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Meet Yello, the techno aliens from Zurich outer space

Hailed as pioneers of techno music and still filling halls in the wake of a career spanning four decades, the Zurich duo has just won the Swiss Grand Award for Music. Speaking to SWI, they explain the secret to success: not to care about success at all.

Boris Blank is the musical brains, but he confesses that he can’t read a score. Dieter Meier is the singer who learned how to sing on the job. Together they are Yello, probably the most globally successful and influential Swiss band in history. These two assumed dilettantes couldn’t be more different from each other – Boris, the shy genius behind the group's unique samples, and Dieter the lyricist and front man, who also doubles as a business maverick, bohemian, conceptual artist, and gambler.

Yello has so many contradictions in its DNA that it’s hard to fathom how the duo became a sudden global hit right from their beginnings, in the early 1980s. Maybe the reason lies in the fact that they have always been outside of all trends and movements.

Blank and Meier welcomed SWI for a chat in their studio in the noble hills overlooking Zurich, but they insisted on being interviewed one after the other rather than together. We asked their manager whether they were no longer on speaking terms, despite displaying genuine brotherly affection and cracking jokes at each other. “It’s a marriage of 40 years,” replied the manager, “and each one of them has his own style and personality”.

--- is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

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About Swissinfo
SWI – the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Since 1999, has fulfilled the federal government’s mandate to distribute information about Switzerland internationally, supplementing the online offerings of the radio and television stations of the SBC. Today, the international service is directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad.
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