THE PICTUREBOOKS (GERMANY), MIKE VALLELY & THE NEW ARMS
Primal blues-rock duo THE PICTUREBOOKS are Fynn Claus Grabke [vocals, guitar] and Philipp Mirtschink [drums] perform their blues-saturated heavy rock.
The duo has received acclaim not only on their 2014 full-length ‘Imaginary Horse’ (RidingEasy Records), but also for their craft of building and customizing motorcycles, and their skateboarding skills. The band has been featured on Noisey/Vice, Team Rock, Daytrotter, and more, and the group’s motorcycle designs have been featured in the biggest bike magazines across the world, including Easyriders (USA), Custombike (Germany), Dice Magazine (UK),Hot Bike (Japan), and more.
“The Picturebooks&; sound is as distinct as the smell of burnt motor oil coming off the sun-baked California desert highway,” explains Another Century’s VP of AR Mike Gitter. “They are at
once completely unique, musically unforgettable, and tapped into the psyche of rock n' roll at itsmost primal. We had to get involved with these raw riders of the sonic highway.”
With a rigorous touring history, the band has played alongside Eagles of Death Metal, Kadavar, The Answer, and more, as well as performed at Riot Fest (Chicago, Denver; USA), Governor’s Ball (New York, USA), and Sziget (Hungary). Their next album comes out March 10th 2017 and the Band will embark on a long European-Tour with "Monster Truck" from Canada.
It’s not surprising that The Picturebooks recorded their 2014 album, Imaginary Horse [RidingEasy Records], in the same garage where they regularly refurbish and repair motorcycles and choppers. The German duo—Fynn Claus Grabke [vocals, guitar] and Philipp Mirtschink [drums]—capture a raw, rich, and real energy befitting of the rooms natural reverb, industrial aura, and spiritual spark.
Fynn and Philipp first crossed paths at a local skate park. Becoming fast friends, they realized their mutual interests
extended beyond skateboarding and into music like The Smiths, The Cure, and Minor Threat. Soon, they began writing songs together, utilizing equipment Fynn's dad Claus had accumulated over his years as a musician and record producer.
After two independent releases in Europe, the pair played major festivals such as Sziget and toured with everybody from International Noise Conspiracy to Spinnerette. Simultaneously, they garnered international attention for their motorcycle builds and received prominent profiles in tastemaker publications including DICE Magazine, Kustom, and many others. Following an explosive Hollywood gig supporting Eagles of Death Metal for DICE, they embarked on their inaugural North American tour and buzz began to organically spread through word of mouth and social media. By the time they returned home, the group had inked a deal with Riding Easy Records.
The Picturebooks retreated to their "garage" in order to record their debut North American record. Mirroring their
daredevil skateboarding ethos, they broke rules while recording. For starters, there was considerable physical space between the musicians and the microphones, and it wasn’t simply a sterile studio environment. The concrete floors
and airy expanse contributed to the sound, and the overall atmosphere proved quite a propos. They even constructed
their own instruments to boot. Fynn picked up thrift shop guitars in Los Angeles. Influenced by the tribal sounds of Native American music, the band built custom percussion and augmented their feet with bells. Moreover, Philipp
decided to eschew playing cymbals and adopted large Toms, which he bashes with mallets instead of sticks. They conjured true fire in the garage with that astounding, untainted reverb and their personal arsenal of modified
Ultimately, all of these pieces form a blues rock pastiche that's as individualistic as it is infectious. In 2016 the band
signed with Another Century records and have confirmed a number of tour dates. Their Another Century debut
comes out March 10th 2017.
Mike Vallely is an American professional skateboarder, musician, actor, television personality & stuntman. He has appeared in several films, including Gleaming the Cube. As of 2013, he is the lead singer of Black Flag.
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