Growing up in Ireland I was always surrounded by music. From the buskers on the streets to sing-a-longs in the pubs to Ms. Murphy who would constantly sing off key at the neighbourhood BBQ’s. It was just my element, a natural habitat of some sort. But living in Germany for nearly two years now I was confronted with a whole new music scene, a whole new attitude towards musicians and obviously to music production.
Luckily I have good friends here who are always keeping an eye out for who’s playing in Mainz, who’s releasing what and most importantly who is actually worth listening to. That’s how I came across ULTRASCHALL.
After a thorough stalking session, I discovered that they would be playing in schon schön and asked if they were willing to meet up for a quick chat about their music. Before I knew it, I was sitting down with the guys outside of the club with a bottle of Koblenzer Brau in my hand and talking to them as if we had known each other for years.
The guitarist Tim, bassist Valentin, drummer Yannic and Lukas, the singer/ songwriter of the band all started off in a small basement. Coming from Koblenz, ULTRASCHALL went through some member changes as well as musical ones. Tim and Lukas were the original members, then came along Valentin who was simply supposed to sub in as a bass player and never left and finally Yannic who was band-less at the time he had a fifteen second audition, before the others cut him off and offered him to play in their band.
ULTRASCHALL call themselves an alternative rock band with an asterisks, which stands for all the other musical genres that they incorporate into their sound. Elements of hip-hop, punk, jazz and in Valentin’s words “just a dash of funk”, can be heard on their new EP “Odyssee”. The guys believe that for today’s musicians it is imperative to be unique and original. With their music, ULTRASCHALL successfully break all boundaries and pave their own path.
Taking a closer look at the cover art of the “Odyssee” EP, one sees two hands reaching for each other bound together by a loosely tied red string. There are many ways to interpret the meaning of the cover. Going back to the Greek mythology, Theseus found his way out of Minotaur’s labyrinth by following a red thread, which could be seen as a metaphor for the guys trying to find their way in this big bad world. Another theory, is that they were inspired by the Chinese legend about two lovers who were bound by a red thread created by the God of marriage. Or the simplest of them all, it represents how the band reaches out to their audience through their music. Yet ULTRASCHALL leaves the faith of that little red knot to their listeners. When talking to them about the cover, they admitted that it’s floating in the abyss of the unknown and it all depends on the individual. It might tangle, stretch or even break. They wanted the cover to represent the songs on the EP in a way that was not specifically mentioned on any of the tracks but something that embodied the common thread which was flowing through the lyrics.
All in all they’re just a bunch of really cool dudes that vibe off each other and manage to deliver those awesome vibes to their audience. Whether it be losing a bass on the train, slipping on stage or fan girling Mothers Cake, ULTRASCHALL aren’t intimidated by being themselves and conveying that through their music.