Es ist schon etwas länger her, dass die Berliner Band Strand Child durch den Gastbeitrag über´s Jenseits von Millionen Festival auf uns aufmerksam wurden und uns zu ihrem Konzert in die Junction Bar einluden. Da die Gastschreiberin sich als Fan von Strand Child entpuppte, erklärte sie sich kurzerhand bereit, dem Konzert zu lauschen und uns ihre Eindrücke mitzuteilen. Vielen Dank an dieser Stelle noch einmal für den Einsatz! Mittlerweile haben wir sogar ein kleines schriftliches Interview mit Mario und Seán einholen können. Lernt hier die Band und ihre schöne Mischung aus 70er Power-Pop, Big Star und experimentellem Spät-80er Pop kennen. Viel Spaß!
Fotos und Konzertbericht: Nadine Jentzsch // Einleitung und Fragen: Angela
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Mitglieder: Christophe Lheritier, Seán Gallen, Mario Quezada, Marian Bons
Beim Jenseits von Millionen Festival Anfang August sind Strand Child durch ihre entspannten und sonnendurchfluteten Songs aufgefallen. Nicht einmal drei Wochen später durfte ich ihre brillianten Songs ein weiteres Mal live in bester Qualität genießen. Im August gaben sie an einem lauen Spätsommerabend in der Junction Bar in Berlin zusammen mit Mincer Ray ein Konzert. Und wie schon beim Festival haben die eingängigen Gitarrenriffs, hellen Melodien und nachdenklichen Lyrics der Songs dem Sommerabend die Krone aufgesetzt. Während ich dem schönen Gesang von Frontsänger Mario Quezada und dem starken Schlagzeug lauschte, fühlte ich mich ein wenig an Quentin Tarantino Filme erinnert. Nicht nur als Filmmusik, sondern auch begleitend zum Autofahren würde sich die Musik gut eignen. Oder aber man besucht ein Konzert der Jungs, lehnt sich zurück, lässt sich inspirieren und schwelgt.
Im Kontrast zu Strand Child haben Mincer Ray danach zwei Füße auf dem Gaspedal gehabt. Hier ging es dann härter, rockiger, und mehrstimmiger zur Sache. Die Rhythmen waren abrupt und chaotisch, der Gesang experimentell. Auf jeden Fall, eine Konzerterfahrung der anderen Art.
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Interview mit Séan und Mario von Strand Child
Please introduce yourself to our readers. Who are are you and where are you originally from?
Sean: Hey readers, I’m Sean, guitarist and lifelong member of Strand Child. I am half French, half Irish. I grew up in Paris and Dublin.
Mario: Hey, my name is Mario and I sing and play guitar in Strand Child, I am from an island in the
Caribbean called Dominican Republic.
You are based in Berlin right now – what makes the city so special for musicians?
S: This is a cliché you hear about most cities but Berlin really has something for everyone, no matter how niche the genre is there is someone in a warehouse making the music you can´t find anywhere else. Also, because the city is so international, I find there is a lot of fusion happening, a different genre is created every day in Berlin.
M: There’s a number of different things that make this city special, like the cost of living being so cheap and that makes it real easy to have a chill job and still have loads of time to work on your stuff. There’s also so much art in this city and I find german audiences to be very open and uncynical which is really nurturing for the creative process.
What makes it hard living here?
S: I don’t think it’s hard to live here. You can enjoy a high quality of life for next to nothing. The winter is long and dark and everyone is under employed but if it were sunny all the time, we wouldn’t appreciate the summer as much and it wouldn’t attract so many artists. If everyone had a job, there would be no time or space for art.
M: I guess the obvious thing is that being in a ‘’Guitar Band’’ we are not really what’s expected from the local music scene, but that’s about it, I think there’s a lot of people out there interested in this kind of music.
Are there any other bands from Berlin you are in contact with and we should have a listen to?
S: Ah man, where to begin? We’re very close with the lads in Milwalkie, Mincer Ray and Man Behind Tree. They’re all sound and it just so happens that they make excellent music. I’m also listening to Fenster a lot but we’re not in contact (yet, hit me up Fenster).
M: Oh yeah, there’s quite a few but I’d say these are the ones I recommend right away: Mincer Ray, Milwalkie, Man Behind Tree, Highest Sea, Bay, Slow Steve.
Tell us your favorite bars and corners to turn night into day.
S: I live in Rixdorf and have become quite biased when it comes to bars. I tend to dwell in Das Gift, Peppi Guggenheims, Sameheads, Bar Ohne Name for hip hop. I try and find new places every week though so ask me again next week and I’ll have a different list.
M: I honestly don’t go out that much, I’m mostly home with my wife and cat.
I really like the track „You Got It“ – could you tell us a bit more about the song?
S: You’d have to ask Mario about the lyrics as they’re quite personal. I’m really happy with how this song turned out as it has undergone so many changes over the months. There’s a lot of different influences in the song and I’m not going to reveal them all here but we wanted to show our range in one song so there are a lot of radical changes in mood and ferocity but we wanted it to still have clear pop hooks. We usually play it at the end to get people dancing and head banging at the same time.
M: Thank you so much, I am glad you like it. I wrote that song while I was in Denmark, when I first moved from New York to Europe. I wanted to write something jangly with a slight Roy Orbison vibe to it and that’s what came out. It’s essentially about insecurities and doubts in relationships. The song as it is now turned out so much better from the original shitty demo I did home because everyone in the band really added their own thing.
Why Strand Child?
S: You’ll have to ask Mario that but I think it encapsulates our sound quite well. I wanted to call the band Mr. Strand and the beach babies but it was repeadetly shot down.
M: I thought of the name while I was living in Stockholm, because for the first 8 months there I felt very lonely and out of place, I found out Strand means Beach in most northern european languages so It just made sense, to me at least. The child thing is just a personal reference to this therapist once telling me I was basically Peter Pan, which is quite funny, a child forever.
With what kind of music are you grown up with, please give us some names.
S: I grew up in a house with a stellar vinyl library so my earliest memories are of David Bowie, Beethoven, Lee Scratch Perry, The Clash. I took to Nu Metal in my early teens to rebel and but luckily quickly grew out of it and got into punk, post punk, post rock. I had broadband internet when I was 16 so I knew what it was like to only listen to what you had in your CD collection and was felt totally blessed to all of a sudden have access to everything the net had to offer.
M: Really loads of stuff, but very early in my life my parents were really into folk music, so I got a lot of early Simon and Garfunkel. I got into alternative rock and punk later, and well loads of Weezer and Pavement.
Is there any special record you listen to very often nowadays?
S: I just got my hands on „Ego Death“ by The Internet and have had it on repeat. They mix funk, soul, electronica and dance so well. I would love to see them live too, their tightness is world renowned.
M: Lately, I’m listening to a few records but I’d like to mention a Jackson Browne album called ‘’Late for the sky’’. That album sounds amazing and the melodies really flow even though the lyrics are the main focus.
Which musicial artist(s) is/are definitely underrated in your opinion?
M: There’s tons of really underrated musicians, I’d say this guy named Blake Mills doesn’t get enough props for his songwriting, it’s pretty amazing.
You told me you are recording and rehearsing some new songs for an upcoming release. When will it be released?
S: Yes, yes, yes. We have been working on a four song EP and are focusing on laying down the guitars at the moment. It’s been a really challenging and rewarding process; we record, we get tired, we argue but this is what it’s all about, this is how records should be made, same as democracies. Look at most parliaments, they’re always shouting at each other. We want to release it in the middle of January which as everyone knows is the bleakest point of the year so our EP will come at the perfect time.
M: We are currently finishing our first EP, it’s 4 songs and it will be out early next year, most likely February. Its called ‘’Souljelly’’.
Anything you want to tell the world?
S: Call your mother more often // Don’t believe everything you see on TV or the internet // Wear ear buds even if they’re not cool, it’s hard to make really good music when you’re deaf // Life is too short for cheap whiskey but not short enough for cheap wine.
M: Umm, there’s a lot of things but I don’t really know more than anyone else so … not really.
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