FvF Mixtape #138: GURR - Friends of Friends / Freunde von Freunden (FvF)

FvF Mixtape #138: GURR


When they’re not stage-diving, climbing stage frames, or recording albums, Andreya Casablanca and Laura Lee are avid listeners. They made a playlist reflecting some of their musical influences.

  • What were the first songs you really loved and do you still listen to them?

    Laura: I remember first hearing Wonderwall on the radio when I was around 13. I got so hooked on the song and asked my mum for money to buy the album What’s the Story Morning Glory. After listening to Wonderwall 40 times in a row, I finally listened to the rest of the album and liked it even more than that cheesy Wonderwall song. I still listen to Oasis from time to time. It’s a bit like time-traveling for me, like going back to that feeling of being a teenager and filling those songs with meaning that probably has very little to do with the actual meaning of the song. My English was kind of bad back then, too.

    Andreya: Definitely a Spice Girl song, like Wannabe. The first songs that persuaded me to buy albums were Complicated by Avril Lavigne and Frontin’ by Pharrell Williams and Jay-Z [laughs]. I was really into what was in the charts back then and would spend hours in front of MTV watching the Top 100. I just listened to Avril Lavigne’s album Let Go again, and I still really enjoy a lot of the songs—it’s super poppy.

  • How did you meet and why did you want to start a band together?

    Andreya: We met at university in 2010, when we were both studying at the Free University of Berlin. I was still in another band in my hometown in Nuremberg, but quickly gave up the long-distance band-relationship. Briefly before Laura and I left for a year abroad in the United States, we decided to form a band and played three or four shows as a two-piece. I think we had four songs. We were friends first but then with Laura being a drummer and me being on guitar and singing it became obvious pretty quickly that we should start something together. And musically it was a good, complimentary match. Laura had a Britpop background, and I came from US-Garage Rock and Punk.

  • Early this year, you started @weformedaband via Instagram. What’s the idea behind this?

    Laura: The idea started when I saw a little handmade paper sign hanging in Kreuzberg that read something like: “Two Girls (17+16) looking for a drummer for their band!” Andreya and I hung up similar signs when we started out as band, so I thought: Wait, how come people are still hanging up these analog signs even though they could reach way more people if they posted the same sign online? So we set up the instagram account with the idea of making musicians more visible, especially female, trans, and queer musicians.

“Looking out of the car window is also a very memorable moment because that’s what you’re doing 80 percent of the time.”

Andreya Casablanca on touring

  • You’ve toured a lot in the last few years. What were some of the most memorable moments?

    Andreya: At Rock am Ring Laura met Dave Grohl in the backstage area. I don’t think this story will ever get old. Otherwise, looking out of the car window is also a very memorable moment because that’s what you’re doing 80 percent of the time. I generally love the process of being in motion with a long travel ahead; the feeling of being so lost but at ease at the same time is very inspirational in a non cheesy way.

  • Why did you chose the tracks for this playlist?

    Laura: We are releasing our new EP She Says on April 5th and the songs all carry the same kind of bittersweet, melancholic sound I associate with our new record. The new songs are a little bit quieter, dreamier, and more sentimental than our first album. And also dive into a more spherey, at times even psychedelic sound. So, I put that into my part of the playlist from Jaakko Eino Kalevi to Girlpool.

    Andreya: My portion of the playlist is from Neon Indian to Cherry Glazerr. When we finished recording the song She Says, I listened to it so much. I’ve never done that before ever with any of our songs. So all the songs that I picked are also tracks that are new and have an addictive quality to them. A bit like She Says.

Stream or download GURR’s first album In My Head on their website and learn more about emerging and established artists from Berlin and beyond in our Mixtape section. GURR’s new EP is out April, 5th.

Text: Fabian Ebeling
Photography: Miriam Marlene Waldner, Rowan Allen