Die Ärzte is a German punk rock band from Berlin. Like Die Toten Hosen, they have a career of nearly 30 years behind them and their fame is well established. However, the group remains little known outside the German-speaking countries. The name of the group means in French "Les médecins". Die Ärzte is one of the best-known German punk bands, with a total of 13 studio albums.
The group's popularity is closely linked to their particular sense of humor and their often provocative lyrics. In 1987, their albums Die Ärzte and Debil were blacklisted and some of their songs were banned from minors (Claudia hat 'nen Schäferhund dealing with zoophilia, Geschwisterliebe, a song about incest between brother and sister , and Schlaflied who tells the story of a child being eaten by a monster). By defiance, die Ärzte then released, still in 1987, the album Ab 18 ("From 18 years") which brought together these songs. The album was immediately blacklisted.
Although often described as a punk-rock band, die Ärzte is not limited to a single musical genre and often experiment with new styles. The group is close to some other groups of German punk, like Die Kassierer. The group is characterized by a pronounced activism - many songs and clips bear witness to this, such as Schrei nach Liebe which is a neo-Nazi attack or Deine Schuld, who denounces the passivity of individuals facing politics and a world in perpetual motion. In 1996, they were behind a compilation called Stop Chirac against the decision of French President Jacques Chirac to resume nuclear tests.
Felsenheimer (Bela B.) and Jan Vetter (Farin Urlaub) met in 1981 in Ballhaus Spandau. When the band broke up a year later, Dirk Felsenheimer and Jan Vetter founded together the group die Ärzte and joined bassist Hans Runge (aka Sahnie) in their training.