What is the meaning of your name, Früchte des Zorns, and where does it come from?
If you translate the name into English, you'll get something like "Grapes of Wrath" which is also the name of a novel by John Steinbeck. But that's not where our name comes from. Our name comes from a German book called "Die Früchte des Zorns" which is about the "Revolutionäre Zellen" (Revolutionary Cells), German leftwing urban guerillas. In 1999, Mogli saw the book in a local anarchist bookstore. He liked the name, so he suggested it when he and Anke were thinking about band names.
How many people are in the band and what instruments do you play?
There are three of us: Mogli (vocals and guitar), Anke (viola, violin, trombone, glockenspiel and vocals), and Hannah (drums, vocals)
Are you involved in any other (band) projects?
No. We're always asleep unless we're playing with Früchte des Zorns... just joking. We are involved in many other projects like our activist collectives, collective housing, friendships etc. We understand ourselves as part of the local activist scene, so we are involved in local struggles.
Besides, the three of us play in the anarchist collective Revolte Springen and take an active part in the RAK, where we meet regularly with other Musicians with whom we share a lot of our political background.
Given the awful realities of our society, do you really think it makes sense to play music?
Music itself never changed a society. But music makes people come together and it's a good medium for transporting content and emotions. It can touch and empower you. You feel alive and feel a connection to yourself. With our music, we wish to be a part of that process. We want to talk about the circumstances in which we suffer. We want to share our anger, our rage and our desires. And we want to talk about our daily lives and the things we have been through.
We've had a lot of feedback and letters from people saying that we've sometimes expressed thoughts and emotions that they'd not been able to express before. We think that's the first step you need for a collective change: To overcome isolation and face the fact that we are not alone and that it is not a coincidence that we are suffering.
Power structures and exploitation have many names and faces: patriarchy, capitalism, racism etc. We don't wanna find peace in ourselves with those patterns. We wanna encourage people to rise up and build collective moments, situations, and societies. And we hope that, with our music, we can create the impulses for people to do so.
You self-released all your records, but on your CDs, it says "Ab dafür! Records". What is Ab dafür! Records?
Ab dafür! Records is not a regular label. It doesn't even have a label code. It's more a network of friends. We sell each other's albums after our shows. Most of the Bands at Ab dafür! understand their music as a political expression and understand themselves as part of the left subculture. The concept of Ab dafür! records is not to capitalistically market our music. It's a collective support and distribution system for our music and its content. This collective structure is way more pleasant than distribution through a normal label.
We make all decisions in consent and there are no strings attached to what we do. We decide about the conditions, for whom we play, and in what studios we record. We do our layout by ourselves, and choose which printing factories we wanna support. As a band, it's important to us that our music is accessible to everyone for free. You can download all our albums on our website. Making copies doesn't kill music. Capitalism kills music!
How do you write songs? Who writes the lyrics? Do you do it together or do you have one songwriter? Do you write the lyrics first and then the music, or is it the other way around?
The way we write songs most of the time is that mogli brings lyrics, fragments or a melody to band practice. Sometimes the rest of us like the idea or the concept, or we discuss or change it together. When we all agree on the content or where we wanna go with the song, we start to work on the music. This process is led more by anke and hannah. We work a lot with improvisation and proposals and trying to find a form for the music that supports the lyrics and the expressed emotions in the best way.
Can you talk a bit about the band's history? When did you form the band? What have you released? Has the line-up changed?
The band started in 1999 as a street music duo (Mogli and Anke) in front of a Hamburg train station. The following summer, we played a lot in bars and on trains. We also got in touch with the Rotzfrechen Asphalt-Kultur (RAK) (an anarchist association of German-speaking, politically motivated street musicians). In October 1999, we played our first show in Rote Flora (a squat in Hamburg). At the end of 2000, we recorded our first album with very simple techniques.
During that time, Anke and Mogli had a lot of conflicts, which they were unable to resolve. At the end of the recording session, they were on bad terms with each other. So they decided to go their separate ways, only meeting up to play shows together. In early 20o1, both became part of the Revolte Springen folk-punk collective, where they got to know Hannah.
Working in this bigger group brought the band back together. But they decided to quit Früchte des Zorns and to release a last album, as a kind of testimony. Mogli and Anke asked Hannah if she would like to play drums on the recordings. She agreed. During the rehearsals and recording session, everyone got really close. Instead of ending, this became the start of Früchte des Zorns as a trio.
In February 2003, they released the album "zwischen leben und überleben". (Between Life and Survival). In March 2005, they released the 7-inch single "Das Herz ist ein Muskel in der Grösse einer Faust" (The Heart Is A Muscle The Size Of A Fist). Two more albums followed: "Wie Antennen in den Himmel" (Like Antennae To Heaven) in 2007 and "Unter unserer Haut"(Underneath Our Skin) in 2010.
After our last release, we thought about what to do next and, in the process, we kinda stumbled on kaya. After we got to know each other, we thought it would be really ace to play together. So, since early 2011, we were a quartet. After many years working together as a trio, this has had a good impact for the dynamics of the group. Sadly enough, in autumn 2012 Kaya decided to leave Berlin, so we had to let her go ...
During our band's history, we've had a lot of time off. Some of us have travelled or taken part in other projects. These are treasure troves of inspiration. But in the last few years, we've done a lot of touring and playing together. And we love it. We've grown together as a band and as a collective, and we've become really close friends. So let's see what the future brings. We're still curious and excited.