Farin Urlaub Overview
Jan Ulrich Max Vetter, better known as Farin Urlaub (like German "Fahr in Urlaub!" ("Go on holiday!"), after his love of travelling) was born on October 27, 1963 in what was then West Berlin, Germany . He is best known as the guitarist/vocalist for the German punk rock band Die Ärzte. He has also been a solo artist since 2001, touring with his band, the "Farin Urlaub Racing Team".
Up to the age of seven, Vetter lived with his mother in a flat in the Moabit district of Berlin, and in Frohnau up to the age of 18. His parents were low-paid civil servants, and he has a younger half-sister named Julia. His mother often played records by The Beatles, and he was introduced to music at a young age. At the age of 16, Vetter went on a school trip to London, and returned home as a punk with dyed blonde hair.
In 1980 he met Dirk Felsenheimer Bela B. (later known as Bela B.) in the punk club Ballhaus Spandau and joined his band Soilent Grün, replacing the previous guitar player whose guitar had been stolen. When the time came to make up stage names, Vetter decided to refer to his favourite hobby of travelling, contracting the phrase "Fahr in Urlaub" ("Go on holiday") to 'Farin Urlaub'. After completing his Abitur (school-leaving exams, equivalent of A-levels Advanced Level (UK) ) in 1981, he enrolled in archaeology at the Free University of Berlin, but soon gave up studying to focus on his musical career.When the band broke up in 1982 Urlaub, Felsenheimer and Hans Runge (Sahnie) formed Die Ärzte. He told the youth magazine BRAVO that his surname was Vetter-Marciniak to find out who really knew him and who only pretended to. When he received fan mail he would throw away, unread, letters addressed to "Jan Vetter-Marciniak". Even today his legal surname is often erroneously cited as "Vetter-Marciniak". In 1988, at the height of their po***rity, Urlaub and Felsenheimer decided to split up and, after one final tour with the new bass-player, Hagen Liebing, Die Ärzte disbanded.
Urlaub then (1989) 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 much later (in 1999).
In 2001, Urlaub started his solo career with the album "Endlich Urlaub!" (in literal translation "Holiday at Last!", but also a pun on his pseudonym, "Urlaub" thus proclaiming "Urlaub at Last!"). "Am Ende der Sonne" ("At the End of the Sun") was released in 2005, followed by Livealbum Of Death in 2006. For the next album and possibly the ones to come, he chose to publish it under the name Farin Urlaub Racing Team which is the band playing alongside him when performing live. The latest album called "Die Wahrheit übers Lügen" ("The Truth About Lying") was released on 31 October 2008.
Despite Urlaub's successful solo career, Die Ärzte continue to exist. In November, 2007 their latest album, "Jazz ist anders" was released and was ranked #1 in the German Media Control charts for six consecutive weeks.Since his childhood Urlaub was influenced by The Beatles and Frank Zappa. In addition he particularly listens to Johnny Cash, Depeche Mode and "more or less everything except free jazz and techno". However, he admits openly that he does not consider himself to be a particularly good guitarist. He says that he often plays "unclean" chords and that even today he has only a very limited ability to read music, though this has not held back his success as a musician. Urlaub is a very creative and productive author and a relevant musician, firm in many styles from Punk to Rock, Funk (Deine Freundin) and even, albeit in a sardonic manner, in Volkstümliche Musik (Wenn es Abend wird).
According to some reports, the difference between his solo songs 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; in this he was influenced by the Comedian Harmonists. 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 the first day), Komm zurück (Come back), Nie gesagt (Never said), OK, 1000 Jahre schlechten *** (1000 years of bad ***), 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 (Trash 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 (That with that), 1000 Jahre schlechten *** (One Thousand Years Of Bad ***).The Farin Urlaub Racing Team (abbreviated to "FURT") is the band with whom Farin Urlaub performs his solo work. Up to now, Urlaub 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".
*Endlich Urlaub! (Holiday at last) (2001)
*Am Ende der Sonne (At the end of the sun) (2005)
*Livealbum of Death (2006)
*Die Wahrheit übers Lügen (The truth about lying) (2008)
*"Glücklich" (Happy) (2001)
*"OK OK (Farin Urlaub song) " (2002)
*"Phänomenal egal" (Phenomenally indifferent) (2002)
*"Dusche" (Shower) (2005)
*"Porzellan" (Porcellain) (2005)
*"Sonne Sonne (Farin Urlaub song) " (Sun) (2005)
*"Zehn" (Ten) (2006)
*"Nichimgriff" (Notundercontrol) (2008)
*"Niemals" (Never) (2009)
*"Krieg Krieg (song) " (War) (2009)
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 Fleischmann (band) '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
* Markus Karg: Die Ärzte - Ein überdimensionales Meerschwein frisst die Erde auf. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-89602-369-1
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