Ralf Hütter of Kraftwerk tells 'Rolling Stone' of 'spiritual connection' with Detroit

In a revealing interview with Ralf Hütter (Kraftwerk's lead singer, keyboardist and co-founder) for Rolling Stone, posted last week and readable in full here, the first two questions that exceptional writer Geeta Dayal asks deal with Kraftwerk's upcoming '3-D' appearance in Detroit next month, which we are so stoked about. He even gives props to the Electrifying Mojo, and hints about an after-party! Fuck, yes.

One city that really sticks out on your upcoming U.S. tour itinerary is Detroit, which has a storied alliance with Kraftwerk. You haven't played Detroit in 10 years.
We've been to Detroit several times with our friends, [Detroit techno DJs and producers] Juan Atkins and Derrick May, visiting some clubs and some locations over the past many years ago...

There's quite a techno connection, Kraftwerk to Detroit. Maybe you know that photograph of the robots in front of the theater — that's the State Theatre in Detroit. The industrial sound of Motor City and Kraftwerk on the autobahn, there's a spiritual connection. Automatic rhythms, robotic work, robotic music — all kinds of fantasies are going on.

I was struck, the first time I went to Detroit, at how much they love Kraftwerk. It's almost a religion there.
Yes, in the very early days, the [Detroit radio DJ] Electrifyin' Mojo played our music, the Computer World album, on radio. Our music wasn't always played on radio; it was not so popular, apart from Autobahn in the 1970s. In the late Seventies it started again in Detroit. So there's this spiritual connection. We feel very strongly the energy and always have tried to come back and perform there. Maybe we can arrange with our friends some after-hours locations or parties. We'll see what we can do.

About The Author

Mike McGonigal

Metro Times music editor Mike McGonigal has written about music since 1984, when he started the fanzine Chemical Imbalance at age sixteen with money saved from mowing lawns in Florida. He's since written for Spin, Pitchfork, the Village VOICE and Artforum. He's been a museum guard, a financial reporter, a bicycle...
Scroll to read more Music News articles


Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.