Interview: The Picturebooks
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 07:28:39
Rock ‘n’ roll needs to get kick-started back into high gear. The Picturebooks are the band to do it too. The German duo dispenses a brand of blues equally heavy on reverb, impressive guitar fireworks, and thunderous drumming. Simply put, there’s nothing out there like their forthcoming full-length Imaginary Horse, out October 7 [iTunes link]. It’s a one of kind ride driven by two of the genre’s most visionary young men. Hop on...
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, The Picturebooks vocalist and guitarist Fynn Claus Grabke talks Imaginary Horse and so much more.
What ties Imaginary Horse together for you? It feels like a complete piece.
That was the goal from the beginning. Before we felt the songs were one-hundred percent complete, the idea was to have a certain sound for the whole album. How we recorded it was all a part of the process. We were going through all that. We wanted to have this sound for the whole record though. If you're in a club, at a bar, or at a party and somebody turns on one of our songs, you should be able to hear the feedback from the guitar or the bass drum and say right away, "That's The Picturebooks!" That was the plan.
For you, how do the lyrics and music tie together? What fuses them?
Most of the songs happen in the moment. Most of my lyrics are improvised. A song like "Learn It The Hard Way" happened in that moment and made sense. I just can't change it anymore after it comes out. Sometimes, it doesn't make sense at all. It's almost like a tool I use. It reminds me of hip-hop in that sense. There's a pronunciation that simply works. "Learn It The Hard Way" was something I just sang in the moment. A lot of songs have that same element. If I listen to some songs the first time I recorded them on my iPhone as memos, they will actually have the same lyrics on the album. It's funny. I'd be shocked. I didn't write them down. They just happened. It's crazy.
What's the story behind "Make It Last"?
It's actually the last song we recorded for the album. It's pretty simple. We're always on tour. We've been on the road constantly for the last seven years. Basically, it was the moment where something great happened at home with my girlfriend while I was a gone. It was a great feeling that I had never had. I wrote the song right after I had that feeling. I had the melody before, and it just happened. All of these lyrics were from the moment, again. It's a feeling that came out of being home sick, while out on the road. My girl was going on a trip for college, and she had all of this good news coming up. I was so happy for her. At the same time, I was a bit homesick because I was gone for a long time on tour. It was a super positive feeling out of nowhere.
Where did "Woman (Tears of Gold)" come from?
I took a lot of phrases that sounded good to me out of my notebook and put them together. We were just jamming out, and that song came across.
What artists shaped you?
There were all of these bands like The Cure, The Smiths, and Minor Threat. They hit me so hard. Those are the biggest influences. Coming from there, you snake through everything influenced by that. It's The Smiths, The Cure, and The Velvet Underground a lot. Those are the best bands for me.
What's the best music to listen to while riding a motorcycle?
When you ride a motorcycle or a Harley Davidson, it's music to my ears [Laughs]. I wouldn't listening to music while riding my Harley because it's the best sound in the world. All of the chopper customizing is perfect. After a long day at the studio, you just want to do something else. You put the skateboard on it, kick the fucking Harley on, and just go to the next skate park. It's great!
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