It all started with a bunch of friends who wanted to put on their own events to show people what they found cool. That was ten years ago. Since then Sinnbus went from a living room collective to an internationally known record label with a super spacy office in Berlins upcoming trendy district Wedding (not like marriage, it’s an actual part of Berlin). On Thursday they will celebrate their 10th anniversary with the second to last concert of their birthday tour.
As time went by they decided to turn their hobby into their full time job. “At a certain point we had actual albums”, said Peter Gruse in our interview. Gruse is one of the four bosses behind Sinnbus. “But there are many more people around us who help us when there is a video or something.” If you look from the outside the label still seems a bit like a collective… and a bunch of friends. There is a lot of good vibes/love coming across when you talk to some of the artists they signed.
The first proper release of a band was Seidenmatt. A postrock band from Berlin. A music genre which followed them for many years - Sinnbus were known as the postrock label and it took quite some time until they could change that image. These days they are certainly not a one music genre label anymore. Many of their artists use electronics in combination with an organic sound like The/Das or Unmap. One of the most impressive things is the musical diversity of the signings. This is because they still do what they like and what they enjoy but Gruse also admitted that he would love to sign another guitar band.
Over the years many things changed. In the early years they just worked for the release basically, it was album, tour, album – also not many artists at a time. They didn’t knew it any better and didn’t stick until the end and get everything out as Gruse puts it. “Nowadays the album is just the half-time”, explained Gruse. “Many things just start after that.” Some things remain: The strongest moment for Gruse was and is the concert for the release of an album.
Another thing that has changed it the expectations of an release: it has to work financially as well. “It has never been the case that we have thought ‘we have to do it because we can make money with it’. It has always been the question ‘How can we make money with it?’”, explains Gruse. “But this is just the second question, the first is ‘Do we like it? Do we tingle with desire for it?’”.
That is what makes Sinnbus so charming. You can feel this passion in everything they do. Sometimes they release albums, mainly because the like them but not for a financial reason. Like Kam:as where they already knew it would be difficult. It was already clear that the band couldn’t tour enough and that it might be a difficult one but Sinnbus released it nevertheless. Gruse puts it into perspective: “We really liked it, we just had to do it.” It does seem really simple.
If you fancy an excellent musical journey and a glimpse how Gruse’s, Bossenz, Eichhorn and Spindler’s music taste developed over the years, you may want to give “Sinnbus Vol. 10” a listen. 34 songs of Sinnbus past and present, not future.
What does the future sound like? The/Das and Einar Stray are working on new albums, Unmap is releasing one later this month and Rue Royale who just released “Remedies Ahead” would just love to do another one. Although Gruse expects that Rue Royale will work on it for another year before the next one will have a chance. Miss Kenichi is new on the label and will release her hauntingly beautiful album next year. So, a lot of music, singles and videos are waiting to be made and be released.
And since the concerts are still the highlight, Sinnbus have planned a little tour through Germany – most dates have been done, two are still left (and one of those is new):
07.11. Berlin, Heimathafen Neukölln: Hundreds, Me And My Drummer, Unmap, The/Das, Rue Royale
21.12. Dresden, Scheune: Unmap, La Boum Fatale, Freedarich
Read the full interview (in German) over at FastForward Magazine:
Thanks for reading,