This is what the band thinks about their former hit “Lemon Tree”
Fools Garden made the breakthrough with “Lemon Tree”. The song has had a positive effect on the band to this day, as Volker Hinkel explains.
With “Lemon Tree” the German band Fools Garden landed a mega-hit in the mid-90s. Peter Freudenthaler (58) and Volker Hinkel (56) are still from the original line-up. They appear as a duo or with new band members like Gabriel Holz. Even after 30 years in the music business, the band doesn’t think about quitting. On Friday (November 26th), “Captain … Coast is Clear”, the pop-rock group’s eleventh album, will be released. In an interview with the news agency spot on news, Volker Hinkel reveals whether you have ever thought of quitting and can still hear your biggest hit today.
Her new album is titled “Captain … Coast is Clear”. The sea is also a theme in other songs. Do you love water or what is it about?
Volker Hinkel: Yes, somehow there were several songs all at once that had the theme of the sea – at least in the title. I live partly in Portugal and we all love the sea. In addition, this topic offers an incredible number of facets. From beauty to threat, from freedom, loneliness, joie de vivre and death. Much of this is also reflected in the content of our lyrics on the album.
They couldn’t record the songs together due to the corona pandemic. What was that feeling?
Hinkel: We tried to record as much as possible together. At least in twos or threes whenever that was possible. However, even before the pandemic, we had worked “remotely” from time to time. For example, our drummer Jan has his own studio where he can record very well. So we have already sent the files back and forth several times. We always worked with at least two people during the vocal recordings or the mix, because that is very difficult on our own. But of course, we spent a lot more time than usual in the studio and did handicrafts – often alone, of course.
The album is very electronic. Do you want to be played in the clubs? Or why do you use the synthesizer?
Hinkel: No, that wasn’t the goal. But since we had already started to combine electronic sounds with acoustic sounds on the previous album, it was now, so to speak, a further development. And finding new sounds and breaking new ground is just fun and inspiring. When we play a song in a club, we are of course very happy. As with all of our albums, the focus was always on the song itself. Regardless of how it is produced or arranged, it always has to work with just one guitar or on the piano.
With “Outta Love” you bring the 80s back. How do you miss this decade?
Hinkel: Not at all, at least not musically. For me in the 80s there were really only U2 and a few other bands that didn’t have that sound. However, on “Outta Love” we actually set ourselves the goal of doing a cool disco-pop number. Modern and retro at the same time, that was a lot of fun. And when we play the song live now, you are happy to see how the audience wants to dance.
After more than 30 years in business, where do you get your energy from? Or, you could just put your feet up and rest on your success.
Hinkel: The other day a good friend to whom I sent our new video “Electrify” wrote to me: “Dude, you are simply indestructible.” As long as we still have ideas for new songs, we probably won’t stop.
So have you never thought of quitting?
Hinkel: No, never. At the beginning of the pandemic, however, we actually enjoyed the fact that we had more time for other things. Not having to drive around the country all the time, not being interrupted in the studio, for example, or during another creative process. But we also quickly missed not being able to go on stage anymore. Especially when you have new material that you really want to show your audience and are excited about the reactions.
In a band, not everything is always harmonious. Are there any topics that you annoy each other with?
Hinkel: Not really. We are a very relaxed and pleasant tour group. Everyone should enjoy the time we can spend together. The stress and arguments have to stay outside.
Did you ever consider singing in German?
Hinkel: No, never. We all grew up listening to English music. We also always wanted to be successful abroad.
With “Lemon Tree” you have created a real classic. Can you still hear the song at all?
Hinkel: Of course. We don’t listen to it every morning for breakfast now, but we’re 100 percent okay with this song. After such a long time it still enables us so much, still opens many doors and will always be part of us.
Fools Garden is regularly referred to as a “one-hit wonder”. How are you doing with that?
Hinkel: Better a “One-Very-Big-Hit-Wonder” than a “Never-Hit-Wonder”! We actually have a lot of hits, they just aren’t as well known as the “one”.
How are you going from here? Do you have a tour planned?
Hinkel: We had planned a tour in January / February 2022. But due to the location, we put that on hold for the time being. The ticket sales are not so good that you can plan a tour with a clear conscience. We’d rather wait and see and plan our 33-year band anniversary in the year after next. Unfortunately, we couldn’t celebrate the thirtieth due to Corona.
What do you think of concerts with 2G or 3G rules?
Hinkel: Many organizers probably want to use the 2G rule. It’s okay with us. The main thing is that the audience feels safe and goes to concerts again. A uniform regulation would certainly be good. Let’s see what’ll happen.