Wir sind Helden’s music style is self-described — 28% Synthie, 34% Punk und 38% Pop” — Synthie-Punk-Pop. Apart of a second wave of the “NDW,” the “Neue deutsche Welle;” German bands that sing and write songs in their native German. Front woman Judith Holofernes’ penchant for intelligent and honest lyrics, sometimes with ironically delivered social criticism, is the band’s unique trademark.
Wir sind Helden was formed when Judith Holofernes, Jean-Michel Tourette, and Pola Roy met at a pop music workshop in Hamburg, Germany in 2001. After their meeting, they decided to begin performing together in Berlin. Soon after, Mark Tavassol joined on bass and Wir sind Helden was complete.
Within months, the newly formed band made the single charts with their song “Guten Tag.” Which reached #53 on the German singles charts and got significant airplay on MTV Europe, despite the band not having a record deal. When their album Die Reklamation was released in 2003, it immediately climbed to number 5 on the German album charts and it later reached number 1.
Boosted by their early success, Nena invited the band to accompany her on tour. Not long thereafter, the band began performing its own sold-out concerts throughout Germany and bordering countries. In 2004, the band was recognized as worthy newcomers in the business with 3 Echo awards. Frankfurt’s premier newspaper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, has called them the founders of a second New German Wave movement.
The band’s 2005 album Von Hier an Blind surprised fans. Far from a copy of the first LP, Von Hier an Blind is more melancholy in tone and guitars play a larger role, and though critical social themes are not wholly absent — they are not as central as in the debut album. Despite the unexpected differences, the band’s second LP went platinum only a few weeks after its release and the tour was already sold out before it even began. The album reached Number 1 on the German Top Ten album charts, and remained in the Top Ten for 20 weeks. In 2006, the band played two sold-out concerts in London, which is never a small feat for a band whose lyrics are not in English.
Their 2007, LP Soundso debuted on the German album charts at Number 2 and has been a critical and commercial success for the band. In spring 2010, Wir sind Helden will release a new album with their new label — Sony BMG.