Giant Rooks: About Challenges on Tour, Media Recommendations and Growth

Landing a hit with their sophomore album “How Have You Been?” the German band Giant Rooks are on a rise. In this press conference organized by °1824 they delved into topics ranging from life on tour to dealing with imposter syndrome while shedding light on their collective ambitions. Fred Rabe and Finn Schwieters gave us authentic glimpses into their daily life and took a moment to reflect on their career and development as a band. Besides that, they also shared movie and book recommendations, so stay tuned! 

Get to know Giant Rooks 

Fred Rabe, Finn Schwieters, Luca Göttner, Finn Thomas and Jonathan Wischniowski from Hamm in Germany are now taking over big stages on international world tours. Gathering inspiration from life in foreign places and human interactions, the Giant Rooks constantly evolve in their sound and artistic identity. Crafting their second album was a challenging task that took them through highs and lows. From 150 song drafts, 40 finished tracks and 14 final choices that made it to the album, they created a project of timeless and cinematic sounding songs. Besides their artistic development they also gained invaluable wisdom. While discovering their individual and collective strengths, Giant Rooks learned to be confident and through trial and error they came out stronger and produced their amazing second LP.  

If you could soundtrack a movie which genre would it be, or do you have a movie in mind where your music could fit into? 

Fred: That’s a good question, there’s plenty! Finn and me, we basically love the same movies and genres and I’d say we choose Drama. I’m not a big fan of fantasy and superhero movies like Marvel. I prefer actual stories and things that happen to real existing people. I’d say the best movie I have seen is After Sun, in general Paris, Texas by Wim Wenders is one of my favorite movies. The last one he put out “Perfect Days” is crazy! It is still resonating with me, and I watched it like 4 months ago and still think about it all the time. But it’s a movie without soundtrack, I guess… 

Finn: Oh, there is a soundtrack it has music from the 70’s! 

Fred: True so let’s take that one! 

Finn: Yes, we choose Perfect Days, and you should really watch it if you haven’t yet. 

What is a long-term goal you have as a band? 

Finn: We used to say our goals were playing certain festivals or countries. But again, without sounding cliche, I think it changed and it’s now a goal for all five of us to be happy with what we’re doing and to write music we like and still want to go on tour together. That’s my aim for the future! 

Fred: You have no control about all these little goals so it’s good to be chill about that, we just want to make music that still resonates with people. 

Photo Credits: Moritz Kind

You were feeling pressure to do everything differently on your second album but ultimately decided not to do it. What impacted that pressure and how did you make a final decision in the end? 

Fred: After “Rookery” we felt the urge to change everything and find new recipes to make songs. We listened to a lot of R’n’B, Jazz and Soul so we thought of trying to make this music as well. But it never felt natural. We got lost in wanting to do something we were not able to but thought we should. We were insecure about it and lost our identity for a second. I think another big mistake was using a laptop for a while for songwriting. We never did that and thought it would be cool to use different instruments, but it just didn’t work for us. After 1-2 years of trial and error we realized all of us jamming around with five instruments is enough and our element and what works best for us. We were lost and overthinking too much, so we flipped a switch and as result we wrote this very classic band album. The approach was to write timeless music and songs for this album, and we want them to be relevant in 10-15 years and not being outdated. So that was the idea, and we were lucky to find a way back to ourselves. 

How have you grown as a person and as an artist with this new album? 

Fred: We are in our 20s and naturally changing all the time and finding who we are in this world. Maybe it is too early to answer this question. Maybe in 5 years I can say how I changed and evolved, but especially in the last 2 years we got more confident with stuff and learned from our mistakes. We take more rest and don’t jump from one thing to another anymore. Finally, we learned to say no, because in the last 6 years we probably said yes to everything. It’s still difficult to say no, but saying yes, all the time doesn’t mean we got better artists or songwriters. In that way we learned and improved and were even more successful because we were more relaxed and that was more helpful for our whole career. We reflect a lot on this and talk a lot, so we are in constant exchange on that. 

Final Thoughts 

Giant Rooks have been slowly building up their fanbase for the last ten years and still sometimes get starstruck playing venues on a different continent with people singing their lyrics back to them. The secret to their success is a mix of the strengths all the members bring to the table. They are proud to be a band in the sea of solo artists nowadays. Exploring new places on their own tour or while supporting world stars like Louis Tomlinson, gives the guys of Giant Rooks energy and new inspiration. Being welcomed by new environments, crews and fans on tour every day leads to excitement but also can be overwhelming. The realization that all you are is enough and that authenticity is key brought the Giant Rooks a long way. In the future, we are curious to see the band grow, reinvent themselves and keep captivating us with their electric performances.  

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