“Find something worth digging for in your life”, is the message that Go Go Berlin sends out with their debut album ‘New Gold’, which will be released on april 11th. I asked the guys about the accidental start of Go Go Berlin, their journey, goals, identity and of course their favourite places in their hometown Aarhus.
Go Go Berlin is a rock ’n roll band consisting of five young man who clearly are kids of the current generation for whom it is almost mandatory to make a living out of your passion. And they are definitely doing it. After 3,5 years as a band they have now gathered a team of managers around them and tour plans are laid out for 2014. Guitar player Mikkel: “People always ask us if playing music is becoming boring now that it is becoming a ‘job’, as if it’s a bad thing. But really, it’s the best thing, because it means that we get to spend all of our time developing what we love”.
They worked hard to get there, even though they describe the formation of Go Go Berlin as a ‘big bang’. That is probably because the hard work didn’t feel like work, but was most of all indeed something they loved doing: playing music. Before their first gig in Eskobar in Silkeborg, they never played in the formation of Go Go Berlin as we know it now. Singer Christian: “We played together in different settings, but never the five of us. The show in Eskobar formed us as a band”. Fun fact: there were 12 visitors and the guys knew 11 of them. It was a good night with a good vibe though. “The bar people really liked it and got us free alcohol. You know that feeling when you do something you really love and you get something else you want? We knew then that this was something we wanted to continue doing”.
“Say goodbye to your guitar, sister”
All five guys started playing music on a young age. Drummer Christopher: “I think I started playing drums when I was 6 years old. I knew a guy in my town who played the drums. He’s ten years older than I am and I remember going to his parents house. He had this big rehearsal room where I tried the the drums and it was just like: ‘I am going to play drums’. He plays with big Danish starts now. I also tried guitar and other things, but in folkshøjskole I started to play drums for real because that’s the thing I was playing best”.
Christian: “I actually started out with drums too, but then my sister got a guitar. She showed me the tabs system and I said: ‘okay, say goodbye to your guitar!’ That’s also how I got to do singing, because it is boring to play guitar without singing”.
This is how that sounds:
It was in that folkshøjskole where the group eventually met and bundled their powers. It was a school for performing arts and -obviously – they all chose the music line from all opportunities. Christian: “We all have the same background. We lived in small cities where we didn’t know that much people who made music. That was our first bond. I had another band, which was crap. But the five of us: we had the same intentions and we wanted the same things”.
Playing at Silkeborg fire festival: an out of your body experience
They Ended up in Eskobar together after drummer Christoffer asked his four companions to join him at the concert he boldly arranged with the booker of the bar, even though he didn’t have a band yet. They plugged in their instruments, with no plans on how to play. Nothing was controlled or well thought out, but the concert was a success. Since then they have played a lot of gigs, among them a show on the biggest Danish music festival Roskilde. It was a concert at the Silkeborg fire festival that kept them going after the big bang in Eskobar though. Bass player Emil: “We got to close the whole show. Afterwards we looked at each other and we were like: we are going to do this again”. Christian: “It was a turning point. These bigger stages are what it is all about. We played smaller basement concerts, it is fun it has it’s charm to it, but that big stage.. it was like an out of your body experience and we wanted to aim for that every time. It was a great thing we got to play that show, because we were about to finish the semester, which meant we wouldn’t be living together anymore. And then we had that gig”. Mikkel: “It was like tanking up before going into the desert. Because after that show there was a long period of no progress. This gig gave us courage and confidence. Otherwise that desert ride would have been hard”. Christian: “It was on august 21, 2011. I remember it because of the door code I had to type in a lot of times. It is now stuck in my head”.
Go Go Berlin releases their first album New Gold
That is two and a half years ago and as mentioned, they are now releasing their first album ‘New Gold’. The main theme on the album is their own attitude towards life. To do what you like and enjoy life to the fullest. When you listen to the album the first times, you might think the songs are about love, with lyrics like ‘I want you’, but Christian denies that with a loud “No”. He explains: “It’s not about love. Some songs are about sex, another one is about the feeling when love doesn’t work, but none of the songs is about love”. What is I want you for example about? “Thats about sex. It’s about this charming guy, but when you dig into his head, you ‘dig in’, haha!” Chris continues: “Of course the songs have been written in the last two years, so there’s a lot of subjects in the lyrics, but to find something worth digging for is actually the main theme”.
‘Bad’: a picture of a state of mind
Mikkel explains a bit more about ‘Bad’, with the lyrics ‘I’m a bad motherfucker’ in it: “Sometimes when you write a song, you are in a certain state of mind and it’s like you take a picture of that state of mind. It [a bad motherfucker] is not something we are all the time, but it is something everyone can find in themselves: think about that time when you just did something you are really proud of and you were walking away with high shoulders.
Christian adds to that: “It’s cool if people can say that to the mirror once in a while”.
Of course, not all days can be like that. Everyone has off days when it comes to motivation. Go Go Berlin hasn’t had so many of those yet, because things are only going uphill with the band. “Of course there are some bad days. A bad concert and a bad review suck”, says Mikkel, “but the next day you just think ‘whatever’ and go on”. Christian: “The best examples that motivate us to go keep on doing what we love, is if we see people who don’t like what they’re doing. It is in the faces of the mad bus driver and others hating their job: I just know that this is what I should do”.
This look behind the scenes shows how much fun they have doing ‘their thing’:
The new Freddy Mercury
Concurring the world is one of the things they would love, according to the dreams and wishes they have: they wouldn’t say no if Kings of Leon asked them to be the support act, organ player Anders wants to play a stadium, but Christian pulls a break there: “we take it one step at a time, playing the 2000 capacity venues will still rock our world”. And then he continues: “But yeah I wanna do that, I wanna be the new Freddy Mercury”.
For now they are perfectly happy being locals in Aarhus though. Sometimes they go on a specific pub crawl: one where they know the owners of the bars, so they can have cheap nights out. “The good thing about a home town is that you know the owners. You feel at home, not like another costumer”
Go Go Berlin’s favourite places in Aarhus:
– Sway: table football, aggressive dj’ing and harsh drinks.
– Headquarters: it’s cosy and they play nice new music.
– Fatter Eskil: there are a lot of old people, but we always meet some fellow musicians.
– Loco 3.0: it’s cozy and there are not many people.
– Backstage: it’s where we rehearse and a place for afterparties.
– Eskobar (the one in Aarhus): It’s a pirate bar. It’s fucked up, they play random music, from hardcore metal to Bryan Adams.
– Under Masken: “sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, tududududu”
And the interview was held at Råbar, one of my personal favourite places in Aarhus 🙂
New Gold will be officially released tomorrow.
A digital copy is already available at iTunes!
The New Gold LP will be available on bol.com:
Go Go Berlin in The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg
Before the autumn tour starts, Go Go Berlin is playing a few shows in the Benelux:
May 10, Winston Kingdom, Amsterdam (NL)
May 29, Dauwpop festival, Hellendoorn (NL)
June 21, Fete de la musique, Luxemburg (LU)
August 10, Brussels Summer Festival, Brussels (BE) (not yet announced on the BSF site)
Go see them if you have the chance!!