If you think of Matthias Reim (65), you might also think of his first kiss… at least many of his songs usher in very special memories that catapult us back to the 90s and 2000s. In particular, the cult song “Damn, I love you” is still in most people’s ears to this day. Reim’s personal life is characterized by ups and downs, but accompanied by an irrepressible passion for his music. After having to cancel all planned concerts in September 2022 due to health problems, he is currently back on a Germany-wide tour, the highlight of which will be his 1,500th concert in Wuhlheide on September 16th.

In an interview with the news agency spot on news, the pop star talks about how his music still brings back a lot of memories today and why he wants to continue making new music despite his much-loved oldies.

Matthias Reim: There are so many highlights! You get an idea of ​​what it sounds like – but of course it’s best to experience it live. And as strange as it may sound: for me the encore is always a really great moment. Because I still love ‘Damn, I love you’ just as much as I did the first day. I’ve probably sung the song around 5,000 times in my life now and it never gets old. The mother stands there with her six-year-old daughter, and maybe grandma and grandpa are standing next to them and you can see how it connects generations. The enthusiasm that this song can still trigger is such a moment of happiness for me that I would still say my most beautiful moment is exactly this one.

Reim: That was on November 25th, 1989 – and I only know that because it was my 26th birthday. I had just received a rejection over the phone for an album I had produced. I was told that they wouldn’t release it, that this ‘I love you, I love you’ thing was bad, and that they needed to explore new avenues. And I just wrote down ‘I love you, I don’t love you, damn it…’ and those words were all there, even the junk. A bit frustrated, I wrote it all down on a piece of paper. Then the gentleman hung up. It was pouring rain and I looked at the lines, sat down at the piano – and then the song was written within twenty minutes. This showed me that what I considered a misfortune could turn into the greatest happiness in a matter of minutes. And I also transferred that into this song: Because disasters can sometimes also mean new opportunities.

Reim: I think, first of all, I would be a very unintelligent person if I repeated massive mistakes that I have made. Because you learn from your mistakes. I always describe that in my songs: ‘If that hadn’t happened to me, you wouldn’t have met me’. This has worked for me, and mistakes are part of life. Because as you get older and wiser, you learn from those experiences. If I had only been lucky and successful in life, I would probably be an unbearable multimillionaire today.

Reim: I have to face it, that’s very clear. The so-called burnout came from a truly endless chain of successive infections. Because after Corona things finally continued, and I had massively underestimated that, because being isolated over the years simply weakens the immune system. I didn’t do anything during that time and wasn’t outside either. Then I went straight to the Silbereisen tour, 25 arenas with about 10,000 people singing along to everything. I stood in the front row and basically recorded everything. After I played two more concerts on stage with a fever, it was simply over. I had to retreat first to heal.

At the moment – ‘toi, toi, toi’ – I’ve been playing one concert after another for months. The halls and open airs are packed, and with the new concept and the arranged show we have been very successful so far, with no colds and no cancellations. And that’s a great feeling just for the psyche, because you can go on stage with joy and strength.

Reim: There is a journey through time through 33 years of my music. Surprisingly, I find that many of my songs are known, even to spouses who were just dragged along. The music is structured in such a way that these songs become a new experience. For example, we have rediscovered many of the secondary melodies that have been lost over the years and rearranged them with current sounds. This is a journey back into the future.

Reim: I’m often very conservative with my songs because I’m a child of the seventies and was influenced by the big rock bands. You can also hear that in my songs and songwriting. But I’m also happy to open the door when opportunities arise, like a pitch-and-brimstone number with rapper Finch. That was great fun. And standing in the pouring rain at Parookaville in front of tens of thousands of people in a chaos rap disaster and thinking as a 65-year-old: ‘Wow’ – that’s also the spirit of the times. I was amazed, especially by the fact that 80,000 techno fans were shouting every single word of ‘Damn, I love you’.

And we then said: ‘See, there are no limits!’ Because there is no demarcation of the audience. It’s simply what concerts or festivals should convey: joy, fun and a break from everyday life.

Reim: For the concert in Wuhlheide, we extrapolated where we were and also counted the concerts that went wrong in the late 90s. All these years have been so much fun. It was a long road for me, but I was happy to take it. I just thought it was nice to set a high point and for me this is a special opportunity to celebrate with the people who are up for it. I invite you on my journey back to the future, with many memories of the 90s and the 2000s. They are memories that were accompanied by the music of that time.

There are also my children, who will be seen on stage. Finch will also be there, Maschinen from the Puhdys is coming, Karat is coming, and we’ll do something together… It’ll be a long show, but there will be the big Matthias Reim hits. And if we then have a beautiful late summer sky, then it can only be an incredible celebration and a great new memory.

Reim: After the tour, I’m looking forward to the time when I don’t have to fly or sit in the car. Because after Wuhlheide there will be one or two more concerts. But then comes the dark season when I turn on the lights in the studio and work on my new album. Above all, I want to show that despite the many oldies I love, I’m still renewing myself. Because I’m always doing something new, and I just can’t stop making new music. There’s always the next thing: after the concert is before the concert, after the album is before the album.

Reim: I have to honestly admit that acting is not my thing at all. ‘Schuster, stick to your last’ – I was given a gift of talent and I think you don’t have to be able to do everything. I’m also not particularly interested in TV shows, I don’t really need that kind of fame. I always seek satisfaction with myself and my music and take that very seriously. The only thing you could talk about would be formats like “The Voice”. I could actually work well as a juror with the experience I have. But at the moment there is no time for that.

Reim: There is still time, but it’s always somehow too little. When I come home dead tired on a Sunday evening, especially during the summer holidays when everyone is with me, I stand there and get annoyed because I’m just at home so little. That’s the realization after every summer, which for me simply means high season for concerts. But my children know this and are not sad. On Thursday it’s ‘Bye’, and on Sunday evening it’s ‘Hello Dad, what do we do now?’. I then go through the rooms and chat with everyone, but then I still need some peace and quiet.