Giant Rooks: We started with Gibberish, but we worked on that!

With a world tour put on hold and rescheduled, Giant Rooks have taken the time to perfect their debut album, Rookery, and boy, is it worth it.

In a world where Zoom chats are now the norm, I caught up with guitarist, Finn Schwieters to chat all things Rookery.

Going back to where it started, Giant Rooks met in Hamm, a small town in Western Germany near Dortmund, despite finding it tricky to find like-minded people with the same ambition and drive, they instantly clicked and shared the same vision. It fell into place and naturally, they steered in the direction of writing English lyrics since they were fully immersed and surrounded by English music, “we started with Gibberish, but we worked on that!”

Giant Rooks moved to Berlin two years ago and since then it has been non-stop, but then, it suddenly all came to a halt. “The band is a full-time job, before the pandemic, we were doing like 70-hour weeks, but then we had… 40-hour weeks! I’ve discovered some nice parks and great spots here [in Berlin] now.”

The 5-piece were due to tour the world this spring, supporting Milky Chance in America as well as headlining two shows in LA and New York. With the world on pause, it gave them time to focus on the finishing touches to Rookery.

Having wrapped up most of the production for Rookery in March, they were able to fine-tune their debut over the course of three months; “we were able to go further into detail when it came to the mixing and artwork for the record. I don’t think anyone would even notice what we spent our time working on in those last three months though!”

Giant Rooks have a clear sound to their music, but at the same time, their debut album is not a fixed genre. Their album finishes with Into Your Arms, a perfect title track with a slower, chilled tone that is met with a whole new sound; “it has a classic folk vibe in the chorus and then you have it contrasted with the electronic, out of tune verses.” One of the main driving forces for Giant Rooks is the ability to explore classic and modern ways of making music.

This goes further than the music the band creates; bassist, Luca Göttner, loves everything from grime to Brit-Pop whereas Finn and singer, Fred Rabe, listen to a lot more contemporary R&B. “My favourite album is Kehlani – It Was Good Until It Wasn’t. But, if you ask us who our heroes are, we’d say Bon Iver and Amy Winehouse.”

Very Soon You’ll See is an instant stand-out track, you’re captivated from the funky groove that is just the intro.

“The initial song came from a hotel room, after a very long studio session, Fred started making a beat on the bed and throwing the room key around. This basic groove in the start of the song, we recorded all on a laptop and then Luca came up with a very funky bass groove and then it began to work for us! The idea behind the lyrics is about the imposter syndrome. People are anxious that others will find out they aren’t quite who they say they are.”

Their debut album, Rookery, is due for release on 28th August. Giant Rooks will be playing live from Tempodrom, Berlin via live stream on the date of their release to the entire world.