The influential early 80’s German electro-punk duo Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft are back with a new album. But they aren’t feeling quite as friendly this time around.
DAF: Germany's controversial punk band is back and still hating America.
In the early 1980’s, Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft was the highly controversial electro-punk bank heading up the roster of the "New German Wave" of politically-motivated rock bands.
After a period of silence, DAF- German-American Friendship - is back with a new CD. And although the band’s name remains the same, Gabi Delgado-Lopez and Robert Gröl's lyrics tell an increasingly anti-American tale.
Thumbing its nose at Washington seems to be one of the duo’s favorite pastimes -- one that can be heard often on the new CD, "15 neue DAF Lieder" (15 new DAF Songs), which hits German store shelves on Feb. 24. The band still maintains its distinctive electro-punk edge on the album, which takes specific aim at American cultural imperialism and political dominance with wicked precision.
"The Sheriff -- an anti-American song"
The first single to be relased from the album, “ Der Sheriff -- ein anti-Amerikanishes Lied” (The Sheriff – an anti-American song) is a direct reference to U.S President George W. Bush and the war against terror he is spearheading. The song, slated for release on Feb. 10, includes the chorus line:
When the sheriff goes riding, everyone goes riding with him;
respect what the sheriff says;
everyone must accept what the sheriff does.
The sheriff is a Godly man; he knows the bible;
When he kills an egg thief; everyone helps him out;
Everyone must grasp who the sheriff is.
“Our sheriff is Bush,” Delgado-Lopez told DW-WORLD in a phone interview. “He's an evil father figure who bashes all around him. He is a figure of American cultural imperialism and political dominance -- something that many, many people have had enough of.”
His partner in song, Gröl, chimes in: "Bush’s plans for a war against Iraq are utterly shitty, to be frank. The man has no interest in diplomacy, and if the war takes place, it will be an act of revenge more than anything else."
But DAF's mainstream record label, Universal, is seeking a more soothing tone in its efforts to market the album. "I wouldn't say the songs are particularly anti-American," spokesman Bob Bierekoven told DW-WORLD. "They are more anti-Bush and his policies and certainly aren't against the country or its people."
Making German punk history
Görl, now 47, and Delgado-Lopez, 45, formed the band in 1978 after meeting at Düsseldorf's now legendary Ratinger Hof nightclub.
They “clicked immediately,” according to Gröl and decided then and there to form DAF -- a radical band for its time. Gröl would write the songs and play the synthesizer and drums while Delgado-Lopez, who is Spanish, sang. Their name, they said, was ironic, referring to a period in post-war West German history when American influence was paramount.