R#68 with Alex Siedenbiedel, guitarist and manager of the band DONOTS

Alex Siedenbiedel

In New York they found out by chance that they were rock stars in Japan. He found studying business administration a welcome change, after all he was able to meet people there who had nothing to do with the music world.

Alex Siedenbiedel and his band Donots raced across Germany early on and played at every socket. The punk rock guitarist with the dreadlocks in the business administration lecture – a rather unusual appearance for the “bosses of tomorrow,” as a professor called his students.

After the band from Ibbenbüren, founded in 1994, turned down a record deal with the legendary punk label Burning Heart Records, they signed directly with the major four years after they were founded. The BMG sublabel GUN or Supersonic Records not only stormed the charts but also the rock world with H-Blockx, Guano Apes and HIM, among others.

Siedenbiedel reflects on this time for his band and explains in the Redfield Podcast how uncomfortable all the musicians ultimately felt with this decision, which seemed to be commercially successful at first, but increasingly frustrated and burned out the musicians. The termination of the business relationship was also clearly commented on in public.

The band fought on alone and Alex Siedenbiedel eventually took over the business affairs from long-time band manager Florian Brauch (guest on Redfield Podcast #1). Siedenbiedel talks about this difficult time, how the Donots managed to face this challenge at the lowest point in their career and why the band even sought mediation.

As the conversation with Alexander Schröder continues, Siedenbiedel analyzes further developments, reports on whether the musicians need to see their band as a brand and how the band has positioned itself in terms of label and distribution structure. But he also repeatedly looks back into the past and comments on decisions or events.

The band experienced a special anecdote at a showcase in New York. When a Japanese man spoke to them there, they learned that their album had received a lot of attention through imports in Japan and later gave the Donots a lot of rock star hype there.