GETTING TO KNOW: OTTO ROT

Astrid (vocals/percussion) and Otto (vocals/guitar) are Die Roten Punkte (The Red Dots). Orphaned as kids when Astrid was 12 and Otto was 9, the brother and sister duo found shelter in a Berlin squat and never rockin’ well looked back.

Rising to fame as Berlin’s Prince and Princess of Art Rock and Europop and after six years of genuine acclaim touring worldwide and sold out performances in Edinburgh, New York, Sydney, Montreal and Dublin, Die Roten Punkte are touring Australia with their second full-length show Super Musician.

Otto & Astrid by Andrew Wuttke.jpg
Image Credit: Otto Wuttke

Otto Rot talks to The Street ahead of the Supermusician show by Die Roten Punkte The Street.

WHEN AND HOW DID DIE ROTEN PUNKTE GET DISCOVERED?

My sister Astrid found an electric guitar and a drum kit outside the front of a primary school. We started jamming and we planned a rock and roll concert in our squat, but we didn’t get to play because the people got to noisy and I called the police. Afterwards, Astrid explained that it was normal for the audience to yell and scream before, during and after you play a song. Our second show rocked the house. So we had to wait another week before we really got discovered.

YOU DON’T TALK MUCH ABOUT YOUR FAMILY. ARE THERE ANY MEMORIES THAT INSPIRE YOU CREATIVELY?

It’s hard to talk about my parents, because they were eaten by a lion.

YOU TWO MUST BE VERY CLOSE. WHAT THREE WORDS DESCRIBE YOUR SIBLING AND CREATIVE COLLABORATOR IN MUSIC?

spectaular… rock… Explosion!

YOU BOTH HAVE FLAMBOYANT AND DISTINCTIVE PERSONAL STYLE. HOW IS THAT ACHIEVED AND DO YOU DESIGN YOUR OWN COSTUMES FOR THE STAGE?

Astrid talks about Vivienne Westward a lot. I know she likes her style. My secret weapon is my custom-made rock and roll kick pants. Specially designed for extra high leaps.

WHAT BRAND OF LIPSTICK DO YOU RECOMMEND?

Astrid always uses Russian Red by Mac. I wear Rush by Natio.

WHAT IS ART ROCK AND EUROPOP TO YOU?

Art rock is angles. It’s about expressing ideas, even when most people find them strange. Europop is round. It’s about getting people on the dance floor, singing along to your song.

WHAT SONGS CAN AUDIENCES LOOK FORWARD TO FROM SUPERMUSICIAN?

We are going to play all of the songs from the Super Musician album. Rock ‘n’ Roll Monster, Rock Bang!, Ich Bin Nicht Ein Roboter (I Am A Lion). All of the hits!

YOU’VE TOURED TO MANY OF THE GREAT CAPITALS IN THE WORLD. HOW DOES CANBERRA FIT INTO THE PICTURE?

I remember Canberra being so much smaller than I expected for a capital. Which is nice because there are lots of trees.

YOU HAVE CHARMED FESTIVAL AUDIENCES AROUND THE WORLD. WHAT IS YOUR SECRET?

Play every show like it’s your last.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST OUTRAGEOUS STAGE PERFORMANCE?

Opening for Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra at The Roxy in Los Angeles was off the hook! Amanda came on stage for Ich Bin Nicht Ein Roboter (I Am A Lion) and danced with us. The audience went crazy.

ARE YOU SUPERSTITIOUS? iS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU DO BEFORE YOU GO OUT ON STAGE?

Before every show Astrid and I stand back stage, we look each other in the eye and do a thing we call ‘Coming Together’. We think about all of our rock heroes and try to inject their passion and energy in to our shows.

YOU HAVE A HUGE FAN BASE. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR STARTING UP A BAND OR LIVE PERFORMANCE TO CREATE A FOLLOWING? 

Play as many shows as you can all over the world and find your audience. We’ve met so many lovely people. We always talk to them after the show.

WHAT’S INSPIRING YOU CREATIVELY IN MUSIC AT THE MOMENT?

Actually, there are some Australian artists that I love right now. D.D Dumbo, Montaigne and Courtney Barnett. I’m also going through a bit of a Passion Pit thing again. I can’t stop listening to them.

WHAT ARE YOU READING AND WATCHING CURRENTLY?

How good is Stranger Things?! I can’t wait until the next season. Also, Louis C.K’s Horace and Pete one of the best things I’ve seen on TV. The last book I read was The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown. She’s my hero.

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