|Schandmaul is a German Mittelalter rock group from Munich. The band often includes instruments typically used in Medieval folk songs such as the bagpipes and shawms that make up their folk-rock sound. The name 'Schandmaul' translates roughly as 'malicious tongue', and is linked to their mascot of a grinning jester.
Schandmaul was founded in the summer of 1998, when six musicians from Munich and the surrounding area decided to put on a concert of folks music songs. Because just doing covers was not enough, they decided to write some of their own stuff. Thus was created the first tune they wrote themselves, "Teufelsweib" (lit. "Devil Woman").
The first concert took place in the bar Die Hexe (lit. The Witch) in Gröbenzell. The self-deprecating name "Schandmaul" was chosen, inspired by a jester from a deck of cards, who is crazy but doesn't mince his words. The success of the concert led to the desire for a CD, which, after many more shows, appeared as the self-produced album Wahre Helden (lit. True Heroes).
With more and more shows, and because there was plenty of creative energy to write more songs, a second album, titled Von Spitzbuben und anderen Halunken (lit. Of Rogues and Other Scoundrels), was released just a year later. Also in 2000, the band signed on with concert promoter Extratours, who has been responsible for the band's shows ever since.
In 2001, a record label took notice of the band, which led to a re-release of Von Spitzbuben und anderen Halunken. Simultaneously, through the numerous shows, including at big festivals like M'era Luna, Zillo-Festival and Wave-Gotik-Treffen, the first big tour came about. The third CD, Narrenkönig (lit. Jester's King) was recorded in a professional studio and was released in October 2002, reaching #70 on the charts. In September 2002, the band parted ways with bassist Hubsi Widman, and Matthias Richter took his place, debuting with Schandmaul on September 22nd, 2002 in Meschede.
In 2003 the first live CD and DVD, Hexenkessel (lit. Witch's Cauldron) were released, recorded during a concert in the Munich club New Backstage, at which Michael Rhein from In Extremo a cameo as guest singer appeared. Hexenkessel reached #52 in the charts.
In early 2004, Wie Pech & Schwefel (lit. Like Pitch and Sulfur, German idiom with a similar meaning as "thick as thieves") appeared in stores. This first studio album with Matthias Richter reached #13 on the charts. A tour with over 80 concerts and shows throughout German-speaking Europe followed. At the end of 2004, the band organized the first ever Funkenflug festival in Munich. The following year, the biggest project yet in the band's history was created: An acoustic tour, where the electric guitars were replaced by a string quartett and extra percussion, capped off by a huge concert in Munich's Circus Krone Building, accompanied by the Puchheimer Jugendkammerorchester (a 50 piece orchestra) and helped out by numerous musicians from other bands, such as Castus and Wim from Corvus Corax on bag pipes and Oliver Sa Tyr from Faun on the celtic harp (who just previously had teamed up with Birgit to create a folk project called Sava). This huge show was recorded and released as both a CD and DVD under the name "Kunststück" (lit. Feat). The CD reached #12 in the album charts and the DVD made it to #3 on the video charts. A single called "Bin Unterwegs" (lit. "(I) Am on the way") was also produced based on the live recording from Circus Krone. More shows followed, sometimes with the strings but once again including the rock set, and a cooperation with the Deutschen Zentrum für Musiktherapie (German Center for Music Therapy) was created. In March 2006 another album appeared titled Mit Leib und Seele (lit. With Body and Soul). This became the first Schandmaul album to reach the top ten in the Media Control charts. Schandmaul's sixth album Anderswelt (lit. meaning "Other-world") appeared in April 2008. It reached #8 in the album charts and is until now their most successful album.
The four male band members also play in the rock band Weto with Regicide keyboarder Heiner Jaspers.