Review & Press Interview: ‘How Have You Been?’ by Giant Rooks

Giant Rooks is a rare phenomena. They used to be a German band with a UK sound and English lyrics, but now, they’re expanding. How Have You Been? sees their sonic palette matching some of the greatest bands in the world. Their sound have drastically matured since the angsty debut album, ROOKERY. stadium-filling, celebrating and atmospheric, they sound like Red Hot Chili Peppers meet Foo Fighters while having an unbending indie edge that continues to shine no matter how big they’ve gotten.

While Giant Rooks might have risen to fame in a relative short time, the band has existed for ten years. From the initial stage where they knew nothing about songwriting to the rock n roll experts with endless bangers, only the band knows about the journey they’ve gone through. From around 115 tracks, Giant Rooks narrow down to 14 songs—How Have You Been? has the best of them. The album is a well-balanced, carefully curated guided sonic journey that explores our kaleidoscopic life.

“Pink Skies” is an instant hit. With mouthwatering guitar riffs, action packed progressions, and laid-back surf rock groove, the song evokes an unmistaken American coastal vibe. “Somebody Like You” is fierce. Luscious soundscapes in the backdrop of escalating vocals. Hopeless and hopeful at the same time, the track tells a love story that has a touch of destiny—it talks about getting under each other’s skin, feelings being reciprocated. It’s fast and dazzling, but romance is magic in rosy color. “Somebody Like You” tastes like sunset and sunrise at the same time. A little innocent, inexperienced, but courageous and intense.

”Under Your Wings” tackles around the same topic in “Somebody Like You,” but from a more vulnerable aspect. “You gave it up too many times/Under your wings, I’m feelin’ alright/My heart is racin’, my legs are shakin’/Stay by my side/Just stay by my side.” With killer lyrics that get under your skin, Giant Rooks deliver lines that hit hard when you’re dealing with some heavy stuff in your life. You can easily lose yourself in their music, being taken by the groove and the rhythm, letting the sonic warm brew fills up your heart.

Giant Rooks’ music is very healing in nature “Flashlights” again dives into the deeply personal subject. “The more I think, the less I seem to know/This is where I wanna go/Don’t take it away from me.” “Winter passed, flowers grew/What am I supposed to do?/I’m still caught up in-between.” Slow-burn anxiety, chaotic drastic feelings that can’t seem to be communicated clearly comes to life in “Flashlights”—the song creates a safe space for these indescribable feelings. “Brave New World” is about venturing into the unknown. Fear, solitude, and excitement melt into an adrenaline-infused sonic storm.

Written by Katrina Yang

Press Q&A with Giant Rooks

Q: Are there any songs from your last album that didn’t make the cut, and why?

Giant Rooks: Definitely. We wrote around 115 songs for the album, so there are plenty, enough for a third or fourth album. We’ve started to work on them again and had the realization that these songs are actually quite good. It’s a very nice adventure to always work on music, especially when you’re on the road. We’re in Boston right now, on our US tour. It’s really fun to be on tour and at the same time work on songs and to get some inspiration from all these people you meet on tour, all these places you see.

Q: How do you feel your music and approach to making music have evolved since you first started as a band? Are there any challenges or highlights that have shaped your journey?

Giant Rooks: When we started this band, we had absolutely no idea how to write a song. We were just looking up rehearsal space and would just play anything. We did that for a year—that was 10 years ago. It took us two years before we had a finished song, but we got more confident the more we were doing it. We developed our skills as songwriters. Now, we have an idea how to approach songwriting, which we didn’t have when we first started.

Q: Is there a song you have released that you have grown particularly fond of over the years?

Giant Rooks: I think the song that’s still very special to me is “Quicksand.” It’s what we perform at every show. You don’t really listen back to your music after the release. You only play it live, so you only get the feeling of playing it live. It’s growing. It never stays the same.

Q: What’s the piece of advice you ever received?

Giant Rooks: I’ve saved many good instagram quotes… I don’t know, to be honest. Not try to be anyone, anybody else, to be in sync with yourself. That’s probably an advice that really helped me a few years ago. Now, it’s not that important for me, but when you’re trying to find your identity and who you are, it’s nice to have someone saying something like ‘you’re just enough, and you’re good as you are. You don’t need to try to be more and anybody else.’

Q: While being on tour, what is something you always have to do before going on stage?

Giant Rooks: To be in the right mood for the show is very important. To have a day before the show, going out and exploring the city. This actually becomes very important for me to have a free mind and to play a show with full energy.

Q: What is your long term goal as a band?

Giant Rooks: Back in the days, when we got asked the question, we were always like, we would like to play at that festival or play a tour, here and there. We’ve changed in the way. The most important thing is that the five of us are happy with what we’re doing, and we’re still able to write music we like and be on tour and have a great time. If we can keep that, that’s the biggest goal and my aim for a future. It shouldn’t really be about achieving this or that. It would come naturally then.







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