paul hubweber / the yellow snow crystals


German band The Yellow Snow Crystals perform the music of Frank Zappa, with lyrics translated into German.

  • Paul Hubweber: trombone, vocals
  • Alex Morsey: double bass, sousaphone, guembri, vocals
  • Simon Camatta: drums, vocals
  • Gerhard Horriar: vocals, narration

The band performed at the Mosae Zappa Festival in Maastricht in May 2011.

The band performed at the 22th edition of the Zappanale Festival in Bad Doberan, August 2011, and did another concert at the 23rd edition.



  paul hubweber: loverman
    (2010, cd, usa, cadence jazz records 1240) - incl. 'evelyn, a modified dog' (frank zappa)

hubweber_loverman.jpg (30052 bytes)

  the yellow snow crystals: zappn'
    (2011, cdr-demo, ger, private release)- all compositions inspired by the music of frank zappa

ysc_2011demo.jpg (35195 bytes)

  various artists: zappanale #22
    (2011, cd-promo, ger, arf society) - incl. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

zappanale22_samplercd.jpg (7720 bytes)

  the yellow snow crystals: zappn'
    (2011, cd, ger, konnex kcd 5276) - all compositions inspired by the music of frank zappa

ysc_zappn.jpg (112743 bytes)

  various artists: shark gathering in post industrial bad doberan 2012
    (2013, 3dvdr, ger, private release / rr productions) - feat. frank zappa, l.shankar, the ensemble modern & incl. various bands playing zappa compositions
zappanale_exhib2012_01.jpg (42170 bytes) zappanale_exhib2012_02.jpg (41900 bytes)

zappanale_exhib2012_03.jpg (49802 bytes)

  various artists: zappanale # 26
    (2016, 3cd, ger, arf society) - incl. various frank zappa compositions, feat. napoleon murphy brock, ike willis, denny walley, jeff hollie, craig twister steward, ed mann, robert martin, albert wing, ray white, tom fowler, robbie mangano, mats öberg
varart_zappanale26.jpg (27415 bytes)
  the yellow snow crystals: live
    (2016, 2cd, ger, private release) - all compositions inspired by the music of frank zappa

ysc_live_cd2017.jpg (48054 bytes)

  paul hubweber: 213
    (2017, cdr, ger, private release) - incl. 'yscats'  (= 'crew slut' (frank zappa)), 'punchin' pigs 'mit shell''  (incl. various frank zappa riffs), 'so far' (= reference to 'sofa' (frank zappa))

paul_hubweber_213.jpg (45321 bytes)



  • 2012/08/01 concert "Zappanale, Bad Doberan, Germany
    • line-up 

      • Paul Hubweber: trombone, vocals * Alex Morsey: double bass, sousaphone, guembri, vocals * Simon Camatta: drums, vocals * Gerhard Horriar: vocals, narration * Hansjörg Schall: vocals * Werner Huppertz: backing vocals 

    • setlist 

      • intro, Frei wie der Furz, Die Tuba will Deine Mama töten, Tourmädels, Schnee, Stinkfisse, röten im Schwarzwald, Fingers, Die hat mich verarscht, Yellow Snow Cats, Geil, wenn das Wasser schwarz wär (instrumental), OHNO, Geil, wenn das Wasser schwarz wär, Robert B., Schleim, Hildegard, Prummekönig, drum solo, Strandgut, Doberander Rennbahn Fantasie, Umbrella, Nackttanz, Desiree

    • picture by Bazbo





random notes


The Yellow Snow Crystals were one of the memorable bands at the Mosae Zappa Festival last May. And those of you who weren't there, will be getting a chance to see the band at Zappanale. Here's a short chat with trombone player Paul Hubweber.

UniMuta : Hello Paul, it's good to hear that you will be playing at Zappanale. Will this be your first visit to little Zappa-town Bad Doberan?

Paul Hubweber : Hello Peter, thanks for your interest in this tiny little teenagejazzpunk combo. And, yes, this will be our first visit to Zappanale.

UniMuta : I really like the line-up of The Yellow Snow Crystals. Was this something that you envisioned from the start? How did the band come together?

Paul Hubweber : 1st of all - what we do is play music that is infuenced by FZ. 
My latest solo record "Loverman" includes 11 love songs and it will be out soon on Cadence/NY. On this album, there is a version of 'Evelyn, A Modified Dog'. So my mentor Werner "Stinkfuss" Huppertz asked: "What about doing a Zappa project?"
I was not in the mood for another solo project and so I thought of bringing a small band together for this. At that time I did some work with Simon Camatta, our drummer. I heard Alex Morsey playing bass and tuba in a concert and noticed that they both work together. So that's how we started.
After our 1st performance, I became tired of playing trombone, singing, and organizing everything....and that's why I looked for a performer who would be able to take care of most of the vocal parts. I thought of poet Gerhard Horriar with whom I had once done a short session that includes Zappa material.

UniMuta : Singing Zappa's songs in German might reduce the amount of international listeners, but I can imagine that you get a lot of positive reactions from a German speaking audience. How and why did you decide to translate the lyrics into German? Do you try to keep as close as possible to the original?

Paul Hubweber : For me, the sound is the most important thing - Sound is emotion. That's why I have no doubt about the listeners. We have had lots of positve reactions, for instance at the Mosae Festival in Maastricht (NL), even from people who are not able to understand German. The thing is to find our own sound and colour. So if you understand the words you can have fun, but understanding the lyrics is not a necessity. The sound of the words and the music are the most important part.

Some of the German lyrics are based on the translations of Carl Weissner but some of it has to be adapted by Gerhard to get a rhyme. The original lyrics are the basis but not everything works. He went into the mood of "got that feeling but it has to be music".

UniMuta : I love the fact that you take the Zappa compositions and that you turn and twist it around completely. You sung Sun Ra-like chants when you entered the stage, I heard some sort of throat singing by Alex, and there's a big jazz approach in the soloing. How do you decide which direction you want to take when playing a song. And how do you pick the Zappa tunes that you want to play?

Paul Hubweber : It's great to hear that you love our approach.
It's all music. One is influenced by others. Invention is a utopia. To me, not one single person, musician or composer is able to find THE music. Every sound IS. We are in it to bring it to the next and the next and so on.... FZ did very many fantastic things but even he was no the innovator of music. It's like the stone in the water. it grows and grows....

About the direction we take for a certain song... I was sitting on the train and one of my favorite rhythms touched me: "Free is when you dont have to pay for nothing or do nothing we want to be free - Free as the wind" - 7874 ! This made me play with that motive. That's what we do - we take an idea, like 'Don't Eat That Yellow Snow' and improvise.

For The Yellow Snow Crystals, what I prefer is the rough material. I am a blues and jazz and barok musician and I love to go into a groovy orgy - why not with the fantastic FZ material.

UniMuta : The demo is great, and if my memory serves me right, you told me that you were preparing a CD. How is it coming along? Can you already tell us which songs will be on it?

Paul Hubweber : I hope that the record will be ready at Zappanale - fingers crossed.
The album includes "Schleim" (Slime), "Bon" (Token Of My Extreme), "Tourmädels" (Road Ladies), "Schnee" (Yellow Snow), "Stinkfüsse", "Promis" (I Promise Not To Come....), "Freundlicher Filz" which is an improvisation based on Friendly Little Finger and Filthy Habits, "Die Tuba Will Deine Mama Töten" (My Guitar), "Strandgut" (Let Me Take You To The Beach), König Gong and one non FZ piece "Directly From My Heart To You".

UniMuta : Great. We're looking forward to it.
The Yellow Snow Crystals astonished most of the Maastricht crowd at the Mosae Zappa Festival, and I'm pretty convinced that you'll do it again at Zappanale.
Thanks for the interview & see you soon !!

The Yellow Snow Crystals will be performing on Friday, the 19th of August, at Zappanale. Be there!



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