35 Years - The Secret Life of JÜRGEN SCHWEIGHART
BLINDGÄNGER - THE BEGINNING
My first musical project with the band BLINDGÄNGER that spawned an EP called "Rabenschwarz" from 1981
has lately been put on CD, but to put it mildly: the quality of the tapes weren't up for CD Standard. So we will
remember them more by their (our) tremendous exciting energy and creativity than the recordings. Here I
want to thank Upstart, our producer and the band Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle for our kick start and support.
Jochen Hägle, Georg Huber, Rainer Schober, Mani Elfinger and Jürgen Schweighart.
Jochen and Georg played later on my solo cassettes. Georg became the German Brian ENO as Zeitbloom, working internationally
with people like Fred Frith, Einstürzende Neubauten and Yoko Ono respectively and currantly lives in Berlin.
V2 SCHNEIDER SOLO
It all started in 1979 when the punk scene was in full bloom and we, the youthful dilletants believed that changing
the world included a hit on a cooking pot, some weird strumming of a distorted acoustic guitar or screaming from
the top of the lungs. We were anti Art, but Dadaists, hated politics but were political, anti-pretty but extremely
vain, anti-Rock and anti-conformist.
Nevertheless we still had our roots based in 60's Rock`n Roll and Kraftwerk somehow, believing that Bowie`s
HEROES was the most important album ever. Hence, the little pseudoneum of V2 Schneider - thank you David!
A little later ( in 1980) we even dared to form a band, recording the fruits of our ecstasies, touring the whole
south of Germany as the BLINDGÄNGER producing tapes and even a single Vinyl record, as if Pink Floyd had never
happened....Well, we didn`t sell that much...
We held on to our own heroes, some of them still recording and of major cult status. We are talking about the
Cure,Ultravox, Pistols, ENO, Siouxsie, Costello, Wire, Roy Harper, Fripp and Peter Hammill. But we were neither
Punk nor Goth. We needed our daytime jobs and used all our free time to hang out in clubs, concerts and our humble
music rooms, located in local caverns and basements or even up in a tower. Touring was tough as was the recording.
Our tapes sounded better than the polished vinyl later on. We had a sound technician that had no idea what we were
looking for. The tapes got nice reviews but the EP flopped. Now its presumed Cult and hard to get.
We regrouped to SOVETSKOE FOTO but soon I got tired of working within a band.
When I went solo in 1981 people thought I’ve totally lost it. But I did realise that I could work much better alone
without the chaotic group energy and concentrated on my miniature pieces, bringing in guest musicians once in a
while for good measure, like Dagi Bernhard, Walter Sterr, Georg and Jochen. I still shared the practicing room up
in the tower (now a museum in Rosenheim) with Sovetskoe Foto.
Sometimes I played Drums, Keyboards, Bass and Trumpet all in one Song, recording 4 tracks each in one take onto
reel, finishing off by putting vocals on top of it, improvising the lyrics as I went on. Now, 20 years on, I am most
astonished as to what the hell I was raving about and why was I singing it? By the way – all that music is still in its
original version on 4 track reel and I cannot transfer it, bummer!
The late eighties found me in San Francisco/California USA, where I spent some time making a different kind of music. The scene has changed and so has thechnology. Now you got synthesizers that responded
with the push of a button. No more KORG sequencer cable wires and way too much wasted time putting the gear
together, no more damp basements or towers like we had as Blindgänger. My music tended to become more
orchestral and poetic and at times even ethno or house. Not so much new age but than it was the soundtrack to
a different time. I even jammed with drummers from Santana in L.A., connected with the Thomas Dolby Clan and
met numerous musicians. I even jammed with an Opera Singer! At one point I wrote the title song to a TV show
and played live in small venues. It was in 1998 when I started to digitalize the old V2 Schneider Tapes and it got
me very excited. But it took 5 more years to get it published...
...when Franck Punk of “Was Soll Das Schallplatten”, a “Fan” of my old cassettes dared to contact me to do some
“Fuzzing with the past”. In 2003:
Through great responses to the release of a “Wilde Gier” Single Vinyl (one of the first songe I have recorded in
1981) and sold out Limited Edition Albums of mixed material from my first 4 Cassettes i got inspired to continue
with the recording of new material, ending up in CD releases using pseudonyms like The Pink Pool of Tears and
Missing TWIN.One CD called Bird Songs made the 20.000 piece mark in sales through Weltbild distribution.
The music was a collection of quieter, more meditative pieces mixing with bird singing. As silly as it sounds, the
music is still very evocative.
In 2007 I chose the old name V2 Schneider for the last recording of new material, the rocky and experimental album
“Escapism” which uses samples from Brian Ferry to Cat Stevens, can you believe it? Very well hidden under the
wall of sound of course... It came with a DVD Video of “Desire”, which I filmed around different castles in bavaria,
looking very gothic. Several international compilations followed, also a contribution to the Film and CD project
“Mia san dageng”, a Munich Punk Documentary that got an award at a Docu Film Festival in Berlin in 2008.
2013 is the year I have been remixing and mastering the material from 1981 to 1985 for the Retrospective Box Set,
simultaneously working on new songs for a new album in 2014. I have saved the original Tapes from 1980 to 1985
and for the first time in my life sat down and listened to aproximately 50 cassette tapes of various stages of decay.
Fortunately I have found most of the original Masters, so I can say the sound for the box set will be very close to the
original tapes. Vinyl on Demand let me know NOT to fuzz with the idea of remixing anything, so i kept the promise, there
were only a few edits necessary where the tape hissed or to shorten some to get them on a 20 minute vinyl album side.
Going back to the sound and feeling of early cassette music is for the mature ear challenging and rewarding at the same
time. This music just cannot be done anymore at this time and age and for good reasons. The energy of youth and also
NOT having the state of the art studio equipment makes one curious and excited. Sometimes it is in those limitations that
very interesting things are born, despite the factor that a lot of those old songs sound pretty noise and amateur.
But that is the point and a lot of fun came out of it... ...and maybe we were some kind of pioneers...
...and out of the process of making a luxurious triple vinyl box set came the idea of new music - manifesting itself as "Native Mute", - a release at the same time of the History Box - hope the vibes go out...there was a lot of love flowing in processing of all this...
...finally a new CD release of new Materal: NATIVE MUTE...released in July 2014.
This is gonna be the first part of a Trilogy, followed by HYBRIDS in Summer 2015 and THE INVISIBLE STORM in 2016.
FINALLY - celebrating 35 years of V2 Schneider in Spring 2016!
At this point I would like to thank some on the wonderful people that have joined me at the time to create that
strange little place in our heads. If i have forgotten someone, please forgive me.
Thanks .... to my first Band Blindgänger , especially Jochen (for playing trumpet and clarinette on some recordings)
and Georg (who did great Guitar, Percussion and Bass work), Flo, Sumsi, Andy (for some great cover photos)
Barbara (who came by sometime with her sax), Dagi (for endless energy producing the weirdest tapes and
fanzines in bavarian history and for playing cello and backgroundsinging on “Agents of Fortune”), Isa, Ralf,
my sister Anke, for playing live synthesizer and drumming (and 2014 for her Cover work for the NATIVE MUTE Album,
Jim for his endless patience and for introducing me into the Opera World, Willi, Peter, Louis and Garry (for hanging in there through all these years, being wonderful critics, if not THE best!), Günther and Putsch (for pushing me in the beginning), Jim G. and Jim L. for making"SATSANG" possible and the chance to create Music for Meditation Live and onstage.
Ursel (for NOT being a fan) Ingrid (for letting me record in full throttle in my bedroom and NOT kicking me out),
Franck Punk of "Was soll das Schallplatten" for believing in V2 Schneider and having the courage to get the recordings published on old fashioned vinyl.
Helmuth for giving me a chance to get published internationally and helping me to be more professional...Last not
least all the curious folk that bought Cassettes and came to the concerts!. Thanks to Bobby E. for putting my music
on public TV (I forgive you for not paying me...) A special appreciation goes to the memory of Ryan Boduch,
who loved my song "Solaris" quite a lot and called it my best piece. Now "Solaris" has been on three different releases
and lots of people get to enjoy it.
Thanks to Georg Konstantinou for introducing me to Music Software and George Becker for his support in digitally
transfering all the sins of the past; Frank of "Vinyl On Demand" and his team for his energy and enthusiasm! Steven Lippert, Anke Schweighart and Muir Donaldson for great 2014 Cover work!
...Achim, Alejandro and Bernie - you wonderful spirits, I will remember your generosity and inspiration!
A big thank you to Muir D. not only for his Album Cover Work on NATIVE MUTE 2014 but also for his enthusiasm and encouragement in my work and for letting me know when "less is more" - I am still working on that one...
Lets not forget:
WHO WOULD WE BE WITHOUT THE NOISE OF MUSIC?
All copyright by Jürgen Schweighart 2015.
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