Band: Ulysseus Grand
Country of Origin: Germany
With everything that’s going on in the world today, it’s nice to know there are bands who still believe in the primitive power of rock and roll. Ulysseus Grand is one such band. The Düsseldorf-based quartet of Tom (vocals), Matthias (guitar), Dimi (bass), and Torsten (drums) crank out powerful, muscular hard rock tunes befitting the swagger of their name (more on that below). 2018 saw the release of the band’s debut LP, On the Run, which sees the group venturing further into the psychedelic, blues-tinged territory they explored on their EP Off the Edge. In this week’s “Five Questions With…”, the band talks their favorite albums, mythological underpinnings, and why getting a show in Dusseldorf sometimes takes a little creativity.
1. What is your desert island disc (the one album you couldn’t live without?)
That‘s a hard question. I think about Soundgarden’s “Superunknown” and Smashing Pumpkin’s “Mellon Collie”. But if I have to decide, the choice falls clearly on Led Zeppelin’s IV.
2. How did the band members meet?
When I moved to Duesseldorf in 2011, before I took care of a job, I made an invitation to found a rock band (….musicians love to tell their story that way). So I played with some musicians to find the right sound. First came Tom, our vocalist, then Dimi, our bassist, and in 2014 finally Torsten, our drummer who rehearsed in another room next door … the combination was perfect. In hindsight, we call this our Odyssey and so Ulysseus became the leading figure in our musical journey.
3. What is the underground music scene like in your home country?
In Dusseldorf there are a few approaches to an underground music culture, but their bands unfortunately often lack the opportunities for performances. So you have to be creative and sometimes play at parties … getting a beer and sausage for two hours of playing hard composed songs.
4. What are some of your biggest influences outside of music?
Backpacking in wild nature, classical literature and having a good beer with friends.
5. Tell us about your favorite show you ever played.
The best performance we ever played was at Rockn’Roll headquarter in our home city of Duesseldorf … in the legendary club ‘Pitcher’ in January 2018. It was meant to be a support gig only, but the audience was freaking out properly. We jumped with the instruments into the audience, danced with the people while we were playing. When the main act was about to start, half of the audience had run out and disappeared…we swept the booth 🙂