“We do not fit in any drawer, we are the whole closet!”
That’s how the musicians of the Berlin band ENGST describe themselves, following their own path since two years now. With an unconventional mix of German rock music, a spicy pinch of punk rock, pop elements and catchy melodies, the four guys from the German capital stand out clearly from the unified breadth of the broader music scene. In fact, this band has a lot to say, which is certainly related to the rich past of the four Berlin guys and is clearly reflected in the lyrics of frontman Matthias Engst. He himself grew up in a problem borough of Berlin, where he still lives today, and so most of their songs relate to autobiographical experiences of the 32-year-old singer. He addresses social evils in society and the growing influence of the political right side, against which the frontman and the band clearly site themselves. ENGST make clear that a position against fascism and xenophobia should not be a musical fad and therefore pick up on exactly these topics, without becoming one-sided, clumsy or striking. But also topics such as friendship, love or the little stories of everyday life find their appropriate place in the songs of ENGST.
The keyword “authenticity” is very important for the boys, so it’s not surprising that Matthias Engst rejected a label signing deal in 2015 after winning a music show (“The Band” with Samu Haber) at Germany’s TV channel Pro7 because they wanted to turn him into a model-pop star without an own personality. He decided to turn his back on the illusory world of TV and casting shows and to return to his own, not always shimmering and brilliant life, to follow his own visions for his musical career and found a serious band on himself.
ENGST are not only thrown together musicians who storm the stage together, but at the same time friends, family and fans of authentic, handmade rock music. With its rough edges, the band becomes interesting for a wide audience and at ENGST concerts, the boundaries between the stage and the audience are barely noticeable – with flowing sweat, euphorically boiled blood and the urge to sing out loud, it is impossible not to be spellbound by the boys’ pulsing live performance.
In 2017, the band found their fitting home at the label Arising Empire, releasing their first EP »Engst« in the same year. In addition to numerous shows, tour supports and festival concerts, the band constantly released new music videos and frenetically worked on their debut album »Wo Es Weh Tut« (Engl. “Where It Hurts”), which will be released on October 5, 2018.
The musicians reveal that this album contains the most intimate and honest moments of their lives. During the production and development process of the songs, each band member had to suffer on private losses and setbacks, which would not have been possible to overcome without the unbelievable team spirit of the boys. The songs explain exactly “Where It Hurts” and give an unfiltered insight into the rough and fragile soul of this band. The German guys have remained true to their mix of different facets, however, the album is noticeably heavier than the previous EP. In addition, the album is completed by a guest performance of the singer of the friendly band MASSENDEFEKT and the involvement of a brass section (who have also made music for THE BOSSHOSS) on two tracks.
Now, finally ENGST‘s time has come to show, without TV cameras and commercial breaks, what they really want to show – authentically, without making a detour and never again determined by others.
Matthias Engst | vocals
Ramin Tehrani | guitar
Alexander Köhler | bass
Yuri Cernovlov | drums