Music _ Abby
Berlin-based band Abby have absolutely everything they’ll need to make it big. Filou, Philipp, Lorenzo, and Henne are four good-looking friends whose paths crossed while they were studying music together in Mannheim. With their debut album Friends and Enemies last summer they have proved right away that they have their own sound and stand out from many other indie pop bands we already know. The guys started their band four years ago and are now performing in their first headlining show. It seems like they’ve got their feet firmly planted on the ground and are not going to let anything hinder their way to success. Beautiful lyrics and melodies will sweep you a long in little narratives about their friends and their enemies. Their latest animation video for ‘Monsters’, made by French artist Pooya Abbasia, fits the mood of their album perfectly. Need I say more? Lets get to know these guys!
NOU: Is one of you taking up the leading role? That is to say, is the more mature one always checking up on the others?
ABBY: Actually, not at all. Of course, and like in every other band, one is more into this and others are more into that. But generally it’s all about us four doing this thing together. All songs are written by the four of us, equally.
NOU: Talking about being in a band with four guys, do you experience many difficulties and/or come across conflicts often?
ABBY: Being in a band with four guys is actually a lot of fun! We’re more like a family. Of course we deal with conflicts from time to time, but mostly and luckily we’re having a great time together.
NOU: Besides your band name Abby there are a couple more names on the cover and title songs, like Annie, Evelyn, Jones, etc. Where do these names come from? Do these people really exist?
ABBY: Yes, they all exist. Abby is a real person as well. Not with these names, but all the characters in our stories are inspired by real people. Jones, Annie, Evelyn, Danny, Adam, and Abby.
NOU: Filou, how much time do you spend writing lyrics, and from where do you draw your inspiration?
FI: It’s hard to say how much time I spend on writing lyrics. Sometimes it takes a bit longer to get to the point that I am happy with what I have done. Sometimes it’s done within a day. The quality of lyrics has nothing to do with the amount of time someone spends writing them. Obviously, I am inspired by Abby and her and my friends. My whole life is an inspiration for what I am writing about. There is no particular thing; it’s more about staying open-minded and staying in progress.
NOU: How much material did you have to choose from while putting together Friends and Enemies?
ABBY: That’s hard to say. We’re always collecting a lot of song material. Even now after the record’s out, we have a bunch of new songs and ideas to work on. All though most of the songs on Friends and Enemies were set pretty early, we still had to make some hard decisions because there were few we would have loved to have included.
NOU: Do you feel like you have enemies somewhere at the moment?
ABBY: Not really. The album title relates more to inner conflicts, the friends and enemies you have to deal with within yourself. Those we have, for sure…
NOU: Your music has influences from different genres. Has the electronic scene in Berlin influenced the way you guys sound?
ABBY: Yes it has! We go out a lot when we’re in Berlin and have always enjoyed, listened to, and produced electronic music. Berlin has a great music scene. There are so many great clubs and parties offered.
NOU: If you are not on tour together, do you still hang out a lot? Or do you need a break from each other every once in a while and take this opportunity to be with other people?
ABBY: Yes, we still hang out together. Henne and Filou live together and we’re all based in the same area in Berlin. We own a studio together and share the same friends as well. Although sometimes we need some private time, we still end up at the same places and parties.
NOU: Your first headliner tour is this October. Do you think it’s hard to be full-on for one month without a break? How are you guys preparing for this?
ABBY: We’re really looking forward to it! Playing so many shows in a row is tough. But we love it and it’s the reason we’re doing all of this. We’ve rehearsed, prepared some visuals, and organized a whole lot of new equipment for a completely new show. We haven’t done it like this so far. It’s exciting.
NOU: Do you have a little ritual before getting on stage?
ABBY: Yes, but it’s a little secret and we enjoy it a lot : )
NOU: What was the best experience for the band Abby so far?
ABBY: There are so many great memories from the past years! Recording Friends and Enemies in London was very intense and we enjoyed that a lot. We had to sleep in one room, all together, in the apartment of our friend and manager for about three months. I guess this brought us together even closer than before. A few days ago we played a very nice show together with Junip. What a nice evening that was!
NOU: Who is the funniest out of you four guys?
ABBY: Definitely Henne. It’s pretty rare to find him in a bad state, not being able to cheer up the whole crew.
NOU: Do you discuss music that influences you together as a band? Can you name some examples?
ABBY: Yes, of course we listen to music a lot. We’re still into the 70s and we will always love Led Zeppelin or the Beatles, Love, or Nick Drake. We totally dig Nicolas Jaar at the moment, or Robag Wruhme, Isolée, Uner, Maya Jane Coles, Stimming, Brandt Brauer Frick. We also listen to Classical Music a lot. Nico Muhly, Steve Reich, Shostakovich, Sibelius, etc…
NOU: What do you guys do to kill time waiting at airports?
ABBY: The usual Facebook / iPhone nonsense, of course. Besides that we smoke cigarettes, we eat, we talk, or we sometimes read books.
ABBY: We’d be happy if you listen to our record, and if you like it, we’d love to see you guys at our shows!