WUNDERSCHNITZEL

By Edward Wilkinson Latham

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WUNDERSCHNITZEL

THE ROLLING STONE INTERVIEW

The Return of the Wunderschnitzel by E W Latham

Euro-Pop-Folk-Folk Rock legends Magnus Glocken and Ludwig Speil of Wunderschnitzel are used to performing in front of thousands of fans, but for the last five years they have taken time off and shied away from public life to raise children and tend to their various hobbies and business interests. Now, with the much-anticipated release of their fifth album entitled Wurst Calypso and a world tour about to start, I caught up with Wunderschnitzel at the Tea Rooms of the von Trapp family lodge in Austria.

EWL: I was listening to Wurst Calypso on the way here and, by the way thank you for sending the limousine...

LUDWIG: Did you get the little package too?

EWL: Yes thank you. I love sugared almonds.

LUDWIG: I grow them on my farm. Magnus did the package with the pretty bow.

EWL: Thank you Magnus.

MAGNUS: Don’t mention it.

EWL: O.K.

MAGNUS: No please don’t mention it.

EWL: So, your new album Wurst Calypso is a bold colour on your musical palette...

LUDWIG: Shall I answer that?

MAGNUS: You answer that.

LUDWIG: Yes, well we took five years off after the Space Schnitzel album. We wanted to do something else with our fingers and toes so we bought a farm, took our women there and bought them some stylish rubber boots. We tilled the land, grew beards and mated like rabbits. I remember we were having lunch outside after sawing a lot of trees down to make way for a runway, and Mrs. Ludwig was cooking some home made wurst sausage, and Magnus looked up and said "what’s that bloody sound?" and I said "It’s a wurst calypso." That’s really how it started.

MAGNUS: Ah, the cake and tea have arrived. Shall I be mother?

LUDWIG: Yes please. Five sugars.

MAGNUS: I know Ludwig. Really, how many years has it been?

EWL: Musically you’ve used a lot of new instruments on this album to craft a new sound. Who did you work with?

LUDWIG: Well I really got into a sort of tudor medieval sound, layering it with some Brazilian flavela rhythms and some brass band. Then Magnus layered electro harpsichord over the top, and a few new age jingles. We asked Hot Wee Wee Johnson to produce the album, for his bayou techno genius, although we will take the credit when it comes to the crunch. As for session musicians, we worked with a great keyboardist that Magnus found playing in a gents toilet in Frankfurt, didn’t you?

MAGNUS: Yeah, he was playing for pennies so I said don’t bother with this load of bankers. They may splash it around when they want to but how much lands in the hat and how much goes down the drain?

EWL: And the trumpet section. Where did you find them?

LUDWIG: They are the Leipzig Musical School for the Kleptomaniacs. That was the only problem. They produce a fabulous sound but you can’t tour with them. It’s a disaster. Eddie Grant tried and they stole everything he had, even his prized collection of painted eggs.

EWL: Your wives are still the back up singers aren't they?

MAGNUS: Yes, that’s right. Our wives have always been our back up singers, but they are not the same back up singers as on the Space Schnitzel album.

LUDWIG: Yeah, and those were different again from the ones on "Can You Take The Length" album weren’t they?

MAGNUS: Yeah, I think so.

EWL: So, how was setting up your own commune out there in the woods?

LUDWIG: Well, it took me a while to adjust. The sounds of something gnawing in the night scared me. Finding a mouse under the sink feeding a load of tiny pink baby mice from her titties was enough for me to nearly seek professional help, so we had the entire place incinerated and leveled to the ground and we built a fabulous marble mansion in it's place. It’s like a Turkish bath but built with hacienda floor plans. You can hose down the living room if you’ve dropped some cookie crumbs, or if the cat has coughed up a fur ball or something. Beautiful.

EWL: And you Magnus?

MAGNUS: Well, as you may or may not know, I was raised in the country by James Last so rural living came quite easy to me, apart from being able to walk to the garage for some smokes and a scotch egg.

EWL: You were brought up at the James Last Musical Orphanage weren’t you?

MAGNUS: Yes I was. We were educated by the Great One and all of us were bathed and talced by him every evening. He placed great importance on the use of talcum powder. It was there that I came to appreciate open spaces, surviving in them for many days when I occasionally left the school at a moment's notice to escape Heir Last’s extra music tutoring.

EWL: I recently read in Hello Magazine that you have just got your fishing license Ludwig?

LUDWIG: Yes that’s right. I’m a keen angler and I’ve been practicing on a man-made lake on my property and after some hard work I passed. Got the little slip of pink paper saying I can fish between the months of July and September and yes I’m very happy indeed. If you listen you can hear a reel being wound in on the new bongo heavy track “It’s a Big One”.

EWL: You recently both modeled in a fashion campaign for Karl Lagerfeld. How was that experience?

MAGNUS: Well it was great. Largie is a old pal from way back and it was nice to hang out together again. He wanted us to model his new line of tasseled leather man thongs, the hottest thing on Bulgarian beaches this summer. He wanted that folk rock attitude and back woods musician physique and we’ve got that in aces.

EWL: And with the new album you are also both starring in a movie...

LUDWIG: Yeah, that’s right. It’s a gangster flick by Italian director Ronaldo Fabulosi. We play a pair of traveling troubadour assassins who are employed by the Mafia boss Don Zucca.

EWL: Was playing the character hard?

LUDWIG: Do you want to answer that Magnus?

MAGNUS: OK. No, it wasn’t that hard. Fabulosi demands the cast drink litres of espresso before the shoot to get that edgy feel. Wearing the tights was fine although Ludwig had a problem with his codpiece. Family curse. The one thing I did have trouble with, was wielding the loot case converted to a machine gun. That took some practicing, but they had a military band consultant on set to help out and to get the right stance, although we ended up going for my signature big strum move I do on stage.

EWL: The Magnus Maneuver?

MAGNUS: Indeed The Magnus Maneuver. Ludwig has a pair of big maracas that double as space hoppers and that’s how we get around the Tuscany landscape looking for the Fongulo Brothers played by Chuck Norris and Hugh Grant.

LUDWIG: Chuck was great on set although the corset stops him from doing any of his real classic moves. The director had to get the blue screen in and the special effects boys for that.

EWL: How did you get on with fabled control freak Fabulosi?

LUDWIG: Oh Ronnie’s not that bad. It’s the coffee and his addiction to Sweet and Low that is really what makes him so intense, but when he gets on one of his tirades it's not pretty. He dangled the continuity manager by her armpit hair from St. Peters in Rome because she hadn’t noticed that my moustache had grown between lunch and afternoon takes. He was livid.

MAGNUS: But he’s OK. Just looking for someone to love him. He took us out; got us drunk, fed us some of the finest cold ravioli I’ve ever tasted. Plus he kept a ready supply of Tuscan schoolgirls coming in and out of the Wunderschnitzel trailer.

EWL: What was the town of Battona Chiappe like?

LUDWIG: They were very nice. A lot of the women, who were not out walking the streets, as is their profession, came by the set. After the second day of filming every man, woman and child on that set had a bed to sleep in and something warm to cuddle up to for the entire duration of filming. If that’s not hospitality even for a few hundred euros, I don’t know what it is.

EWL: Well, we are all looking forward to the world tour. Are any dates set yet?

MAGNUS: Well after the film premier in Rome we are going to take a few weeks to make sure the costumes and inflatable props are all correct and then its just a question of buying Euro rail passes and letting loose. We are going to do some warm up gigs in Austria and then we may go to Japan as Ludwig has got a craving for sushi ever since he saw Life of a Geisha.

EWL: Thank you Magnus, Ludwig.

MAGNUS: Cheers.

LUDWIG: Keep your schnitzel wunder you crazy guys and girls.

EWL©2006

WUNDERSCHNITZEL DISCOGRAPHY

WUNDERSCHNITZEL SIGN NEW DRUMMER

Otto Goldone

Legendary Euro-Folk-Rock-Pop group Wunderschnitzel have ended their search for a new drummer, after their fourth, Gary Labbri, disappeared in a snow storm in Canada, whilst on a night of speed dating. Otto Goldone who has previously drummed for Salzburg disco meisters-Blasmusik and Innsbruck funksters-Das Hip Sound, said on Friday he was "*!$*%!!" over the moon with the news and would definitely be getting naked with some friends in celebration."

WUNDERSCHNITZEL LOSE ANOTHER DRUMMER IN MYSTERIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES

Otto Goldone last week outside the Wunderschnitzel recording studio.

Yesterday it was revealed that legendary Euro-Folk-Rock-Pop group Wunderschnitzel had lost another drummer to mysterious circumstances, the fifth in two years. The group’s most recent addition Otto Goldone, who had previously drummed for Salzburg disco meisters-Blasmusik and Innsbruck funksters-Das Hip Sound, had only been recording with Wunderschnitzel for five days before he mysteriously disappeared. He had told Austrian newspaper, Der Standard earlier this month that he was extremely excited to join the band and was going to ship his entire collection of drum sticks, some 30,000 in total to the Wunderschnitzel studios in Vienna.

Magnus Glocken and Ludwig Speil, front men to the super group, told police on Friday that they had both seen Otto in the kitchen at around midnight on Tuesday, reheating a bowl of chili con carne in the microwave, and that was the last time they saw him.

Their last drummer Gary Labbri disappeared in a snow storm in Canada while the band were in the North West Territories for the Great White North Tour. Before that Chanco Sudore vanished without trace, presumed drowned after falling over board while Wunderschnitzel were on a Bulgarian holiday cruise.

Like all of the Wunderschnitzel session drummers, Otto Goldone was not short of his own problems. It was only two years ago that Goldone broke down at the German MTV Awards and confessed on television to his out of control, sometimes reckless addiction to beef jerky pepperettes, spending up to $300 a day on the small sausages. After that he found help from Eric Clapton, another star who once suffered from the prolonged use of convenience store stick sausage. Ironically, it was Clapton who introduced Goldone to turkey pepperette slims in 1977 while recording an album in Jamaica.

Magnus Glocken and Ludwig Speil told reporters today at an afternoon media tea event, that they had admired Goldone's work for years, but they had only met him formally six month ago when Ludwig's wife picked Goldone's car keys out of a bowl at a party in Klagenfurt. They also hinted that Otto Goldone might well have returned to his pepperette use in recent weeks, after some stubs were found by police stuffed down the side of the chaise lounge in the recording studio. Magnus Glocken added, as he distributed coffee and home made cremeschnitte to the media, that he was really looking forward to getting back to his drum machine, one of the signature sounds that made Wunderschnitzel so popular when the Space Schnitzel Album came out over a decade ago. “The Boss DR-202 has got 400 Preset rhythms, 128 preset drum kits, 207 drum samples and 49 bass samples. It also doesn’t answer back, steal your drugs, sleep with your wife, use your car, ask to borrow some money, eat all the cake and never wash up.”

MISS JIMI JOINS WUNDERSCHNITZEL WORLD TOUR

Armenian pop sensation and former national soccer masseuse Miss Jimi announced to reporters this week that she has joined Euro-Pop-Folk-Rock legends Wunderschnitzel on their new world tour. Her recent album, Kitty Go-Go has topped the Armenian charts for the past twelve weeks and has even been voted as Prime Minsister Serge Sargsyan's favorite music to relax and also to party. It was only ten yeas ago at the age of thirteen that Miss Jimi, whose real name is Doris Dzeron was crowned Miss Armenia. At eighteen she was the first masseuse to be rewarded the national medal of honour, after single handedly reviving the nation’s soccer team at half time when they were 2-0 down to Georgia. They came back to win 6-2.

Now at the age of twenty-four Miss Jimi has fulfilled another dream in becoming the nations most loved pop star with her first album, produced and co-written by Tuscan songster Rudy Fabulosi. Speaking to reporters at the Tea Rooms of the von Trapp family lodge in Austria in the company of both Magnus Glocken and Ludwig Speil, Miss Jimi said she was very excited to be joining the tour and to work on some electronic bongo ballads with the Wunderschnitzel duo.

“I’ve always loved their sound. I used to listen to their songs when I was a child model sensation. Those electric ukulele rhythms on The Yellow Album and the finger work on Bavarian Bongos was a great inspiration. And I've always thought their lyrics spoke to me personally you know? Like songs such as,'Under Age Sugar', 'Let Me Take You Somewhere Warm', and 'Kitchen Crime'. Now that I’m actually playing with them both I can barely believe it,” she said waving her signature upside down peace signs to the assembled journalists.

Also at the conference Magnus and Ludwig announced that they were adjusting their live show line up and dropping their four back up singers/wives now they had Jimi on side and would be looking to hire contract back up singers for the night if need be, while on the tour.

As reporters, technicians and body guards were treated some of Magnus’s renowned coffee and walnut mini Baumkuchens, Miss Jimi sang a remix of 'Fantasy' by Black Box, accompanied by Ludwig Speil on the sitar and Magnus Glocken on electric marimba, only a tasting of what fans will expect from their live concerts over the summer. No sooner had it ended when a disturbance broke out between the four Wunderschnitzel back up singers come wives and Miss Jimi. After a brief scuffle all back up singers were treated by ambulance staff and then arrested, while Miss Jimi, Magnus and Ludwig retired to the palatial Wunderschnitzel suit at the Von Trapp family guest house with their own plate cakes and a pot of strong Austrian coffee.

Wunderschnitzel kick off their six months over due, six month world tour with a concert at The Mehumpi Club - Sofia, Bulgaria –17 August. (Doors open at 9pm, Support groups-Ubër Kinda and Däs Fly Boys).

WUNDERSCHNITZEL APPEAR LIVE ON BREAKFAST TV

Euro folk rock pop super group Wunderschnitzel appeared live on the Austrian breakfast television show Das Früh yesterday to the delight of fans and viewers who were awake at that time. Performing two new tracks from their recent album Wurst Calypso, it was the first live appearance for the band before their new world tour starts next month.

Magnus Glocken and Ludwig Speil said afterwards that it had been the earliest gig they had ever done, but appreciated the power of breakfast entertainment, however they weren’t sure if they were being rock and roll for staying up late and arriving at the studio at 4am for make up or nerdy for getting up too early. The performance was actually postponed for an hour due to confusion.

Magnus distributed a selection of his homemade petit four to the presenters and crew, noting that he added a few drops of orange essence to the recipe this time and thought it an improvement. Asked how they had prepared for the world tour Ludwig Speil added that they were just putting the finishing touches to a selection of costumes and inflatable animals and that Magnus had been baking around the clock.

WUNDERSCHNITZEL ON TOUR

Wunderschnitzel's Magnus Glocken and Ludwig Speil back stage with Billy from support group Uber Kinda and girls from The Sofia Street Corner Choir.

Euro-Electro-Folk-Pop-Rock legends Wunderschnitzel have had their fair share of troubles in the past, whether it be the succession of mysterious deaths of their drummers, the numerous paternity suits with their ex wives come former back up singers, or the accusation of being involved in child lingerie sweatshops in Bulgaria. Their come back album “Wurst Calypso” has proved to their fans and critics that they are still the kings of Electro-Pop-Folk-Rock. Currently on their “Rock Das Haus Tour” I managed to catch up with Magnus, Ludwig and the Wunderschnitzel posse in Sofia, the Hungarian capital, where they are perfecting their new live show.

“Wow that was a great show”, proclaims Ludwig, taking off his Karl Lagerfeld stage kilt and flinging it across the dressing room. He slicks back his long voluptuous thick hair and adjusts his tights, before opening a bottle of kabala sparkling water and taking a long drink. Billy Wolfgang von Goethe, base player with support group Uber Kinda is also in the room, eagerly helping himself to cake and coffee.

“We try and support young, up and coming bands whenever we can, says Magnus, looking at the young rock musician. “And besides, I take pity on them. They are all so thin with no mutti’s cooking on the road, don’t you think? Zwetschgenkuchen?”

He holds out a plate of Austrian plum cakes in my direction.

“Please take one”, he commands and I do.

“I’ve always tell myself that if the music stops then I will always be able to fall back on my cakes”, he laughs and slaps himself before stuffing a miniature cheesecake in his mouth.

“Careful,” he splutters with his mouth full, at one of the contract back up singers who nearly sits on a plate of Kirschtorte. Due to the cramped conditions of the dressing room, filled with instruments, contract back up singers and their parents, plus Magnus Glocken’s cake making equipment and ingredients, I decide to perch on the arm of a sofa while Magnus tells me that he has just bought a new food mixer for the tour bus.

“The DX Kitchen Master 3000 is a 1000 watts of butter beating power, with a ten cup capacity and a four speed control. It pulses, it kneads, it pounds, it chops!”

I interject and ask Magnus how the tour was going, since the rash decision of firing their full time wives come back up singers, all of which did their own make up.

“Well when we did the first gig in the Von Trapp Tea Rooms it was easy. I just called our agent Madame Gloria and we had four girls there in an hour. One disappeared though.”

“And how has it been in Hungary?” I ask.

“Well we arrived in Sofia early this morning at around six, so we went straight to the Swiss Quarter. Ludwig has spent some time there, so he knows on which corners you can find the city’s girl choirs. Most European cities have them you know? They’re happy with a day or two of contract work, so we interviewed some applicants briefly on the tour bus and that was that. Tropfkrapfen?”

Magnus holds out a plate of small iced donuts. “They’re still hot,” he says in a high-pitched voice temptingly. I’m certainly not the first music journalist who has been sweetened by Magnus Glocken’s genius cake making skills. Only last year he sent ten-dozen fresh apple strudels to the offices of Rolling Stone Magazine, the day before their front-page interview went to print. But these beguiling skills with butter, flower and vanilla essence have also brought drama to the Wunderschnitzel camp, as I remind Magnus about his much publicized court case with the Düsseldorf cake-making cartel Bonnerman & Wiese.

“Yah, yah they tried to employ me when we were having some rough times after the poor sales of the Bavarian Bongos album, but I never sold any of Mutter’s recipes. Not one. Never!” He thumbs his fist on the table and looks in the air.

“Tell him about the spy Magnus,” mumbles Ludwig. With that Magnus admits for the first time on record that Bonnerman & Wiese tried to plant an agent inside Wunderschnitzel.

“It took months to uncover but in the end it was Mungo. Mungo Schnitt, our second drummer. I should have known that a percussionist with a cake making degree and a background in military intelligence was the sign, but I was so glad to talk to someone about recipes and baking tips that I lost my judgment. I mean Ludwig is supportive up to a point, but he can’t even bake a roggenbrot. He really likes to stuff his face with my cakes when we’re being creative, so I keep going. Cake is actually what probably has kept us together all these years, isn’t it Ludwig?”

“That and hair.”

“True Ludwig knows all you can know about hair.”

“Mungo Schnitt suddenly committed suicide, did he not?” I probe.

“Yah, he did. Isn't that right Ludwig?”

"Yah, Ludwig sighs. "Lept from a hotel balcony only wearing his socks. I ask you what sort of drummer would do this?"

Magnus adjusts his towel and sits down, loosely waving his finger to the back up singers that they can use the shower.

"With only one shower in the dressing room there needs to be order", he explains.

"We used to bath together after a gig, but not every place can cater to our tastes you understand."

“And where is Miss Jimi?” I inquire. “She was very energetic on stage tonight.”

“Oh she has her own arrangements,” replies Ludwig as he applies eye shadow to his face in the mirror. “She was great, but she had to leave in a hurry with her entourage straight after the gig. Apparently she’s making three films before we leave tomorrow. I heard the director has done lots of hand held work before, but all straight to DVD stuff, but she's young and we try and be supportive, don’t we Magnus? We just hope it won’t effect her vocals.”

With that two men in dark glasses enter the room. Ludwig introduces them as 'what drives the Wunderschnitzel machine behind the scenes' and include Good Vibes Director and Accountant Schmuttie Starmann and his body guard Melvin from Serbia. They help themselves to cheesecake and coffee, while Ludwig applies some blusher and starts to reels off ideas to improve the stage show.

“I don’t think five midgets are enough Magnus. There needs to be at least another ten on stage, especially for ‘Bavarian Bonanza’ and ‘Kaiser Bongo Mania’”. The two electro-folk-rock-pop legends go to a corner to talk amongst themselves as if nobody else was in the room, a sign of the close musical relationship that has kept the singer, songwriter team together over the years. They occasionally look over at me and then Ludwig prods Magnus’s chest with his finger a few times.

“OK but don’t give them any alcohol," Magnus insists. "You know what happened to those little fiends when we played that charity event in Belgrade last summer".

Ludwig looks over to Schmuttie Starmann and nods and with that their accountant is on the phone. Ludwig Speil knows what it means to be an entertainer. He lives and breathes Wunderschnitzel and is happier than everyone to be on tour again after years away from the limelight. “It’s where my juices overflow. Man.” He sits down awkwardly next to me and adjust his tights. I’m a little startled by his heavy use of emerald green eyes shadow but try ignore it.

“You like inflatables? We spent a lot of time and money on the inflatables for this tour and I’m really happy with them”, he tells me referring to the thirty foot high cupcake and a breaded chicken steak, the size of ten inflatable mattresses that floats over the crowd during the performance.

“Do you like them?” He rubs his hand through my hair. “I can double the volume of your hair you know,” he utters.

“Miss Jimi seems to be add an extra dimension to the live performance,” I announce.

“Yes she does. She just oozes extra dimension and she has some very tight outfits and matching earrings to match, which is very Wunderschnitzel. When she comes on stage in the spandex and those high heels holding that pump action shotgun, well it just gets the crowd going. And vocally, well she could be singing opera.

“Absolutely” pipes in Magnus, as he puts on his apron ready for another post gig baking session. “I like to think she’s a lovely cross between Billy Holiday and Simon Le Bon", he continues. “Very lingerie under the fur coat, four o’clock in the morning sort of sound.”

“Very. Put that over some bongos and you’ve got a hit my darling,” says Ludwig offering me another Tropfkrapfen on the end of his finger.