Home » Entertainment » Glory to the truth: The glasses are burning: Heinz Rudolf Kunze with anger and warmth

Glory to the truth: The glasses are burning: Heinz Rudolf Kunze with anger and warmth

He is the rock intellectual, the thinker among German pop poets, the smart man with the glasses: Heinz Rudolf Kunze.

The musician has a somehow cuddly class speaker image, at the same time some only know him as a singer of love songs such as “Your is my whole heart” or crime novels like “Find Mabel!”. His new album forces – at the latest now – to refrain from Kunze clichés.

With 14 songs in 62 minutes, “Truth to Honor” is a real chunk – musically more versatile and powerful than ever, lyrically the most political, warmest, most compassionate record of the musician who has long lived in Hanover. His trademark, the glasses, adorns the album cover again – but this time it is on fire. “For others, the hut or the tree is on fire – my glasses are on fire,” says Kunze in conversation with the German Press Agency in Berlin and laughs heartily.

But this cover motif is of course symbolic: the world and the country have changed massively since the songwriter released “Brille” in 1991, one of the best and best-selling albums in his almost 40-year career. He sees the flames licking everywhere – and opposes the threatening signs of the times defiance, resistance and anger, but also wit and hope. The wonderfully soothing conclusion is called “The darkness does not have the last word”.

The motto of the album can be found in the title of the song “The time is ripe”, where it says, for example: “It just doesn’t go on like this / it’s a human right and duty / your children look at you questioningly / forces you to fit together / what you leave them / a world to live in. » The reminder and agitator Kunze is in top form in such texts. There is “enough reason to be politically worried,” says the 63-year-old. And in addition to two beautiful love ballads in the Elton-John style, he wrote a number of snappy and socially critical songs.

A challenge – even for an experienced songwriter with over four million records sold. “It’s a bit difficult,” admits Kunze in a dpa interview. «You have to beware of sloganeering, it is very boring, even the second time you listen. I have never liked Agitprop songs. Therefore – despite everything – the names of the villains in this world are missing. »

In the opening song “Der Prediger”, Kunze tells of the seemingly omnipresent crazy people who hold monologues on the street. The musician has long recognized such a preaching pose in many ignorant angry citizens: «They claim to already know everything and no longer listen. This delirium, this hysteria, these lies dominate the climate today. We live in a digital Middle Ages – a lot of technology, but also an incredible amount of limitations. »

In the protest song “With what right” Kunze is upset about the arrogance of power, with which refugees are blocked the way to a better survival. And in the title song “Honoring the Truth” he lets out all his empathy in a flood of text reminiscent of Bob Dylan – the private and the political mix in a moving way.

Kunze takes a very critical view of the fact that young German songwriters hardly dare to tackle more complicated topics: “I am appalled by the lack of sympathy of the young colleagues in this direction. (…) These young men simply didn’t learn how to do it. But they still have to, because it belongs to a complete singer-songwriter. »

Heinz Rudolf Kunze has recorded his current album without being forced to make lazy compromises. “My manager said: go full throttle, do whatever you want – no strategic perturbation!” He says visibly enthusiastically. «Added to this was Udo Rinklin, a new producer ten years younger than me and therefore less influenced by The Who and Led Zeppelin, but more by The Clash, The Jam and New Order. It is very good for my music – it is like a fresh cell cure. »

Almost at the same time, Kunze’s new book “If you speak of the devil – 200 contemporary stories” was published. “These are small, loose texts, splinters of thought – a quick reaction to what’s going on and what’s going on,” he says.

An album, a book, plus solo and band tours and even an appearance as an actor in an upcoming Stuttgart “crime scene”: Heinz Rudolf Kunze is in his early / mid 60s as productive as rarely before. In four decades he has released around 500 songs, with many more to come. «There are still a few thousand songs in the drawer. The late work is now beginning, »says the musician. It will be interesting to see what one of the most important German pop poets still has in store.

Heinz Rudolf Kunze’s album “Der Truth die Ehre” was released on Meadow Lake Music / Rough Trade. The book “When One Speaks of the Devil – 200 Contemporary Stories” was published by Adeo (224 pages, hardcover, ISBN-10: 3863342526, ISBN-13: 978-3863342524).

Heinz Rudolf Kunze and the band’s “The Truth to Honor” tour begins in Leipzig on April 17 and ends in Blieskastel on June 7. He also performs solo and “with reinforcement”.

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