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Die Krupps performing in 2018
|Years active||1980–1985, 1989–1997, 2005–present|
|Past members||Rüdiger Esch|
Christoph "Nook" Michelfeit
The band's name translates as "The Krupps" and comes from the Krupp dynasty, one of Germany's main industrial families before and during World War II. In some interviews the band stated that Visconti's 1969 movie The Damned — a depiction of the fictitious German industrial dynasty of the Essenbecks — was the main inspiration.
Critics worldwide[who?] hail them alongside Kraftwerk and Einstürzende Neubauten as pioneers of Electronic and Industrial music, bands like Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb called them their inspiration, and their musical ideas found their way into the sound of a wide spectrum of music, from Depeche Mode to the innovative pioneers of Detroit techno. Also seen as one of the pioneers of fusing metal music and electronic music.
Ralf Dörper who was part of the initial line-up which created the highly acclaimed[by whom?] early recordings Stahlwerksynfonie and Wahre Arbeit Wahrer Lohn in 1981, left the band in 1982 to found the band Propaganda. Propaganda became one of the few German bands which were internationally successful in the 1980s. In the mid 1980s, Jurgen Engler went to work on his record label Atom-H, signing bands who played mainly thrash metal and hardcore punk. This influence would play a key part in the musical change in the 1990s. In 1989, Ralf Dörper initiated a collaboration with Nitzer Ebb on an old Die Krupps track (i.e. "Machineries of Joy", a newer version of their early 1980s track "Wahre Arbeit Wahrer Lohn") which he produced together with Jürgen Engler. The chart success of the record (Billboard charts) led to the reactivation of Die Krupps fronted by Engler and Dörper.
The initial sound on the band's first album Stahlwerksynfonie, showed a mix of industry factory noises with metallic percussion and real instruments. Later on the Wahre Arbeit, Wahrer Lohn EP and the Volle Kraft voraus! album in 1982 the band's sound moved toward a less experimental sound but rather a more synthesizer based sound while still keeping the metallic percussion. With the release of Entering the Arena the band almost completely abandoned the metallic percussion and went for a more 1980s new wave sound.
Die Krupps were key in the Europe wide progression of electronic body music, culminating with the collaboration in 1989 with British band Nitzer Ebb. In 1992, they began to utilize guitars and more sounds derived from heavy metal music, with the release of their album I and the EP Tribute to Metallica, which consisted of covers of Metallica songs. Combining electronic and metal elements was a pioneering move which led to a number of other bands using the electronic/metal combo as a template in keeping with a deeper industrial sound. The band continued in this vein through the 1990s, releasing II - The Final Option (with an album cover influenced by Deep Purple's Machine Head) in 1993. A more experimental and pensive III - Odyssey of the Mind followed in 1995. After the release of the thrash metal influenced album Paradise Now in 1997 (unofficially known as IV), the band disbanded.
Die Krupps celebrated their 25th anniversary with appearances in some major European festivals as well as solo appearances in 2005 and 2006. In fall 2007, two greatest-hits albums were released to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Die Krupps: Too Much History - The Electro Years Vol. 1 and Too Much History - The Metal Years Vol. 2, both in digipak format. Both albums were combined as the 2-disc Too Much History. A collection of completely recorded old classics including four then new songs on their greatest hit album Too Much History (2007). "The Great Divide", "5 Millionen" with two cover songs "Ich bin ein Ausländer" by Pop Will Eat Itself and "Der Amboss" by Visage (which was originally released two years before as a B-side to the re-release of Wahre Arbeit, wahrer Lohn).
The influential back-catalogue of Die Krupps has been remastered and expanded. So far four of their previous albums; Stahlwerksynfonie, Volle Kraft voraus, I and Final Option have been re-released. and Volle Kraft Null Acht in 2009 a remix album of Volle Kraft voraus!.
In 2010, Die Krupps released an EP entitled "Als wären wir für immer", which comprises two original electronic based tracks, two original metal based tracks, and a cover of Propaganda's 1980s hit, "Dr Mabuse". At that time the first true new material since 1997. To celebrate thirty years of "True Work, True Pay" Die Krupps announced a joint European tour with Nitzer Ebb in spring 2011.
In 2013, the band released their first full new album since 1997, an industrial/EBM record called The Machinists of Joy, and in 2015, they released the heavy metal influenced album V – Metal Machine Music. In 2016, the band recorded Stahlwerkrequiem, a sequel/recording of the band's first album, Stahlwerksynfonie. Later that year saw the release of Live im Schatten der Ringe, a live album originally recorded in 2014.
- Jürgen Engler – vocals, guitar, keyboards, synthesizers and programming, metallic percussion (1980–1985, 1989–1997, 2005–present)
- Ralf Dörper – keyboards, synthesizers and programming (1980–1982, 1985, 1989–1997, 2005–present)
- Marcel Zürcher – guitar, keyboards (2005–present)
- Nils Finkeisen – guitar (2015–present)
- Paul Keller – drums (2018–present)
- Bradley Bills – live drums (2013–2014)
- Rüdiger Esch – bass guitar (1989–1997, 2005–2011)
- Christoph "Nook" Michelfeit – drums, electronic percussion
- Bernward Malaka – bass guitar (1980–1982)
- Hendrik Thiesbrummel – live drums (2016–2018)
- Frank Köllges – drums
- Eva Gossling – saxophone (1981)
- Christina Schnekenburger – keyboards
- Walter Jäger – ?
- Christopher Lietz – programming, samples (1995–1997)
- Lee Altus – guitar (1992–1997)
- Darren Minter – drums (1993)
- George Lewis – drums (1997)
- Oliver Röhl – drums
- Achim Färber – drums
- Volker Borchert – drums (1992, 2015–2016)
- Stahlwerksynfonie (1981)
- Volle Kraft voraus! (1982)
- Entering the Arena (1985)
- I (1992)
- II - The Final Option (1993)
- The Final Remixes (1994)
- III - Odyssey of the Mind (1995)
- Paradise Now (1997)
- The Machinists of Joy (2013)
- V - Metal Machine Music (2015)
- Stahlwerkrequiem (2016)
- Live Im Schatten der Ringe (2016)
- Vision 2020 Vision (2019)
Singles and EPs
- Wahre Arbeit, wahrer Lohn (1981)
- Goldfinger (1982)
- Risk (1985)
- Machineries of Joy (1989)
- Germaniac (1990)
- Metal Machine Music (1992)
- The Power (1992)
- A Tribute to Metallica (1992)
- Fatherland (1993)
- To the Hilt (1994)
- Crossfire (1994)
- Bloodsuckers (1994)
- Isolation (1995)
- Scent (1995)
- Remix Wars Strike 2: Die Krupps vs. Front Line Assembly (1996)
- Fire (1997)
- Rise Up (1997)
- Black Beauty White Heat (1997)
- Wahre Arbeit, wahrer Lohn / Der Amboss (2005)
- Volle Kraft Null Acht (2009)
- Als wären wir für immer (2010)
- Industrie-Mädchen (2012)
- Risikofaktor (2013)
- "Nazis on Speed" (2013)
- "Robo Sapien" (2014)
- "Battle Extreme" / "Fly Martyrs Fly" (2015)
- "Kaltes Herz" (2015)
- "Alive in a Glass Cage" (2016) – feat. Caliban
- "F*ck You" (2018)
- Metall Maschinen Musik 91-81 Past Forward (1991)
- Rings of Steel (1995)
- Metalmorphosis of Die Krupps (1997)
- Foundation (1997)
- Too Much History. The Electro Years (Vol. 1) (2007)
- Too Much History. The Metal Years (Vol. 2) (2007)
- Too Much History. Limited edition double CD set (2007)
Compilations appearances and tributes (Partial)
- Extended Electronics (2006)
- This Is Industrial Hits of the '90s (2007)
- Advanced Electronics Vol. 8 (2010)
- The Dark Box - The Ultimate Goth, Wave & Industrial Collection 1980-2011 (2011)
- Russian Industrial Tribute to Die Krupps (2013)
- Elektrozorn Vol. 1 (2014)
- Colin Larkin, ed. (2003). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 158/9. ISBN 1-85227-969-9.
- "Die Krupps launch two best of albums". Side-line.com. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
- "Die Krupps re-release their classic albums 'Volle Kraft Voraus' and 'I' with bonus-material". Side-line.com. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
- Official site
- SHOUT! Online interview with Jürgen Engler / Die Krupps (November 2005)
- Ormeny, Francisc-Norbert (29 August 2010). "Online interview with Jürgen Engler". Europe’s Times and Unknown Waters