Singer Prince Sebastian Krumbijl in A to Z interview: Sport is the only thing I find a good patriotic feeling

AZ Interview with Sebastian Krumbiegel: The 55-year-old is the lead of the band “Die Prinzen,” whose song is the signature German tune at sporting events.

AZ: Mr. Krumbijl, at the World Ice Hockey Championships, the song “Das alles ist Deutschland” for your group “Die Prinzen” was played after each German goal. Are you interested in ice hockey?
Sebastian Krumbigel: I’m mostly a football fan: the English Premier League, the German Bundesliga, the second Bundesliga. I know that one is not mutually exclusive. I sympathize with many sports and competitions. When I was in Mannheim for the first time, the whole city was bustling with toys. This is a proper hockey town. It impressed me.

‘We try to discredit nationalism’

What do you think of your song playing in the World Cup in Finland?
Yes Nice. Blixa Geld, the “Einsturzenden Neubauten” singer was in Asia with his wife when the FIFA World Cup was being held there. The song played was “Das alles ist Deutschland”. That was so cool, I couldn’t believe it at first when he told me this. The song is quite appropriate, on an international level too, people associate it with Germany, even in tournaments.

Although there is a subnote in the text.
Far from being a patriotic song of praise, the song is somewhat satirical in many places. I know this is often not understood – as in Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” which also talks about the Vietnam War. We try to question nationalism. The song says, for example: “We are always ready for war” – this is all very important. When we play festivals where there are not only hardcore Prinzen fans, I always wonder how many audiences would misunderstand this and sing along with chests proudly filled with “Deutsch, Deutsch”. But you can’t protect yourself from the proverbial “applause from the wrong side.” But sport is the only thing in which I accept patriotism and patriotism. You obviously stick to your team.

“I am aware of my privilege”

Like GEMA, do you also get paid at international events when the song is played?
Absolutely. The song was written by Steve Van Velvet, and my part in it is rather small. I don’t know what’s going on with her. But in principle I think it’s a good idea to have something happen to the authors involved. There is a discussion about copyright etc. It’s not much, it’s extra income. However, Gema made me financially successful during Corona, when we couldn’t go on tour. I am grateful for that. Although I would like to emphasize that: the financial aspect was never the motive for composing music. Of course it’s great that you can pursue your art without having to earn your money with another job – that’s a privilege, I know. But finances have never been a priority for me.

Although today, in the competition for clicks and reach, one gets the impression that this is exactly what the music is all about.
I sometimes have thoughts like that too. But there are still a lot of great people today who have something to tell with their art. Well, everything is monetized. I think that’s a shame, whether it’s about art or sports. Premier League, for example: It’s all about the money, which is why so many people turn their backs on it, especially in soccer. It’s been like this for a long time. Dortmund play in Dortmund, Munich play in Munich, or Frankfurt play in Frankfurt. . . Today it is international. This is good on the one hand, but loses a lot of its soul on the other. If it’s more about money than sports, something is wrong.

“It is not normal to live in peace”

I brought “Das alles ist Deutschland” in 2010. A lot has changed in Germany since then. How do you find the status quo?
There is no such thing as black and white. These days especially, since February 24, I am very happy to live here and not in another country. Being at peace is not normal in the great wide world. We recently gave our first concert after Corona break. During rehearsals, a line like “Ready for any war” almost stuck in our throats. Everything is very complicated. Handing over weapons – yes or no? I don’t know. In the depths of my heart I feel peaceful feelings – and I question them now. This is the case for many people.

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“The song grows with time or it dies”

If you entered a current quadrant in “Das alles ist Deutschland”, what would it be approximately?
I can say it in reverse. We used to sing: “There’s one little thing wrong: Schumacher doesn’t drive a Mercedes.” We will delete this line today. We’ll go straight to the choir. The line has fallen out of time. She was funny at the time, and now I find her naughty. We know Michael Schumacher had a skiing accident and has been in a coma ever since. You don’t have to be kidding. It’s this way when it comes to humor: there are things that age well and others that don’t. That’s why we decided to delete the line. The world is changing. And the song grows with time or dies.

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