Tobias Gruben

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Tobias Gruben (1989, market hall)
Tobias Gruben in Hamburg in 1991

Tobias Gruben (born July 28, 1963 in Athens , † November 2, 1996 in Hamburg ) was a German underground musician, singer, composer and poet.


Born in Athens as the child of the archaeologist and architect Gottfried Gruben and an interpreter , Tobias Gruben grew up in Starnberg . He made his first musical experiences a. a. together with Christoph Schlingensief in the band Die Vier Kaiserlein .

In the early 80s he then moved to Hamburg to found the dark wave band Cyan Revue in 1984 , where he was a singer. After three records and several tours (including with Alien Sex Fiend ), the band broke up in 1987. He then co-founded the band Die Erde . The lyrics became German and the music more industrial . After four records and again some touring (including with the Einstürzende Neubauten ), this band also split up in 1990.

A confused time began for Gruben, which manifested itself in the founding of the Heroina project , in which he dealt with making music with the simplest of means and without fellow musicians. In 1994 he started the band Sol, which was renamed Die Erde II a short time later . A major publication was planned for 1997 on Universal , but this was preceded by Gruben's surprising drug death on November 2, 1996.

After his death, What's So Funny About ... the double CD tobias gruben - die earth came onto the regular market; Furthermore, the siblings Sebastian and Imogen self-published five more CDs, which contain an entire retrospective including numerous unpublished pieces that were created unplugged in the studio or at home.


In 2019 the film Love Eats Life - Tobias Gruben, his songs and the earth by Oliver Schwabe celebrated its premiere at the Hamburg Film Festival . In the film, which focuses on the life of Tobias Gruben and the complicated relationship with his father, contemporary bands such as Messer , Isolation Berlin and Tellavision and musicians such as Paul Pötsch from Trümmer and Timm Völker as well as the actor Tom Schilling cover pieces by Tobias Gruben. The cinema release was planned for April 2020, combined with the release of the soundtrack. However, due to the corona crisis , the film was released online.

Press comment on the film: “Tobias Gruben was a kind of German Nick Cave, nobody sang more beautifully and threateningly about heroin or their own father. How Schwabe's portrait intertwines the life and work of this enigmatic singer is captivating and highly exciting, the rediscovery of a superstar who never was. "


Cyan Revue

  • 1984: The Gift (12 "-EP, Cyan Rec.)
  • 1986: Four Wounds (LP, Yellow Ltd.)
  • 1987: Arm (LP, Yellow Ltd.)

The earth



Post Mortem released phonograms

  • Tobias Gruben / Die Erde (double CD)
  • Cyan Revue - In Loving Memory
  • The rest of the earth
  • Tobias Gruben - The wild life
  • Tobias Gruben - Weiss
  • Tobias Gruben sings

Soundtrack to the film

  • Love eats life (LP and CD, ZigZag / mindjazz)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Vimeostream
  2. ^ Die Zeit, Hamburg edition, September 26, 2019.