Peter Freudenthaler

Peter Freudenthaler

*19. Februar 1963, Pforzheim

The cover of the album “Who is Jo King?” shows Peter not only as a successful singer, songwriter (in cooperation with Volker Hinkel) and co-founder of Fools Garden, whose voice, in the meantime, characterizes the band’s sound, it shows him as a young boy, who at the time of recording probably would never have dreamed that his photo, many years later, would go around the whole world!

Quite early Peter discovered his love for music and had, already as a small boy, the big wish to invent melodies, to sing and to play in a band. At the beginning he practiced his voice in Heintje songs. At that time his “fan community” consisted, with mother and grandmother, indeed, just of two listeners! The only instrument in which he received music lessons was the piano. One notices at the latest, that Peter has music in his blood, when he unpacks his harmonica at a concert or gives an involuntary guitar solo once again!

The FIFA World Cup in 1974 had filled him with enthusiasm so much that Peter devoted himself afterwards intensely to the round leather and would have best of all become football world champion once himself! After his first appearance in the C-Junior it became clear to him fast that his talent was sufficient for this “probably not completely“.

With approx. 13 years he went to a concert of Status Quo in Sindelfingen by which he was totally fascinated and went home after that as paralysed. Afterwards Peter absolutely wanted to “look behind the scenes“, noticed thereby, that he has quite a vocal talent and decided definitively at this time to become a singer. As a teenager he did not dare “just to be standing in front of the microphone“, so that’s way he combined the singing with playing the keyboard in his first bands.

The first band, called Election, was founded. Besides cover versions of well-known titles soon own songs were on the program. Peter’s second band, Demian, played exclusively own songs.

In 1979 Peter first met Claus Müller, who was at that time 13 years of age. Demian was looking for a drummer. Claus appeared, dressed all in black, auditioned and went away again – without saying a single word! In retrospect, it turned out that Claus had quite simply been too shy to talk to Peter and the other members of the band

4 years later, the two met each other again at a band competition. Claus lined up there with a band that bore the unbelievable name Now we first need a beer! Perhaps it was also a bit due to the name that Claus’ band finally resulted from the competition as a winner! Peter and his band Demian had to be content with the 8th place.

After the abitur the community service in the geriatric care followed, in the Johanneshaus Öschelbronn . “This was the first job after many vacation jobs at which I haven’t thought: ‘The day hopefully is over soon’“(1). The members to Peter’s third band, The Stitch, came together at the end of 1983. After the Civil Service Peter jobbed at “the  Daimler” and has also acquired the forklift license there.

In 1985, Peter was initially trained as a carpenter. From 1986 to ’89  a second education followed, as a piano builder.

Peter always had the aim of being able to live off his music one day and started to write songs of his own. Already at this early stage he has composed the title “Sandy”, which also stood on the set list at performances of The Stitch then.

The beautiful song “Tell me who I am” was created in home recording. The remaining members of The Stitch could gain nothing of this song and because the images and aims developed in different directions, the band split up finally.

Peter started in 1990 in Stuttgart studies in media technology, among others, because the production of videos appealed to him. In 1991 he became acquainted with Volker Hinkel, who joined as a latecomer the study course, and described this encounter later as “fateful”, “because so well the interaction previously worked with no one else”. In an interview (1) Peter continued: “We found out that we both have a big weakness for music and that we have lived only 3 kilometers remotely from each other for childhood days, seen geographically. We started writing songs together and have also ascertained here relatively fast, that this works just fine. So it had to be really some kind of fateful encounter.”

Volker liked Peter’s songs and Peter was impressed by the quality of Volker’s demos. Thus originated the first common recordings of Peter’s songs “Sandy” and “Tell me who I am“. Volker had created a playback of a song (a version without music and text) which should become the first co-production of Hinkel / Freudenthaler – completely according to the model of Lennon / McCartney  – and this song was called “Lena”! From that moment on it was clear, that in the future all compositions are published under the name of both musicians.

“1991 – 1995 we made two albums, have looked for some people who had pleasure to play along, have founded the band and the rest is – I think – known. The big breakthrough came in late 1995. The study was then completely put on hold, and since that time we are on the move musically“. (1)

In 1992 Peter and Volker created some commercials for various companies from different industries.

Helmut Hattler (among others Kraan and Tab Two) and Peter Freudenthaler got to know each other at a concert in 1995. So it happened that Helmut Hattler, as a second bassist, was involved into the recording of two songs that can be heard on 2003’s CD “25 MILES TO KISSIMMEE”: “Tears run dry” and “Material world”. As a countermove Peter took over the song part on the song “Didgeridoo”, which is part of the CD “The Big Flow” by HATTLER, from 2006.

Until 2003 Peter and Volker have recorded five albums, first with Thomas Mangold, Roland Röhl and Ralf Wochele, later with Dirk Blümlein, Claus Müller and Gabriel Holz. In 2005 the CD “Ready For The Real Life” was published, which received completely positive reviews. With this album under their belts, Fools Garden then got on the way to the Maxidrom festival in Moscow in 2006.

At this festival, the singer of the Russian band Edipov Complex (Эдипов Комплекс) handed over a CD to Peter. Peter liked the recordings, and it soon was a very specific song that had particularly impressed him: “All That I Can See.” So Peter decided to travel to Moscow for a week and to record the title, together with the band Эдипов Комплекс. “All That I Can See” is a song from the album “Lost & Found”, which is available in stores since May 2008.

The fact that the composition of songs can absolutely be compared with painting, becomes clear at the latest when is to be read that Peter writes the English texts to the songs suitably after the melody, or “gives rise to them”, “as in painting“. “I never know exactly where words lead me” he confirmed in an interview. To explain how a song just is concluded, “is always very difficult for me“. “I have ideas while driving, when I go to bed at night, am on the move somewhere. This is quite different indeed. Mostly it is a scrap of melody rushing through my mind. Or I sit at the piano, improvise a little and then there comes all at once any idea and I notice, this is good, now it is worthwhile to go a little deeper and to try to bring in a song structure. Even text phrases which at first glance still mean nothing are usually already arising at this first moment. However, these combine – for whatever reason – already with the melody, so that I would not like to renounce this in subsequent songwriting any more, because they simply harmonise and communicate too well with each other. Aound these scraps I try to knit a thoughtful text, a text with which I can identify myself afterwards and also fits the song tonally“. (1)

“We are also asked again and again, why we make English texts and no German ones. That was from the outset, because we do such British influenced guitar music. Therefore, we always had the impression that the English language is a very important part of our music, so to speak, a symbiosis of language and music.“ (1)

Another impressive evidence of this successful “symbiosis” is the latest work by Fools Garden: “Who is Jo King?”. The CD was released in October 2012.

Peter is also involved repeatedly in various projects, such as “Menschenskinder” in Kaiserslautern. It is “a colorful bunch of musicians, entertainers, TV and film actors, who met in 2006 as a song project to inspire more than 100,000 concert-goers since that time in two summers. The “menschenskinder ‘live’ in 2009” are (among others) Bettina Schelker …, further recurring friends, musical guests and companions such as Peter Freudenthaler (Fools Garden) … “. (2)

In Stuttgart Peter has taken over the patronage for the action “Taking part is an affair of honour“ some years ago.“ “Based on the International Day of Volunteering jobbed in 22 urban and rural districts in Baden-Wuerttemberg around 8500 young people … All students gave up their wages and donated it to selected projects for children and youth… For the action office Stuttgart about 600 young people from 40 schools in Stuttgart were active. The entire class 11 b of the Waldorf School was delighted with a special work: the students could work part along with the Contribute honor patron Peter Freudenthaler in the bookstore of Hugendubel and get to know thus different fields of work. They sorted books, put Nicholas’s presents into bags, packed books and presents. For Peter Freudenthaler it is a matter of honour to lend a hand on Campaign Day. ‘To feel that by own helping something changes, is a good feeling, not only for yourself, but also for others who are in need of help’ says the singer of the band Fools Garden…“. (3)

“Jean-Jacques Kravetz & Friends meet Franz Liszt in the Wartburg“! Under this heading, in September 2011, a concert of a very special kind took place at a historic site. In the palace of the Wartburg in Eisenach long-standing friends and colleagues of Jean-Jacques found together to meet “genre-crossing” “the spirit of Franz Liszt in the here and now“. Featuring: Peter Freudenthaler and Volker Hinkel, Carl Carlton (among others Panic orchestra / Udo Lindenberg and Peter Maffay), Steffi Stephan (among others Panic orchestra / Udo Lindenberg), Peter Maffay as well as Jean-Jacques’ sister Monique Niebisch, his sons Pascal and Julien and more. In October 2012, the CD “Liszt & live at the Wartburg“ was published, including the songs “Lemon Tree” and “Life”, both in a quite unique and nevertheless beautiful version which take the listener inevitably to that impressive, historical place in Thuringia. The purchase of the CD supports directly the Entrée Music Foundation as well as the Lippmann + Rau Foundation, as the benefit will be completely donated  to both foundations. (4)

Claus Müller had the idea for the project “Jimi Hendrix turns 70” in 2011, which was implemented at the end of November 2012 with a concert in Gaggenau and at the beginning of December 2012 with a concert in Pforzheim. On both evenings the “employee” Claus Müller also asked his “boss” Peter Freudenthaler to appear on stage for two songs: “May This Be Love“ and “Little Wing”. Other well-known musicians, such as: Gerald Sänger (Sturdy Blues Band), Ali Neander (Rodgau Monotones), David Readman (Pink Cream 69) and others completed Claus’ all-star band and contributed to an unforgettable music experience on both evenings. (5)

The year 2013 was all about the new album “Who is Jo King?” which Peter, Volker, Claus and Dirk presented to the audience live on a tour through Germany.

On two evenings in January, Peter and Volker were already on the move “under the lemon tree“, as Special Guests from Stumpfes Zieh- und Zupfkapelle. In April, the well-known citrus fruits were musically presented again together to the audience in Friedrichshafen.

Also in 2013 Peter and Volker were on the way again unplugged and as a duet! Thus the both guested, e.g., in March in Mannheim, at the benefit concert “People at the river” which stands under the patronage of Udo Lindenberg or in May in Hassfurt or in August on the Hallig Hooge …

“Hautsch & Freudenthaler – guitar meets voice” titled in spring 2014 an event in Remchingen, which aroused great interest among the public. It said on the relevant website: “Two men. Two talents. A friendship. A passion: Guitarist Matthias Hautsch meets singer Peter Freudenthaler. What do you get? A fascinating hearing experience and rousing enthusiasm. A concert that touches the soul.”

In the summer of the same year it pulled Peter to two special events to the High North: “Wingenfelder meets Fools Garden!” Peter was accompanied by – Gabriel Holz!

The series of Closer! Unplugged performances of Peter and Volker was also continued in 2014 and concluded fascinating locations such as the “Celt’s world”, Glauberg.

Just one week later, the duo has performed, after a year’s break, for the second time in Mariaberg, but was unlucky, unfortunately, once more with the weather, so that the hoped-for outdoor pleasure had to be relocated in the local sports hall again. Well, this allows at least to hope for another visit of the both, because all good things are, as everybody knows … THREE!

And since this is so, it was announced, in time for the start of the “Celona Living Room Tour”, that the duo becomes for just that tour a trio and a former band member again becomes a “new” band member …. We’re talking, of course, about: Gabriel Holz!

Gabriel also accompanied Peter and Volker in early summer 2015, to another edition of “Art Soccer World Cup”, to Moscow.

The far north and the sea seem to have taken a liking to the three of them, and so the trio often goes on a journey together with Wingenfelder, for example, to cast a spell over the music-loving audience on the “Mein Schiff-Kreuzfahrten”.

From conversations with Peter Freudenthaler.
Furthermore, from various texts, published on the Internet.

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