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STS at the 2013 Amadeus Awards ceremony
STS at the 2013 Amadeus Awards ceremony
General information
origin Austria
Genre (s) Austropop
founding 1978
resolution 2014
Founding members
Vocals, guitar
Gert Steinbäcker
Vocals, guitar
Günter Timischl
Vocals, guitar
Band members
Keyboard, accordion
Ewald Beit (1985-2012)
Erich Buchebner (1992–1996, 2008–2012)
Wolfram Abt(1996–2008)
Mischa Krausz (2008)
Gerd Wennemuth (1992–2012)
Keyboard, saxophone, trumpet, flute, clarinet
Franz Zettl (2001-2012)
longtime studio musician / environment
Andi Beit
Harry Pierron
Gerd Schuller
Erich Reinberger
Peter Szammer
Electric guitar
Martin Kunz
Robert Musenbichler
Gerald Strasser
Karl Scheibmaier
Peter Müller
Christian Kolonovits

STS (also STS ; acronym from "Steinbäcker - Timischl - Schiffkowitz") was a three-piece pop-rock band from Austria . The trio was founded in 1978 by Gert Steinbäcker , Günter Timischl and Schiffkowitz (bourgeois Helmut Röhrling ). All three musicians come from Styria , which can be heard over and over again in their songs. The three play acoustic guitar and sing the refrains of their songs in three voices, while the solo part is sung by the composer himself, with a few exceptions. Instrumentation and vocals reveal influences from bands like Crosby, Stills and Nash .

So far, STS has received 3 × gold , 11 × platinum, 3 × double platinum and 1 × quintuple platinum and sold 2.5 million albums. Above all, her loyalty to her own musical line and her passionate live performances made her known and popular. The most famous works include Fürstenfeld , Da kummt die Sunn , Grandfather , Gö, you stay with me tonight , cold and colder , close your eyes , miracle of my bliss , overdose of feeling and someday I'll stay there .

Band history

Founding years

The three musicians went their separate ways until 1975 and were mainly active in various bands in Styria and Germany , before they finally came together as a trio. After Gert Steinbäcker and Schiffkowitz had formed a loose formation for a time, Günter Timischl also joined the team. A first short public appearance took place in the course of the “Forum Stadtpark” in Graz - a small event to which mainly poets were invited. Soon thereafter, an engagement for a first "real" performance followed on December 4th, 1975, with the trio being supplemented by an English bongo player. The first appearances were quite popular, although they were only limited to the surrounding area (Graz, Fürstenfeld , Güssing and Gleisdorf ). Nevertheless, they wanted to go their separate ways again after this regional tour and gave their supposed farewell concert in Graz in April 1976.

The following years put the musicians' careers to the test. Günter Timischl tried unsuccessfully as a soloist and survived until 1976/77, among other things, as a window cleaner . He eventually joined the UN troops and worked in a kind of "entertainment company" in Cyprus . However, he did not fail to compose his own songs for a later band. In 1978 he returned to his home in Fürstenfeld.

Gert Steinbäcker went back to Germany in 1976, where he found himself in a personal crisis. Constantly changing odd jobs and the associated musical standstill finally moved him to go back to Styria. There he recorded a single under the pseudonym Stony Becker . The single was titled Matchless Woman (B-side: Catherine ) and flopped.

Meanwhile, Schiffkowitz traveled to the United States in the summer of 1976 to conduct a series of interviews with well-known musicians for a radio station. According to his own statement, the excursion made a major contribution to his personal development, whereby he wanted to "... bring the idols of (his) past down from their pedestal". After three and a half months, he returned to Styria, where community service was waiting for him. With the material from overseas, he also started to write a book. In 1978 the musicians got together again and finally launched "STS".

First of all, a few songs were written, with everyone contributing what they had composed in the years in between. Half of the lyrics were written in English before the Styrian dialect of the German language was decided . But the sparse appearances, which in turn were limited to Graz, Gleisdorf and Fürstenfeld, prompted her to take part-time jobs. Timischl met his future wife Lotte, Steinbäcker worked, among other things, as a stage worker and composer for children's and youth theater pieces. Schiffkowitz continued to write his book and worked as a freelance journalist. In 1979 their first single came out, which was entitled Matter of Sex and was composed by Schiffkowitz. The B-side came from Gert Steinbäcker and was called With You . The project turned out to be a failure, which is why they were forced by the record company to sing in Italian. The three refused with thanks and finally canceled the contract with the production company.

In 1979 the First General Insecurity also had its first successes. When they were planning a summer tour, STS joined in and played for "EAV" for some time. Günter Timischl was also often active for the formation " Opus ", which he, in addition to STS, supported musically at numerous concerts. Only in 1980 the record company responded Ariola on live demos of STS and produced the single Since kummt the Sunn , a Schiffkowitz adaptation of the Beatles -Klassikers Here Comes the Sun . The back was the song Geht's Da Guat by Günter Timischl. Since kummt the Sunn was very well received on the radio, but did not sell well. The record company nevertheless decided to make an LP and so the long-playing record Gegenlicht was created by March 1981 . With 2,000 copies sold, this was to be regarded as a respectable success, but the breakthrough was still a long time coming.

STS set out on their own to record their own single, which was titled Automaten-Karl . Only a few hundred of these were sold, which is why they lived mainly from extensive concert tours. This was followed by the final encapsulation of EAV in order to be able to concentrate fully on one's own projects. During this time the formation had a deep crisis, although the fourth single followed. The contract with Ariola had long since been terminated when the musicians produced the single Irgendwannwann remain i then there in a small recording studio in Oberschützen, Burgenland (1983) . With 5,000 copies sold, success was now limited. The song only became a hit two years later and was known as the "dropout anthem".

At the beginning of 1984, concrete considerations on the subject of quitting were formulated, with the goal of continuing until the end of the year at the most in the event of failure. During this phase, the band members received a call from the Viennese record company Amadeo, which had become aware of demo tapes that had been sent. They agreed to finance a long-playing record that was recorded in March and April 1984 in Vienna.

At the beginning of May, the second STS-LP Overdose G'fühl was presented to the public , of which only 500 were initially produced. On the record are titles like I hab di Leben g'sehn and Das neue Vaterland.


Just as ten songs had been written for this LP, the record company said that there was just enough room for one song. In discussing the situation, Schiffkowitz recalled a song that the East Styrian musician Josef Jandrisits had composed in 1982 and which was entitled With a Little Help . The song written by Schiffkowitz was rearranged with the consent of Josef Jandrisits and given a German text. The song, which was now entitled Fürstenfeld , was aimed at Günter Timischl, a passionate homecomer and native , and was initially intended as a parody . This Jandrisits-Fürstenfeld had been part of the STS concert program years earlier. Now Fürstenfeld should become the first single from the new LP. The trio achieved their breakthrough - the LP sold 70,000 platinum copies within a year, the single 140,000 copies.

Years of success

In the same year Günter Timischl had to part with Opus due to the surging wave of success , for which he had worked as a band musician for years. The last joint appearance took place in Oberwart , Burgenland , from whose live recording the single Live Is Life resulted. In the summer of 1984 this should be sold three million times worldwide. Meanwhile, STS set out to produce a new LP after a sold out tour, which was titled Grenzlos .

The LP, which was released in 1985, was even more successful in terms of sales than Überdose G'fühl and was to receive four times platinum. In addition to the number Kalt und Kälters , the record also contained the title Sometime I stay there , which climbed the Austrian hit parade two years after its creation. The album success was followed by a sold out autumn tour, with the trio being supported for the first time by keyboardist Ewald Beit , who had already participated in the first recordings. In addition to the record productions and extensive tours, STS took creative breaks for several months.

1986 followed with 50 concerts, the largest tour to date, which also took the trio to Germany , Switzerland and Liechtenstein . The fourth LP, Moments , followed in August 1987, and the familiar studio musicians from the previous productions were involved in its creation. After another sold out summer tour, there was now a long two-year break.

The tourless year 1988 was bridged with a live recording STS - On Tour ; a double album with performances from Graz , Linz and Vienna . The year 1989 did not bring any musical novelties either, but two samplers ( Glanzlichter , Gö, you stay ... ), a best-of selection from the four previous albums.

The 1990s

At the end of 1989, STS slowly gained momentum again. Gert Steinbäcker worked on a solo album, while Günter Timischl appeared occasionally with the “Magic '69 Reunion”; a new edition of the band " Magic '69 ", to which he had belonged until 1973. The sixth STS album was therefore not long in coming, was given the title Every day counts and was accompanied by an extensive tour. The musical support also grew; In addition to Ewald Beit on keyboard, the German drummer Gerhard Wennemuth , who was voted the best drummer living in Austria in 1984, has been a constant companion of STS since this tour. Erich Buchebner rounded off the band on bass guitar. The typical work rhythm of STS now set in. A record production was followed by a long tour, which was followed by a break from work lasting several months. In 1990 the album Every Day Counts was released with the single Drago . In June 1992 the band released their tenth album Auf a Wort . Above all, the band's personal commitment to right-wing extremism becomes clear here, which culminates in the song And it is so beautiful , in which Schiffkowitz refers to the events in concentration camps . In 1993, which was supposed to be an album-free year according to the program, the band came up with a surprise. STS took the Styrian national exhibition as an occasion and set poems by the Styrian writer Peter Rosegger to music at the request of the organizer . The album was given the simple name Rosegger .

After three years without a "real" STS album, they reported back in 1995. For the first time since 1981 they went to a Styrian recording studio that was owned by the “Opus” guitarist Ewald Pfleger . The result was the album Zeit , which was followed by a tour of 50 concerts. This time, too, the large concert halls filled up and more people flocked to the open airs than ever before. Up until then this was the most successful STS autumn tour with around 150,000 concert-goers in Austria and Germany. The finale in the spring and summer of 1996 was a series of six concerts, in Germany they appeared together with Pur and Toto , in Austria with Sting and Toto. In the same year, the best-of CD was released, The Greatest Hits of 15 Years . As expected, there was a one-year break in which to work on a new album, which was released in 1998 under the name Volle Kraft . In the course of the subsequent tour they played almost without exception on large stages such as the Wiener Stadthalle and four times at the Circus Krone in Munich . In the same year the best of CD Master Series was released . Full power should be the last studio production for many years. Rather, STS concentrated on their large-scale tours, the success of which, in contrast to the media presence, did not want to ebb.

Since 2000

In 2000 the double album STS & Band Live followed , which reproduces the musical stations of the band from 20 years. The big concert series continued in the summer of 2002; some songs from a following album have already been sent in advance. In 2003 STS released their album Herzverbunden , which they also present live in a concert series in autumn 2004 and in spring and summer 2005.

On August 31, 2007, the album Neuer Morgen was released with 14 new songs, of which the end was never published in advance as a promo single. The reactions of the radio stations were very cautious. Due to the content of the song, which alludes to the conflict between Islam and the western world, this single was apparently too uncomfortable. Lines of text like “you western decadent asses” or “Muffti” were among other things the reason why Radio Steiermark did not want to play the song. In a newspaper interview, the music director said that this song did not convey “the positive attitude towards life” that Radio Styria wanted to convey.

In 2012 STS completed their final tour. As a conclusion, all three band members, Schiffkowitz, Timischl and Steinbäcker, received the Golden Decoration of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria . In July 2014, STS announced that they would no longer perform together on stage in the future. Günter Timischl gave reasons for health problems.

The band

While STS only performed with acoustic guitars and keyboardist Ewald Beit in the eighties, they have also been accompanied by a "full" band since the early 1990s :

Members before dissolution

  • Ewald Beit (since 1980) - keyboards, accordion

At the age of 24 he studied jazz piano and composition at the Musikhochschule in Graz and played with many Austrian bands such as B. Wilfried, Franz Morak, Hansi Lang and Stefanie Werger . In addition, he wrote the film music for various TV films. Since 1986 he has supported STS in their performances.

  • Gerd Wennemuth (since 1989) - drums

Gerhard Wennemuth comes from Hanover and enjoyed classical drums training at the Graz University of Music. In 1984 he was voted the best drummer living in Austria by “Jazz-Live”. Since 1992 he has supported STS in their performances.

  • Erich Buchebner (1983–1996, since 2008) - bass

Since 1983 Erich Buchebner worked as a studio musician for STS. At the beginning of the 1990s, as well as from 2008, he could also be heard in live performances. Freelance studio and live musician and one of the busiest bass players in the Austropop scene ( EAV , Peter Cornelius , Opus, Stefanie Werger and many others). He studied double bass , arrangement and composition at the Graz University of Music . Worked with jazz greats such as Wolfgang Puschnig , Karl Ratzer and others. a. together.

  • Franz Zettl (since 2001) - wind instruments, keyboards

Franz Zettl was head of department at the Conservatory for keyboard instrument training since 1994. He worked u. a. with the EAV , Carl Peyer and other well-known musicians. He has been with STS since 2001

former members

Peter Szammer was the drummer of STS on the first four studio albums.

Until 1983 Reinberger, who played with Schiffkowitz, Günther Timischl and the “Fürstenfeld” composer Jandrisits, was the bass player in the studio. During studio recordings for the first album Gegenlicht , he played the electric bass alongside the double bass player Ewald Oberleitner . Erich Reinberger was born in Fürstenfelder and now lives near Graz.

Abt began his band career at the age of 16, and has since played a. a. at Opus, Robby Musenbichler, Tony Maier and many more. In 1995 he completed a jazz degree and had been with STS since 1996. Abt died on the night of February 1st, 2008.

Krausz replaced the late Wolfram Abt on bass for the 2008 summer tour. He is a music teacher in Wiener Neustadt .



Studio albums

year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1981 Back light - AT-
Sales: + 25,000
1984 Overdose of feeling - AT1
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(34 weeks)AT
Sales: + 100,000
1985 Limitless - AT1
Quintuple platinum
× 5
Quintuple platinum

(48 weeks)AT
Sales: + 250,000
1987 Moments - AT1

(30 weeks)AT
Sales: + 50,000
1990 Every day counts - AT2

(16 weeks)AT
Sales: + 50,000
1992 On a word - AT2

(16 weeks)AT
Sales: + 50,000
1993 Rosegger - AT18 (8 weeks)
1995 time - AT1

(22 weeks)AT
Sales: + 50,000
1998 full force - AT2

(16 weeks)AT
Sales: + 50,000
2003 Heart connected - AT1

(21 weeks)AT
Nomination for the Amadeus Austrian Music Award
Sales: + 30,000
2007 New morning - AT1

(18 weeks)AT
Sales: + 20,000

gray hatching : no chart data available for this year


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. STS are going into stage boarding . ORF-Steiermark from July 24, 2014, accessed on September 7, 2016.
  4. [3]
  5. STS end career. In: July 24, 2014, accessed September 7, 2016 .
  6. Marijana Miljkovic: No “heavy rotation” for STS , August 14, 2007, accessed on December 13, 2014.
  7. NÖN regional part week 09/2012 p. 47
  8. ↑ Gold Decoration of Honor for STS on ORF -Wien from June 27, 2012, accessed on June 27, 2012.
  9. STS are going into stage boarding . ORF-Steiermark from July 24, 2014, accessed on September 7, 2016.
  10. Erich Reinberger [bass]. In: Retrieved October 11, 2016 .
  11. Chart sources: DE AT CH
  12. STS-Page - Discography - Backlight. In: Retrieved September 7, 2016 .