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Sunday, July 13, 2008
6:41 PM

My latest German band obsession - Panik!

It all started when I was browsing a bunch of Tokio Hotel communities on LiveJournal. I was in one called Kaulitz Daily, and I saw the username Lirren, which instantly rung a bell with me because one of the admins on the Tokio Hotel International forums, is called Lirren. So, I added her as a friend, and I noticed her LJ header had a band called Panik on it.

I checked them out, found the community PanikFans and joined, watched their videos on YouTube (because that's the only way to hear their full-length songs, as I searched high and low on the internet for their album and failed), and read their Wikipedia page.

Actually, when I read their Wikipedia page, I was a little afraid to like them, as crazy as it sounds. I'll tell you why, but first let me point out who's who in the picture above (it might take awhile to tell them apart, especially when you watch their videos).

Left to right: Linke, David, Juri, Franky, Jan, Timo.

Can I admit that I have a crush on Jan? He looks damn hot in this picture, okay. They all do. I think only Timo doesn't have blue eyes, and only he and Franky don't have blond hair. You can't tell that the rest of them have blond hair, though.

David and Linke dye their hair black, and Juri and Jan always wear caps. There was one interview I watched when Juri took his cap off, and I think I was staring at how blond his hair is, the whole time. Imagine if David and Linke didn't dye their hair. I'd be mesmerized.

But I have to admit, I think their black hair is cute too.

Okay, where was I? Oh, yeah. Why I was scared to like them.

They have a very tragic background. Timo and David are childhood friends, and both of them had their dads leave when they were young. Timo begrudges his dad a lot, because his dad divorced his mother when he was a year old, and never supported them, so he was working by the time he was 15, and he and his mom were living in a one-room apartment.

David's dad cheated on his mother, and left without a word. There's a song, So Wie Du, which he wrote based on his experiences with his dad. It's a very harsh song, and the lyrics practically scream anger. It makes me sad when I read the translation.

Originally, David, Jan, Linke and Timo were in a band called Panik, since 2002, but when they got discovered in 2006, and Franky and Juri joined, they changed their name to Nevada Tan. After their first album - Niemand Hort Dich - was released in early 2007, bad stuff happened. Real bad.

Their current management then, technically stole all the money they should have received from their album, and trademarked their name without them knowing. When they sued the company, and left, they had to change their name because legally, it wasn't theirs anymore. So, it was back to Panik.

I know they still hate their old management for what they did, because I watched another interview where they were saying how they would probably beat up any new band the company produced, if they used their old name. I don't blame them.

Anyhow, when I'd read up all of this, and looked at the translations of their lyrics, I did get just a bit intimidated. I'm not used to liking bands with such... vivid emotions... portrayed in their songs. Quite a few of their songs are full of feelings like resentment, bitterness, depression, etc.

But I understand why they'd write such songs, after all. At least, they're being real and personal about their music. Sometimes, when I read interviews in the magazines with some artists, and they say that their entire album is full of songs which allow people to have fun, well, that just turns me off.

Fun is good, but fun isn't what the world's like. Life isn't fun. Life sucks. I prefer listening to and having an album which gives you something to think about, and ponder. It helps you connect more with the music, when you know it's something personal to the artist.

When you have that connection, that's when you start obsessing.

Panik's music is admittedly much deeper than Tokio Hotel's is. Their lyrics are written in a story-telling style, and convey more fruit for you to chew on than TH's songs do. Okay, fruit to chew on is a rather lame line, but I don't care.

I still love TH, okay! It's true; TH and Panik are two incredibly different bands. TH's songs are addictively awesome but their lyrics are pretty simple and straight-forward. I like to think that the reason for this, is because they started performing and recording when they were 12 to 14 years old. They all came from a small town, and although Tom and Bill's parents got a divorce too, their mom was remarried by the time they were seven, and it's because of their step-dad that they got into music (he used to be in a band).

So, I doubt that they had much of a troubled childhood to base any of their songs on.

I'd love to tell you more about Panik, but I've unfortunately, written a twenty-mile long blog post, once again. I don't think I'll ever stop writing essays when I post - I can't resist the temptation. Why don't I close this by saying that I'll definitely be keeping a close watch on Panik from now on. Maybe, one day, I'll see them grow, out of their unhappy and tainted background, and be able to forget their past.

Maybe they can help me forget mine too.