Die Roten Punkte brings spectacular rock to The Cultch

Die Roten Punkte have three released three albums, are currently recording and touring in support of their fourth "EuroSmash". It should be out in the year. I spoke with Astrid & Otto prior to their show at the Cultch.

I suspect that Astrid and Otto Rot are from another planet. No two people can be that wickedly funny was well as uber-talented musicians. And not just any planet, Kepler-22b to be specific. The newly discovered planet that happened to be the subject of their opening number. With Astrid looking like a 24th-century Elizabeth I and Otto resembling a futuristic hippie, their near sold-out who at Cultch was quickly turning into a groove fest.

Astrid and Otto are siblings from Berlin who make up Die Roten Punkte. Some will claim that Die Roten Punkte, or The Red Dots, are really Australians Clare Bartholomew and Daniel Tobias, but these people are just huffing too many bratwurst fumes. The siblings are currently on tour promoting their album Eurosmash, which drops in January.

The new album has caused a stir among their followers, who accuse them of selling out. Otto claims that because their last album Kunst Rock (Art Rock) was art-rock -- what fans expect to hear. What they get instead is a sound more along the lines of the Ramones and The White Stripes. Astrid believes that this is due to the fact that she took full creative control of the album, after Otto snuck some songs onto Kunst Rock. (Namely “Automatic Doors”, a song with sounds of various automatic doors). Otto disputes this and claims they were great songs.


Fairly or unfairly, Astrid and Otto have long been compared to Spinal Tap.  “They’re like a joke band. We are a real band,” Otto says.

Astrid adds that this is most likely because their manager, David Eppstein, keeps booking them at comedy festivals rather than finding them true rock concerts. “He’s not a very good manager,” she laments. 

As with any brother-sister relationship; there is always some sibling rivalry and disagreement. A constant point of bickering is the manner in which their parents passed away. While they both concur it happened on a safari during Astrid’s 12th birthday, Astrid knows they got run over by a train, while her younger brother is adamant that they were eaten by a lion (which is part of the inspiration for the song “Ich Bin Nicht Ein Roboter (I Am a Lion).

That is just one of the many stories they tell with their music – their latest is a mini rock opera about how they became a band – including their love for David Bowie (he inspired them to become a rock duo) and the invented-in-Vancouver Banana Guard (the inspiration for Otto’s Bananenhaus, or Banana House). 

Their interests expand beyond the musical realm: Otto has currently latched onto the no-fat, raw food vegan way of life – a choice which spawned the protest song “The Choices We Make”, which Astrid despises. She, on the other hand, has given each city in Canada-themed sausage. According to her, she will be compiling them in a cookbook called “The Wurst Food Ever”.

All in all, Die Roten Punkte’s Eurosmash is an epic concert of Futuristic rock-bang proportions. Fuelled by their witty, bickering-filled banter, Astrid’s off-kilter drum beats, and Otto’s guitar shredding, Eurosmash is one for the ages.

Die Roten Punkte’s Eurosmash runs at the Cultch until September 2nd.

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