Between Krautrock, Prog and German poetry. It bordered on a small miracle: After almost a quarter of a century, the Kraut and Prog pioneers of HOELDERLIN reunited in December 2005 and celebrated their stage comeback with a concert at WDR's "Rockpalast" in Bonn's Harmonie. Now the concert recording "Live At Rockpalast 2005" has been released on CD and DVD. We talked to longtime bass player Hans Bäär (real name Hans Maahn, brother of Wolf Maahn), who joined Hoelderlin in 1975, about the comeback and the development of the band.
Since the release of their debut "Hölderlins Traum", which came out in 1972 on Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser's Pilz label, the band had built up a truly legendary reputation. The reissue of this debut work will be available on CD from 24 September, remastered at Dierks Studios [review to follow in eclipsed 11/21, note]. It all began in 1970, when a group of young musicians in Wuppertal started to cross folk with progressive krautrock and psychedelic, also using cello and flute. The German lyrics of the debut came mainly from guitarist Christian von Grumbkow and bassist Peter Käseberg, who were heavily inspired by the poems of Friedrich Hölderlin, to whom the band owed its name. Later it developed more in the direction of progressive rock before disappearing from the scene for a long time in 1981.
eclipsed: Why did it actually take so long to release your comeback concert on CD and DVD?
Hans Bäär: The request came out of the blue. We haven't performed as a band since 2010. The WDR had broadcasted the concert twice, but never in full length.
eclipsed: Was the recording edited once again with new technology?
Baer: Not as far as I know
eclipsed: Can you still remember how the song selection for the concert went back then? Were there other songs on the list, which were then sorted out during the rehearsals? And what is your personal favourite song on "Live At Rockpalast 2005"?
Bäär: We wanted to draw a bow over all albums, with "Rare Bird" also play a song that we had never performed live. From my point of view, "Rare Bird" is Joachim von Grumbkow's masterpiece. When Ann-Yi [Eötvös, singer, note] joined us, it made sense to play a song from "Hölderlin's Dream" as well. That's why we chose "Were We." "Schwebebahn" and "Sun Rays" were set from the beginning anyway, since they were our opener and finale, respectively, for years. The rest came up during the rehearsals. Everyone involved should get enough freedom. "Sun Rays" got a new, special depth by a harmonic trick of Andreas [Hirschmann, keyboarder and singer, note] in my opinion.