An Interview with Goodnight Lenin

I was off searching different artists when Goodnight Lenin appeared. I decided to look in more detail at the band from Birmingham, and they have something. You listen and get captured in the smooth folk vibes which really entice you in to listen more, the music soon pours into more than just the average song and you soon receive the personalities of each member.

I want to say Goodnight Lenin remind me of a very early vaccines with their personalities and hints of Bombay Bicycle club/Mumford and sons. Yet influences like Leonard Cohen and Neil Young also seem to find their way into this great upcoming talent.

Listen to Goodnight Lenin's single, A Cautionary Tale here;

Once again, after listening, I wanted to know and find out more about the guys, so I got in contact and agreed to this fantastic interview!

  • How do you find Birmingham's music scene, do you think that it has been growing for some time with the likes of Peace, moving up the ranks?

There is certainly a lot of coverage over Birmingham with a lot of industry taking notice which can only be a good thing for all Birmingham bands. We are very aware that media has a tendency to move on to another area after a while so we're just making sure our plans and future are based around creating albums and hopefully longevity. Definitely respect what bands like Peace are doing and would like to catch them live at some point. I would say we're more in tune with bands such as The Destroyers, Boat To Row, Cadbury Sisters. I think this highlights how amazing the Birmingham music scene is! A lot going on!

  • What has been the highlight of your year?

I think going on tour with Beth Jeans Houghton and The Destiny of Hooves has to be the highlight. We love festival season too but its great to get to know another a group of people who are trying to achieve exactly the same thing. Plus they are all beautiful people so it was a pleasure to spend time with them.

  • How did you find playing at BBC radio 6?

Playing at the studio and having our tracks played is an honour. Its great when people message us to say they've heard our track being played makes it feel worthwhile. To play in the studio is quite odd. Its cool when you know the presenter though (like our session with Janice Long for BBC Radio 2) as its really relaxed... makes for a better interview and performance i think.

  • Do the likes of your influences, (Leonard Cohen and Neil Young) come from your parents influences or have they been something you have come across?

I'm not sure how influenced by our parents any of us are in terms of musical taste... I guess I was brought up on a diet of Irish music which has definitely crept into our sound and my mom used to listen to country music so I'm guessing this has lead to my love for Gram Parsons etc... With artists like Neil Young and Leonard Cohen i think that came with age and looking for something a bit more meaningful. Lyrics are massively important to us. In fact, they are the most important aspect to our music so to discover artists like Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel and CSNY were vital for us.

  • Is there anything coming up for Goodnight Lenin in the near future?

Too many things! Starting to lose count... We've got a single being released on 29th Oct via Static Caravan called A Cautionary Tale. It was recorded on analogue tape and was mixed by John Wood who has previously worked with John Martyn and Nick Drake. This release will coincide with some dates with Dry The River before we head out on our winter tour in November. During which we'll release our winter themed EP 'A Winter's Night'. Then we'll continue work on our debut album which should be released next year.

  • Why the name Goodnight Lenin?

Goodnight Lenin comes from across of a German film called Goodbye Lenin which is set in Berlin (my favourite city) and Goodnight Sweetheart which I was watching when I wrote the first GNL track.

  • Have you made any mistakes so far as a band?

I don't think you can really make mistakes as a band. Everything you choose to do takes you to the next step of your journey providing you don't do anything to stupid... I don't think we've anything stupid just yet... Maybe we have and don't know yet! Time will tell

  • Is there any artists out there now that you would say you were alike?

I think there is a group of artists such as The Travelling Band & Treetop Flyers that are similar but i think we all have our own identity and sound. Its difficult to say as our sound is constantly growing. We don't really sound like our first releases (Crook In The Creek or Wenceslas Square) hence the reason we're releasing a lot of stuff before the album.

  • How do you gather most of your fans? Would you say its more online based or live performances?

For us its always been about live performances. We tend to be playing nonstop through the year especially at festivals! This is key for us. Then we use the usual channels such as Facebook to reach out to new fans.

  • Finally, a common but important question of mine, who would you choose for Glastonbury headliner?

hmmmm... Realistically I think Rolling Stones and Radiohead will do, I would prefer Crosby Still Nash and Young or Fleetwood Mac... Simon & Garfunkel would be my dream! Can we bring Elliot Smith back from the dead? Please?

If you would like to catch Goodnight Lenin live, you can on these following dates, you can get more information on their website,

  • 20th November - The Castle, Manchester
  • 21st November -  Bodega, Nottingham
  • 23rd November - The Great Gatsby, Sheffield
  • 26th November - Kasbah, Coventry
  • 27th November - Boileroom, Guildford
  • 28th November - The Crumbling Cookie, Leicester
  • 29th November - Sebright Arms, London
  • 1st December - Birmingham Cathedral
  • 2nd December - Nation of shopkeepers, Leeds

I'd like to thank Goodnight Lenin for their interview, I can gurauntee that they are one to watch for the future, keep an eye out!


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