Berlin’s prince and princess of art rock and Europop, Otto & Astrid, spent years arguing about which songs should appear on their much-anticipated fifth Die Roten Punkte album. Unable to come to a consensus they decided to tour separately with their own musicians, but nobody else wanted to play with them. So now they are stuck being each other’s backing band in a… Joint Solo Project.
Read on for 5 Minutes With Otto & Astrid Rot (from the band Die Roten Punkte) about Otto & Astrid’s Joint Solo Project at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
How would you describe the show to someone who knows very little about it?
Astrid: It’ll be a rock ‘n’ roll explosion in your party-pants like no other!
Expect amazing songs from me (and Otto will be there also). Think pop punk, art rock, dance and lyrics to tantalise you, like “Sugar My Doughnut”!
What sets your show apart from others appearing at this year’s MICF, and why should audiences see it?
Astrid: Our band Die Roten Punkte is the Best Band in The World and no other show at MICF has that, so it’s pretty unique.
Plus, Otto can do the highest leaps of any guitarist ever and I can throw my drum sticks higher than the roof of the Malthouse!
What about your show are you most proud of?
Astrid: If I can make it to the venue every night by 7.15pm I’ll be very proud of myself, often I’m just waking up at that time. It’s super early for me. I’ll just have had breakfast, so hopefully no egg will have dribbled down my chin.
Who or what was the inspiration for the show?
Astrid: I am the inspiration for the show, as well as for my brother Otto, and also I am my own biggest inspiration which is a big responsibility.
Otto, please describe the relationship between yourself and Astrid and what is the best and worst thing about working with her?
Otto: Astrid won’t let me play any unauthorised songs (that means songs that I wrote by myself). But all of that is different in this new show because we are doing solo projects. So, now I can play whatever I want!
Astrid, please describe the relationship between yourself and Otto and what is the best and worst thing about working with him?
Astrid: Otto is my younger brother, I have looked after him since he was nine-years-old because our parents were run over by a train on my 12th birthday. The worst thing about our Joint Solo Project is that I will have to play some of Otto’s songs. The best part is that I’ll get to play all the songs that I have written by myself.
What has kept you together as creative partners, and is there anything that threatens to tear you apart?
Astrid: No-one else would play our music with us, so that’s what kept us together.
Otto’s songs threaten to tear us apart.
How would you describe your musical taste, Otto?
Otto: I listen to lots of things but I love post-punk, new wave and art rock. I grew up listening to Ramones, Pixies, Devo, B52s, Bowie and Talking Heads. Right now, I’m loving Dry Cleaning, Parquet Courts and Wet Leg.
How would you describe your musical taste, Astrid?
Astrid: I like the sounds of all five of The Hives mashed together with Debbie Harry, Chrissie Amphlett and Joan Jett with John Bonham on drums and Peaches on the mic.
Astrid, what are three things that would surprise people to learn about Otto?
- He still has his Joey Ramone doll intact in its box.
- He can roller skate backwards really well.
- He cooks great hangover porridge for me with a million berries in it.
Otto, what are three things that would surprise people to learn about Astrid?
- When she was a teenager, she worked in a bakery. She knows a lot about bread.
- She wants to be a professional wrestler. Sometimes she practices her moves on me.
- If you’re feeling scared, she’s really good at bedtime stories.
What is next for the two of you, and will it be together?
Astrid: Well immediately after MICF we are on tour to Cooma, Bega, Wagga Wagga and Wollongong so I need Otto to do all that driving while I sleep in the back of the van.
Running for a limited time during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, don’t miss this rare opportunity to witness the latest musical stylings from the world’s most dysfunctional band. A definite, must-see highlight in the 2023 Victorian Arts Calendar!
April 11 – 23