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Giant Rooks Ask, "How Have You Been?" on New Album

Giant Rooks Press Photo

Giant Rooks is an alternative rock band from Hamm, Germany, making waves in the music scene with their sophomore album How Have You Been?, released on February 2, 2024. The album, which follows up their 2020 debut ROOKERY, is a soulful alt-rock masterpiece that takes listeners on an emotional journey, with tracks ranging from the infectious grooves of songs like “Pink Skies,” “Somebody Like You,” and “Morning Blue,” to the more introspective ballads such as “Bedroom Exile” and “Nobody Likes Hospitals.” With this album, Giant Rooks refuse to be placed in a singular genre box, and the album is all the stronger for it. 

Last month, Universal Music Group’s 1824 division hosted a press conference with founding members and cousins Finn Schwieters and Frederick Rabe in the midst of the band’s just-completed North American headlining tour, and Musaholic Magazine had the immense pleasure of attending to learn more about the creative process behind the album and life on the road. 

One common theme throughout the conference is that when creating and performing, the band wants to do everything in their power to stay true to themselves and create what they want, rather than feeling forced to chase industry trends. They revealed that when they went back into the studio following their first album, there was an initial pressure to “change everything about how they did things.” On ROOKERY, a large amount of the songwriting was done electronically, but this time around, they decided to take a more organic approach, doing most of the songwriting with just the 5 members in a room with only instruments, hoping to “make timeless music” that felt more “natural and true to themselves.” I definitely think that they were successful, as How Have You Been? sounds simultaneously modern and like it could have been made a couple of decades ago.

Giant Rooks Press Photo

According to Finn and Frederick, the most challenging song to complete on the album was “Somebody Like You,” because they finished a demo version within a few days, but then struggled with getting the song where they wanted it creatively in post-production, getting somewhat “lost in the process”. That said, their efforts must have paid off, because they also answered that the track was a good entry track for a new listener to get an idea of the band’s sound, along with “What I Know is All Quicksand” from ROOKERY - the latter of which was also revealed to be one of their favorite songs to play live. 

When asked how they feel they have changed through their career, they answered that over the past two years, they’ve felt more “confident and relaxed,” and that they’re “more comfortable saying no because saying yes to everything doesn’t necessarily lead to more success,” which is some very sage advice that I think we should all heed.

The band also talked about touring and how they felt welcomed by Louis Tomlinson, his team, and his fans when they opened for him on the North American leg of his Faith in the Future world tour. The tour was a “learning experience,” especially when dealing with a fandom that they compared to that of the Beatles, but they were extremely appreciative of the opportunity.

How Have You Been? is streaming now, and Giant Rooks is continuing a lengthy year of touring. They are first rejoining Louis Tomlinson on his Latin American leg of tour beginning on May 12 in Brazil and continuing through the region before concluding on June 1 in Mexico City. Right after that, they are heading back to Europe, spending the summer playing some headlining shows in their home country of Germany, as well as making multiple festival appearances throughout the region. All upcoming tour dates can be found on the band’s website, and we look forward to seeing what the future has in store. 


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