At the age of 57, the musician Sebastian Krumbiegel (57) has had a wild journey, which he is now letting his fans take part in in his autobiographical work “My Voice. Between Attitude and Entertainment”, which is published today, March 22nd. In the entertaining book, the singer of the Prinzen takes stock of his life so far, peppered with anecdotes, from his youth in the GDR to his career as one of the first pan-German pop stars to his current work as a songwriter and tireless democracy activist. In an interview with spot on news, he takes a look at the current state of the country and reveals whether he feels more connected to Prince Harry or Prince William.

Sebastian Krumbiegel: My friends from the Hamburg label tape records were at one of my solo piano concerts. These concerts are a kind of playground for me. I try out new songs in an intimate setting in front of 200 or 300 people, I can do whatever I want on an evening like this and I really enjoy it. Sometimes the horses run wild with me, I talk more than I sing, and I tell stories. They said at the time that it was really nice, but the chatter between songs was too much for us. Write down the things you talk about and we’ll make a book out of it. At first I thought it was a bit too big for me, but then I really enjoyed it and the more I wrote, the more I realized it was good for me. It was almost therapeutic. You reflect on things you have experienced and learn more about yourself than you could imagine. I did it almost casually while on family vacation, the first critics were my closest circle, later the publisher came into play, and suddenly a book was finished that surprised even me.

Yes – autobiography initially sounds like: That’s it – but while I was writing it I never had the feeling that I was telling a complete story. Life is exciting and I still have a lot to do. I see this book more as a kind of interim review. It’s about my childhood in the former GDR, my time in the Thomanerchor, the peaceful revolution that I experienced as a student in Leipzig, the fall of the Wall, our incredible success with the Princes, which came quickly and unexpectedly, our shared experiences with Udo Lindenberg, Rio Reiser and Annette Humpe, but it’s also about today. It was important to me not to write down any supposed heroic stories; it was important to me to constantly question myself and – as I said – to search for my own weaknesses and abysses in an almost therapeutic way. In the end, I think this turned out to be an entertaining and entertaining book. It has nothing to do with great literature, I write the way I talk and I’m glad I did that. Even if it may sound a bit pathetic: looking back now, I have the feeling that this book wanted to be written – it just happened, it just came out of me.

Krumbiegel: “Social commitment” – that sounds far too grandiose to me. I try to reflect what surrounds me, what I experience and observe, and at the same time I try to get involved. We all do that more or less. We shouldn’t underestimate ourselves, because we are often capable of much more than we can imagine. My parents passed on this basic attitude to me, and I am very grateful for it. They are still my first critics today when it comes to my music or this book. This compass, don’t put up with everything, question things that seem strange to you, defend yourself against things you don’t want – this compass has become a basic attitude for me.

I think it’s good for all of us not to blindly accept anything as “that’s just the way it is, we can’t do anything about it.” Of course there are also voices that tell me: It’s better to stay out of the political discourse, leave it to the professionals and sing instead, but I think that’s fundamentally wrong. Regardless of whether we make music, work in the office, on the construction site, at school, in the hospital or whether we earn our money sitting at the checkout in the supermarket, it is we ourselves who should take care of it what a world we live in. Of course we cannot solve the big global problems, just quickly end the war in Ukraine or anywhere else in the world, of course it is not in our power who becomes the next President of the United States of America, but in our environment, We can make a difference in our family, with our friends or among colleagues. We live in difficult, turbulent times, the planet is burning, and we should actually only be concerned with this basis of our existence, but we are waging one war after another around the world, increasing armaments and discussing arms deliveries.

Yes – our world is difficult, and we have to somehow deal with the fact that there are always despots who want to set it on fire. So in the last few months and years I have questioned the pacifism that is actually deep within me, because we have to defend ourselves against all the Putins and Assads of this world. Of course, I don’t have the answers to many of these complex questions, but I am convinced that we should talk about these questions and that it is a big mistake to think that we can stay out of it.

Krumbiegel: Oh yes – the more I think about it, the more I come to the point that it is not wise to join the dystopian canon. But I also notice that it’s difficult for me not to lose confidence, my good old feeling that the glass is always half full. The problem, however, is that it would also be a mistake to do window dressing and make light of the situation. We have a massive problem with right-wing conservative movements that are slowly but surely gaining sovereignty over interpretation. Okay – a lot of people seem to have just woken up. On the one hand, the large demonstrations against the AfD’s triumph give me courage, but on the other hand, I fear that things are happening that we can no longer really stop. This is not an East German phenomenon, nor a German one. Wherever we look, in Europe or worldwide, nationalistic, ethnic attitudes are gaining ground. Countering this zeitgeist of yesterday is a central task for me. In contrast to the 1990s, the so-called baseball bat years, it is unfortunately the case that it is no longer a few crazy fascist skins who are turning the clock, the fascists are now sitting in the parliaments, and for What worries me most is that the proverbial middle of society has been reached.

In the east of the Republic there are areas where we no longer have to talk about AfD 30 percent – there are stark majorities there, and that’s scary. Of course, there are always reasons for this, and of course mistakes are made in the politics of those in power – but the democratic opposition makes many more mistakes. I often find it all really difficult to bear: this “we declare the Greens the main enemy” of the Union – that is irrelevant and dangerous. The enemy of our democratic basic order is on the far right. We should all finally understand this – once they have political power, then it’s too late. Höcke in Thuringia speaks openly about, for example, terminating the State Broadcasting Treaty or wanting to abolish inclusion in schools. If the institutions, the state parliaments, are given political power from the far right, then we will all look around…

And now I sound so negative again, which is not what I actually want. It’s not too late yet, the elections haven’t been decided yet – we should all be aware of our responsibility – it’s about preventing totalitarian power structures, and we can only do that if we make sure that the cross we carry with us the elections, there is no catch.

Krumbiegel: Last year we finally had our long-awaited tour, which was postponed several times due to the pandemic. 30 years – 30 cities – 30 hits – that was great and is hard to top. This year we’re taking it a little easier. It has always proven useful if we gave each other space in between so that everyone could do their own thing. Over the last 33 years, we’ve come to the point where we realized we were in danger of getting on each other’s nerves. In a situation like this, it’s smart to say that we’ll leave each other alone for now. It keeps the love fresh, so to speak, which is similar to any other relationship.

Sometimes I think it’s a moderate miracle that we’ve lasted this long together. Four of us have known each other since childhood, we are all approaching 60 – which somehow sounds like a lot of getting used to to me – and a lot happens in 50 years together. I hope that we manage to continue together as a band forever, but that also means dealing wisely with this family. Of course we will also play concerts this year, but these will be select things that we can all look forward to together.

Krumbiegel: That’s difficult to assess in retrospect. I think it’s inevitable that as a guy in your early/mid 20s, you’re going to turn your clock when you’re experiencing this kind of madness, and I just met someone the other day who said to me, I remember you from your asshole phase , which shocked me a bit. But when everyone around you tells you every day what a great guy you are, when ten thousand people sing along to your songs in sold-out halls every evening, when the people around you constantly treat you with kid gloves and no one is really honest with you anymore , what’s the matter, then you change, then it does something to you. I don’t know exactly when it started, but it happened overnight.

The tricky thing is that you don’t really notice it – it all seemed so normal and logical to us back then: we finally recorded our first record, it became a million-seller and we were pop stars – of course… Of course we enjoyed the rush , but when our promoter asked me at some point whether I had noticed how I had just snapped at the waitress – we had been eating in a high-class restaurant in Berlin – I was really scared because I hadn’t even noticed it. That was probably a point where I started to question everything, where I was slowly but surely able to reflect that this life we ​​were living was a big circus and that you shouldn’t take it all so personally. Understanding this is a long process, and I’m sure I don’t fully understand it today, but I’m working on it…

In the past I would certainly have said that I would rather be Harry because he doesn’t play along with the whole drama, because he stands up and draws attention to himself through rash and provocative actions. But today I think that I would definitely be a mixture of both, because it is also right to take responsibility and not just run away and do your own thing regardless of the losses. That’s certainly true, but it’s also not particularly exciting. Sometimes I’m annoyed that the older I get, the more sensible and level-headed I become – sometimes I wish I had the radical spontaneity back that I had as a young guy. Of course that’s nonsense, I know, because logically you become more responsible when you have children.

But sometimes it still flashes through and I have the feeling that I’m far from being an adult and then – hahaha – I’m happy like a little boy. That could be embarrassing at times, but fortunately in those moments I don’t care what others think of me. I believe that my job helps me to keep all the wonderful, infantile nonsense inside me alive and to always give it space and food. This works quite well as a musician – as a priest, police officer or teacher or even as a real prince it would be rather difficult. Therefore: keep your eyes open when choosing a career, dear children!