A power-packed gig

A power-packed gig

Mateo’, the German pop band, proved that music mattered beyond lyrics through their 90-minute set at Max Mueller Bhavan recently.

‘Mateo’ enticed a music-loving audience through German lyrics, with universal themes, powerful notes, rich harmonies and soothing chords. Though there was an introduction for a few songs in English by the vocalist and keyboardist, Jan Philipp Scheneider, listeners were touched by their songs. 

The line-up included Alexander Henke on guitars, Steve Kuhen on saxophone, Bernhard Stiehle on bass and Friedrich Steinke on drums who performed original compositions like ‘Favourite Songs’, ‘I Walk’ and culminated with ‘Zonna’ or the sun.

“It’s emotional and traditional for us to play ‘Zonna’ at every gig, which mainly describes the birth of something new and enriching,” said Friedrich.

 ‘Mateo’s’ songs described the beautiful everydayness of life through evergreen beats such as, ‘I Walk’, which described the situation of a workaholic who quits a materialistic life and walks off to live by the meadows. The band’s motive was mainly to communicate through emotional, heavy music as their line-up mainly consisted of strong, pop bass blues that flew in with rich saxophone strains from time to time.  

In an interaction with Metrolife, Friedrich said that most of their songs are penned by their singer who derives inspiration from routines like love, friendship and chaos.
“Later on, we get together as a band about thrice a week, change chords and create harmonies.” 

 As it was the band’s first visit to the City, Steve described his new experiences such as travelling in autos, meandering through the traffic, shopping at Commercial Street and visiting temples as “fun and different from the way life in Berlin” while Friedrich praised the colours and the cultural diversity that he is exposed to.   

‘Mateo’ was formed out of school friendship between six boys in 2008. The band has travelled to Paris, Luxemberg and Islamabad for different performances and cite their best gig as the one in Berlin, where they performed in front of 7,000 students. They were voted as one of the best young bands in the German pop tableau in 2013.

The band is looking forward to their week-long stay in India, where they will be travelling to Pune, Trivandrum and Chennai.   Despite the large, looming music legacy that Germany is known for, the band mainly draws inspiration from young, pop-culture influences like ‘Coldplay’, ‘Muse’ and John Mayer.

Commenting on the state of music in Germany, Steve rues that earning a living through music is difficult due to the numerous up-and-coming bands and a drastic decline of live music.

However, the band is optimistic as Friedrich said, “It’s dangerous to see music like a job and it’s important to play together and keep in mind why we’re playing and what we want to communicate.” Nonplussed when asked about what music meant to him, he says, “If music works for someone, it is the best job that they can have.”

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