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Otto & Astrid: Joint Solo Project

By | Published on Wednesday 16 August 2023

Otto and Astrid are the brother/sister guitar/drums rock n roll sensation that is Die Roten Punkte. Or at least they were. Maybe they still are.

But creative differences over a fifth album resulted in a split – or possibly more of a hiatus, it depends on who you ask.

Either way Otto and Astrid are both now launching solo projects at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Although, for entirely logistical reasons, they are doing so on the same stage at the same time.

It’s somehow been a decade since we last spoke to Die Roten Punkte, so we thought it was about time we caught up with them again. Well, with Otto and with Astrid, in something of a joint solo interview. Here we go…

CC: Otto – tell us what happened to the much anticipated fifth Die Roten Punkte album?
Otto: Astrid and I were writing a song called ‘Party Explosion’ and she told me that my lyrics were… I think the work she used was ‘crap’. She said that right now she wanted to do a solo project. The band hasn’t broken up but right now we’re not collaborating on anything.

CC: Astrid – tell us what happened to the much anticipated fifth Die Roten Punkte album?
Astrid: My little brother Otto and I have been in a band since we were kids, but for this fifth album Otto kept trying to insert lyrics about kittens, fruits and vegetables, so it was very clear to me I needed to make my own solo album. My album is called ‘The Better Half’.

CC: Otto – for the uninitiated, give us a quick summary of the Die Roten Punkte story up until the split/hiatus.
Otto: After we were orphaned when our parents were eaten by a lion that escaped from the zoo on Astrid’s birthday, we had to go and live with our evil aunt and uncle for a little while.

They made us cook cabbage soup and do folk dancing while we were dressed as squirrels. After we escaped, we moved to a squat in Berlin and Astrid took me to a David Bowie concert.

That was like seeing a rock n roll prophet. We immediately formed a band together, just the two of us, because nobody else wanted to play with us. We started making albums and touring the world.

CC: Astrid – what did Otto get wrong when telling the Die Roten Punkte story?
Astrid: Our parents were NOT eaten by a lion. We were all on the way to the zoo to celebrate my twelfth birthday and our parents were run over by a train.

Otto was so excited about seeing the lions at the zoo, he has it confused. He tells everyone they were eaten by a lion, but how could that possibly be true?

CC: Otto – what did Astrid get wrong when outlining what you got wrong when telling the Die Roten Punkte story?
Otto: Astrid says our parents were run over by a train. She made that up because she doesn’t think people will believe the truth about the lion.

CC: Otto – you’ve been working on a solo project, what can we expect from that?
Otto: My favourite song is inspired by Iggy Pop and The Stooges. It’s called ‘I Wanna Be Your Kitten’. You can see the music video on YouTube. It’s so much fun to play live.

CC: Otto – what are you doing for a rhythm section?
Otto: I’ve pinned some signs on community notice boards in supermarkets. I’m hoping to hear back from somebody soon.

CC: Astrid – you’ve been working on a solo project, what can we expect from that?
Astrid: My solo project is mysterious but explosive rock n roll power. I have rock n roll songs about empowerment and a hip hop number called ‘Tasty Snak’ – please do check out my video on YouTube.

And there is a PJ Harvey inspired song about what is in store for me called ‘My Future’, it’s very poetic and haunting.

CC: Astrid – who have you been considering as a backing band for the solo project?
Astrid: Well, I was hoping Alex from Franz Ferdinand might be in town to play guitar, I’ve also reached out to KT Tunstall. But my dream band would be all five of the Hives with Chrissie Amphlet dropping in for a song and Lizzo doing some moves and a flute solo.

CC: Why have you decided to share a stage with your respective solo projects at the Fringe this year?
ASTRID: It was literally cheaper, and Otto can set up my drums pre-show and then pack them down at the end of the show.

Otto: Astrid has to perform on the same night as me because she can’t get public liability insurance. Anywhere in the world!

CC: How will you be spending the Fringe when you are not performing?
Astrid: I’ll be doing a tour of all the bars working out my fave drinking spots and hangouts. I’ll definitely be taking some whisky to the Sheraton Day Spa and lounging in that outdoor jet pool on the roof!

I also like to experiment with the local foods, adding one thing with another. Have you tried a toastie with haggis, grilled cheese and baked beans? It is amazing!

Otto: I like going to the Meadows and saying hi to all of the dogs.

CC:: Otto – are you hoping that this year’s Fringe might motivate a reunion?
Otto: My feeling is that we’ve pretty much resolved any tension and that we’ll be working on a new album together in September, which I’m super excited about.

CC: Astrid – what are the chances of this year’s Fringe motivating a reunion?
Astrid: I’m doubtful that can happen because I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting a solo recording deal and a spot at Coachella next year, but Otto can come and set up my drums for sure!

‘Otto & Astrid’s Joint Solo Project’ was performed at Assembly George Square Gardens at Edinburgh Festival 2023.

LINKS: ottoandastrid.com | twitter.com/OttoAndAstrid

Photo: Andrew Wuttke