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From the garage to a European tour: The story of a metal band in a 309 D.

The 309 D with the Garagedays logo is parked in front of an Alpine panorama

The Austrian metal band “Garagedays” prefers to play in their garage when they are not on a European tour with their Mercedes-Benz 309 D.

Metal at the scrap yard.

A scrap yard in Austria, in the darkness of the night, muted metal music can be heard, which seems to be slowly approaching. Suddenly we are blinded by the bright headlights of a parked 309 D and the music’s stops. Then four guys with long hair and leather jackets get out of the grey van. They walk straight towards a garage and disappear into it. Then the music returns. But now Marco, Rene, Dominik and Matthias play their own music. The name of their band is “Garagedays”.

The four-man band sits at the table in the 309 D

The band Garagedays from left to right: Dominik Eder, Matthias Mai, Marco Kern, Rene Auer.

Raised by music legends.

At the tender age of eight, hard rock and heavy metal were on the agenda for the four Tyroleans. Born in the eighties, front man Marco Kern grew up with Metallica and Judas Priest. On MTV he and his younger band mates also regularly watched music videos by older artists such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix and Motörhead. “Since I became fascinated with this music very early on, it was always clear to me that I wanted to play in a band,“ Marco tells us. No sooner said than done. In 2005 the guitarist and singer-songwriter founded the band “Garagedays” together with bassist Dominik Eder, with whom he spent his childhood. A little later, lead guitarist Rene Auer and drummer Matthias Mai joined the band.

Marco Kern plays guitar on a stage

Marco Kern is the founder, guitarist and the powerful, raw vocalist of Garagedays.

Song mechanics and 100% nasty crew.

Why the name Garagedays? In fact, they typically started rehearsing in a garage next to a scrap yard. But for them this place was and is more than just a means to an end. “We always associate a garage with creative work. Where others are tinkering with their cars, we’re tinkering with new songs,” the band explains to us vividly. In the meantime they have even built their own recording studio above the garage. On their 309 D their motto “100% nasty crew” can be read next to the band name. Here, too, we are curious to know what this is all about. “After a concert evening with a lot of head banging together with the audience we all stank terribly on the way back. Since then we associate this moment both with our cohesion in the band and the connection to our fans”.

Van profile


Mercedes-Benz 309 D

Year of construction



277,000 km

Engine performance

65 kw

Gross vehicle weight

3,500 kg

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Songs from the inside.

In 2011 the band released their debut album “Dark and Cold”, followed by “Passion of Dirt” in 2014. The band recorded their third album “Here it Comes” with Metallica producer Flemming Rasmussen, which has been on the market since mid-September. And what are your songs about? “With our songs we want to encourage people never to lose faith in themselves and to never give up, even in rough times,” explains Marco. In doing so, they take up social problems with their lyrics or process their own experiences, as in Marco’s case the early death of his father.

The band from the front during a live performance

Garagedays creates a good atmosphere in Memmingen.

On tour with the 309 D.

In 2015 the band performed as support band for U.D.O on a three-month tour through 13 different European countries. They covered a total of 25,000 kilometers in their grey Mercedes-Benz 309 D, which was built in 1986 and had already been used as a motorhome. After they had bought the van from Marco’s cousin, they simply built a wooden bed frame into it so that two people could sleep next to each other on two levels. Living in hotel rooms for twelve weeks would have been simply too expensive. So the bus became their home for this trip and for all those to come.

  • The 309 D from behind with opened rear doors
  • View into the interior of the 309 D with seating area
  • View into the interior of the 309 D with bed construction
  • View of the 309 D from the side in the mountains

The history of the 309 D – a little excursion.

In fact, the 309 D is a vehicle steeped in history. With its 90-horsepower OM-602 engine, it is the second of a total of three model series of the Mercedes-Benz T1, the first vans produced by Daimler in Bremen from 1977. Its sharp-edged design, short bonnet and large corner flashing lights made the T1 a true design icon of its time, which is still to be seen today. The van also had a lot to offer in terms of driving comfort in those days. The large windows of the spacious driver’s cab provide a good all-round view. The instrument panel with its characteristically large speedometer is limited to the essentials, while a wide steering wheel facilitates steering. It was not without reason that the van was sold under the then popular slogan “drives like a car”.

Dominik Eder, Marco Kern, Rene Auer and Matthias Mai walk along a path

Long hair and leather jackets – the band can be spotted from a distance.

The silence before the big performance.

During their tour, the band Garagedays often played in front of several thousand spectators. If they had stage fright? “We always have stage fright,” they start to say. “Shortly before the show it gets quiet backstage and you start to do strange things. I start singing, Matti goes to the bathroom a few times and Rene and Dominik run in circles”. So there doesn’t seem to be a real cure. As concert experience grows, stage fright often plays a role, as every venue and audience is different. However, certain rituals may help to cope with stress situations. But the most important thing is still to have a lot of fun. And the four Austrians definitely have that when they are spoken to in English after a show even in German-speaking countries!

The band on stage

With so many viewers, stage fright is a natural thing.

Rene Auer on guitar next to Marco Kern

Lead guitarist Rene Auer plays the lead.

Matthias Mai on drums

Matthias Mai sets the beat.

Dominik Eder and Marco Kern play guitar on stage

Bass guitarist Dominik Eder (left) and rhythm guitarist Marco Kern (right) are in their element.

The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.

Photos: Marco Kern; René Kößler; Udo Talmon; Garagedays

More Links to explore:, @Instagram, @YouTube


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