Get To Know… Fräulein

Set to play DIY Alive Festival in April, and with a new track out today, get to know the London-based grungers.

Hello and welcome to DIY’s introducing feature, Get To Know… getting you a little bit closer to the buzziest new acts that have been catching our eye as of late, and working out what makes them tick.

Recently we’ve met North London newcomer Milo Clare, South London trio Talmont, fast-rising singer Chrissi, Liverpool duo King Hannah, and now we’re introducing you to Fräulein.

Sharing new track ‘Drag Behind’ today, singer Joni Samuels says, “This is a song about feeling out-of-place in your surroundings, comparing yourself to people and feeling kind of bitter about it. Allowing those feelings to impact you negatively, even though you try to ignore them. You want to reach your potential and be yourself, but your constant comparisons drag you down.”

Drummer Karsten van der Tol adds, “This is one of the first songs we ever played together, putting the bones together almost 3 years ago. Since then, it’s been baptized in fire through gigs and rehearsals, constantly being refined along the way. Endlessly energetic, this song is so much fun to play!”

The duo are also set to play at our DIY Alive Festival this April. Head here to find out more info, and scroll down for our quick fire Q&A with the band.

Describe your music to us in the form of a Tinder bio?
Enjoys groovy rhythms, hates bass guitars and loves a good mosh pit.
Also, we’re 12ft1 if you care about that kinda stuff ;)

What’s your earliest musical memory?
: Honestly, I can’t remember. My dad was constantly playing music in our house, in the car, wherever we were. I would say that the car trips listening to old school reggae compilation albums were my earliest.
: I was 7 years old, in the front seat of the car with my mom, picking up my brother from a sleepover. Then, a Red Hot Chili Peppers song started to play on the radio. Which one, I don’t remember (they all sound the same anyway). I was completely entranced, the music that I had previously heard had never had that kind of effect on me. This is where a lot of gears started turning and I started to seek out new music.

Who were some artists that inspired you when you were just starting out (and why)?
: When I first was learning to play the guitar, I was listening mostly to PJ Harvey, The Breeders and Hole. The first song I ever learnt was ‘About A Girl’ by Nirvana - I definitely think they all influenced my guitar playing and songwriting a lot. I just loved how simple a lot of those songs were - two or three chords, repetitive and really based on cool rhythms and strumming patterns. It made writing music seem really accessible, if I could look up to these musicians but learn to play some of their most iconic songs really easily.
: My older brother showed me a lot of the music I initially loved listening to, like The Notorious B.I.G and Bloc Party. There is something very simple but enjoyable in both artists, but one thing that was unanimous was that their energy drove all of their music. That energy was something that I wanted to emulate. At the time of starting Fräulein, I was inspired by a group called CHON. They’re a fully instrumental math rock band, and I was absolutely blown away by their technicality and the drumming. Dissecting those albums, listening to the odd beats and riffs was so much fun and has influenced my drumming a lot.

You’re from Northern Ireland and The Netherlands! What do you think of the music scenes there at the moment?
: I wouldn’t say I have my fingers on the pulse of the Dutch scene exactly, I grew up all over and have been in the UK for the last 7 years. That being said, I’ve really been enjoying going through Pip Blom’s back catalogue! Lots of catchy tunes and something to bop your head to when you’re on the tube.
: There are so many amazing bands coming from Northern Ireland right now. Problem Patterns is an amazing feminist punk band out of Belfast that I love. I think that Northern Ireland has always had a really big punk community, like The Undertones in the 70s are a massive example of that. When I was growing up, I wasn’t really aware of that type of thing, but it definitely is happening now. I’m loving seeing the impassioned, conscientious and super talented bands and artists forming a progressive and supportive scene there.

Are there any other artists breaking through at the same time that you take inspiration from?
: English Teacher. Super talented bunch, and also the nicest people ever. And, since we saw Black Bordello at a show a last year, we try to see them every time they’re playing. They’re incredibly gifted musicians, and really technical. That’s a band that we can geek out with.
: Totally agree with Joni here, English Teacher and Black Bordello are lovely people and fantastic musicians too! I’d just have to add ARXX to the list. Not only are they super talented, they are also the only other duo that we’ve played with. They feel like our big sisters, as they’ve always supported us and been so helpful if we have any questions.

Who would be your dream collaborator?
: I think for our music, working with Steve Albini would be incredible. Not only did he engineer the most iconic albums of the 80s/90s, but his ethos on production/engineering work seems like a really honest way of moving through this industry, which is something I really appreciate. We love a lot of his work from the 90s and having our own chance to work with him is something we would jump at.
: Kim Deal!!!!!! I admire her so much. I would love to collaborate with her mostly so I could peak into her creative process. She’s written some of my favourite songs in the world.

Musically or otherwise, what are you most looking forward to this year?
: I’m so proud of what we’ve recorded this year, and can’t wait for people to hear it. Truly, they’re some of the best things we’ve done! And it may be leading up to something bigger… Other than Fräulein though, I’m looking forward to seeing Big Thief/Adrianne Lenker play three nights in a row. ;)
: Absolutely, 100%, our tour supporting The Mysterines with Coach Party across the UK and Ireland. It has been a long time goal for us to play shows outside of our usual stomping grounds and this is the perfect chance to do so. This is what Joni and I enjoy the most, the opportunity to play for others and to interact/feed off the energy that the crowd gives us. Seeing as this is our first time organising a tour like this, I can’t wait to see what goes wrong.

If people could take away one thing from your music, what would it be?
: I want you to be as excited about it as we are.
: Even if things suck, there’s still fun to be had.

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