Farin Urlaub

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Farin Urlaub
FarinUrlaub credit JoergSteinmetz.jpg
Farin Urlaub (2012)
Background information
Birth nameJan Vetter
Born (1963-10-27) 27 October 1963 (age 55)
OriginWest Berlin
GenresPunk rock
Ska punk
Pop punk
Years active1980–present
Associated actsDie Ärzte
Farin Urlaub Racing Team
King Køng
Soilent Grün

Jan Vetter (born 27 October 1963), better known as Farin Urlaub[1] (from the German Fahr in Urlaub! ("Go on holiday!"), after his love for travelling), is a German musician and songwriter. He is best known as the guitarist/vocalist for the German punk rock band Die Ärzte. Vetter has been a solo artist since 2001, touring with his band, the Farin Urlaub Racing Team. His releases starting in 2006 are credited to the band.


Vetter was born on 27 October 1963 in West Berlin.[1] Until the age of seven, he lived with his mother in a flat in Berlin's Moabit district, and then in Frohnau until he was 18.[2] His parents were low-income civil servants, and he has a younger half-sister named Julia. His mother often played records by The Beatles, and Vetter was introduced to music at a young age.[2]

When he was nine, Vetter decided to take guitar lessons with an elderly woman who taught him classical standards. He played guitar while visiting holiday camps.[1] A later music teacher advised him: "Whatever you do when you grow up, don't do anything with music!".[3] At the age of 16, Vetter went on a school trip to London, and returned home as a punk with dyed blonde hair.[4]

In 1980, he met Dirk Felsenheimer (later known as Bela B.) at the club Ballhaus Spandau, one of the few clubs in West-Berlin that occasionally played punk rock. Vetter joined Felsenheimer's band Soilent Grün, replacing the previous guitar player whose guitar had been stolen.[5][6] When it was time to come up with stage names, Vetter decided to refer to his favourite hobby of travelling, contracting the German phrase "Fahr in Urlaub" ("Go on holiday") to Farin Urlaub.[7] After completing his Abitur in 1981,[1] Vetter enrolled in archaeology at the Free University of Berlin, but soon quit his studies to focus on his musical career.[citation needed]

Musical career[edit]

Farin Urlaub on holiday in Spain, 2003

After the breakup of Soilent Grün in 1982, Urlaub, Felsenheimer and Hans Runge (Sahnie) formed Die Ärzte. Vetter told the youth magazine BRAVO that his surname was Vetter-Marciniak to find out which of his fans really knew him well: fan mail addressed to "Jan Vetter-Marciniak" he would throw out unread.[citation needed] Even today his surname is often erroneously cited as "Vetter-Marciniak." In 1988, at the height of their popularity, Urlaub and Felsenheimer decided to split up and, after one final tour with the new bass-player, Hagen Liebing, Die Ärzte disbanded.

In 1989, Urlaub formed King Køng with, among others, drummer Uwe Hoffmann, who had been Die Ärzte's producer. Urlaub called himself "Jan" during this time, as he wanted to distance himself from his time with Die Ärzte. The group was never successful, and Urlaub declared it defunct in 1999.

In 2001, Urlaub started his solo career with the album "Endlich Urlaub!" (literally translated meaning "Finally Holiday!", but also a pun on his pseudonym, "Urlaub"). "Am Ende der Sonne" ("At the End of the Sun") was released in 2005, followed by Livealbum Of Death in 2006. The next album Vetter chose to release under the name Farin Urlaub Racing Team, after the band playing alongside him when performing live. The next album titled "Die Wahrheit übers Lügen" ("The Truth About Lying") was released on 31 October 2008. His latest album is called "Faszination Weltraum" ("fascination space") and was released in 2014.

Besides Vetter's solo career, Die Ärzte continued to exist. In November 2007, their album, "Jazz ist anders" ("Jazz is different") was released and was ranked #1 in the German Media Control charts for six consecutive weeks.[8] Their latest album, "auch" ("also") was released in April 2012.

Musical style[edit]

Since his childhood, Vetter has been influenced by The Beatles and Frank Zappa.[1] In addition, he listens to Johnny Cash, Depeche Mode, and "more or less everything except free jazz and techno."[citation needed] Vetter has stated that he does not consider himself to be a particularly good guitarist. He says that he often plays "unclean" chords and that he has only a very limited ability to read music, although this has not affected his success as a musician. Vetter is a very creative and productive author and relevant musician, familiar with many styles ranging from punk to rock, funk (Deine Freundin), ska (Dermitder), reggae, dancehall, country and even, albeit in a jocular manner, in Volkstümliche Musik (Wenn es Abend wird).[citation needed]

According to some reports,[citation needed] the difference between the songs Vetter has written solo and those he has written for Die Ärzte is that his solo pieces are more personal and topical. He tried to make his songs for Die Ärzte as "timeless" and funny as possible, influenced by the Comedian Harmonists.[citation needed] Many of his songs are about being left by one's partner (Zu spät (Too late), Wegen dir (Because of you), Wie am ersten Tag (Like on the first day), Komm zurück (Come back), Nie gesagt (Never told you), OK, 1000 Jahre schlechten Sex (1000 years of bad sex), Nichts in der Welt (Nothing in the world)) or are just nonsense (Buddy Holly's Brille (Buddy Holly's glasses), Außerirdische (Extraterrestrials), WAMMW (Abbreviation for Wenn alle Männer Mädchen wären — If all men were girls)). Since the reunion of Die Ärzte, he has also written socially critical and political songs (Kopfüber in die Hölle (Headfirst into hell), Schrei nach Liebe (Cry for love), Schunder-Song, Der Misanthrop, Rebell, Deine Schuld (Your fault), Nicht allein (Not alone)).

Whereas his first solo album contained several very satirical texts, Am Ende der Sonne deals with more serious themes such as politics, social criticism, and personal subjects. In some solo pieces, Urlaub also shows some tendency towards ska punk (Dermitder ("The Guy With The", contextually, "der Mann mit der Posaune" — the man with the trombone), 1000 Jahre schlechten Sex (1000 years of bad sex)).

Farin Urlaub Racing Team[edit]

The Farin Urlaub Racing Team (abbreviated to "FURT") is the band with whom Vetter performs his solo work. So far, he has completed four tours with the band. He describes the difference between Die Ärzte and the Farin Urlaub Racing Team as follows: "With Die Ärzte, complete anarchy dominates on stage, whereas with the Racing Team you have an orchestra full of dynamite."[9]




Year Title Translation Chart positions
2001 Endlich Urlaub! Finally Holiday! 3 28 85
2005 Am Ende der Sonne At the end of the sun 1 2 20
2017 Berliner Schule School of Berlin 5 24 29

Farin Urlaub Racing Team

Year Title Translation Chart positions
2006 Livealbum of Death 1 4 31
2008 Die Wahrheit übers Lügen The truth about lying 2 5 12
2014 Faszination Weltraum Fascination Space 1 3 6
2015 Danger! 5 35



Year Title Translation Chart positions Album
2001 "Glücklich" Happy 30 61  – Endlich Urlaub!
"Sumisu" 60  –  –
2002 "OK" 32  –  –
"Phänomenal egal" Phenomenally indifferent 44  –  –
2005 "Dusche" Shower 13 28 53 Am Ende der Sonne
"Porzellan" Porcelain 24 46 91
"Sonne" Sun 27 49  –

Farin Urlaub Racing Team

Year Title Translation Chart positions Album
2006 "Zehn" Ten 14 19 82 Livealbum of Death
2008 "Nichimgriff" Notundercontrol 26 29 81 Die Wahrheit übers Lügen
2009 "Niemals" Never 28 56  –
"Krieg" War 49  –  –
2010 "Zu heiß" Too Hot 59  –  –
2014 "Herz? Verloren" Heart? Lost 12 49  – Faszination Weltraum
"AWG" 32  –  –
2015 "iDisco" 22  –  –


King Køng[edit]

Soilent Grün[edit]

With Dirk Felsenheimer, Roman Stoyloff and others.


  • "Requiem für Nossek" (1989) - The Incredible Hagen feat. Jan Vetter & Bela B.; for the soundtrack of "Lindenstraße", titled "Wir warten auf die Lindenstraße"
  • "Wir brauchen... Werner" (1990) - Bela B. & Jan; for the soundtrack of Werner – Beinhart!
  • "Donna Clara" (1995) - as Kill Kill Gaskrieg (The Bates featuring Bela B. & Kill Kill Gaskrieg); for the album "Pleasure + Pain"
  • "Du bist hübsch, Kati" (1995) - for Heinz Strunk's album "Der Mettwurstpapst"
  • Backing vocals for songs "Monster", "Ohne Traurigkeit" and "Meer" on Fleischmann's 1995 album "Hunger"
  • Like This and "Liebe macht blind" (2000) - The Busters feat. Farin Urlaub, for the Busters' 2001 album "360°"
  • Backing singer on "Hey du" by the Beatsteaks on the Wohnzimmer EP (2002)
  • Backing vocals on "Bettmensch" on Olli Schulz & der Hund Marie's album "Das beige Album" as K. K. Blitzkrieg
  • It is an unconfirmed guess, but most people think that he is the secret singer of the Funny van Dannen cover-song "Unbekanntes Pferd" (Unknown Horse) on the "Köpfer"-EP of the band Rantanplan.



  • Farin Urlaub: Unterwegs 1 - Indien & Bhutan. Bildband, Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-89602-779-5.
  • Farin Urlaub: "Unterwegs 2 - Australien & Osttimor". Bildband, Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2011 , ISBN 978-3862650620.
  • Farin Urlaub: "AFRIKA Unterwegs 3: Vom Mittelmeer zum Golf von Guinea & Unterwegs 4: Vom Golf von Guinea nach Sansibar", Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-86265-485-7.
  • Markus Karg: Die Ärzte - Ein überdimensionales Meerschwein frisst die Erde auf. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-89602-369-1.
  • Stefan Üblacker: "Das Buch ä: Die von die ärzte autorisierte Biografie". Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2016, ISBN 3862655857.

External links[edit]