The fans still seem to be shocked: with their new album, ´Adios`,
the Böhsen Onkelz say good-bye! There will be a final tour in late summer
and a jubilee concert next year but all that won´t change their decision to
split up. Of course, that brings up many questions, especially because the band
stops in their absolute heydays. Speculations are plenty and there´s only one
who can answer all questions: Onkelz-boss, Stephan Weidner. We
had a long anmd intense talk with him and tried to get all the backgrounds for
Stephan, you´ve tried before to explain the end of the Onkelz.
Before we start asking for details, could you shortly summarize the reasons?
"As I´ve said before, this decision didn´t come in a single day. It´s
not that we don´t enjoy the Onkelz anymore. Yet, we had the feeling that
we couldn´t gain any more out of this constellation. And I don´t mean commercially
but purely artistically. We have often asked ourselves why and we still can´t
answer with a clear Yes. And for me, a single question mark is enough to introduce
the end. Of course: maybe we could progress with the next album. But we all
had our doubts. And I hate doubts. I have to ask myself: What´s our age? Who
will need us in 2 or 3 years. I´m 41 years old, with the next album I´d be in
the mid-40s. Am I willing to still do this? Is the audience still willing to
see me? As I said, there were many question marks and they are enough to stop
the Onkelz with my head held high."
Its remarkable: you, the driving fore behind the band, have doubts in the
"I don´t doubt the band in general, I only doubt the possibility of another
progression. And these doubts are enough to question the band´s future. When
did you decide to split? There wasn´t just one single reason. It´s the collection
of experiences that I don´t want to go into too much detail with - also because
they would be too intimate. The question had always been: are we ridiculing
ourselves at some point? Alone the idea of that makes me shiver. The Onkelz
are suppopsed to be something great and well worth remembering for me and for
everybody else. If I risk to keep it up I would be destroying my own work of
life. And that would be the most bitter experience that I want to be kept from."
The gig with the Rolling Stones as the key-experience for how you
don´t want to end?
"I have to admit that I didn´t think about the end of the Onkelz before
the show with the Rolling Stones. So this shows was not the reason. But
what I saw there let me at least think. The Stones only go on for commercial
reasons. It´s all for the money. Sponsoring here and sell-out there, that hasn´t
anything to do with rock and rebellion. In Hannover, pensioners were playing
in front of pensioners. Sorry, but I don´t need that. I want to keep up my ideals."
That sounds so plausible and so easily reasoned - but aren´t you afraid
of a life without the Onkelz?
"Of course I am! It´s a very emotional decision and it becomes even more
bitter the closer we get to the real end. That hurts already! And I am sure
the pain will grow. But noone said it would be easy."
What will you be missing the most?
"I don´t know yet. But it´s for sure that the Onkelz are a family
that I´ll never experience again. And this feeling can´t just be ended. Also
I guess that I will miss the feeling of being a part of something special. We
had this feeling with every new album, every concert, night for night. I already
think of all the highlights of the past 20 years plus. But I don´t want to hide
that I am looking forward to new challenges. You have to let go to be able to
begin something new - and I am really curious!"
Did you all agree on the split?
"Of course there were doubts within the band. We all live of the music,
that´s something you mustn´t forget. But money or commercial reasons shouldn´t
be an argument in such a decision. We all knew that because we never did it
for the money. And after all, we all agreed on the split."
The farewell is coming in several stages. Can you recapitulate? What will
"That will show. Momentarily the ship´s still on course and has to be
stopped step by step. That´s a logistic machine with many decisions and difficult
processes. For now I am happy about the new album and I am looking forward to
the upcoming tour and the meeting with the fans."
The media looses its favourite enemy. Do you feel sorry for them?
"Yes, I almost burst into tears. No, seriously: I don´t give a damn about
all the shit that´s been released about us in all the past years. There were
times in my life where I couldn´t forgive, but I left that far behind. I don´t
care about press and don´t worry about the rest."
Especially because the musician, Stephan Weidner won´t stop, anyway,
"I will go on making music - either as a solo artist or as a producer.
There are many challenges that I am keen on doing."
I could imagine that you could be forming a band together with Daniel
Wirtz of Sub7even. Am I completely wrong?
"It´s possible that there once will be a band of Stephan Weidner
and Daniel Wirtz. I wouldn´t wanto exclude that. What is sure is that
I will be producing the next Sub7even-album. We will try to get out all
the pop stuff and put some rock back into it."
Fortunately, your final album, ´Adios´ is no melancholic handkerchief opus
- but rather a surprisingly rocking, positive album.
"Why be melancholic? We had so much fun composing the album as we didn´t
have in a long time and that´s what you hear on the album. We didn´t want a
gloomy or sad farewell album but one that documents: there is a life after the
Onkelz. I am very proud of the songs as well as on the lyrics. Maybe
they are a bit simpler but also straighter than in the past. Also I love the
way of twinkling in the eyes, like in ´Hass-tler`, which I´m very proud
of. But you mustn´t forget this: the albu sound loose, round and like a whole
unit, but it was a whole lot of work to do it. Like with every Onkelz
album so far we got the optimum out of ourselves."
Consequently the long preparing?
"Yes, we really wanted to stop with a strong album. There would be nothing
more disturbing than making the people feel that we are at the end of our creativity.
In a band that constantly tours and releases records there´s always the danger
to burn out and become weaker with every album. I am glad that we have never
been in that danger. And I am sure that ´Adios` is one of the best albums
I´ve ever done."
"Yes, that´s true. The grovve was very important this time. Hand on the
heart: rhythmically there were some deficits in the past also if we´ve always
given it all. This time I am proud to say: ´Adios` rocks and grooves."
Before we end, some words about the again huge package the customer can
"The regular album contains 15 new songs that I am sure every fan will
love. The whole edition will include a bonus dvd containing the whole album
in an additional Digital Dolby 5.1.-Mix, completely provided with pictures by
our Cuban friend, Pozo, as well as interviews, a video clip for the first
single, ´Onkelz vs. Jesus` and some other surprises. All that for the
price clearly below a double album, which is fair, I think."
And you last wish if you´d had one? After all get some airplay?
"No,I don´´t care about such things. We´ve tried for long enough, have
been cheated for long enough and I really don´t give a damn about VIVA and MTV.
I am just not interested in what they do. Even more: We consciously didn´t include
the video for ´Onkelz vs. Jesus` on the single in order to prevent MTV
or VIVA to play it without further arrangements with us. Because after all,
if the single reaches the top 10 they would have to. But this way they can just
say they don´t have it. And as soon as the album got in the stores the single
should be out of the charts again."