Hartmut Engler: The Pur singer is very afraid of that

The successful band Pur has been an integral part of the German music landscape for decades.

Hartmut Engler: The Pur singer is very afraid of that

The successful band Pur has been an integral part of the German music landscape for decades. Starting as a school band in the small town of Bietigheim-Bissingen in Baden-Württemberg, they still inspire millions and regularly fill entire stadiums. In 2020, the band around frontman Hartmut Engler (60) celebrated their 40th anniversary - nobody thinks about quitting. On the contrary: On November 4th, the 17th studio album "Personal" will be released.

In it, the band deals with very emotional topics - such as the surprising death of their ex-drummer Martin Stoeck in June 2021. "The news of his death hit us very hard at the time - it was a punch in the pit of the stomach," explains Hartmut Engler. Guitarist Martin Ansel (57) also recently left Pur. But the singer wasn't afraid that the band would slowly break up. A completely different person gives him nightmares, as he reveals in an interview with the news agency spot on news.

Hartmut Engler: I basically package my stories in the texts. We produced this album during the pandemic. That's why I've interacted less with the other band members, which is why it's even more personal this time. But the others provided me with great music - we had a total of 80 songs. Choosing the right ones took a few months. I had to get used to the new situation. The pandemic has triggered a great deal of uncertainty. At some point I gave in to the pressure of the great music, sat down and started writing the lyrics.

Engler: Everyone had the opportunity to record songs at home. I was offered pieces that were very far pre-produced. Only melody and singing were missing. In this respect I filled the titles with my content and sang them in the studio.

Engler: At the time of Martin Stoeck's separation, I was in South Africa, standing in front of the camera for "Sing meine Song". That's why I didn't notice much of the atmospheric disturbances and musical disagreements within the band. Unfortunately, we lost touch afterwards. The news of death hit us very hard at the time - it was a punch in the pit of the stomach. As always with emotional things, I cried at first.

When the new album started, it was clear to me that I couldn't let his death stand and had to process it. We wouldn't be Pur if we didn't take a position on it. But I've stayed honest, we weren't always on the same wavelength. We were very different. But I'm still glad for the good time we had together.

Engler: In 2010 there was the first line-up change. Roland Bless left the band at that time and we were really afraid that everything would fall apart. We also suffered from Ingo Reidl's cancer. He's doing better now, he can work in the studio again. But he probably won't be able to be on the road with us live again.

A young talent has recently joined us as Martin Ansel's successor: Severin von Sydow, our manager's son. I've known him since he was seven years old and have always followed his musical career. When he was a little boy we all went on family vacations together and now he's playing alongside Rudi Buttas. We have three generations on stage. From all these experiences we have taken with us: the individual is not as important as the music.

Engler: In Germany it has not yet become a major problem for society as a whole. Democracy was already in danger in the United States under Donald Trump. If he came back it would be a nightmare. Putin on one side and the mad cowboy on the other. I hope it doesn't come to that. Fortunately, the democratic forces have the majority in Germany. As musicians, we want to help keep it that way.

Engler: The QAnon conspiracy theory is terrible. Followers believe rich people keep children and drink their blood. That shocked me a lot when I found out about it. But of course there are also theories that are simply funny. For example, that the earth is flat. Although there are enough recordings that prove the opposite (laughs). The bad thing is that some people believe things just because they read about them on the internet. But at the same time they yell "lying press" and oppose trained journalists who do decent research.