Across Germany there are bands playing for enthusiastic audiences in packed cellars, on street corners, and in tiny bars. What used to be the exclusive stomping grounds of punk are slowly opening their doors to a rowdy variation of the blues.
With guitar, drums, upright bass, and four-part vocals, Diving for Sunken Treasure have created music that has been described as "gypsy blues." Huckleberry Blues fronts the pack with a low growling voice that makes the band’s English texts about pirates, drinking, and drifting sound all the more authentic. Beside him are Johnny Dingsbums on drums and vocals, Max Paul Maria on guitar and vocals, and Chris McCool on upright bass and vocals. In this grouping, Sunken Treasure have been playing since 2008.
“Huck and Johnny have known each other since they were kids,” the band told Young Germany. “With Max they started an undead band called LECHUCK and then broke up again. Chris we found handing out little sausages to homeless dogs and immediately recruited him.” While most of the group came from a punk/hardcore background musically, before Sunken Treasure, Chris was making electronic and techno music.
Music that you can file under “gypsy blues” isn’t exactly an everyday find in Germany, so YG asked the band what got them into the genre. “After years of noise, distorted guitars, and a lot of amp carrying, Huck, Johnny, and Max wanted to start an acoustic band where concerts on the street or in small bars were possible. Chris didn’t have anything to do but feed the dogs, so he bought a contrabass at the flea market.”
Despite the fact that this genre isn’t exactly common among German musicians, or perhaps because of it, audiences have reacted very positively to Sunken Treasure’s music. “We have a lot of fun when we play, give all we’ve got at concerts, and above all, don’t take ourselves too seriously. Our energy usually rubs off on the audience, and so everybody has their fun.”
Diving for Sunken Treasure currently have put out two CDs that are available at their concerts. You can listen to their music and check for concert updates on the Diving for Sunken Treasure website.