That’s the funny thing about quiet days. You can set out to have one, but that’s not enough. They can work out, but not necessarily. Especially not if you’re staying in Ibiza. Hans Peter Geerdes, better known as the leader of Scooter, H.P. Baxxter, can sing a song about it. “I was on the island for a few days and I kept thinking: just take things easy today. But then there are always so many people that you know and you end up partying in the end anyway.” The fact that, just at that time, Jimmy Fallon put the Scooter classic “How much is the fish?” on his ‘Do not play’ list, also didn’t do much to ensure peace and quiet. Baxxter himself took it in his stride and just went down to the beach to reply to the US talk show host’s question which has been on all our minds for years: “What does he cost then, the fish?” “Well, around 3, 80.” If only we had cleared that up, too. And where else could we meet the singer, who managed to fit in a stop-over for a show in Copenhagen on the way back from Spain, but somewhere that befits his adopted home of Hamburg? In a fish restaurant, of course. He greets chef Kowalke in person; the greeting from the kitchen follows straight away. They all know each other. It’s no surprise given that the man with the permanently dyed blond hair has been one of the most successful pop artists in the country for over two decades.


Which is why it’s hard to believe that Scooter have already got a No.1 album under their belt in the UK with “Jumping all over the world” in 2007 and yet, of all things, they have never managed to reach the very top of the German album charts: “Indeed, that’s true. We got to second place at times, but never right to the top.” And that’s why, not only was Baxxter right at the bottom in the 80s, but even today he still hasn’t forgotten the tough struggle for success. “I remember our first rehearsal room well; at that time it was in a community centre in Leer. The SPD had their office upstairs while we were rocking downstairs.” A space all to ourselves.” It brought no merit which is what made it all the more fun. “It was real classic bass, guitar and drums and we wanted to sound like Purple or Rainbow. It was a laugh, but at that point I was already out for success. I wanted it to lead to something.” It had still lasted up until then though. At the beginning of the 80s the direction of music changed: “Of course, we loved The Cure and Depeche Mode. At the legendary festival in Schüttorf not only did I see the Simple Minds, but the brilliant Chameleons, too, who I really love to this day. We have even covered their “Second Skin” on several occasions.” Baxxter’s band was called Celebrate the Nun and the family’s VW Combi became the band’s transport when they went to do shows. The parents backed their son, but the young lad had to learn too. After leaving school he went off to university for a time where he also came away with a 3.2 grade in Law. It was a short guest appearance; music remained the great love. Then it was off to Hannover and, finally, to Hamburg to the record company, Edel, where Baxxter got a job on the phone in the sales force. The tide was starting to turn: with “Hyper, Hyper”—under the banner of his band, Scooter—his breakthrough came in 1994. By a twist of fate, while still working in sales he sold his own product: “When the sales reps said then that they would take just three or four singles, I said: ‘No way, you’ve got to take a dozen. Or more. Best of all, a whole box.’” Baxxter bursts out laughing at the thought of his days starting out. He was soon able to put down the receiver in the office; when it came to a career, now it was called ‘hardcore.’ Mainstream was partying and, away from the path, the band was often ridiculed because of their extreme sound and their shortened shout-out formulas. Does it hurt the artist’s soul? Somewhat thoughtfully, Scooter says: “Of course, it’s funny for a while when someone like N-Joy-Radio makes “Aldi, Aldi” out of “Hyper Hyper.” But at some point it also starts to get annoying, of course. That’s why Scooter’s sound is more than pumping stadium techno. Just one glance at the list of songs the band mentions can testify to an all-round view in terms of pop history: there’s everything there from Albers to Maffay, Led Zeppelin to Billy Idol, Breakmachine, Sailor and Lionel Richie. “What’s more, I’m always getting ideas. The way a song comes to me, a title, it gets noted. Sometimes a slogan on the wall of a pub is enough.” Blinkers? No chance. Even in the arts section of the press the wind began to shift long ago; all of a sudden everyone from the features section of Spex (a leading German music and arts magazine) to the Süddeutsche Zeitung was listening to Scooter. The TV station, arte, sent Baxxter off through the night with legendary literary figure and humorist, Heinz Strunk. The Fraktus musician recorded an improvised flute solo on his first appearance. Everything runs smoothly at Baxxter’s.

What’s next? DSDS (German TV version of Pop Idol) again? “I’m just going to see what happens!” The Eurovision Song Contest? “Definitely not, doing the preliminary round once was enough. Anyhow, we came second behind Mutzke then.” And Ibiza? It’s back here in any event; I’ll already be on the island in July again.” How long has Baxxter been a fan of Ibiza now? “To be honest, earlier I used to be more of a Mallorca guy. I came here for the first time in 1997 and it didn’t really grab me at all. Then I came back three years later and it just ‘clicked’! What is so special for him? There’s nowhere else quite like Ibiza: it’s unique. You can have everything just how you like it. Really quiet spots, busy beaches, retreats or really massive parties. And the clubs, of course. For those who like things a bit darker, there’s Amnesia. Naturally, I love Ushuaia, but my favourite of all is Pacha. The club is a legend; what a history, what an atmosphere. They roll out the red carpet today for anyone who turns up there with a membership card from 1973.” And it also goes downstairs from the fish restaurant when we say goodbye. No sooner does he hit the street than three excited ladies come up to H.P., asking him for a photo together. It’s a question of honour. The man is close to the people and, see above, really laidback. If Jimmy Fallon could only see it…

Baxxters Top10

Led Zeppelin – “Immigrant Song”
The band, like the song itself, untouchable and unique.

Heart – “Barracuda”
An awesome riff, great vocals, an absolute rock ‘n’ roll classic.

Soft Cell – “Torch”
For me, the song was a musical turning point from heavy rock to the new wave era.

KLF- “What Time Is Love”
KLF were another turning point in that new wave was over and what were, for me, new times, I mean, techno, were starting.

L.A. Style – “James Brown is dead”
For me, that song was a prime example of the first moments of rave: the power and the energy!

Oasis – “Wonderwall”
An absolute all-time classic and one of the few rock songs that you never ignore and that’s fantastically British.

Faithless – “Insomnia”
For me, Insomnia is a milestone on the house music dance scene: a totally timeless floorfiller.

Westbam – “We Need The Drugs”
The song is the soundtrack to the film “B-Movie.” It’s got an amazingly fine voice and magical sounds. Westbam at his best!

Robin Schulz – “Sugar”
It’s the absolute stand-out summer hit of 2015 and way beyond that, too!

Chainsmokers – “Roses”
Brilliant production, a great song, superbly made!

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