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Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Updated: June 18, 10:46 PM ET
Meet Manual Kant

By Stephen Krcmar
XGames.com

Immanuel Kant went huge in the world of 19th-century philosophy and his work is still considered important by a lot of the Ivory Tower set. He's best known for the categorical imperative, which polarizes morality: Any action that can be considered moral has to hold up in all situations.

Manual Kant goes big in the world of indie rock, and although the German band has been at it for a quick second, info on the band is scant. But they may have the best band name in the world. Because who doesn't like deep thinkers and wheelies?

Comprised of Malte Borgmann (vocals, bass), Franz Sonnauer (guitar) and Simon Gürster (drums), the group formed more than six years ago in rural Bavaria before moving to Berlin and, finally, Munich. XGames.com connected with Borgmann to get the basics on the trio, who plays the X Fest Stage in Munich from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET on June 27. Tune into XGames.com for a full live webcast of their show.

XGames.com: The band started in the Lower Bavarian countryside. How did Manual Kant come together?
We're all from a town called Landshut, or from the rural outskirts of it. It's not the biggest town -- population around 80,000, all in all -- so if you're living there making music, you'll end up knowing pretty much everybody else in Landshut who makes music. And you'll end up making music with them, jamming, drinking, partying, whatever ....

I founded Manual Kant back in the days with some friends from school, but the lineup changed over the years and now it's just people that I played with in other bands, projects, etc. That's that.

What were the early shows like?
Well, what everybody else's first shows are like, I think: kinda awkward, but fun.

Manual Kant takes the X Fest Stage with a live webcast June 27 at 9:30 a.m. ET.

When did you move to Berlin?
End of 2011/beginning of 2012.

What was the music scene like there?
Much harder to get into, I think. Also, you can't really speak of "one" music scene. It's a lot of scenes and people, and if there is a center, we haven't really found it. But of course, in terms of interesting and great music, the music scene in Berlin is a little bit better than in Landshut (just a tiny little bit).

When do you move Munich?
Oh, that's a bit complicated. I still live in Berlin. Our drummer moved back to the rural outskirts of Landshut. He hated Berlin, because he is a grumpy Bavarian and he couldn't stand being away from home in the big city. We have a new guitar player. He is also from Landshut (of course), but he lives in Munich -- he never moved to Berlin with us, he wasn't in the band then -- and he has a studio there. So that's why we're in Munich a lot these days.

How do you feel about playing X Games? It's your hometown crowd.
It's always nice to play in Munich. We're also very excited about all those skaters and motorcyclists and all that. It's really weird that this thing moved to Munich now. Why the hell did they do that? Like, why Munich?

That's a good question. We don't have an answer for you. The name of your band is awesome, though. How did you come up with Manual Kant?
I stole it from a book, to be honest. It's from DBC Pierre's "Vernon God Little"; in German it's called "Jesus aus Texas." Some guys in high school learn about Immanuel Kant and they make fun of him [in a crude way].

I liked the book and thought that was funny and a weird mixture of stiff German enlightenment philosophy and vulgar obscenity, and I thought that would fit our band.

Are you writing any new music these days?
Yes, we are in the studio in Munich working on new material. It's a tough process, but it will turn out great, I think.

Do any of the members of the band skate?
Franz, our guitarist, used to skate a lot. But not anymore. I used to skate too, but only because I wanted to be cool. I'm really tall and really uncoordinated -- I mean, I move like an idiot -- so my skating experiences were mostly really frustrating and painful. I quit skating when I found out that [it's] possible to be cool without skating ....

Tell us about your latest record.
It's s---. We don't like it, sorry.

How is it different from your previous work?
It's worse.