Guano Apes (Rock)

Sandra Nasic - Vocals
Stefan Ude -Bass
Dennis Poschwatta - Drums
Henning Rumenapp - Guitar

Most rock and pop stars would arrive at a music industry bash in alimousine, but not Germany's biggest export the Guano Apes.

Nope the million-selling group avoided the red carpets at the Y2K MTV Europe Music Awards and instead opted to highjack a golf buggy and attempted to plough everyone down on arrival.

The only rock band to be represented at the awards, alongside the likes of Madonna and U2 the Guano Apes have become a real musical phenomenon. This is, after all, the band that Oasis supported in Portugal.

If there was ever a success story to be told, then the Guano Apes can certainly provide one that rivals no others, especially considering this is a band who's name loosely translated from Portuguese means "ape shit".

From their humble beginnings in 1994 when the band formed in the small university town of Gottingen, Guano Apes are without a doubt one of the most fresh and invigorating power pop bands that Europe has ever produced.

Over a million and a half copies of their 97 debut "Proud Like A God" have been sold around Europe and the follow-up "Dont Give Me Names" is already creating major waves in every nook and cranny throughout the Continent.

Driven by a passion to create music that can be embraced by anyone and everyone, irrespective of creed, colour or race, the Guano Apes demonstrate a unique ability to write rock songs packed full of pop sensibilities, brimming with sass and charisma.

Lead by the delectable Sandra Nasic, Guano Apes are more than just a female fronted rock band - indeed here is a band of four individuals brought together with a collective dream of making music.

"I always see Guano Apes as a star where everyone has their own corner to be in but we meet in the middle and that meeting point is the Guano Apes. The sound we create comes for the diversity of the our four characters," explains guitarist Henning Rumenapp.

But despite their phenomenal success, Guano Apes have certainly paid their dues. Already touring as a trio it wasn't until Sandra joined that true potential of the Guano Apes was realised.

As Henning explains: "It was magical when Sandra joined the band as she introduced a new instrument to us with her abilities as a vocalist with such a great range of melodies,"

The bands first major break arrived after they victoriously won Germany's biggest Battle Of the Bands competition in 1996 - a competition that saw over 1000 bands enter.

"That was our first break," remembers Henning, "We were like "wow" this is pretty amazing! We were overwhelmed by the fact that so many people could identify with what we are doing musically. Even now though despite
commercial success, as musicians, I still think the biggest compliment is seeing the audiences that attend our shows and having the ability to move them emotionally."

The competition resulted in the band recorded their debut album "Proud Like A God" which entered the Top 10 albums charts across Europe as well as numerous Top 10 singles too.

Major touring ensued and the band soon headed back to the studio to record their follow-up "Don't Give Me Names". Jam-packed with hooks to die for and Sandra's luscious, distinctive tones, "Don't Give Me Names" is a magical and timeless classic album.


And despite the media attempting to focus on Sandra as the centre of attention of the band, Henning really believes the album illustrates that Guano Apes are much more than three male musicians with a female singer.

"Sandra is just one part of our band and although people try to single her out, as a band we all have something to say about every aspect of our music. In the past people haven't really grasped that idea, but I really do feel our second album proves that point."

And now, following on from such high profile events as the MTV Awards, Guano Apes are set to continue their musical assault across the world, as Henning concludes.

"I don't see it as world domination, just more of our journey across the world to give as many people as possible the opportunity to discover new music. Music is the real means of universal communication and we see it as an honour to be able to bring people together."

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Darren Sadler
Features Editor
Rock Sound