With their latest string of fuzzed-out, Krautrock inflected singles, Foreign/National have established themselves as a newfound force to be reckoned with in Melbourne's psych-rock scene. The group are gearing up to release their new album, The Garden, conceptualised by the local five-piece over the span of a year spent living together in Berlin, which saw them open up for the likes of King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard in the German capital at the height of their legendary five-record run. In a special feature, we've been granted access to Foreign/National's own photo library from their overseas trip to get an insight into the band's process and learn more about the differences between the scene in Berlin and of that back at home.
Foreign/National: "As we were only in Berlin for one year, it was difficult to make a well rounded assessment of the music scene, but there were certain characteristics that we noticed. As you can imagine it is a much more club orientated scene when compared to a place like Melbourne. Therefore electronic music, particularly techno, is king. There were certainly far fewer ‘guitar’ bands than Melbourne, which has certainly become the city's forte over the past few years.
"For us the thing that sticks out the most in Berlin is the freedom and this applies to all facets of life, not just the music scene. In general people do whatever they want and you sense that there is less of a feeling of judgement and comparison by your peers. In Melbourne I’ve found that (and many other music scenes) artists can fall prey to a self-consciousness derived from comparisons and perceived judgements from their peers. However, Berlin has always been a place to me where you feel complete freedom to pursue any project and indeed life, you choose.
"I’m sure that if we were to delve deeper into the scene, particularly the club scene, we might find contradictions. There are definitely people who move to the city to start a creative project and just burn out after too many late nights at Sisophys or Tresor. But in our time there we only had good experiences. It’s not necessarily a ‘better’ music scene than Melbourne, but it’s a different music scene and that was what was so important for us to experience."
Foreign/National's new album The Garden arrives on Friday May 22. Listen to their new single 'Diamond Mine.'