KRAAN interview with Hellmut Hattler

August 8, 2011

KRAAN interview with Hellmut Hattler

1. I would like to thank you for taking your time to answer questions about Kraan. First I would like to ask you about your childhood and teen years. What were some influences you had back then?
Classical orientated childhood, had violin lessons up from 9 years, but loved short wave radio broadcasts of radio Baghdad more than my parent’s music taste…
2. If I’m not wrong you started your carrier in a band called Wired. What can you say about this group? Does any unreleased material exists from it?
Hmmm, sorrrrry, never heard of this band.
3. Kraan was born in 1970. Two years later you released your debut. What can you remember from recording and producing your first LP?
It was a three day recording (incl. mixing!) session in a studio in Munich.
4. Wintrup was your second release. Again you did a great hard prog album, a year later you released Andy Nogger, which is a bit more psychedelic in my opinion. Would you like to tell me something more about producing and recording these two albums?
The “Wintrup” album was planned to be more structured; but during the recordings we changed that plan and just played… “Andy Nogger” was the first co-operation with Conny Plan and we recorded it during the carneval season in his studio (thats maybe why if sounds so happy ;-))
5. Kraan Live is your probably most well known album. It’s absolutely amazing how good you are playing live and you have such an energy! I love connection to some jazzy moves. What can you remember from this release?
Conny Plan decided to record KRAAN live, because he felt that the band’s energy onstage is not transferrable into the studio situation and just showed up in berlin with a truck full of recording equipment. He sat with us on the stage with his console. it was really funny (and he was right!!!).
6. Later you released some really great albums like Let It Out, Flyday and also later in 80’s you produced Tournee etc……
You are very active and you released Diamonds in 2010. Would you like to present this album?
To record the “Diamonds” was Peter Wolbrand’s initiative. We met a couple of times to exchange ideas – he worked a lot to get them together. I’m very grateful!
7. If we go back a bit…do you perhaps remember some exciting stories from touring in the 70’s? What festivals did you play at?
In the wild days there were at least three festivals every weekend with the main German “krautrock” acts so we played around 100 gigs per year. I guess the danish Roskilde Festival was a key date, because after KRAAN’s performance there we toured Denmark for years.
8. Who did cover artwork for you back then?
Peter Wolbrandt created the most of them. I only contributed the front covers of the “Dancing in the shade” and “Soul of stone” albums.
9. Besides Kraan you were involved in late 70’s with a project called Liliental. My god, this was a supergroup and you produced one really outstanding album in 1978. What are some of memories about releasing that and how did you guys decide to come together and record?
It was Conny Plank’s initiative to bring the musicians together into his studio and let them jam and arrange several individual ideas until everybody was happy.
10. What are some of your future plans?
To keep experimenting, to cultivate my musical intuition and to play as much as I can.
11. I’m really happy we talked about your history. Would you like to add something else?

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Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2011

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