“It’s unavoidable,” says Gert Steinbäcker and laughs. “I won’t get any more credit for a term of 50 years.” The singer and songwriter, known as the first S of the group STS, speaks of his birthday – on Sunday he will be 70 years old.
You can’t tell his age by looking at him. The Grazer looks fresh, agile and relaxed. No wonder, since he has long been living the lyrics to his famous song “Someday I’ll stay durt”. He’ll be in Greece twice a year for four months: “I can also be super lazy. I’m doing relatively well, I don’t have to fight anymore.”
For his birthday he treats himself to a flexi-pension as a rock star. One last big tour through Austria (Vienna concert: November 30th, Stadthalle) and Germany, one last album (“44”) with his hits and four new numbers, then he wants to step back.
Will he miss life on tour? “No, I do not think so. I love doing small, weird things, maybe gigs with just guitar and bass. Just not routine. I don’t need to be famous anymore.” But 70 is no longer old in rock music these days – his great idols, the Rolling Stones, are still on the road at almost 80, as are Paul McCartney (80), Bruce Springsteen (73) and Bob Dylan (81). Steinbäcker laughs: “They don’t all have an island and a sea and a lot of beautiful things. None of them are enthusiastic motorcyclists.”
Since the pandemic, the cultural industry has been complaining about lower occupancy rates – does this also affect pop music? “When you have a half-full hall, you don’t know, it’s your fault or the pandemic. But the trend is like this. Culture is the first thing that doesn’t have to be official.”
Many of his songs, especially “Grandpa”, are now folk songs. Does that make him happy? “I am very happy to have done something clever in life. That wasn’t clear, I don’t have a high school diploma, I haven’t learned a trade, I refused all of that. Like Thomas.”