The history of Sonderfeld

Two music addicts are the heart of the band - Norbert Sonderfeld and Hans Jäckel. They met in September 1983 in Wiesbaden, where a classified ad had called for people interested in a rock theatre project. The project fell apart within weeks, only Norbert and Hans stayed. Hans's script for the rock opera was binned, instead they recorded their first song in Hans's living room - "Und wenn ich dir in die Augen seh (And when I look into your eyes)". Since then, every few weeks some new piece was created with the aid of a four-track recorder, with no thought of playing live or even publishing. Some of those recordings can be heard here. And they continued to pursue other musical interests in other bands.

In June 1995, they sent a cassette of their version of Bob Lyng's "I wanna be killed by you" to Bob's label Veracity, und label owner Peter Schneider offered them a record contract. In September, they had just started to re-record some of their stuff, when Peter Schneider called and asked whether they could play at a live event with other new label acts. Norbert and Hans didn't want to go on stage with tapes and drum machines, and drummed the band together.

Bob Lyng himself (who by the way wrote THE book about the music business) suggested Quintus Kannegießer, the drummer of his own band. Quintus brought bass player Carsten Eckermann. And Hans recruited Martin Krieger, whom he knew from his blues-rock band. These three musicians from different musical worlds were immediatly fascination by the often unplayable compositions and made Sonderfeld's music take off. After a few rehearsals the band was ready for the first gig - on November 18, 1995 in the village pub in Mirskofen in Bavaria. Also playing there were Lorette Velvette, Cuban Rebel Girls, Baby You Know and Dr. Fasinger.

After the concert it was clear that the CD would be recorded with the band. Michi Schott of "Baby You Know" offered his Rosecorner studio in the neighbour village of Ergoldsbach. Over the course of a few weeks, 21 songs were arranged and refined, recorded in a two-day session the the Rosecorner studio and mixed down over a long weekend. In the autumn of 1996, the CD "Stumbling Lovers" was published.

On September 9, we had the release party in the legendary "Maxim" club in Frankfurt. Norbert managed to recruit as guests Lorette Velvette and her band, Bob Lyng with band, and Billy Moffett's Playboy Club. On the same stage, Bob Lyng and Billy Moffett played their original versions of "I wanna be killed by you" and "Sad song for lazy lovers", before Sonderfeld performed their "zombie versions" of the same songs (here and here).

After "Stumbling Lovers", Sonderfeld perfected their music in numerous live gigs, playing fast songs faster, slow songs slower, loud songs louder, weird songs weirder and sweet songs sweeter, not shying away from dramatic or comic elements, and occasionally grinding rock standards or trivial hit songs through their stylistic mill. Some live recordings can be heard here. On the side, new songs were written, a vinyl single and various contributions to more or less obscure musical projects and compilations were recorded - to be heard here.

During this time, they started recording their second CD "Autistic", which was never published, as Peter Schneider's Veracity label suffered an untimely demise, Quintus moved to Hamburg and Carsten to Cologne for job reasons. Norbert und Hans found themselves back in their living room studio.

A few years later, the prospect of a new record contract came up. In 2008, the basic tracks for "Dirt and Pain" were recorded with the band in Ekimas's Erdmöbel studio in Cologne and completed and finalized at home in Frankfurt. A year later, this record contract had vanished into thin air as well. Sonderfeld ceased to exist.

Norbert Sonderfeld died in December 2018, aged just over 60. After a long wait, this web page was created, and the (almost) complete works of Sonderfeld (re-)published on Bandcamp.

Stand 30.6.2021