Select a section
Richthofen biography
Band Line-up
Beyond Richthofen


Band Biography
Richthofen was established by former Holy Moses guitarist and renowned record producer Andy Classen with Dirk Weiss who came from the thrash-metal band Warpath. The two formed the backbone of the original band line-up, while Sanjah Shah and Gernot Leinart, both from the band Shit For Brains, and Alex Spiekermann contributed to the recording as well. Richthofen's debut album Seelenwalzer was released on May 26th, 1997 and surprised the band's members at how well it did, selling over 20,000 copies. Additionally, 2 singles were released to support the album, "Worte des Fleisches" and "Blut der Pferde". A music video was also made for "Blut der Pferde". After the album's release, the band toured extensively with the help of Stefan Römhild and Michael Hankel on guitar and Marco Schulz playing bass. During this time, Richthofen toured with bands such as Die Krupps, Kreator, Dimmu Borgir, and others.

Following the Seelenwalzer album, founding member Andy Classen left the band to pursue other projects, but Dirk Weiss remained with the band. Weiss recruited Michi Schluseneck from his old band Warpath to play guitars for Richthofen. Alex became a permanent member of the band, along with new members Martin Melms on guitar and Jan David on bass. This quintet recorded music for the band's second album Helden Der Zeit which was released on January 11th, 1999, also on GUN Records. A single for "Hart am Wind" was released as well. Richthofen played a number of concerts in support of their latest album, but unfortunately disbanded just a few months later. The family of Manfred von Richthofen, better known as the Red Baron, had some issues with the band's name and forced a change, which in turn split up the band for good.

Band Line-up
Seelenwalzer line-up
Dirk Weiss - Vocals
Andy Classen - Guitars, percussion and programming

Seelenwalzer contributing musicians:
Sanjai Shah - Drums, "bonemachine"
Alex Spiekermann - Drums
Gernot Leinert - Keyboards, fretless bass and live samples
Stefen Römhild - Guitar
Michael Hankel - Guitar
Marco Schulz - Bass

Helden der Zeit line-up
Dirk "Digger" Weiss - Vocals and accordion
Michael Schluseneck - space guitar
Alex Spikermann - Drums and keybords
Martin Melms - Guitar
Jan David - Bass

Beyond Richthofen
After Richthofen disbanded, Michi continued working on his preferred project at the time, the band Niederschlag which he had already released a demo with. Peter Struckini, who had also worked with Richthofen on Helden Der Zeit, produced Niederschlag's only album Mehr Als Sterben which was released on August 31st, 2001. Michi is currently involved in the band Endhammer with former Niederschlag singer Miro. Endhammer released a 3-track demo in 2004, but not much has happened since then.

Since leaving Richthofen, Andy Classen has gained further recognition recording and producing scores of bands from around the world at his Stage One Studio. A few of the other German metal bands that have recorded there include Die Apokalyptischen Reiter, Drecksau, Eisregen, and Niederschlag.

The other founding member of Richthofen, Dirk "Digger" Weiss, went on to the band RoHoel. One of Richthofen's live guitarists, Michael Hankel, joined Classen's old band Holy Moses.