With the monthly feature on German-language music, I try to highlight a variety of different kinds of musicians. Solo artists and bands. New acts and more established ones. Rock, pop, and hip hop.
This month’s featured band, the Donots, would fall into the category of “established.” It doesn’t matter what kind of music you are into it, there is a German-language band or artist making something that will appeal to you.
In 2019, the Donots celebrated their 25th anniversary. In the music industry (or anywhere, really), that’s quite an achievement. And it’s a testament to the music that these five pop-punk musicians create.
So if you don’t know, you’re about to get to know the punk poppers that call themselves Donots!
Get to Know Donots
Donots were formed in 1993 in the northwest German city of Ibbenbüren. The founding members are brothers Ingo (vocals) and Guido (guitar) Knollmann, Jan-Dirk Poggemann (bass), Jens Grimstein (guitar), and Jens Trippner (drums). Trippner was replaced in 1995 by Eike Herwig. Grimstein departed in 1996 and was replaced by Alex Siedenbiedel.
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.”
The Music of Donots
It took them nearly a year, however, from their founding, before they played their first show. But clearly they were using the time productively as shortly thereafter they released a demo with a whopping 30 tracks. The following year, a demo of 50 tracks followed.
Over the next 22 years, the group released nine full-length studio albums in English. Then, in 2015, Karacho, the group released an album in German! Lauter als Bomben followed in 2018. It’s a notable and interesting about-face as the band embraces their mother tongue.
As you might expect from a pop-punk band, Donot’s music is full of energy, fun, and politics. The band has an opinion and they are not afraid to share it. Over the years, their sound has become more refined and mature, but the essence of rebellion is still at its core.
Photo by Paul Gärtner, used courtesy of KKT. This post contains affiliate links.