Band: 21 Octayne  

Event: Album Listening Party

Venue: Hyett Regency, London

Date: 15 Feburary 2014



It felt like a scene from the movie Almost Famous when 21 Octayne invited to their album listening party in the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill hotel in Central London, but minus the mess you would see in the movie.

Although held in a small, posh hotel room, Marco Wriedt (guitar) and Hagen Grohe (vocals) managed to establish a down-to-earth and cozy atmosphere.  It almost felt like one of the things my dad would tell me about from back when he was a teenager in the Seventies. You gathered up with your friends, everyone bought their favorite LP and you enjoyed the evening listening to music and indulging in a drink or two – just this time everyone came to listen to 21 Octayne’s first album.

After a few welcoming words from both, Hagen started playing the first song 'She’s Killing Me'.  The room quietened and suddenly filled with an unexpected air you normally get from songs like Skid Row’s 'Youth Gone Wild'.  An incredibly powerful and catchy song that makes you want to jump up and move to it.   "We always knew that would be the first song on our album“ ... were Hagen’s words once the song finished.  Good choice, no doubt.

But if you think that was it, you are wrong my friend.  The rest of the songs including the next single 'Dear Friend' did not disappoint either.  Quite the contrary, they surprised you, made you smile, made you want to jump up and bang your head or close your eyes and enjoy the catchy riffs, clever arrangements and powerful vocals.

Hagen and Marco both said a few words to each song and explained how the tracks originated.  Most of 21 Octayne’s songs came to life in jam sessions.  Like 'Turn The World' which was one of the first tracks they created.  The band would meet up in a studio, gather around a microphone and start jamming together like most bands in the good old days.  Once done, Hagen would listen to each and every song later and come up with lyrics and melodies.

Like the ones to 'My Teddy Bear' which he said are his favorite lyrics.  They were inspired by a painting of a kid lying in its bed, threatened by a frightening looking monster that leaned over the little boy.  Then right between them, there was this little teddy bear with a sword and shield protecting the kid.  With a smile Hagen then added ... "Everyone can relate to that. Everyone once had a teddy bear when they were little...“

The only track that was revised after the normal process was Marco’s favorite and title track 'Into The Open' that, as the title indicates, creates an incredible atmosphere.  It evokes your imagination and makes you feel as if you are in the open space or water, you decide.

Once the listening session finished, Hagen and Marco surprised everyone with a spontaneous acoustic session of a few of their songs.  And to give you a little sneak peak, you can find a video of one of their songs right below this article. Enjoy!

Last but not least, Marco and Hagen answered a few questions, one of them being why they chose to call the band 21 Octayne.  "We wanted to call the band 'Mothership' at first, inspired by Led Zeppelin’s best of album, but once we googled it we found too many bands and decided to go with something else.  Alex then suggested Octane but that just wasn’t enough so we decided to add a number“ Marco answered.  They decided on 21 as a symbol for the 21st century, and Marco then came up with the band name 21 Octayne.

"Octayne means power - power for the 21st century.  With that, we want to change the rock world."

And they are on the best way to do exactly that with their new album coming up in May 2014.

Review by: Anna Zurek 




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