With their debut album „Burn To Shine“ they scored a real underground hit in March 2005. Although it was only available on the small independent label Dandyland, Monkeeman found themselves on the playlists of the most important German radio stations with the single „Universe“. But it didn’t stop there – the album track „Life Is Wonderful“ was picked as the music for the TV ad of the internet auction company Ebay.
On stage the band played in front of raving audiences. German national TV station NDR put a whole show on broadcast, normally a privilege which is being held for international or well known domestic acts. A short trip to England was a big success. Now the new album „Jumping On The Monkey Train“ is finished – produced by Patrik Majer (ECHO winner 2007 for producing German top selling act “Wir Sind Helden”).
„Being a long time follower of modernist fashion, my influences can be traced back to The Jam, Small Faces, The Kinks or Northern Soul, but punk bands from ‘77 belong to my youth as well,“ Monkeeman songwriter Ralf Luebke explains his music. The song is what it is about, there will be no hip beats or electronic effects. „Lots of music biz people said to me that it is too difficult for a German band using English lyrics. It will all be much easier with German lyrics. What a typical German way of thinking – you only look as far as the money goes.“
„I am fed up of everybody going on about majors and indies. At the end of the day it is all about the music – record companies just want to sell the product.“ Luebke is straight about what he thinks. „My music will be released on small labels, there are friends and people who care about what they do and who I trust. If this is what you call indie, then there you go. While the industry is going down the drain and the internet is gaining more and more importance at the same time we have to rethink as artists, take things in our own hands and work with small budgets. Put your music on myspace, collect the feedback from all around the world – now that is what I call exciting. The tip of the iceberg which used to cut the consumer from the musician is beginning to melt. The whole MTV crap is on the way out. I am really keen to know how the major companies now want to sell their bullshit.“
Ralf Luebke was raised in the working class town of Wilhelmshaven and tried to escape with his first band „The Colour Red“. This was not without any success, the band was a regular visitor to German music TV in the mid nineties and released two albums collecting rave reviews around the country.
Accompanied by drummer Achim Faerber, Zoran Grujovski playing keyboads and guitars as well as Thomy Jordi on bass Ralf Luebke put Monkeeman on the map in 2001: „We do not talk about music much in the band, we just play. It’s a case of perfect interacting, what a band should be like.“
KoolKat Music USA:
“This dude has the songs, man! And we're going to say it now - Ralf Lubke is a Pop God! The man has the mojo, the feel, and the seemingly endless supply of hooks that make him an awesome God whose future efforts should be met with high anticipation!”
Not Lame USA
“Monkeeman create numerous crescendous choruses, heavenly layered vocals galore, all offset by gently trippy harmonies and cavernous, jangling guitar, it`s just a scorcher of amazing pop!!
You get the superlative-vibe here, yet? Monkeeman is going to be a release that will be talked about for many, many years and folks who pick this up, will not soon forget it on their shelves, either.”
Mod Radio UK Reviews:
“Ralf Lubke, the new Paul Weller?”