BWW Interviews: DIE ROTEN PUNKTE: KUNST ROCK (ART ROCK)
DIE ROTEN PUNKTE: KUNST ROCK (ART ROCK) JULY 31 2012 - AUGUST 5 2012 presented by Blumenthal Performing Arts at the Duke Energy Theater, 345 North College Street, Charlotte, NC 28202. Tickets are on sale now at the Blumenthal box office: 704-372-1000.
Die Roten Punkte (The Red Dots) are Berlin's (or maybe Australia’s) Prince and Princess of Indie Rock. Otto and Astrid Rot, orphaned dysfunctional siblings (or maybe not), return to Charlotte to launch their third album, KUNST ROCK (ART ROCK). They are described as "a lipstick-smeared, tantrum-loving, sonic collision between B52s, Kraftwerk and early Ramones". They won "Best Production (Cabaret)", 2008 Green Room Awards and "Best Production", 2008 Montreal Fringe Festival. I'm looking forward to seeing their show.
I caught up with them right after their performance at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles. They never broke character during the entire interview. I’m sure almost everything they told me was true (or maybe not).
LAW: Where are you right now?
Astrid: We are in sunny California in San Diego. We were just with Amanda Palmer at the Roxy Theatre.
LAW: How long have you been performing?
Otto: Since we were little kids, we grew up playing music in Grunelwald. We went to the zoo and our parents died by a lion.
Astrid: Don’t listen to him Linda, our parents died by a train, a super fast train.
Otto: A lion….
LAW: What do you call the music you perform?
Otto: Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Astrid: We need a new manager. Linda, can you write that? We need a new manager. The one we have is not so good.
LAW: What instruments do you play?
Astrid: Drums, double cow-bell and a glockenspiel.
Otto: Guitar and keytar. Do you know what that is? It’s a keyboard you wear around your neck.
LAW: Why do you wear white face Otto?
Astrid: When our parents died, we wanted to join a band, nobody wanted to play with us and Otto was so young, so I put makeup on him, so he would look older.
LAW: Let’s get back to your music. Is it retro 80s?
Otto: Yes, 80s, new wave, rock, grunge, Devo and Ramones.
Astrid: After our parents died, nobody wanted us, so we went away to squat in Berlin. We started our band. We started small on the corner, and then we would go home to sleep.
LAW: Who attends your shows?
Otto: Young hipsters, goth. kids, generation x, baby boomers and an older crowd who are sixty, seventy and eighty. We are for everybody.
LAW: Do you find a difference with an American audience and an audience from Europe?
Otto: Americans love it. They are louder. Europeans just nod their heads. We have been on tour two years in USA and six years in Canada. We drive in our orange van.
LAW: How many people are in your band?
Astrid: It’s just the two of us. We can’t afford more. We need a new manager.
LAW: How often do you get back to Berlin?
Astrid: We have an apartment there. When I'm home I love to eat sausages.
Otto: I love to eat bananas.
LAW: When you get to Charlotte, go to Chima Brazilian Restaurant. They have the best sausages and deep fried small bananas.
Astrid: Oh that is good to know. We will eat there when we get to Charlotte. I love Charlotte.
Otto: Yes, I go to Lunch Box Records and vintage stores.
LAW: What does the title of the song “Ich Bin Nicht Ein Roboter” mean?
Otto: I am not a robot, I am a lion. A Fed Ex truck dropped off a robot in a jungle and he is raised by lions. He thinks he’s a lion.
LAW: How long will you be in Charlotte?
Astrid: We travel on Monday and perform Tuesday through Sunday. Then we go to New York and play at Joe’s Pub, Ars Nova and Hot Tub at Littlefield in Brooklyn.
LAW: Well, I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday.
Astrid: Oh, please come back and say “hello” after the show.
LAW: I will.
Chima Brazilian Steakhouse on Tryon is for them, if they really love sausages and bananas (or maybe not).