German Music: Donots

German Music, Learn German


While in recent months I’ve been highlighting newer, younger bands there are plenty of more established bands and artists worth noting. One of those bands is Donots. The pop punk band is originally from Ibbenbüren in North Rhine-Westphalia and were founded over two decades ago. But what do I find, from a German learner’s perspective to be the most notable fact about Donots? After roughly 22 years together they have released ten full-length studio albums. All of those albums are in English — except one. The band’s most recent album, Karacho, was released in February 2015 and is completely in German.

Fans of pop punk may already be familiar with Donots due to their collaborations and touring with big name English language bands such as Green Day, blink-182, Anti-Flag, Flogging Molly, Rise Against and Billy Talent. They’ve also shared the stage with German favorites like Die Toten Hosen. Or perhaps you spotted them over the summer participating in the Bundesvision Song Contest with their song Dann ohne mich.

Donots deliver everything you would expect from a pop punk band. They are high energy and opinionated but still fun. The band features frontman Ingo Knollmann and his brother, guitar player Guido, Jan-Dirk Poggemann on bass, Jens Grimstein on guitar and drummer Jens Trippner.

While fans of pop punk and rock may enjoy any of the band’s albums, it is their most recent releases that German learners will want to focus on. To celebrate the band’s 20th anniversary in 2014, the band made a turn. They released the single Das Neue bleibt beim Alten. It was their first song completely in German and featured Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath as a guest vocalist. The band continued the German language music with Karacho. The album continues that straight-ahead, hold no punches enthusiastic sound while doing it in the German language. Also worth noting: the band have posted a few official videos with the lyrics for songs from Karacho. The karaoke-style videos make it that much easier to practice your German and likely learn a few new words or terms. You’ve got no excuses.

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