Concerts are coming back! It’s time to rock on! German duo The Picturebooks The Major Minor Collective project is coming and be ready to sweat in the crowd! If you dig the sounds from The White Stripes, you will be obsessed with this long-run rock band!
Which dream collaboration do you want to hear in rock? You’ll get all of them on The Picturebooks’ The Major Minor Collective. The band enlisted Lzzy from Halestorm, Refused’ Dennis Lyxzèn, Chris Robertson from Black Stone Cherry, Monster Truck’s Jon Harvey and so much more. The album is seen as a big rock party full of smashing anthems. Let’s bring together the joy of rock’n’roll with all its loudness and energetic vibes. Fans of the Black Keys and Biffy Clyro, you should check The Picturebooks fresh bangers. Pre-order your physical copies of the record here.
We caught up with Fynn Claus Grabke and Philipp Mirtschink to talk about the inspiration behind the collaborative album The Major Minor Collective. What was it like to work with all these rock legends? What will this project bring to their future? How much are they excited to go back on tour? Scroll down and discover a smashing world of mayhem and fun!
In Germany, we mainly hear about Hamburg, Munich, or Berlin scenes. You’re coming from a small industrial city. How did you come together and how did you decide that you wanted to make music for a living?
To be honest we have no clue about any scene anywhere. Haha, it’s almost like we’re nowhere home. I mean, we’re into bikes and stuff, but we’re not bikers at all. We’re into skateboarding. We are probably the unusual skater to a skater. We’re musicians, but don’t know sh*t about music and have never learned to play an instrument or anything like that. That mentality is what Philipp and I share. It’s probably what keeps us so close together. These little misfits have their own thing going on, but love being around people and having them around to join in on the fun.
The city we live in is called Gütersloh and is in the middle of Germany. It’s not a small town and not a big city, it’s really hard to describe this place. Just a bunch of farmland and in the middle is a somewhat downtown I guess. We never fit in from day one. I met Philipp in the local skatepark where he showed up one day in a black flag shirt while I was wearing a Roxy music shirt.
We immediately knew that we had to stick together to survive this shit hole. So we hung out. At some point, we wanted to do more than just skating and started making music. We now live half in Los Angeles and half in Güterlsoh which is an interesting combination, but we’re super happy about the situation with our studio out here and is pretty much in the middle of everything.
What are your creative dynamics as a duet? Is there a specific moment that you know when the lyrics or the melodies are ready to flow?
No concept. Not knowing what we want neither do we know where we want to be. The only important thing since day one is that we know what we don’t want and where we don’t want to be. Take the first step and the path will open up right infront of you. Be open to the opportunities that life throws at you and take your chances. Whatever we do we do 100%.
Your sound is quite reminiscent of Black Keys, White Stripes, and dirty blues-rock. How would you describe this influence on your work?
I honestly don’t know and wouldn’t even know what defines blues or how to play blues. I can’t even play a single chord. All we have is something going on in our hearts and we use these instruments as our tools to express it. We love working with visuals too which is why we work really hard on our videos and social media output too.
Your new album Major Minor Collective is coming up this September. This is the most collaborative and rocking album from the songs we’ve heard so far? Can you tell us more about the concept you had for this new record?
When COVID hit us all, we were still on tour. We just came from our USA tour and were in the UK when they started shutting down borders and stuff. Things got super weird super fast. So we went back home to Gütersloh where we haven’t been in a while playing 200 shows every year for several years and started working on songs in our studio. Some of the songs felt like they needed something else and we didn’t know what and started reaching out.
At the same time, we started developing this idea of making a whole album with different singers for every song and that’s what went down. Uploaded this homepage where we uploaded all the songs for the artists to pick their favorite from. It was a lot of fun and it’s crazy how much we learned from this album, production, and business-wise.
You collaborated with pretty big names on your forthcoming album Major Minor Collective. From Refused Dennis Lyxzen to Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale and Distillers’ Ryan Sinn. How did this rock party album (kind of!) idea come about?
Well, I guess we’re all in the same boat, touring musicians that are not on tour, haha I mean if there’s one thing this pandemic has taught us it’s that we’re all connected. artists, art lovers, art reporters, art distributors… were all one thing first… FANS. That’s what’s connecting us and that’s awesome! So we felt very confident that reaching out to these big names that most of them have already become good friends of ours on past tours and stuff will be into it. And so it was! So rad! So grateful!
Speaking of collabs, you previously worked with the legend Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders on your song ‘You Can’t Let Go.’ What is the most memorable moment you had working with her?
The day in London with her riding around on our choppers having awesome vegan food in Camden, talking bullsh*t all day, and having a laugh! She’s special, so special and she needs some of your attention! Give it to her!
If you had to work with a rock legend from the past, dead or alive, which one are you dreaming of and why?
We are the best team in the world! Hands down! I would never ever change a thing!
Do you have any favorite tracks from the forthcoming album? Why would you recommend people to listen to them?
Man, I believe that it’s impossible to convince someone to listen to something and to then like what they are listening to. We wanna discover music ourselves. I mean I get it. I’m the same way. If you are reading this right now, do what you gotta do! It would be rad if you listen to our music at some point and we would love it if you like what you are hearing and would appreciate if you feel like supporting us by either following us on our socials, buy from our online store www.thepicturebooks.com, come to our live shows in the near future or simply spread the word about us.
With all these bangers you created, what is the key to writing a perfect rock song?
There isn´t! Accepting that is the closest thing to a key. If you’re doing it you’ve already won.
After a harsh year for music, you announced a new European tour? How would you describe in a few words what to expect on The Picturebooks stage for newcomers in your fandom like us?
110% madness and mayhem!
Do you have any plans for the release of the album apart from the tour? How would you connect with your fans to celebrate the release?
Wow, haven’t even thought about that. I think we’re on a motorcycle trip on the release day haha. I don’t know, I think people have better things to do in times like these than to celebrate a release of an album. We’re just glad that we have the chance to live such an awesome life and to get the chance to share it with so many awesome people that seem to be into what we’re doing and we’re hoping it inspires others to live a better, more conscious and fulfilled life! Go out there and hold up for yourself! EVERY DAMN DAY! MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!
Preorder The Picturebooks’ The Major Minor Collective physical copies here. In the meantime, you can stream some of their bangers here. What is your most memorable rock’n’roll moment in your life? Share with us on Twitter @TheHoneyPop, Facebook or Instagram.
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Featured image source: Momodou Sonko/THP Graphic Team/Century Media Records