The Sohne Mannheims are back with a new line-up. Photo: dpa/Claus Geiss
The "Sohne Mannheims" want to take off with a socially critical song. But the Coronavirus also slows them down.
Mannheim – In the 25. In the 20th year of their existence, the Sohne Mannheims are back with a new line-up and new songs. The 13-member band has become even more international with the addition of singers Karim Amun and Giuseppe "Gastone" Porrello, who have Egyptian and Italian roots respectively. Founding members Michael Herberger and Billy Davis have retired. With Xavier Naidoo, the most prominent but also most controversial "son of Mannheim" has already gone his own way in 2017. "A new era has begun for us," says guitarist Kosho, who has been with the group for 21 years.
The group is working on the first studio album since the release of "MannHeim" in 2017, which was criticized because of the song about people’s representatives as "puppets. The first song of the new album "Moral" was produced under the difficult Corona conditions. In it, poverty, hunger, environmental destruction are castigated – and at the same time the apathy of people who do nothing about it. "We could change something if we wanted to, but we don’t," criticizes one of Germany’s longest-lived bands. "We watch how the world suffocates in the dirt/ We are liars and cheats, in suit and tie we conquer the world."
Grievances are named
The gloomy character of the song is to be complemented by other more lively ones on the planned album, explains songwriter "Gastone". " Then there can be a happy end after all."For him, it is important to name grievances; only in this way is there hope of eliminating them and looking ahead. "If we would hide that, it would be fake entertainment."The emotional song is supposed to be presented to the audience on the 26th day of the event. June to be presented at a concert. Then pop music with parts of reggae, soul, rock and blues will be offered in the drive-in theater Mannheim.
The Corona crisis is not a creative break for the musicians. Since the usual discussion of the songs and their components is impossible at the moment, the artists send their already very well thought-out audio files to each other, which are then put together by the musical director Edward Maclean like the pieces of a mosaic. Singer Karim Amun: "I was very impressed how well it works, how homogeneous it sounds – an eye opener." Also a second song – "Miracle" – was created in this way. Whether the "Sons" will start their first tour after 2017 at the end of the year as planned is still up in the air because of the ban on large events, which will initially last until the end of October 2020.
No criticism of Naidoo
The socio-critical lyrics of "Moral" are not to be understood as a replica of founding member Xavier Naidoo and his controversial comments on refugee policy, for example, as the band’s veteran Kosho emphasizes. "This has nothing to do with Xavier."
The "sons" remain closely linked to Mannheim, even if Kosho will soon enrich the Berlin music scene and Karim Amun lives in neighboring Heidelberg. The metropolitan area with the renowned Mannheim Pop Academy gather a wealth of good musicians and have developed their own sound. After highlights like the concert at Berlin’s Waldbuhne in front of 20,000 fans in 2009 or the performances in Tel Aviv in 2005, Kosho has only one wish for the exceptional band: "We’ve achieved a lot, except that we haven’t played as long as the Rolling Stones – but we’ll get there in the end."
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