is in German:
You could already find some pictures from the Netherlands on our Instagram tour diary. To our delight, Jürgen Engler answered some fan questions before the show in Enschede and we could also gather some fan feedback. You can of course also find some impressions from Heerlen in the video.
7th September 2015: Stopover at the dusty Loreley hillsides
As you have probably already noticed on Instagram, our journey led us to my almost-home Deutzen for the NCN (Nocturnal Culture Night) at first. The night-liner was parked, our trailer which we borrowed from the manager was left close to the stage and was unloaded at first. After a few attempts of finding our tour manager in order for him to give us further instructions where the inventory of the trailer belonged to, I found him during a rain shower close to the bus. Our trailer was already unloaded at that time and the merch boxes were soakingly wet. My mood was in the dumps. When the first rays of sunshine came over the NCN grounds, the rain stopped and all things were clarified which everyone needed in their workspace, the sun was also shining inside of me again. I took a walk through the forest nearby the festival grounds, met friends, had nice conversations and watched the DIE KRUPPS performance of course. The performance was way more energetic than in the Netherlands and the audience went along wonderfully and was visibly delighted that Jürgen Engler and his band colleagues had been booked for the festival. Despite icy temperatures and the wish for mulled wine and hot tea, the fans remained enthusiastic and sang along in front of the stage.
After loading in, carrying boxes around and storing them away, we wanted to leave the Leipzig area punctually at 2am at night again in order to arrive at the Loreley on time. Please note that what one wants is not always what one gets. A friendly festival visitor did not only park her car in the opposite direction of the one-way which made the continuation of the journey impossible but also a branch abreast the bus hindered it. It was briefly considered to either push away or roll over the car. Fortunately, the NCN staff helped us out and once again it was the manager Chris who went to the rescue. The announcement on the festival didn't help but sometimes also the moral solidarity counts. Fortunately, a fan of the band came over, a towline was found and thus, the hindering VW Gold was moved back a few metres after one and a half hours. Finally! After a way too short night in the night-liner, we arrived almost on time at the Loreley in order to play at IN EXTREMO's anniversary festival. A quite beautiful location with an amazing view. Only problem: It was quite windy and dry at the beginning and thus one permanently had dust or rests of grass in one's eyes. The DIE KRUPPS performance did not seem to really fit into the festival programme with all the medieval and similar bands and thus, no vibes except for the first few rows came up. That might be partly due to the sound which made the band sound rather faint and small on that day. The end of that day was crowned by another rain shower during loading in the equipment and merch.
You can look at all the pictures of those two days on Instagram.
9th September 2015: A bit of Wombles in Düsseldorf
Do you remember WOMBLES and their songs? I still remember those tiny creatures and that's how everyone felt who was at the spontaneous dinner party of the wonderful Lio in Düsseldorf. More about that later. We arrived in Dortmund very timely and were able to enjoy a wonderful breakfast buffet. With coffee, tea, fresh ginger and even some vegan delicacies (which our tour manager renamed). After a dusty and rainy time at the Loreley, Dortmund's audience gave us a heartfelt welcome and the sound which sounded quite “faint” the day before, was transformed into something loud and growling and made the masses dance. There were some who complained that it was too loud which gave our tech Hank the idea to create ear protection in a tin with the band logo. This creative idea made even band leader Jürgen Engler chuckle. After another night in the night-liner which was quite cold by the way, the FZW allowed the Krupps to polish the sound and rehearse further while the rest was able to enjoy a free day in Dortmund. That meant “into the bath tub” in the hotel for me and get ready for the upcoming dinner in Düsseldorf with Lio, Jürgen Engler, Sabine and Vom Ritchie including gorgeous blonde company. For all those who don't listen to guitar music, Vom is the DIE TOTEN HOSEN drummer. Lio was already happily chopping in the kitchen in order to prepare her summer rolls (super yummy spring rolls).
And while all guests came into Lio's house bit by bit and were having discussions about music and a look at the record collection, the topic WOMBLES came up at some point. By the way, Jürgen Engler has one of their CDs, Vom Ritchie as well and after almost all Wombles songs were sung and many laughs, Vom decided to finally rename himself into “Womble Ritchie”. The night ended at our tour manager's camp who picked up some minor things for the upcoming dates and Jürgen Engler tried to adjust to the improved sound impressions on the coming day. I found the way to our hotel and to my bed quickly. On the following day, I had a short conversation in front of the camera with JANOSCH MOLDAU. His name should ring bells because of his recent record ‘Minor’ which was released in early summer 2015. Before it was time to go in the direction of the FZW I learned thanks to him that one gets the best coffee in Italian ice parlours. It wouldn't be a good tour if we hit the road to Frankfurt on time on that day but this tour episode can be found in the next tour diary entry.
10th September 2015: Cozy club gig in Frankfurt's Nachtleben
I had already announced in the entry before: Our journey to Frankfurt was attached with certain obstacles. DIE KRUPPS rehearsed diligently in Dortmund's FZW and polished the sound and they did that beyond the actual departure time. That this would lead to delays in the end was actually foreseeable. After arriving in Frankfurt, we found ourselves directly amidst a load of trash cans, tiny mice were scattering back into the canalisation and on the other bus side one had to be extremely careful to not be hit by a car while unloading the gear. Be that as it may, the helpers of the Nachtleben and their creeper did a really good job. The bar staff could have been a bit friendlier but that may be due to Frankfurt itself or the Nachtleben's area where they seem to cultivate a gruff tone. While the new shirts were tried on diligently at the merch, the winners of the meet and greet arrived and had to wait a while before they could finally meet their musical heroes after the sound check and dinner. Especially the JANOSCH MOLDAU fans who took pictures with him diligently were quite funny. Here and there one could hear voices that said that he didn't fit the concept of the tour musically. But I disagree since he caters for a soft beginning of the evening between all this guitar-heavy music by DIE KRUPPS and THE RED PAINTINGS which is thundering through the location after him. I would be interested in your feedback about the support bands. Do you like THE RED PAINTINGS and JANOSCH MOLDAU? Or are you critical towards the support bands?
14th September 2015: “We don't sell this CD or it was stolen”
After Frankfurt being weather-wise quite grey on the 8th Sept and being almost knocked down several times while loading in, the Bavarian free state greeted us from its most beautiful side and with radiant sunshine. Quickly grab a coffee backstage, get a hold of the mini-bananas and then off to Saturn with Jürgen Engler in order to sack the DVD section and replace my lost charger. Jürgen looked for crime films, horror films and everything else which the German DVD market had to offer while I was eager to go through the cable clutter in the shelf. End of the trip: A huge DVD haul by Jürgen Engler and replacement for me. Jürgen wanted to know at the end whether the current Krupps record was represented in the local Saturn. After a short search through all musical genres, I approached an expert staff. ‘Metal Machine Music’ could be found in the listening device so it should be purchasable. Or not? The staff member indicated that the market only possessed a “special box” which he couldn't find either and indicated then that the CD wasn't sold after all or that it “was stolen”. Well, who of you from Munich purloined it? (Of course I'm just kidding, I actually think that some trainee misplaced it in some hidden corner.)
Back at the location we were presented with a handcraft hour on tour. While our tour manager and drummer Volker were repairing, drilling and flexing one of the flight cases after a short trip to the DIY market, tech Henrik had a rougher ride: He had to help with the repair of the steel oven by playing human counterweight of the iron bar during flexing. There are pictures on Instagram by the way. Don't do that at home, it could end badly. The show on the evening was visited well by the way and the visitors there could try the new autograph cards. Those who need one, with or without a signature, can approach the merch anytime.
15th September 2015: Between cows and fields in Club Sedel in Lucerne
The journey to Switzerland was coined by a bit of shivering because of customs. At least for my part. Are all papers filled out correctly? Did I really count correctly? Do the article descriptions fit? For all those who are not really familiar with customs and the appertaining papers: The Swiss customs and its controls are quite the worst which one can be involved in when one has to be at a location on time and one doesn't have the time to count several boxes with a few hundred components. Some higher power which granted us sun in Munich was also merciful in this case and catered for a stress-free border control and a safe arrival in Lucerne. The club in which we were to play was surrounded by cows, pastures, trees and a view on a lake. Optically, everything reminded of an old punk shed. The Club Sedel seemed like a kind of a dash of colour with many stickers, colourful posters, paintings on the wall and a kind of punk atmosphere between all the quiet and placid landscape impressions.
As the afternoon went along, it turned out that said club was a prison in the past and that some of my friends had some more or less bad and violent experiences there. Everything remained quiet on our concert evening, and adorably friendly Swiss people gave Die Krupps a heartfelt welcome and sang along diligently. The sound in the lobby was too loud for me so that I was forced to resort to a little trick in order to not leave the place with squeaks in my ears. You can find the fitting sign on the venue door on Instagram. I think that all of us still miss the cows behind the club a bit and would love to stroke them again and enjoy the silence... Pictures of our stopover in Switzerland can be naturally found on Instagram.
15th September 2015: Pavement merch sale and espresso basic class in Bologna
While support act JANOSCH MOLDAU already indicated before departure that he “would completely go mad in Italy” and who made me laugh a lot with that, I was actually looking more forward to the warm weather there. I think Janosch stayed awake half the night only to experience our arrival in Italy. He loves Italy, the coffee, the country and its people and I cannot blame him for going half-mad with joy. I woke up way later than him, stepped drowsily out of the bus and realised that we were in some kind of backyard and that the weather was quite pleasantly warm. A short change from long to short trousers and a look in the club which didn't seem much bigger than my living room. After all the equipment was in the club, the doors remained open and we were not able to come by all the cases. Together with Jürgen Engler and his pretty red-haired friend, JANOSCH MOLDAU and I went to have a look at the city, we walked through the market, tested the Italian Food which was highly anticipated by Janosch and purchased some post cards. I think I have never drunk as much espresso in my whole life as on this day while feeling so relaxed. Back at the venue, the diligent techs had set up everything already and the “living room” was transformed into a concert-compatible spatiality.
This day also meant “we are doing outdoor merch”. The setup, which you could see on Instagram by the way, did resemble pavement sale and flea market. A few beer tent sets were set up directly in front of the venue, illuminated a bit and constructed. Fitted the whole industry and backyard vibes quite well. While I listened to the show from outside, I asked myself at some point why so many cars were stopping and why people were turning the corner. Result of the investigation: A well-frequented swinger club with red lights in Bologna's suburb area was located directly around the corner. We were worried a bit that we wouldn't be able to turn the bus after the end of the show because so many cars were parking there but in the end it all turned out well. Only a camper with truly weird inhabitants barred our way. One didn't get ahead with friendly requests and beside the loud screams of a woman who looked like a sea witch in person, a bellowing dog and her partner with a wild language mix nothing came along until the club staff pleaded insistently to leave the specially blocked parking lots. Thanks again for that! A last stop in Italy led Janosch and I to a bakery where I tried the probably tastiest Italian bakery. And while the bus moved towards Bratislava I looked out of the window for a while and mourned Italy a bit.
18th September 2015: “Hostel” jokes on the way to Bratislava
After the encounter with the scary sea witch in the camper it was time to leave Bologna for Bratislava in the night. Long journey, long route, but it's quite bearable while being asleep. Our driver Christian collected a substitute in Venice and the journey commenced quite swiftly. When I woke up in the noon everyone was already gathered downstairs in the lounge of the nightliner and looked out of the window. There were grass landscapes and what I consider Eastern bloc charm. Not without good reasons did I get the idea the closer we were getting to Bratislava that we'd be abducted in the style of the film ‘Hostel’. Ralf and techie Hank were chiming into my chain of thought and after some minutes the question was raised whether it would occur like in ‘Hostel 1’ or ‘Hostel 2’. Passing a kind of village fair which Marcel and Nils deemed to be our venue and the realisation that one could make a lot of money on village fairs, we arrived at the venue and unloading took place like every day. Of course, there was help and a tiny whoop from our sound tech when he saw the mixer. I granted him that, it seemed to be a truly great tool. I was also asked to help out a bit with the light. Total confusion on my part with all the controllers and buttons but I made it and succeeded in turning on the right lamps for the check in the end.
There weren't that many people at the show but that didn't do harm to the vibes. Those who didn't go to the local village fair or were too drunk celebrated fiercely. A lady apologised to me for being too drunk and wanting to buy a shirt now. Quite cute actually. Some male visitors were that drunk that they threw a cup filled with beer at and accosted Trash, singer of the RED PAINTINGS. He took it easy. At the KRUPPS show I could observe how one visitor fell a couple of times – too many pre-drinks, probably. I think the garlic margarita pizza is stuck in everyone's memory, just like the not booked hotel room for showering. Yes, there was supposed to be a hotel room where we could shower after the show. The emphasis is on “actually” in this case. Our tour manager, Hank and I hit the road to the hotel with our shower gels which was supposed to be around the corner. After a bit of straying in the uninhabited streets of Bratislava and my jokes about ‘Hostel’ and the harvesting of kidneys in bath tubs we really stood in front of a sign with the inscription ‘Hostel Bratislava’ and had to laugh because every cliché was met: Quiet side road, night, dark, lost, tourists... You know what I mean... We looked further, found our hotel but had to realise that we hadn't booked a room and that there wasn't anything unoccupied. Waste of 30 minutes and we headed back to the bus, still unwashed, and hit the road to Vienna finally.
22nd September 2015: Live Clip from Bratislava
For all those who stayed at home or who haven't made it to one of the shows, there is the joint project of Boris and our magical sound guy among all the shaky phone videos: A multi-cam snippet of ‘A Life in A Glass Cage’ and ‘Road Rage Warrior’ with soundboard sound directly from the MMC in Bratislava. Have fun watching: https://youtu.be/RCQZJdTiOKs
23rd September 2015: Swollen legs due to insect bites in Vienna
It would be classic to begin this with ‘Vienna Calling’ but I'll put that aside. You can think about it and I don't mind if you hum it. Okay, I admit I did listen to FALCO on the way to Vienna but that was only due to JANOSCH MOLDAU's superb performance of an Austrian accent and who began to talk about FALCO. No one wanted to listen to my 80s mix on the bus so I somehow entertained myself on the road from Bratislava to Vienna. We arrived to witness sunshine and the unloading of the whole inventory to the Club Szene went by quickly thanks to helping hands. The selling arrangements for the merch were interesting for me incidentally: I had to share a mini counter with the cloakroom guy, Trash from the RED PAINTINGS and JANOSCH MOLDAU. One can come to terms with minimal space but it's not really fun when your own boxes don't fit through the quite slim doors and one has to lift them on breast height over the counter. Especially when the back cracks and one has to contemplate all evening what and how one lifts them and for what one really has to bend over. Ouch, I can only say that. But with deep optimism and some pain killers this evening was also endurable.
From the angle of the merch stall, I could look into the event room which was filled well. Visibly, visibly fuller than in Bratislava. I found the bouncer in front of the backstage in his Hells Angels shirt a bit strange but whatever. The evening went by well, the drummer of the Red Paintings was so drunk after the show that she forgot her insect bites from Bratislava (and her strongly swollen leg) that I wanted to glue her to the table with Gaffa. She didn't find that as amusing as me so I left her. Until today I think that it would have been really funny to tape her there but maybe I'll get the chance again someday. While loading in all our cases into the trailer, the hand truck fell into our hands again which didn't do what it was supposed to do since its first use and which fell apart permanently. Tech Hank made short work of it and made away with it around the corner. Yes, really. He took it around the corner and only one of them returned who was allowed to spend the night on a way too soft mattress in Vienna afterwards and accumulate energy for the day off in Austria.
27th September 2015: Bienvenue a Paris
Before we took off from Vienna to Paris and waved goodbye to the hand truck, we almost had an entire day off in Vienna. The day off welcomed us with short showers but hey, it didn't spoil anyone's mood. Together with the sound tech and tour manager I went across the city to a hair dresser, a Viennese coffee house and eventually back to the bus in order to travel to France. I also continued my postcard search in Vienna and sent Sissi in mini format to those who stayed home. To be honest, I didn't find the postcards with townscapes pretty enough. In Paris it was time to quickly unload, we were located at a kind of main street with numerous music stores in the side streets and the Moulin Rouge as well as numerous sex shops around the corner. The “Divan du Monde” is actually an old theatre and had its charm precisely. A bit aged, old tapestries, a contorted, small staircase, plank floor and a wonderful iron handrail could have told us certainly many stories from the past years but there was somehow little time to lend an ear.
After everyone found out how to type in the Wi-Fi password correctly and Jürgen was provided with proper internet in order to send some files and after everything was set up on stage, I stroke off again with our sound tech and tour manager through the side streets, passing numerous guitar shops, windows which revealed various synthesizers and colourful sex shops to the Moulin Rouge in order to take the obligatory tourist photo. Our sound tech didn't want to leave one of the music shops but had to because otherwise, the show would have fallen through probably. JANOSCH MOLDAU started the show with compensational keyboardist Ludwig like every evening. Followed by an onslaught to his merch stall. Followed by the Red Paintings, DIE Krupps entered the stage finally and made the Parisian crowd dance a lot. Hardcore fan Melli was also there again and engaged keyboardist Ludwig into a conversation about diverse scene bands. I don't think he actually understood whom she was talking about but whatever. He was quite talkative on this evening somehow because another Parisian girl talked to him for a long time.
Paris thought to say goodbye to us with rain and so we left JANOSCH MOLDAU who was complaining about the espresso prices (who also repeated that the espresso didn't taste like the one in Bologna) in the cafe around the corner while the crew was dragging the equipment through the rain. Two factors met that don't really match: rain and the fact that the bus was way too late and which was hindering the traffic besides while parking on the street corner. Janosch stopped complaining about the Parisian espresso and the fact that it was more costly during night time at some point and also loaded his luggage into the bus and went to bed. Exactly like the rest of the “garrison”. Garrison matches it quite well because a short night awaited us on the way to London. In the rain, what else.
More pics of the shooting can be found on Instagram.
Snippets from ‘V – Metal Machine Music’ are on Soundcloud.
German version of the tour diary can be found here.
Written by Josie Leopold (https://www.facebook.com/josieleopold.interviewt) in cooperation with http://www.depechemode.de
Translation by Alex UltraRiot
Pictures by HSW and Josie Leopold