The Beginning

How to become a successful rock star? With a purely instrumental band, without a lead vocalist or at least a front guitarist, you will not! This is what the members of kantona thought when they started making music, but things turned out to be different…

In November 2000, Bruno and Illo, now two of the guitarists of kantona, decided to make their dream come true, playing guitar in a rock band. After work, they met and took a basic course in guitar playing at the adult education centre. They tried to practice their newly learned chords with the intonation of hippie music, and both got completely swamped. One day, when they left the course, frustrated and willing to give up guitar playing, they bumped into their old friend and nighthawk Lemmy coming down the stairway of the adult education centre. "Hey, what are you doing here ?" they asked. "Basic course in nude painting" Lemmy replied, and they all burst out laughing. This incident at the stairways of the adult education centre swept away Illo's and Bruno's doubts, and they started dreaming the dream of rock'n roll again. Illo and Bruno privily began practicing the chords of "Knocking on Heavens Door", and liked it more and more.

A few months later, Bruno moved into the house where Lemmy lived. In the house, there was a newly installed soundproof rehearsal room, home base of the band Spruce 29. It didn't take long, and Bruno borrowed one of the electric guitars, and created the kind of loud noise that made him happy. Lemmy and Illo were infected by Bruno's happiness and they all started to meet for regular jam sessions. This the moment of birth of a band, learning by doing: Illo and Bruno at the guitar, and Lemmy at the bass. In 2001 they decided to form a band called kantona. They bought less food and CDs and saved their money to get the equipment needed for creating a big rock'n roll guitar sound. Soon they found the missing link for the rock band, the drummer Larry. Although, playing with the attitude of a rock'n roll band the sound coming out of their amplifiers was more like "Christian rock". Thus, the musical autodidacts decided to search for a true professional rock'n roll guitarist. After several nights of drinking beer, they convinced Hirschi to join the band. He couldn't resist the naïve playfulness of the trio. With his "Schaller" amplifier, Hirschi had already blown up the sound of diverse bands in Magdeburg like BGT, the Scycs and the Hiccups. With his band experience, he brought structure and discipline to the band. A bunch of boring dilettantes turned into a wild bunch, a band. The idea of a lead vocalist was given up soon, as yet nobody wanted to sing for kantona and the band members own voices sounded rather embarrassing. The missing vocals were replaced by a video projection, and the symbiosis of sound and motion picture was nearly perfect. To escape the dungeons of the band room, Bruno had the idea to practice in public. December 2003, the music club "Mikrokosmos" in Magdeburg presented an Advent calendar with bands playing everyday from the 1st of December to the 24th of December. This was an ideal opportunity. At the 23rd December 2003, kantona, Germany's eldest newcomer band, entered stage. In the audience, there was Christian Hering, who liked the music and organized further gigs for the band. In May 2004 kantona played as support of their friends, the instrumental band Seidenmatt from Berlin giving a concert in the "Mikrokosmos". Motivated by the feedback of the audience, kantona played it again at the "Mikrokosmos" in Sepetember 2004, together with zak mac crackon & the ego shooters and with dear diary. After this concert the drummer Larry unfortunately had to leave the band, because he had to move together with his family to Dresden. Was this the end? No! kantona was fortunate again. Marcus took over as a drummer. He brought a completely different style of music to the band. By this, kantona widened its horizon, and opened up to musical influences from other bands like Motorpsycho, 35007, Mogwai, as well as the melancholic moments of the cult band Joy Division.

In May 2004 a first ep album was recorded at the rehearsal room, and mixed and mastered by Matthias Geiße. The resulting CD was limited to 333 exemplars, and the cover was handmade. This was a first milestone for kantona. But were to go now? Kantona's guitar sound was full and rich, but some kind of glamour was missing.

At a gig at the Feuerwache in Magdeburg 2005, Matthias, alias Taste, heard the band for the first time and was surprised about its intensity. After Bruno had asked him to join the band, he gave it a try with his accordion and his Moog synthesizer. Although he couldn't imagine at the beginning to tune into this massive the sound with his "shy" instruments, he soon became a full band member. With his melancholic melodies and dense, spherical pads, he enriches the sound by glamorous and sometimes psychedelic moments.

In February 2006 kantona recorded its first studio album. The recording and mixing was done at the Heartdisco studio in Magdeburg by Gerald Frisco, Matthias Geiße again did the mastering. Everything seemed to be fine, but one week before the record release party a new crisis appeared: Lemmy, the bass guitarist, surprisingly left the band. This was a sad moment, and it took a while until the rest of the band could really understand his reasons. However, by an incident of good fortune, kantona was completed again by Ivo, who took over as a bassist. He immediately dived into kantona's music and played one week later at the record release party. Ivo now is more than a bass player for the band. With his experience in composing electronic music in his solo-project "Cubehog", he moved kantona a great step forward. He taught the band to arrange their music and, by this, making kantona's music more interesting for the listener.

This is where kantona has arrived now: a band of 3 guitarists, a bassist, a keyboard player (analog synthesizers and accordion), a drummer, and a video projection creating a truly intense, synergetic sound. Its emergence is often a miracle even to the band members. Clearly kantona's sound is more than the sum of its parts, although with every member equally important for creating it. Grooving drums and bass lines, sometimes playful, sometimes hard and heavy, meet hypnotic, space-invading guitar riffs interwoven with melancholic, spherical soundscapes of keyboard and accordion. Listening to Kantona is like flying over a wide landscape, the music carries you away. Kantona brings post-rock from its rational abstraction back to concrete live, making the old post-rock bones shiny again.


23.04.10, leipzig, gießerstraße
05.12.09, magdeburg, wissenschaftshafen
20.05.09, Magdeburg, P7
18.10.08, magdeburg, moritzhof
record release party des magdeburg samplers "es ist ... 2008" ... veranstalter: sternstrasse records
04.06.08, magdeburg, moritzhof
la ira de dios & burn pilot
19.04.08, haldensleben, der club
mit minus
28.03.08, magdeburg, festung mark
22.12.07, magdeburg, schauspielhaus
14tägig anders & mr.montymore
23.11.07, magdeburg, P7
marble sheep & drive by shooting
09.11.07, magdeburg, moritzhof
local-movies-contest bundesausscheid
03.11.07, arendsee, charlys cafégarten
sampler "es ist...2007!" release tour mit katzengold & buckaus rache
21.07.07, magdeburg, hot "alte bude"
record release sampler "es ist...!"
14.07.07, wolmirstedt, gymnasium wolmirstedt
16.05.07, Magdeburg, Feuerwache
The Raths, Elis
14.12.06, Oschersleben, ALGE e.V.
18.08.06, Magdeburg, Riff
14.07.06, Wolmirstedt, Gymnasium
09.06.06, Magdeburg, Mikrokosmos
Record Release Party
24.02.06, Magdeburg, Oli Lichtspiele
mit Deckbar & The Arc Boys
14.10.05, Magdeburg, Möwe
mit Seidenmatt
21.07.05, Haldensleben, Der Club
mit Sometree
30.06.05, Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt Tag
17.06.05, Magdeburg, Brummi Dusche
mit Chopper
16.06.05, Leipzig, Hochschule für Grafikdesign und Buchdruck
20.01.05, Magdeburg, Feuerwache
mit 14 tägig anders
29.12.04, Schönebeck, Barfly
mit Auenspuk
23.12.04, Magdeburg, Mikrokosmos
Record Release Party
14.10.03, Magdeburg, Mikrokosmos
mit Seidenmatt
05.09.03, Magdeburg, Mikrokosmos
mit Zak McKrackon & The Ego Shooters, Dear Diary
29.05.03, Magdeburg, Mikrokosmos
mit Seidenmatt
17.12.02, Magdeburg, Mikrokosmos