Berlin based The Mokkers recently released a two track album that perfectly shows how to combine fuzzy garage vibes with killer guitar riffs and vocal lines.
Using the well known surf music structures, these four girls created a great mixture of dynamic patterns and western-flavored arrangements. This way the record pleasantly flows, enriched with celestial background choirs and lots of brilliant ideas (the harmonica sound on the second track as an example).
Through this short interview you can find out more about their music background and the future plans as The Mokkers.
•Starting with a short introduction about “The Mokkers” and the way you started the band, I would like to know more about your music background. Obviously, your compositions have a clear reference to some typical surf and rockabilly vibes, but it seems like there’s more than that in your songwriting (especially in the way of singing). How did you started the band and which artists influenced you at most?
Verita: Elisa (Bass) and me started the band as teenagers, what feels like ages ago. Starting from scratch and due to our low instrumental skills, we started with playing mainly Ramones songs. We love the Ramones, but of course, with drummers coming and going, also our musical influence shifted more to garage indie bands of the early 2000s. Over the time our lineup got more consisting, Franzi joined for second guitar and then later Gabi completed the actual line up on drums.
Franzi: When Gabi joined us, we already were into a lot of stuff, especially music from the past decades, like surf, garage, beat and pop from the 50s and 60s: The Kinks, Duane Eddy, Link Wray, but also girl groups such as Shangri-Las, to drop a few names.
Verita: From a singer’s perspective, I’ve been mainly influenced by Nancy Sinatra, Memphis Minnie and Holly Golightly.
•It’s always hard to find out where some compositions come from: sometimes they develop slowly on planned structures, sometimes they fall from the sky during some jam sessions. How does your way of composing work?
Vivi: Most of the time, I come up with a main idea, for example a guitar riff or vocal melodies. And then I take it to our band rehearsal and the others join in, the song structure developes, just like a puzzle – putting pieces together step by step.
Franzi: Now and then, song ideas also come out of the blue, while jamming together. Some songs need a long time to develop until they are ready to be staged live, other songs are ready after a short rehearsal period.
Verita: I would say, those last mentioned songs are the best songs.
•Berlin is a great city for bands and artists. Here you can find lot of stuff going on in a wide range of music genres. What’s your opinion about the several music scenarios the city offers? Which bands are undeservedly underrated and should gain more notoriety?
Verita: Speaking as an artist, I sometimes have the feeling that due to Berlins wide range of different music gernres, that oneself gets easier lost. Berlin as a city is so big with a rich and diverse culture, resulting in a endless number of scenes. Sometimes I miss the solidarity among artists, musicians and bands in Berlin, which can be more likely be found in cities such as Hamburg or nowerdays Stuttgart for example. In these cities creative spaces are not spread over the whole city! Nevertheless and luckily, we can say, that there are a lot of artists and bands that support us and we befriended to over the time of the development of The Mokkers. I don’t know if I should use “underservedly underrated” to name-drop bands, that I like. I rather say, that are bands that you guys should definitely check out, that you might not have heard about, due to Berlin’s richness of music scenes, venues and bands. As far it goes for myself, I think these bands deserve more attention outside of Berlin, bands such as Delta Love or that one band called Bikes, which, both, all of us love. All of these new bands have a lot energy and that really makes Berlin a super exciting place to be right now.
Franzi: Also it should be highlighted that there are a bunch of new girl-bands, such as GURR, Canyon Spree and The Anna Thompsons, that are all awesome to see live. It’s almost like a movement, and girl-bands are always worth checking out, right?
•After releasing this two track record and go gigging around, which are your plans for the future? Are you working on a full-length?
Verita: Actually we are working on a few new songs to complete a set for a full length album, that we want to record in the upcoming months. If everything works out we want to follow up with a small tour in autumn. But first of all, the present: On Friday we are hitting the stage of Auster Club, to which we have invited our friends of the amazing garage band Wolf Mountains from Stuttgart. Don’t miss it!