Thumb was a German Rapcore band formed in November 1993 in G?tersloh. According to the band's official website they appear to have ceased in 2005 into various side projects; Steffen has joined H-Blockx, Jens is in Taetowier Studio, Jan-Hendrik is in Hudson, Claus is in Alternative Allstars and Axel is in Waterdown. The first home-made tapes were recorded and copied in 1994. Lupe was the last to join the band in October scratching his way to create a new version of Thumb. Record companies began to show an interest and EMI signed a deal in March 1995.
The first home-made tapes were recorded and copied in 1994. Lupe was the last to join the band in October scratching his way to create a new version of Thumb. Record companies began to show an interest and EMI signed a deal in March 1995. Six months later on 14th September Thumb's debut was in the shops. A new star had entered the crossover arena. Genre-related bands Bad Religion, Dog Eat Dog, Henry Rollins and Foo Fighters kept the band company in the next two years at live gigs in Germany. Then it was time for the five to set to work in January 1997 and write the songs of their second album Exposure.
The album duly appeared on 5th May that year and proved to be a great surprise, because Thumb had changed direction. Thumb's new sound is sharp-edged and at the same time so earthy that the critics are not the only ones to stand there open-mouthed. They have effortlessly succeeded in escaping the crossover stereotypes. The fans appreciate this move and the ensuing live shows lift Thumb above routine into a success story. Their path even leads them to America where they play in front of nearly 180,000 during the 1998 Vans Warped Tour. They played alongside greats like the Deftones, Bad Religion, NOFX and many more at thirteen shows in three weeks. Needing to recharge their batteries, they take a long break - and very nearly don't return from it.
Preparations for the third album slowly got underway at the start of 2000 but were abruptly interrupted when guitarist Axel Hilgenst?hler left the band half way through the year, the shock was compounded by the band's creative crisis. The band was on the brink of disintegrating, however, they were saved when new guitarist Axel Praiat along with the new blood coursing through the band's veins took things upwards again. Everything written and recorded up to that point was axed. Claus looks back on this phase: "It wasn't just a question of finding a new guitarist who could fill the gap. We wanted to be writing proper songs as an ensemble. In the past three years we have kept trying to do just that, but we never really came up to our own expectations." Their new-found strength virtually gave them wings. Anyone who thought that Thumb had reached the apogee of their creative career with Exposure soon had to think again. Whereas their old crossover companions had by now almost all retreated from the scene the G?tersloh crew were back with a heavyweight crossover/hardcore/alternative steam hammer unequalled in its genre and in its home country.
The new album showed progress. Thumb were coming in through the front door and they hadn't bothered to unlock it either. Beefy, powerful, with plenty of groove, intelligent arrangements and blazing anger in their belly they are forcing their way into the limelight. The sound was very dense. There are many ways to approach it and many small discoveries to be made about it. "Thumb's idea was never basic rock," explains Claus. "We always aimed to go deeper. Of course, we needed the sound to back that up. The first release from the third album, 'Down Like Me', is a typical example which shows that Thumb songs are more than just music to stomp to." 'Down Like Me' literally drives its way through the loudspeakers. PHAT! Steffen pushes the song forward with stoic, primal force, Axel's guitar work is mean and insidious, Jan Hendrik offers a nice soft pillow to cry on, Claus joins in with furious polyphonic arguments, and Lupe strings together chains of nuances to fuse the sound together. All this is crowned with psychedelic sounds within sounds and electronic elements reminiscent of Portishead. This single is a tailor-made opener, but the rest of the songs - this much we can guarantee - are in no way inferior."