Colour Haze Parts Ways with Bassist Philipp Rasthofer

This one is a real surprise. Of course, change is the nature of, well, everything. Nothing is permanent, blah blah blah, but I would’ve expected that for as long as Colour Haze existed, it would’ve done so with the lineup of Stefan Koglek, drummer Manfred Merwald and bassist Philipp Rasthofer. The latter, whose departure from the group yesterday on social media, is one of the best bass players I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch live, with a sense of class in his performance, unmistakable tone, and the quiet presence of a master on stage. As part of Colour Haze‘s core trio for — as the band notes below — the last 22 years, he’s played an essential role in defining not only their music, but the overarching course of heavy psychedelia as a whole.

To fill the role, Colour Haze are keeping it in the family in bringing aboard Mario Oberpucher as a full-time member. Oberpucher has done recording and live sound for the band for years and contributed to their albums in the past, so he’s no stranger to Colour Haze, but obviously his task has just become significantly greater. As Ripple Music embarks on a series of catalog reissues of the band’s albums — giving some proper North American distribution for the first time — it now becomes a chance to appreciate all over again the chemistry Colour Haze built in their Koglek/Rasthofer/Merwald incarnation, and to wonder what Oberpucher might bring to the mix on bass.

While we’re talking about changes, I’m not sure as to the status of organist/synthesist Jan Faszbender in Colour Haze. Also a prior contributor, Faszbender has been in the band since 2017 and made a significant mark on this year’s We Are (review here), but seems to be absent from recent lineup listings. I assume clarity will be forthcoming, if not before, then certainly with whatever new release the band puts together next.

And as regards Rasthofer, the band’s relatively brief statement follows here:


We parted ways with Philipp Rasthofer for personal reasons. We look back with gratitude on 22 great years and wish Philipp all the best for the future. Our long-time sound engineer Mario Oberpucher is the new bass player in Colour Haze. We’re really looking forward to play with Mario, creating new music and performing live again in 2021. We can’t wait to see you again!

Stefan Koglek – guitar & vocals
Mario Oberpucher – live sound, sitar, bass
Manfred Merwald – drums

Colour Haze, Live 2020 at sunset

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2 Responses to “Colour Haze Parts Ways with Bassist Philipp Rasthofer”

  1. Ben Cook says:

    Holy shit.

  2. Noel Oxford says:

    Really sad about this.

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