Einstürzende Neubauten logo

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From the cover of the 1985 single "Yü-Gung"

The Einstürzende Neubauten logo can be described as a human symbol with two arms, two legs (one much shorter than another), thin body and big round head with a circle in its middle. It was not created by or for the band, but is an ancient symbol.

Origin and meaning[edit]

The provenance of the logo has been attributed both to the sacred ring of Stonehenge,[1] and to Native American sources, most likely of Olmec origin.[2][3] This sign was discovered in a cave in Chilpancingo, central Mexico and has been dated between nearly 700 and 1200 A.D.[4]

Band leader Blixa Bargeld, said he probably found it in 1980 during a search for mythological icons.,[5] He said that by re-purposing a Toltec petroglyph, whose meaning was purposefully undefined, as their band logo, it would be "filled" with meaning later.[4]

There are several hypothetical interpretations of its meaning. The central circled dot of the figure's head could be of a sun or a (cyclopean) eye. The whole figure-symbol could be a starman, either sun-faced man or with a sun, or star, in his head atop a human stick-figure (see solar symbolism).[5] Many claim a similarity between this symbol and the big eyeball mask used on the stage by members of the avant-garde group the Residents. Though this logo is an ancient symbol, nowadays it is strongly associated with Einstürzende Neubauten.

Liars Single Cover.jpg

Usage[edit]

The logo is placed on almost all of the band's products, such as vinyl/CD/DVD covers, posters, artwork, and memorabilia. The logo is copyrighted by the band,[4] but nevertheless it was used in design of the products which are not related to Einstürzende Neubauten. Blixa Bargeld claims to have seen it on a shampoo in France.[4] A very similar symbol is currently being used by Armani for the RED product series. According to the Armani web site, their artwork is created by an African contemporary artist Owusu-Ankomah, who mixes various cultural influences, including early cave drawings.[6] The band Liars parodied it on the cover of their single "There's Always Room On The Broom". For the cover of their 1992 album "Toi! jeune", the band Paneuropean Architecture also parodied the logo as a clown face.[7]

Tattoos[edit]

Some of the band's fans have a tattoo with the logo, probably the most prominent of them are Henry Rollins, Ministry's Al Jourgensen, and Maniac, formerly of the black metal band Mayhem. Once Einstürzende Neubauten asked fans to send photos of their tattoos to use in artwork for the upcoming album. The images were printed in the fold-out that came with Strategies Against Architecture III. Also, a collage of the photos appeared in 2000 on a tour poster for the "Silence is Sexy"/"20th anniversary" Tour.

Writer, producer, and spoken word performer Tommy Cody has the logo tattooed on his outer left forearm.

Writer, producer, and musician Chris DeMarcus from the band Stiff Valentine has the image tattooed on his right forearm.

Although hardly visible in the finished film, the little vampire girl in the film 30 Days of Night (film) has the Neubauten man tattooed on her arm.

The logo can be seen in the manga Eden: It's an Endless World! by Hiroki Endo (man in the background has it tattooed on his arm).[8]

The logo can also be seen painted on a ruin in the episode 11 of anime series Monster (story by Naoki Urasawa) which takes place in Germany.

The logo is also featured as a tattoo in Grant Morrison's comic The Filth.

In the French film Persepolis, the protagonist, Marjane Satrapi goes to Vienna and befriends a punk rock group, in their apartment the logo can briefly be seen on a poster.

A line in American rockabilly band Heavy Trash's song, "The Pill" (off the album Heavy Soul Serenade, 2009), mentions that "Betty had... a tattoo of the Neubauten logo on her right shoulder..." (although this is commonly mis-transcribed on unofficial lyrics websites).

Gareth Liddiard, lead singer/guitarist of Australian band The Drones has the logo tattooed on his inner left forearm.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Il logo degli E.N. proviene dal cerchio sacro di Stonehenge." page 4, Einstürzende Neubauten: Biographia, Discographia, Interviste, Testi 1980/93! Published by Stampa Alternativa/Nuovi Equilibri, Roma, IT. ISBN 88-7226-101-5 (IT,1993)
  2. ^ A resource, which claims that the logo is of Olmec origin
  3. ^ Pages from a French collection of signs and symbols identifying the origin as Olmec
  4. ^ a b c d Austrian interview with Blixa Bargeld (in German)
  5. ^ a b Brand upon the brain: Logo #17: Einstürzende Neubauten
  6. ^ Armani's symbol which does look like Neubauten logo
  7. ^ Paneuropean Architecture album re-issue
  8. ^ Volume 6, Page 139.