Birgit Muggenthaler-Schmack – Schandmaul


Interview by Miriam C.

 After 3 years of silence the premium German folk rock band Schandmaul is back with their new album “Unendlich” (translated in English “Infinity”) and as our interviewee states, the multi-instrumentalist of the band Birgit, Schandmaul “will be going on for a very long time…”
Hi there, how are you? I hope you’re really fine!

This is Birgit answering, hi.

So, Schandmaul, after the 2011 album “Traumtänzer”, is back with the eighth album “Unendlich”. How was its genesis? When you have started to compose it?

We started composing round about 2 and a half years ago.

Why is passed so much time between “Traumtänzer” and “Unendlich”?

There are several facts, that influence the publishing date of an album: first: composing takes its time. Second: when you publish, you want to go on tour with the new album. As we had our big band-birthday party in 2013, we wanted to have the tour in 2014. Third: we wanted to have enough time for promotion, which means, there are round about 6 months between finishing and publishing the album.

After the successful “Traumtänzer”, I get that probably that there was some pressure and expectation by the fans and the press. Was it hard its composing process?

In general, we start composing without thinking to much about expectations. In fact, there were some critical voices concerning “Traumtänzer”, such as people were missing funny stories to be told in the lyrics or would have liked more party-songs. We thought about it and tried to improve. The feedback that “Unendlich” has received until now is so far so good.

The single “Euch Zum Geleit”, for what I was able to get from the press release, is based on a true sad experience. Would like like to the tell us more about it?

It´s not really a sad experience. Ducky visited a funeral. There, a letter, written by the dead person before, was opened. It said: “Don´t cry for me. I had a wonderful life. Keep me in your minds and keep a part of me alive through this. “ The song is rather talking about the positive aspects of death.

“Euch Zum Geleit” is also the videoclip that introduces your new album “Unendlich”. I like it very its natural panorama, I seen also these Middle-Ages people wandering in the clearing. What you can tell about its preparation and do you have behind the camera insights to share with us?

The video was recorded in a region called Zittauer Berge and it’s a wonderful region in eastern Germany. The people, that you can see, are non professional actors. They spend a lot of time on investigation about life in the middle ages in central Europe. Meanwhile we all know them personally. And the video was recorded in November, you can´t imagine how cold it was in a short black skirt or a shirt.

“Unendlich” in German means “Infinity”, beside its beautiful and essential cover album, for you personally what do you wanted to express with this particular title? I starting saying nothing in this world is forever… (despite the music)

There are to aspects: first it´s simply the eighth studio album. When you turn the 8, you get the infinity symbol. Second: we have so much ideas and inspiration for the future, that we can imagine, that the Schandmaul‘s story still will be going on for a very long time……

I quote from the press release: “Big emotions and even bigger stories are the business of Thomas Lindner. And so is the new album, as Lindner says, “the biggest epos we have””. Would you mind analyze each song present on “Unendlich” with a special focus on the topic treated in the lyrics?

You can find a big variety of themes and stories on the new album “Unendlich”. Historic themes, like the sea battle of “Trafalgar”, songs about tradition, like “Tippelbruder”, that talks about the old tradition of carpenters travelling all around the country or “Kaspar”, which is based on a Bavarian fairy tale. Also songs talking about rites, like the “Midsommer”-parties. Or simply funny party songs like “der Teufel hat den Schnaps gemacht”, which means the devil has made the Schnaps, you can imagine, what´s happening…

Beside the “Euch Zum Geleit” video clip, you have released as video and a free download the song “Bunt und nicht braun”. Any particular reason of why you have chosen this song and does will be avalaible in any physical release?

You can find “Bunt und nicht braun” on the new CD as well. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of racism and Nazi-Idealism in Germany. This song is a statement against it.

Excluding the German/Austrian tour already planned, do you any ideas of when your European audience will be able to attend your concerts?

Unfortunately not.

Well, Birgit we’re at the end. Please say greet freely your fans and our readers. Dankeschön for the interview!

Very welcome, greets from Birgit!


Photo Credit

Photos by Erik Weiss


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