Exposure: Goodbye Lenin
This Edinburgh based quartet are relative newcomers on the Scottish indie rock scene. Lead singer, Frankie played with Atoms for Peace in London before returning north where he met drummer Kirsty fresh out of her ex-band The Yard. They recruited a pair of guitarists and 'made one of them learn bass', so Jon plays lead guitar and John is on bass. They all take a share in the song writing and make a sound that is tight, fresh and energetic.
What’s the story behind your name?
We decided on the name Goodbye Lenin in the cafe of the Cameo cinema, so it makes sense that we chose to go by the name of a film. There are also definite socialist elements to the band, as we share all the money equally and suppress any information that could be harmful to us. The only thing that doesn't make sense is that none of us has actually seen Goodbye Lenin.
There is a definite Pixies sound to your music, maybe some Smashing Pumpkins too. What are your other influences?
Other big influences would be Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Nirvana, Bowie, Weezer, and Bob Dylan. I'm also sad to say one of our number is a fan of Status Quo, but we should probably suppress that information.
What has been your best or worst gig so far?
Worst: London about a year ago. We went on at 11.30pm on a Saturday night in the heart of the financial district, which is effectively empty at weekends. We'd also been steadily drinking since soundcheck, which unfortunately was about six hours previous. Needless to say, we weren't in the best shape to play. I believe in showbiz terms we'd have been referred to as 'tired and emotional'.
Best: In London about four months ago. We played soberly to a much bigger crowd, and as a bonus realized that a certain Ed O'Brien from Radiohead had crawled out of his sick bed to come check us out. He chatted to us for a while afterwards with encouragement and advice, while we tried to act not starstruck at all. Our only regret is that he arrived too late to see Kid B, the Radiohead tribute band that was on before us. Honestly, you couldn't make this stuff up...
Are you working on an album?
Yes, we're getting to the stage where the tunes are all there, so that's one of the things that's going to be occupying us for the next six months to a year. We have a lot of experience of recording our own demos and we've plenty of musical ideas, so for the album we're gonna combine that with as much professional help as we can get for the engineering, mixing and mastering etc. In terms of facilities we'll be using anywhere that'll allow us in with our gear: studios, colleges, parks, churches, bedrooms.
Where do you see yourselves in a year?
The album should hopefully be completed and out in time for our debut performance at the Hollywood Bowl. Either that, or come and check us out fourth on the bill down at the Dog and Duck just before the karaoke starts.
Goodbye Lenin play Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh Apr 18 with Sebastian Dangerfield and The Byrons