Hans Platzgumer

The Munich-based Tyrolean is a musical jack-of-all-trades. The indie band HP Zinker originated from his creative genius just as well as Convertible, Queen of Japan and its resurrection in the form of King of Japan. Besides that he was a member of the famous German punk band Die Goldenen Zitronen. His style is very innovative and quite unique. This artist has never been afraid of the contact with various musical genres. From electronic music, to rock, from soundtracks to audio books and literature. At 41 years of age and having already recorded over 50 albums and played over 1000 concerts,  this guy certainly has some drive! His résumé also includes a Grammy nomination and a gold album with Andre Heller. The musician, composer, producer and writer has surely experienced more than other musicians in their whole life. And there is still no end in sight.

The new Convertible album ALH84001  has just been released at the record label Konkord and a new release of King of Japan is ready for take-off. This March, the trio led by Franz Adrian Wenzl and Hans Platzgumer will throw their second album on the market. After cover versions from the Eighties cloaked in disco, it will now pursue a harder direction. Metal is on the agenda. Hans Platzgumer never took inspiration from the mainstream. The son of a policeman in Innsbruck already rebelled at an early age against the conservative Tyrolean establishment. After studying classical guitar at the Conservatory in Innsbruck, he released his first album in 1987, “Tod der CD” (in English: Death of the CD), that even then predicted the decline of the compact disc as a suitable sound carrier. Of course Hans plays all instruments himself. In 2008, the album was released as a re-issue and as a statement to the record industry.

In 1989, he completed his studies at the Electro Acoustic Institute at the Vienna Academy of Music and released numerous recordings. Tours through Europe and the Eastern Bloc countries followed. In 1990 he moved to New York where he lived until 1994. In this creative period a number of very successful publications were released on Matador by HP Zinker. The band achieved cult status and performed with acts including Sonic Youth and the Spencer Blues Explosion. In 1995, he set off to Hamburg and joined the punk band Die Goldenen Zitronen. In passing, he produced a series of electonic tinged records.

In 1999, the Tyrolean founded together with the singer Catriona Shaw and bassist Albert Pöschl the disco cover combo Queen of Japan, which also acclaimed international success. In 2007, the spirit of the band was again revived with the singer Franz Adrian Wenzl as King of Japan.

The creative electronic phase was completed by the laptop duo hp.stonji,  a collaboration with the German electronic musician e.stonji and the electro-pop trio e: gum. In addition, there were various collaborations with other electronic musicians such as Dr. Gerhard Potuznik or Dr. Nachtstrom. Yet HP has always remained true to rock. In 2004, he initiated the project Convertible. Up to this day, this mix of rock, electronica and pop can not be put into any musical category. Meanwhile, there are already four Convertible albums on the market. Each publication sounds even more varied and innovative than its predecessor. Mr. Platzgumer has always remained true to his principle, his penchant for perfectionism.
This all-rounder has also cut quite a good figure as a writer: Expedition, an autobiographical novel from 2005, offers detailed and very personal insights into the life of one of the largest local underground musicians in the past 30 years. In 2008 he published his second novel “Weiß”, which tells a tale of the Arctic and the theme only peripherally touches music .

No matter if he is working on electronic, pop, rock, metal music, audio books and soundtracks, or writes books, the Tyroleon, who has found in his home in Munich and Lake Constance, knows how to inspire people with his creativity. This just makes us even more eager to hear what his next 50 albums will sound like!

Markus Egger
translated from the German by Doris Miyung Brady