LaBrassBanda is more than the typical North American stereotype of traditional German sounds often heard at beer festivals around the world. The band’s style is a wild mix of modern Bavarian folk music, ska, punk, techno, reggae and, of course, brass. Thanks to the diverse sound ingredients, the outcome is as colourful as a well shaked cocktail fast, energetic, and hard to understand for everyone who did not grow up in Germany’s southern state called Bavaria. This, however, does not detract LaBrassBanda’s success.
In 2017, the band celebrated their ten year anniversary not only by publishing a new album called “Around the World”, but by actually making a 6 week tour around the world, impressing new fans on five continents. This hasn’t been their first trip beyond Bavarian borders. The musicians gave concerts in the United States, Zimbab we, several European countries and even in Siberia.
They definitely love to mingle and party with different cultures from all over the globe, which probably helps them create their unique sound LaBrassBanda are very welcome all over Germany. Big cities in the north and east like Berlin, Hamburg and Leipzig are just some of the locations where the group is performing every year. In 2013, they gained nationwide popularity when participating at the Eurovision Song Contest preliminaries. Their album Europa in the same year made it into the top three of the German charts. Regional music is definitely cool again. LaBrassBanda’s combination of tradition and modern style cannot only be heard in their merry crossover sound, but also when looking at the band’s favourite concert outfits: lederhosen, casual T-shirts, and no shoes. From their start in 2007, the group wanted to attract a younger crowd, as Stefan Dettl, the band founder, singer and trumpeter, explained in a 2017 press release: “We were fresh out of music college, and we wanted to turn our backs on the concert halls and conquer the clubs instead, play for young people.”
Today, their fan base includes men and women of all age groups. As diverse as their audiences are the venues where LaBrassBanda per form. From a tour through Austria on a tractor and vintage mopeds in 2008, to beer tent concerts, huge festivals, gigs at small venues around the world, or in front of 12,000 fans in Munich’s arena called Olympiahalle.
The seven band members are more than representatives of what Bavarian culture and tradition can look like. They are ambassadors of Germany’s diverse and modern pop music scene, with danceable and fun tunes as well as awesome live shows quite different from any dusty clichés.