Rebel Against The Mundane: An Interview With Lobsterbomb
Steely Berlin- Capital of Cool- is home to a thriving underground DIY movement, and joining the brigade on the march is Indie Garage Rock terzett Lobsterbomb. "There are so many cool bands at the moment, and a lot of it is coming from the scene." Crayon from the band enlightens me as I gather a little history from Nico, Vik and him. "It feels like a community, and hopefully, once concerts return, we can play shows with all of our creative friends! We keep a little playlist with our current favourites updated called LOBSTERBOMB Radio."
Forming only last year in a basement, it was an advert placed by Nico that gathered momentum for the aspiring performers. "I had always wanted to play in a band, but nothing ever got off the ground." Crayon confesses. "I was doing solo shows, but that wasn’t scratching the itch. I answered Nico’s ad looking for someone to play with, and when the three of us first played together, it felt good." It was significant that the three placed motivation to make something happen top rather than focusing on a specific musical style.
Vik talks of her revelation in agreement, "Same as Crayon. I wanted to play in a band, but nothing really worked out. I played the keyboard and guitar before, but the problem was always the drummer, so I learned how to play drums instead and fell in love with it. Nico contacted me about some ideas she had, and that’s how we got started".
I follow by asking what each role is in the group: Crayon initiates, "I play guitar, write songs and do a bit of singing. I try to dance around what Nico and Vik are playing to bring some extra melody or emphasise the rhythm of the song."
"I leave the creative process of the music to Nico and Crayon and focus on steady beats, and with my background in design, I make the artworks." Vik continues, as Nic adds the final piece of the musical jigsaw, "Sing, write songs, play guitar, make dumb jokes.":
Our colour creator and walking art Bowie is named as Crayon's most substantial influence but in terms of attitude rather than the music itself. He thinks further. "For the LOBSTERBOMB songs I’ve written, I subscribe to the Iggy Pop method of keeping things brief - if you have said all you want to say in two verses, don’t needlessly stretch things out." Nico lists her cumbersome choices: "Heavily influenced by The Velvet Underground, Suicide, Joan Jett, Motown and Blues.
The first favoured band of Vic is Garbage due to her obsession with front woman, khol-lined Shirley Manson and her 'badass attitude'. "And now one of them is probably Priests. Their songwriting is so unique, and I like the political messages they have."
New single Wake Up, released April 19th, exhibits LOBSTERBOMB's values. With glamorous cymbal use, it radiates a 70s punk angle with intense riffs and commanding vocals, and lyrically, it speaks of rebelling against the mundane. Nico explains its origins, "I wrote the lyrics during a time of big frustration when I worked a corporate 9 to 5 job. It was a time I woke up to many truths about myself and also even more to the reality that our current society isn’t mentally and physically healthy for us." "Musically we wanted it to feel fast and frantic to convey a sense of urgency," Crayon firmly states.
Older work I Want Noise is slightly more indie in its guitar, melody, beat and its vivace piano, while the edgy Yes, Yes, Yeah enters punk mode. "Our songs are made for dancing to at shows. Expect lots of energy!" Crayon quips. I question what we can expect from an EP and if the trio is intent to diversify or stick to what works. Crayon answers, "It’s more fun for us if not every song sounds the same, and the EP will have something different again. For example, it will include the first minor chord to appear in a LOBSTERBOMB song!" Nico reasons spiritualy, "Every song is its own little universe."
To bookend our natter, I come back to the bustle of Berlin and enquire if they have frequented obscure nightclub Berghain, and I also wonder where I should head to in the city when we can party together as one. "Berghain is not really my thing," Crayon tells me, "But after lockdown, I will take anything. Go to Monster Ronsons Ichiban Karaoke instead." Vic contributes her memories, "I only went there for shows; it’s very impressive but also overrated due to its exclusivity, which I don’t like for any venue to have. I like dirty DIY basements. However, I doubt they all will survive the pandemic."
And lastly, Nico signs off, "I love hanging out at Panorama bar occasionally for the good vibes. But I honestly rather go to a bar like 8mm and see some bands and have a drink." Join you soon, the world cries, join you soon.
Article by Beverley Knight