71 Richmond Street
Doors: 8:00 PM • Show: 8:30pm
Tickets: ADV $25 • DOS $30
German music project Funker Vogt are a electro-industrial, aggrotech, futurepop band which was formed by vocalist Jens Kästel and programmer Gerrit Thomas in 1995. The name of the band translates from German to English as "Radio Operator Vogt”, this being the surname of a friend of the band who was a military radio operator. The military concept of a radio operator provides a contrast with the musical roles of a DJ or a vocalist using a microphone.
The group appeared on several German compilations and, in 1996, released their debut album ‘Thanks for Nothing’. Following the release of two limited edition EPs (‘Words of Power’ and ‘Take Care’), Funker Vogt signed with the American record label Metropolis Records. Metropolis re-released ‘Thanks for Nothing’, followed’ by the ‘We Came to Kill’ in late 1997. Kastel and Thomas have participated, as remixers, on the Leæther Strip album ‘Yes’, I'm Limited, Vol. 2. In 2000, Funker Vogt released ‘Maschine Zeit’, followed by the remix EP ‘T’ in early 2001. Additionally to the core members of the band, concert members also include Björn Böttcher (keyboard) and Frank Schweigert (guitar, he replaced Thomas Kroll in 2004). Kai Schmidt writes most of the lyrics and manages the band through his own management company. They all hail from the town of Hamelin in Germany.
The majority of their lyrics revolve around the concepts of war. A distinctive theme is present in the band's work and stage presence; both their musicianship and their costuming are strongly reminiscent of military music and dress. This military aesthetic is also popular with the band's fan base. However, the political stance of Funker Vogt is decidedly anti-war; the band cites "war and social injustice" as their primary topics of discussion, noting that the goal of the album ‘Execution Tracks’, along with the accompanying video, was to "present the grotesque cruelties and the tragedy of war."
According to the band's website, as of 2011 both Björn Böttcher and Kai Schmidt are no longer collaborating with the band. In 2013, long time frontman Jens Kästel left the band after his last show on 30 November in Berlin. Four years later in 2017 Funker Vogt reformed with a new singer, Chris L. (Agonoize/The Sexorcist).
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