Rocking it German style

Musical musing

Rocking it German style

German pop band Mateo has been steadily rising in popularity since they started out and were recently voted as one of the best young bands in the German pop tableau by the German Music Council.

With a quintessential mix of pop, rock and soul combined with elements of jazz they have created a unique soundscape which resonates with audiences across Europe. Mateo’s songs about love, desire, friendships, and basically life and nature have garnered them a major fan following. Instrumentally bringing in the saxophone into the mix always sets you apart from the hard-core pop genre. 

Starting out in 2008, Mateo has performed routinely at festivals across Germany and Europe. The line-up for the band includes Jan-Philipp Schneider on vocals and keyboard, Alexander Henke on guitars, Steve Kuhnen on saxophone, Bernhard Stiehle on bass and Friedrich Steinke on drums.

They met and started off as a school band in 2006 and continue to perform together. Taking about the early days, saxophonist Steve says, “To make and create pop songs together was the goal of the band when we started and now after playing for eight years together and it is still fun.” Jan-Philipp, the pianist adds, “It is a struggle every day.

In a band of five each one has his own impression and wish. Finding the best musical and economical solution for the band is hard. But staying together as friends, we are connected to each other and that is the foundation.”

Although the band sings in German, they manage to connect with the audiences through their music. The raw palpable energy they bring to their performances gets the audience completely involved. The tracks which are sometimes deep and sometimes emotional are always entertaining.

The fact that they explain their tracks to non-German audiences also helps a great deal. Talking about the some of their best performances the band agrees that “Inat Sziget Festibal, one of the biggest festivals in Europe, was among our best performances.”

Mateo recently concluded a whirlwind South Asia tour with the Goethe Institute. Speaking about the experience after a performance in Bengaluru, the band says, “This is a totally new impression for us. The warm atmosphere, the people are right there from the first second. This is different.

In Germany, you need three-four songs for getting the audience. Here you need just three-four seconds. We feel more than welcome.”

The band will soon record a new album, which is set for release in April next year. They obliviously prefer to perform live as Steve explains, “On stage we like interacting with the audience, singing and dancing with them. In the studio you have to concentrate on your sound — that is exhausting.”
Talking about the new found success Mateo attributes it philosophically to “hard work and sometimes luck.”

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