Story of Ekranoplans


Following the hugely successful reunion of his old outfit The Earthmen, Aaron Goldberg blew his revenue on a startling array of guitar effects pedals. Soon he got sick of trying them out by himself so his mates Simon Strong, Sonke Rickertsen and Stefan Schutt organised for a jam to be held on 27 July 2016 to help him out. Simon was keen get a new group together to play his local boozer The Yarra since he’d seen a few cool groups there and it was quite close to his house. Him and Ziggy were in the Pink Stainless Tail who were still together but hadn’t been in the same room for almost a decade apart from The Pop Group reunion show that they’d all gone to. Stef was in Stavros Bros, Ashtray Boy and so many other groups that one more wouldn’t hurt. So they started off jamming on Hawkwind’s Silver Machine (obviously enough) and it was agreed at the end of the session that it constituted the first practise.Soon they were trying their own compositions but Simon was having trouble getting new words out fast enough. He was locked into his tradition of working out epic poetry over several years but Stef suggested he should just start shouting random shit instead and, despite some initial reservations, it worked out surprisingly well.

Soon the group decided to name itself after a giant Soviet-era transport vehicle that people often found difficult to pronounce.

Like some sort of refurbished dirty power station in Kazakhstan ready to reap in the profit the Ekranoplans burst onto the scene last night to rock the Yarra. With lead ranter Simon Strong whirling dervishly, Master G Goldberg pushing pedal power to the fore and the rhythm section sounding like they’d just stepped off the stage of the Howard Stein Music Academy circa 1973 this bunch of hard rocking psychedelic Soviet sympathisers demand your attention…
— Michael Helms on Ekranoplans debut show, 3 Feb 2017.

More than you wanted to know about Ekranoplans Aaron Goldberg Sonke Rickertsen Stefan Schutt Simon Strong
Aaron Goldberg
Sonke Rickertsen
Stefan Schutt Simon Strong
Year of birth 1969 1963 1966 MCMLXIV
Birthplace Melbourne, Australia Hagen, DDR Munich, DDR Sheffield, UK
Instruments played Guitar, drums Guitar, drums, cello, piano, sax, synth, percussion 6 and 4 strings n/a
Where educated Melbourne Germany Whyalla, S.A. Sheffield 5
Former occupations Fabric cutter, record store clerk, storeman and packer, computer dork Gardener, painter Car park, market research, storeman, writer, web guy, teacher, academic Artificial intelligence researcher, bookseller, toilet cleaner, typographer, bouncer
Musical education A few lesson age 16, Habba’s dad, Issy, Adrian Woodward in London, via Skype Autodidact Fast Forward cassette magazine, NME, Juke Pete, Jim, Nigel, Colin, and all at the Beat Tandoori
Age entered show business 22 15 13 37
First public appearance My Bar Mitzvah. June, 1978 Singing John Denver’s Country Roads at the Bayview Hotel in Whyalla Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London.
Biggest break in career Winning the J-Session national band contest Touring with My Bloody Valentine and Once Upon A Time Outdoor gig at the ABC Shopping Centre in Whyalla Having Stewart Home explain the occult mysteries of the universe to me
Other groups Vinyl Death Pop, the Earthmen, Oar:Field Recordings Slub, Black Cabinet, Pink Stainless Tail, Crybones, The Stuff Yacht Club, Snapdragons, Stanley’s Dance, Nam the Musical, Peachfuzz, Big Cat Safari, Schmozzle. Stavros Brothers, Ashtray Boy Pink Stainless Tail, The Barry Jeffries
Hobbies Guitar playing, electronics, gardening, gym, yoga, wanking Dancing, shadow boxing, speaking in thongs Fava beans and mountain bikes Drinking, smoking, eating pre-formed potato snacks
Biggest influence on career My older brothers’ record collections and getting bullied by them Beatles Guided By Voices Robyn Hitchcock, David Peel
Favourite colour Red Blue Orange Salmon pink / Ash grey
Favourite singer Chuck D Nina Simone, Scott Walker Tobin Sprout Roger Whittaker, Tony Christie, Robert Wyatt
Favourite actor/actress Jerry Lewis, Isobel Huppert Elizabeth Taylor, Klaus Kinski Don’t have one Lina Romay, Alistair Simm
Favourite food Vietnamese Peasant food Fuul madamas Egg, beans and chips
Favourite drink Single malt whiskey a good beer Ayran Strong Continental Lager
Favourite clothes T-shirts Birthday dress Black, old, cheap Old mod/skinhead gear from op shops and jumble sales
Favourite composers Brian Eno, Lee Perry, Schoenberg, Russians, Neil Young Ed Kuepper, Bowie, Kurt Weill William Basinski Lee Perry, Serge Gainsbourg, Neil Palmer, Robert Calvert
Favourite groups The Stooges, Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators, Roxy Music, Public Enemy, Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth Lee Scratch Perry, Pop Group, Can, Sleaford Mods many Hawkwind, Culture, Akvarium, Kino
Favourite sex position I’m not in the position to have sex at the moment ? Prone E=MC2
Miscellaneous likes Vegetables, humid weather, clean beachers with surf, forests, recreational drugs, knickers Nature, industry, birds, clouds, camp fire WG Sebald The 20th century (well, approx. half of it)
Miscellaneous dislikes Neo-conservatives, neo-liberal philosophies of any sort, bad personal hygiene, dust, ice addicts or any sort of addict 98% People who don’t indicate The 21st century (all of it)
Most thrilling experience Sex, flying in jet planes, getting stoned by protestors in Jerusalem, playing live and the crowd loving it Losing my virginity Watching Antiques Roadshow Too many to choose from
Tastes in music Reggae, minimalism, Krautrock, 60s psych, early blues, punk and indie, hip hop, techno and house music Tribal, raw, funky, experimental stuff Confused Sheffield electro, any kind of Reggae pre-1990, Space-rock, Soviet-era USSR tunes, English hippy dippy psyche, militant music, French Ye-Ye.
Professional ambition To not work a job yet make a living and have more sex than I do right now To rock until I roll over Rock stardom Immortality