I have been playing the bass guitar since I was a young boy. My father told me the basics and later I played in his band on family events and things like that. I also tried other instruments (violin, piano, guitar) when I was a kid but the only thing I really managed to play without too much hard practicing was the bass guitar…
When I was about 16 years old, I started to play in various bands. I recently found a bunch of old recordings and started to compile a list of bands I have played with (and if I find time, I might even dig out some milestones and digitize some of the recordings - but most of the stuff is likely just noise for people who have not been involved in the creation of it).
My first band has perhaps also been the longest lasting one. The band started when I was still at high-school, but we managed to play together still years later when we were studying and living in different cities. We started with instrumental rock, then got support from a singer (who later left again), and finally ended up with some jazzy/funky stuff, including a trombone and a sax.
The first photo shows one of our first concerts. No, the big Fender Bassman was not mine, I owned a Roland Studio Bass 100 - you will see it later.
The second photo was taken at one of the last Fangorn concerts. We all are a couple of years older, and the hair got shorter. And in the back you seem my Roland SB 100.
A fun band, started by some of my school teachers. The band mainly covered good old rock songs, but there were a few original compositions written by band members as well. We toured several summers through Sweden, Bornholm, and France, financing the trips by playing wherever we liked it and where we got some money or a free stay. The tours were an incredible experience - lots of group dynamics with all those teachers. This photo shows our tour bus and the Michelin guide through France. (Yep, good old paper maps, cell phones came much later.)
This photo shows a street music performance somewhere in France, perhaps Besacon, I do not recall.
While studying in Braunschweig, I played in a band in Hannover (because the Fangorn drummer played in this band as well). I do not recall the name of this project anymore. I think we never had a gig… we just practiced until the group dynamics took over and we closed down the band. Well, the nights in Hannover were cool, the car rides back in the middle of the night to Braunschweig sometimes a bit dangerous.
After moving to Braunschweig, I played in a rock band with a little bit of funk/soul/pop called Juicy Fruit (mostly students). We had a large number of creative and innovative ideas, but sometimes we were not able to play them well enough. But we all had a good time together and this project lasted several years until we did run out of energy and people moved on in different directions. Meanwhile, former band members are all living in different cities.
Allusion started as a jazz-rock band and I have been following their development over time. Later on, Allusion started to be more pop oriented with lead vocals. When the bass player left the city, I joined and had many very nice concerts; the bus tours to various cities in Germany were a great experience. After several years, the energy level dropped and the band went dormant (and I moved to the Netherlands). The keyboarder of Allusion (left most person in the photo below) was Nicolay Josuttis, who is well known for his work on C++ books and standards.
TU Big Band
After returning from the Netherlands (where I did not play any music), I took the challenge to play the bass in the TU Big Band, the big band of the Technical University Braunschweig. This was a great experience, I liked the power the horns can create. But playing in a big band was quite challenging for me since I was not used to play fixed arrangements. The band had a great tour to Pilsen in 1999, a nice session with Winton Marsalis in 2000 when he visited Braunschweig, and finally a joint concert in 2001 with the Jazzkantine (~30 musicians on stage with double drums, percussion and a lot of groove). I left the band when I moved to Bremen.
Noise Therapy (2003-)
After joining Jacobs University, I discovered that some of my colleagues did play rock music in the past. We started to meet once in a while to have some noise therapy - mostly covering classic rock songs. Not really good, but students somehow seem to enjoy seeing their instructors doing strange things from time to time. Since we never found a drummer in our faculty, we usually perform with (student) drumming assistants.
Retro Superdrive (2008-2016)
And it became time to be more serious about playing the bass again. In January 2008, I joined the band Retro Superdrive. We had our first public performance in February 2008 in a small club in Delmenhorst. This band had a good groove and we had lots of fun together. We called our music nu-krautrock since it was inspired a bit by good old German krautrock, but it came along with a modern style through the inclusion of computer samples. The band disbanded in 2016.
Splendid Time (2017-2018)
I got to know Robert Riebau and his Splendid Time project in August 2017. Robert composed, recorded and produced the Splendid Time CD “Liquids in Vibration” (Alster Records, 2017) all by himself. Together with Christian Höpfner on drums we were working on a live version of some CD material and some new songs. Splendid time was probably the most professional and goal-oriented band project I have ever joined and this made it interesting. But then I later had to learn that also professionally organized band projects are fragile and can easily fall apart.