On her last Germany tour I met up with Roxanne de Bastion, a singer-songwriter from Berlin who is now based in London, to talk about music, how to become a rockstar and making an album. Earlier this year, Roxanne recorded her debut album with Gordon Raphael (Regina Spektor/The Strokes) which will be released later this year. Having just finished her most recent UK tour Roxanne will be playing at Junction Bar tonight.
At first I thought Roxanne de Bastion was an alias. Where does the name de Bastion come from?
My Dad’s side of the family originates from Hungary. They migrated to England during WW2 and my grandfather changed the name from something rather unpronounceable to de Bastion to fit in better at the time.
You’re originally from Berlin. When did you relocate to London and why?
About four years ago, right after I finished High School. Why? Because I’ve always been writing in English and all the bands I listen to are either from the UK or from the States, such as The Beatles, The Kinks, and Regina Spektor. So, it was kind of my musical mother tongue and I think sometimes you just really have to go somewhere to make a new start no matter how hard it is. It was either London or New York and New York was just really impractical at the time. So I settled for London and I’m still enjoying it because it’s such a great city for music.
How would you compare the Berlin and London music scene?
Well, I could talk endlessly about the two cities but with regard to the Berlin music scene, I’m afraid I don’t really know it at the moment. The music that I associate with Berlin is Techno because that’s what was around in the clubs when I lived here. Granted, that’s all changing now. I’d like to hear more Berlin music, it seems to me that a lot of UK bands are moving here and taking over. The first German-Speaking Berlin band I really started listening to was ‘Wir Sind Helden’. They use the German language in a really clever and pleasing way. It’s funny you should ask, because all the other acts I can think of off top of my head are actually English bands that moved to here. I like Sara Maguire’s music, who will open the show on Saturday, so I’m looking forward to that. When I first moved to England people really didn’t know anything about Berlin other than that it is in Germany and since then Berlin has become the new cool place to be.
What’s your favourite Berlin venue and why?
There are plenty that I would like to play at, such as the Waldbuehne… The venue I know best is the Junction Bar because I’ve played there so many times that it almost feels like home. I really like the Akud as well and another favourite of mine, which unfortunately is no longer there, was the Caf