After their debut album, Rookery, Giant Rooks has toured extensively throughout the world quickly gaining a loyal international fan base and becoming one of the most promising musical draws to come out of Germany. Originally from a small town in Western Germany called Hamm, Giant Rooks is a 5-piece indie rock band, consisting of singer Frederik Rabe, guitarist Finn Schwieters, bassist Luca Gottner, keyboardist Jonathan Wischniowski, and drummer Finn Thomas. With their recent sophomore follow-up, How Have You Been?, Giant Rooks takes us through an extensive 46-minute emotional journey that reflects the band’s highs and lows of those last few years. 
For a band that is known for their catchy alt/rock/pop hooks and charismatic stage presence, it may come as a bit of surprise that music and songwriting did not come so naturally for them in the beginning of their journey. In a recent press conference hosted by °1824, Frederik Rabe and Finn Schwieters confessed that when they first started their band, “we had absolutely no idea how to write a song.” And it took them more than a few years of playing and performing together in their rehearsal space before the elements clicked together, and their confidence and abilities as songwriters began to flourish. But even after a few years of touring, writing, and producing music together, the process can still feel like “a roller coaster,” Frederik explained. “There are some days that impostor syndrome is still kicking in.” This refreshingly honest, grounded perspective relates quite closely to how the band perceives the world through their own music, making songs like Bedroom Exile and Fake Happiness feel so universally relatable to so many listeners. 
When asked about the best piece of advice they ever received, they both shared the sentiment of staying true to yourself. Although such an adage has been a bit of a worn-down cliché these days, it is an advice that we will always need as a relevant daily reminder. Mental health struggles and insecurities have sadly become an intrinsic part of our modern existence. As Frederik notes simply and honestly: “You are good enough just the way you are, and you don’t have to try to be like anyone else.” Even during the writing process for How Have You Been?, the pair confessed that there were brief moments of insecurity, overthinking, and lost identity when they tried to deviate a bit from their core indie rock sound. These are often the natural occurring stakes of producing a follow-up album—the balancing act from the pressures to innovate or the desire to just evolve organically. And for a band with so many sonic influences, the writing process can have its challenges. Frederik recounted how much they also loved the sounds of R&B, soul, and jazz music, “This is so dope. This is so stylish. But it never felt natural. We kind of got lost in the process of wanting something but not being able to do it. But felt kind of forced to do it. We felt kind of insecure about it.” How Have You Been? eventually finished as “a classic sounding band album” with songs that felt very natural for the band. How Have You Been? feels like a true extension of the band’s beloved sound and style: bold, introspective music with captivating storytelling.  
- Carlo De Dios

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