Schandmaul is a German medieval folk rock band from the vicinity of Munich.
As well as using modern instruments like the bass or e-guitar, the band utilizes instruments typically used in Medieval folk songs, such as the bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy or shawm, to produce their trademark folk rock sound.
The name 'Schandmaul' translates roughly to 'malicious tongue' and refers to their mascot of a grinning skeletal jester.
Schandmaul was founded in the summer of 1998, when six musicians from Munich and the surrounding area, then belonging to different bands, decided to come together for a folk rock concert. Because they weren't content with performing nothing but covers, they decided to write a few songs of their own for the event. The very first song written by the newly-formed band, Teufelsweib (lit. Devil's Woman), already exhibits a sound that, cultivated and developed over the years, is now considered typical for Schandmaul.
The first concert took place in the bar 'Die Hexe' (lit. 'The Witch') in Gröbenzell. For this event, the self-deprecating name 'Schandmaul' was chosen, inspired by a jester from a deck of cards. The jester is viewed as a fool, but this indignity gains him the privilege to speak his mind freely, and accordingly, the outdated swearword 'Schandmaul' (lit. 'malicious-tongue') refers to somebody who frequently says things considered rude or outrageous.
The success of the concert awakened the desire to produce a CD, which, after many more shows, appeared as the self-produced album Wahre Helden (lit. True Heroes).
Due to more and more gigs and an abundance of creative energy for more songs, a second album titled Von Spitzbuben und anderen Halunken (lit. Of Rogues and Other Scoundrels) was released in 2000, a mere year later. The same year, the band signed with concert promoter Extratours, who has been responsible for the band's live shows ever since.
In 2001, record label 'F.A.M.E. recordings' took notice of the band, which led to a re-release of Von Spitzbuben und anderen Halunken. Simultaneously, through the numerous shows, including at big festivals like M'era Luna, Zillo-Festival and Wave-Gotik-Treffen, the first big tour came about. The third CD, Narrenkönig (lit. Jester's King) was recorded in a professional studio and was released in October 2002, reaching #70 on the charts. In September 2002, the band parted ways with bassist Hubsi Widman, and Matthias Richter took his place, debuting with Schandmaul on September 22nd, 2002 in Meschede.
In 2003 the first live CD and DVD, Hexenkessel (lit. Witch's Cauldron) were released, recorded during a concert in the Munich club New Backstage, at which Michael Rhein from In Extremo a cameo as guest singer appeared. Hexenkessel reached #52 in the charts.
In early 2004, Wie Pech & Schwefel (lit. Like Pitch and Sulfur, German idiom with a similar meaning as "thick as thieves") appeared in stores. This first studio album with Matthias Richter reached #13 on the charts. A tour with over 80 concerts and shows throughout German-speaking Europe followed. At the end of 2004, the band organized the first ever Funkenflug festival in Munich. The following year, the biggest project yet in the band's history was created: An acoustic tour, where the electric guitars were replaced by a string quartet and extra percussion, capped off by a huge concert in Munich's Circus Krone Building, accompanied by the Puchheimer Jugendkammerorchester (a 50 piece orchestra) and helped out by numerous musicians from other bands, such as Castus and Wim from Corvus Corax on bag pipes and Oliver Sa Tyr from Faun on the celtic harp (who just previously had teamed up with Birgit to create a folk project called Sava). This huge show was recorded and released as both a CD and DVD under the name "Kunststück" (lit. Feat). The CD reached #12 in the album charts and the DVD made it to #3 on the video charts. A single called "Bin Unterwegs" (lit. "(I) Am on the way") was also produced based on the live recording from Circus Krone. More shows followed, sometimes with the strings but once again including the rock set, and a cooperation with the Deutschen Zentrum für Musiktherapie (German Center for Music Therapy) was created.
In March 2006 another album appeared, titled Mit Leib und Seele (lit. With Body and Soul). This became the first Schandmaul album to broach the top ten of Germany's Media Control charts.
Schandmaul's sixth album Anderswelt (lit. meaning "Other-world") appeared in April 2008. It reached a position of #8 in Media Control's album charts in its first week and remained in their Top 100 for fifteen weeks. It is, so far, Schandmaul's commercially most successful album.
In Novemember 2008, Schandmaul celebrated their 10th anniversary with a widely promoted anniversary concert in Munich that was filmed and recorded for a later CD and DVD release. (Sinnfonie is currently scheduled for release in April 2009.)
In early 2009, Schandmaul were nominated for the german music award ECHO.
o Wahre Helden (lit. True Heroes, 1999)
o Von Spitzbuben und anderen Halunken (lit. Of Rogues and Other Scoundrels, 2000)
o Narrenkönig (lit. King of Jesters, 2002)
o Wie Pech & Schwefel (lit. Like Pitch & Sulfur (german proverb), 2004)
o Mit Leib und Seele (lit. With Body and Soul, 2006)
o Anderswelt (lit. Other-world, 2008)
* Live albums
o Hexenkessel (lit. Witch's Cauldron, 2003)
o Kunststück (lit. Feat with a double meaning of Piece of art, 2005)
o Sinnfonie (word play on the words 'Sinn' (lit. 'Meaning') and 'Symphonie'('Symphony'), scheduled for release in April 2009)
o Bin Unterwegs (lit. (I) Am on My Way, June 2005)
o Kein Weg zu weit (lit. No Way (Is) Too Far, February 24, 2006)
o Hexenkessel (2003)
o Kunststück (2005)
o Sinnfonie (scheduled for release in April 2009)
* Thomas Lindner – vocals, acoustic guitar, accordion
* Birgit Muggenthaler-Schmack – flutes, shawms, bagpipe, vocals
* Anna Kränzlein – violin, hurdy gurdy, vocals
* Martin "Ducky" Duckstein – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, classical guitar, vocals
* Stefan Brunner – drums, percussion, vocals
* Matthias Richter – bass, upright bass (since 2003)
The four male band members also play in the rock band Weto with Regicide keyboarder Heiner Jaspers, while Birgit Muggenthaler-Schmack and Anna Kränzlein both cultivate their own side projects, Sava and Anna Katharina respectively.
* Hubsi Widmann – bass, mandolin, hurdy gurdy, vocals (1998–2003)
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