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Official wolfsheim biography

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It all started the year 1987 when Markus Reinhardt and Pompejo Ricciardi formed a band they called Wolfsheim. The name was not based on the Rhenish town of the same name but reflects to a novel character created by Scott Fitzgerald in "The Great Gatsby". The duo turned into a triplet when Markus' brother Oliver Reinhardt joined the band. After producing a demo tape, co-founder Pompejo left the band, suggesting Peter Heppner to be his successor. Peter was a fan from the very first moment on and knew the band as they grew up in the same quarter of the town, Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg and had the same friends. Markus and Peter attended the same school and got to know each other better in arts class. After some time, Oliver Reinhardt left the band again, leaving the Wolfsheim line-up as it is known today: Peter Heppner (vocals) and Markus Reinhardt (electronics). In the beginning, lyrics by the initial singer were used, but this changed in favour of Heppner/Reinhardt compositions. Peter who had always wanted to be a painter or author now wrote the lyrics to the music Markus composed. The first public Wolfsheim live-gig took place in "Werkstatt 3", a small club in Hamburg.


With two more demo tapes, Wolfsheim applied at labels, receiving nothing but rejections. Only Lothar Gärtner, at the time being the only employee at Strange Ways Records, was attentive to Wolfsheim. So in 1991 the first single The Sparrows And The Nightingales was released on Strange Ways Records, the label Wolfsheim are still loyal to. Sparrows turned immediately and without much promotion into a huge club hit. Today, this song stands as a classic and is missing neither on a DJ-event nor on a compilation seriously dealing with electronic music of the 80s.


The second single It's Not Too Late (Don't Sorrow) as well as their debut album No Happy View, on which Wolfsheim have been working for about three years to date and which has been recorded in only two weeks in the studio, were released in 1992. Until 2001, about 65'000 copies of the album were sold, the band was elected "Newcomer of the year" by many print magazines. Shortly after, the singles Now I Fall and Thunderheart were released, announcing the new album. On Popkiller (September 1993) there were more classical influences due to large-scale techniques and a longer production time. Furthermore, it has the typical Wolfsheim-like peculiarity of sensing tristesse, melancholy or similar feelings, but finding back one's optimism whilst reading the lyrics or reflecting on the refrain. The songs which seem to be so different originate most of all in the fact that Wolfsheim only does what both musicians like so that Wolfsheim can be seen as a musical interface where the different characters and complex musical influences of Peter and Markus are merging. Peters lyrics take its rise from the feeling the songs evoke, that the mood a song creates sets path for the content, which again creates starting points for memories and feelings. "The songs develop very slowly, we have to get used to them and only if we still like them after two or three months, they turn into real Wolfsheim songs" Peter said in an interview, who at that time started singing guest vocals for Girls Under Glass and Umbra Et Imago.


In February 1995 the compilation 55578 was released, comprising many tracks known from the successful singles as well as some yet unreleased material or songs only available on compilations. The limited edition came with a live CD which includes tracks recorded at the Strange Ways Festival Tour 1994. Apart from this tour, Wolfsheim played live at the Zillo Festival 1992 and the Strange Ways Festival Tour 1993. This compilation made it to the German Media Control Charts, staying there for five weeks. The single Elias was released, also comprising several remixes of the preceding album. In November 1995 the next single Closer Still was released, and in February 1996 the third album Dreaming Apes on which Wolfsheim had been working together with producer Jose Alvarez. For the first time, there are two songs with German lyrics on the album. Also noticeable are the short instrumental tracks which seem as a transition between the songs. Shortly before the start of the tour in may 1996 on which Wolfsheim were touring on their own for the first time, the seventh single A New Starsystem Has Been Explored was released, for which a video was shot, as was for Sparrows und Now I Fall.


In October 1997 the first live album of the Hamburg-based duo was finally released, entitled Hamburg Rom Wolfsheim. The more than 70 minutes long album was recorded at the 1996 Dreaming Apes tour in Halle, Hildesheim, Hamburg, Potsdam, Bremen and Dortmund. Peter went solo and recorded a duet together with Joachim Witt called Die Flut, a song which was the hit of the year 1998 which held the top position of the German Media Control Charts for weeks, introducing Peters voice and therewith Wolfsheim to a larger audience. In October 1998 the eighth single Once In A Lifetime and the along going video were making path for the forthcoming album Spectators. In October / November Wolfsheim could be seen live on stage again on the first part of the Spectators tour. Just before Christmas 1998 the single It's Hurting For The First Time was released, which appeared on the soundtrack of the Detlev Buck-movie "Liebe deine Nächste".


The Spectators-CD, released in February 1999, held the no. 2 pots of the German Media Control album charts for weeks, right after Cher - a gigantic success! In spring, the second part of the Spectators tour took place. The next single Künstliche Welten was released as the official second single of the Spectators album. And songs of Wolfsheim appeared on soundtracks to the movies Straight Shooter and The 13th Floor. In summer, Wolfsheim were playing at various festivals: Bizarre, Rock am Ring, Rock im Park. In Munich, they were supporting R.E.M. and those who thought these two bands had nothing in common was proven wrong by Wolfsheim's excellent performance. And they played their first gig outside Germany at Belgium's Eurorock festival. The millennium saw Wolfsheim at a concert in Herford celebrating with their fans.


The following two years proved to be a creative break for Markus and Peter. For the first time, a Wolfsheim calendar was published, consisting of the best photographic impressions of them. At the end of 2000, Wolfsheim are in the studios with Jose Alvarez, recording the first songs for the forthcoming album. Markus was busy working on songs for his solo project Care Company, whilst Peter was taking part in the beneficial song Heal Yourself, amongst Reamonn and the Guano Apes.

Markus Reinhardt and Jose Alvarez are recording the first video clip for the first Care Company single Gain Again in the U.S. Peter Heppner is celebrating another chart hit with his collaboration with Schiller and the song Dream Of You, the video (shot in Barcelona) is running on "heavy rotation" at MTV and VIVA. Peter is recording the song Glasgarten together with Goethes Erben, which they performed together at several Erben-gigs, also at the M'era Luna festival where Marilyn Manson were headlining. Peter is flying to iceland with Goethes Erben to produce a video clip for Glasgarten and in September Wolfsheim are in the studios again to record songs for the new album. At the same time, the Spectators album is licensed with Metropolis Records in the U.S. and is turning into a huge success. The tour planned for October 2001 had to be cancelled due to the terror attacks at World Trade Center. Wolfsheim is using the unexpected free time to finish its first DVD which will be available in the shops on April 16th.


Time has come on April 16th 2002. Kompendium – the first Wolfsheim DVD is available in the shops. It contains a live recording from the Spectators-Tour, various video clips, an interview and other graphical material.

On 07.03.2002, Peter Heppner and Schiller win the Echo in the category "National Dance Single" with their single Dream of you.

Spain sees this year's only 2 live concerts in May.

The band spends the remaining time working on the new album. "The new song material shows such a phantastic quality improvement, that both Markus Reinhardt und Peter Heppner are brimming over with enthusiasm for new arrangements and lyrics. Therefore, the initial release date could not be kept." The tour, originally planned for September, has been postponed to March 2003 accordingly. Studio work is finished in December. The first single from the new album, which has been renamed from Close Enough to Casting Shadows, will be called Kein Zurück. The video clip to the single will be shot by Detlev Buck, who in the past has been responsible for the visual adaptation to It's hurting for the first time.

Now there is no way back! The single Kein Zurück (no way back) is released on 17.02.2003 and is heralding a very successful year for the band. This Wolfsheim pop hymn, very sentimentally interpreted by singer Peter Heppner, is entering the German Media Control Charts at number 5 and stays in the top ten for 10 weeks. The jingle from an audio book publishing which is used at the start of this song is causing a stir. The effect of this melody – in the sense of "Attention, here comes a book!" – is leading the listener straight to the story of this great song.

Four years have passed since the last Wolfsheim-Album Spectators. But for the numerous fans throughout Europe and overseas the time of holding out will have been not too bad, as their patience is rewarded with Casting Shadows. Instrumentalist Markus Reinhardt and singer Peter Heppner did not only manage to meet the expectations towards them by far, on top they could redefine their musical visions. The eleven songs on the album reflect the fact that both of them have matured as artists since 1999. Many new ideas which could only blossom as the musicians were opening towards influences beyond their genre were integrated into the unmistakably identifiably classical sound of Wolfsheim. This album was produced by various producers, eight songs were recorded with the help of Andreas Herbig, among them both German songs. It definitively is the opus the most lyrically matured, most manifold creativity in composing and sound-technically most interesting opus in the history of the band.

Casting Shadows made it to the number one spot in the German Media Control Album Charts out of nowhere. A short time later, Strange Ways can award and celebrate the first noble metal in their history.

The tour, postponed again, takes place in April/May and bestows unforgettable evenings in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Due to heavy demand, new venues were booked. For example, 7000 fans were cheering in Arena in Treptow, Berlin. After well deserved holidays, Wolfsheim are playing various festivals throughout Europe. Another concert highlight of the year is Peter Heppner's guest appearance at this year's only Schiller concert on 24.09.2003 in Berlin. In addition to the successful single Dream of you the song Leben ... I feel you taken from the album Leben was presented.

Find you're here is released on. Depending on the interpretation, it is either an alternative version or the continuation of Find you're gone from the Casting Shadows album. Originally intending to create an exclusive remix, with new arrangements and new lyrics Find you're here arises within a few days. The single reaches number 23 of the German Media Control Charts.

The year starts with the release of the new Schiller featuring Peter Heppner single Leben ... I feel you. The video was shot early December 2003 on Rügen. Strange Ways Records release the soundtrack to the new Lars Büchel movie Erbsen auf halb Sechs early March. It contains a newly recorded version of the Wolfsheim classic Blind taken from the album Spectators, which is also released as a single. Markus and Peter have been shooting the video just before the year end with Lars Büchel and the leading actress Fritzi Haberlandt.

Parallel to the releases Find you're here and Blind, Casting Shadows is bestowed chart success yet again. Apart from a short break, the latest album has been in the German top 100 for over a year.

On 06.03.2004, Wolfsheim win the Echo in the category "Alternative national", beating the other nominees Die Happy, Guano Apes, In Extremo and Wir sind Helden. To celebrate the success, the band performs Blind 2004.

After an abortive attempt in 2001, the band is going on their first US tour in March / April. Ten dates in North America are planned. Due to positive reaction, further gigs in America are planned.

In April, Schiller is touring with Peter Heppner and other guests throughout Germany.

The summer sees various festival appearances throughout Europe. Another single to be taken from Casting Shadows and a DVD to the last tour are under preparation.

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