"As if the world is collapsing": Campino would serve today

“As if the world is collapsing”
Campino would serve today

In 1983 the decision for the Tote-Hosen frontman was clear: he refused military service. In view of the attack by Ukraine, Campino sees things differently today. In an interview, he explains why armed service is so important in times like these.

In view of the Ukraine war, rock singer Campino currently has a feeling “as if the world is collapsing on us” – and is therefore putting old principles to the test. For example, the question of military service: “I personally refused military service in 1983. I probably wouldn’t do that today, under these circumstances, if I got my draft now,” said the frontman of the band Die Toten Hosen.

“Right now we are learning why an identity as Europeans is so important and why we have to be a community of values,” said the singer, whose real name is Andreas Frege, who is politically left-wing and a voter with the Greens. “Unfortunately, that also has something to do with rearmament. We can’t afford to be completely defenseless against despots, like Putin who lives out old fantasies of power. You can only stop a man like that if he also respects the opposite side.”

Singer is at a loss

At the same time, this is “a dramatic tragedy, because all this money that we will spend on armaments in the future we could damn well use for our social system, daycare centers, schools, public infrastructure and last but not least the fight against climate change”. The 59-year-old admitted that he was at a loss because of the world situation, but also emphasized: “We can all allow ourselves to be unsure. Even the smartest people can’t give us a recipe at the moment on how to proceed.”

His mission as a musician is clear: “Despite the tense social situation, it is important that we humans maintain mental health and find moments of happiness,” said Campino, whose punk rock group – one of the most successful in Germany – celebrated its 40th anniversary from the end of May with a new record and tour. “And I hope that as a band we can contribute to creating such moments with our music.”

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