Legendary rock bands often prove to be extremely long-lived. This is also true for the German krautrock-prog-anarchist troupe Grobschnitt. Not only did they resurrect as a trio in 2019 under the name Grobschnitt Acoustic Party after their second breakup in 2012 - now they're also celebrating a whopping five decades of band history with a big exhibition in their hometown of Hagen and three birthday videos on their homepage. In an interview with the three founding members Lupo, Eroc and Willi Wildschwein we talked about the genesis of the band and their name, their musical development, their extraordinary shows and their most famous composition
Their albums "Rockpommel's Land" (1977) and "Solar Music - Live" (1978) are legend. Not only did they bring Zappaesque improvisational madness to German rock music and celebrate progressive moments of glory, their concerts lasting several hours were also spacey jam sessions, theatre-like performances and pure pyromania all in one. Grobschnitt emerged in 1971 from the school band Charing Cross. With the departure of keyboarder Mist and drummer Eroc the golden era of the band ended in 1982/83, in 1989 the "Last Party" tour was the end for the time being. Eroc's lovingly compiled archive recordings series "Die Grobschnitt Story" (1994-2010) and a cross-generational Grobschnitt formation consisting of Willi Wildschwein and sons of various band members, among others, which was active from 2007 to 2012, however, showed that this chapter was far from closed for the musicians. Since then, all albums have been re-released in remastered versions, plus the box set "Solar Movie" - and since 2019, Lupo, Willi Wildschwein and his son Nuki are back on the road as Grobschnitt Acoustic Party on German stages.
eclipsed: Already in The Crew you were three main players together - has this time welded you together until today?
Lupo, Eroc and Willi Wild Boar: Yes, yes, yes. Definitely yes. (shared laughter)
Eroc: Lupo and I had already been bench neighbours at school. At that time there were simply no better guitarists and singers in Hagen than Lupo and Willi. When The Crew was disbanded, the three of us wanted to continue together.
Lupo: From 1966 to 69 we played through all the hits as a beat group. That became more and more hippie and wild. In 1970 I formed Charing Cross and the three of us took a short group dynamic break.
eclipsed: With "Suntrip" you already had an original version of "Solar Music" in your program at Charing Cross. To what extent did it differ from later versions, and do you still remember where the idea for it came from?
Lupo: The D minor theme is the origin of "Solar Music", which every Grobschnitt fan recognizes immediately. I already played this theme during an improvisation in 1968 during the Crew time and of course also at Charing Cross still in the first triple formation with Felix and Baer.
eclipsed: Charing Cross then became the band Elias Grobschnitt. What was it that made you choose this name back then?
Wild Boar: We were simply blown away by this picture of our light man Toni Moff Mollo from 1916, on which soldiers of the first world war pose with the simplest self-made instruments
Eroc: This inventive spirit reminded us of us.
Wildschwein: After the cancellation of "Kapelle Elias" we were at least able to get the name Grobschnitt accepted by the record company when signing the contract for the first album. (laughs)