You Can’t Kill The Drill


Bargeld left school prior to completion and is self-taught. He revealed in 2010: would never have guessed when I was 13 that I would have become a professional musician. It was so far away as to become a reality in my personal life.“ Bargeld experimented with audio equipment as a teenager, including the disassembling of tape recorders.

Bargeld is from the Tempelhof area of West Berlin and he moved out of his parents‘ home in the late 1970s. A 2008 documentary featured him visiting his mother and talking to her about his childhood and the relationship he had with his parents.

In 1980, he founded the music group Einstürzende Neubauten („Collapsing New Buildings“); the first album he owned was by Pink Floyd. He quickly moved onto German rock Krautrock acts such as Kraftwerk,Neu! and Can, which he described as his biggest influences at the time. Bargeld spoke of the early days of Neubauten in 2010:

The starting point for Neubauten was more that we didn’t have anything, so I didn’t really have the choice to say ‚I am doing this, I am doing that, or maybe I should play organ‘. I didn’t have any of these things, and I could not afford any of these things, and neither could anybody else in the group. It was more of the logical consequence of what can we obtain, and that’s how it turned out. It certainly didn’t start out as an artistic concept to say „let’s do something different“, it started as an extension of the live situation as it already was.

From 1983 to 2003, Bargeld was a long-time guitarist and backing vocalist in Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Bargeld also sang lead vocals alongside Cave on several songs, such as on „The Carny“ and „The Weeping Song“. Cave first saw Bargeld performing with Einstürzende Neubauten on TV while The Birthday Party, Cave’s band at the time, were touring in Amsterdam. He described the music as „mournful“, Bargeld as looking „destroyed“, and his screams as: „a sound you would expect to hear from strangled cats or dying children“.

He is credited with playing guitar on the Gun Club song, „Yellow Eyes“, on their 1987 album Mother Juno. He also played on the album Novice by Alain Bashung in 1989.

Since the mid-90s Bargeld has appeared live with his solo Rede/Speech Performances. During these performances, usually supported by Neubauten’s sound engineer Boris Wilsdorf, he works with microphones, sound effects, overdubbing with the help of sampler loops, and speaks English or German. The performed pieces include a vocal creation of the DNA of an angel and a parody of a techno song.

In 2007 he started a collaborative project with Alva Noto called ANBB, an abbreviation of Noto’s and Bargeld’s initials. An EP, Ret Marut Handshake, was released on 26 June 2010, followed later that year by a full-length album, Mimikry.

In June 2013, a collaboration with Italian composer Teho Teardo Still Smiling was released on the Specula record label. A music video for the song „Mi Scusi“ was published on the Teho Teardo YouTube channel and a corresponding Italian tour is scheduled.

In early October, Neubauten announced 24 November 2014 as the release date for their next album, Lament. Lament is described as a: „concept album based on a live performance and installation commissioned by the Flemish city of Diksmuide, Belgium to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War in 1914“.Bargeld explained in the official press release: „The Second World War is nothing but the elongation of the first one … As a child of the post Second World War era, and the resulting division of Germany and Berlin, I’m of course hugely influenced in my upbringing about the results of that“.

Bargeld explained in October 2014 that Neubauten is essentially a materialistic band, leading them to employ two scientific researchers to seek out material to support the development of Lament after the album received financial backing in August 2013. The band opened their 2014 European tour, in support of Lament, with a performance in Diksmuide, Belgium, to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War

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