Love Forty DOwn
Love Forty DOwn by Chris Kirch

Artist to artist: German punk rockers LOVE FORTY DOWN & Canadian punk rock duo MOBINA GALORE

5 mins read

For their joint song “Flares” Dani of German punk rock newcomers LOVE FORTY DOWN sat with Jenna of the Canadian punk rock duo MOBINA GALORE to create a rare artist-to-artist interview.

What happens when four guys from Ulm, Germany, with almost 60 years of experience in song writing and touring between them decide to start a band? LOVE FORTY DOWN – between punk rock romance and fist-in-the-air sing-alongs. Arising from different bands within the scene, this combo has been around since 2017 with their current line-up: Steffen (vocals and guitar), Niggi (vocals and drums), LöD (bass) and Dani (guitar).

Punk is political and LOVE FORTY DOWN are too.

They use their voices and platform as a band for political activism wherever possible. They are a member of the protest sounds network of Kein Bock Auf Nazis and part of the No Music On A Dead Planet campaign of Music Declares Emergency. Anti-fascism, environmentalism, feminism, LGBTQ rights and animal rights are at the top of their agenda and can also be found in their lyrics.

With a lot of passion and lived DIY attitude, the band released a self-titled EP in October 2018 since its formation, played partly sold-out shows in Germany, Austria and Hungary and a support show for US veterans Death By Stereo.

With their second EP Don’t Be A Stranger, due out in March 2022 on SBÄM Records, LOVE FORTY DOWN are now stepping it up another two gears. For the seven tracks they got support on vocals from Vuki (Hell And Back) and Mobina Galore from Canada and worked for the production with Benedikt Hain from Outback Recordings and Mike Kalajian from Rogue Planet Mastering in New York.

Love Forty Down

LFD: Are you as successful in Canada as you are in Germany? (If not, how come?)

Mobina: Germany is our biggest market for sure, we have a decent draw in Western Canada but Germany still stands out as the best! Canada is such a huge country and I think that is part of the reason it is hard to get the following like we have overseas. It feels like German audiences are more engaged than in North America to an extent, even things like coming early for the opening bands, I see this happening more in Germany than in Canada.

LFD: A duo is still quite uncommon in rock, so what is your motivation to go about it just the two of you and have you ever thought about adding more musicians to the band, i.e. a bassist?

Mobina: We started out as a duo and it just remained that way, not necessarily a conscious decision, but it worked for us and continues to work for us. The thought has crossed out minds of course to add additional players but it just seems so complicated haha. It’s financially beneficial for us this way as well as all costs are lower and it’s easier to travel around. Maybe one day we will have a bass player and second guitar player, but it’s been 10 years like this already so who knows!

LFD: What’s it like to tour in Canada compared to Germany – especially in winter?

Mobina: Canada is giant and most of the provinces are cold and snowy in the winter so drives can be pretty sketchy. Coast to coast our weather and terrain is very different though so you could be driving in nice weather and then drive through the mountains and all of a sudden hit a snow storm on one of the passes in so it’s always a risk touring in the winter. You can fit Germany into Canada 28 times according to Google, so that should put it in perspective for you.

Mobina Galore tour dates
Mobina Galore tour dates

LFD: Our song Flares is about sexism, harassment and sexual assault. The 5-4-0 hand gesture, we use in the video, was created by the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Although it is so very important and may save a lot of people in the future, it is not widely spread in Germany yet. How about Canada? Did you know about the hand sign and its meaning?

Mobina: I have not heard of this hand signal before you mentioning it now, but having just read about it and seeing it was started in Canada during early pandemic days with the rise of domestic violence cases, I think it’s a great tool. Any simple things we can gesture to others to let them know we are in danger is good – assuming others know what you are trying to say. It’s similar to the bathroom stall “Ask for Angela” signs at bars, restaurants and venues etc. to let staff know you are in possible danger and need out of a situation.

Mobina: How did you first hear about our band Mobina Galore?

LFD: First time I heard about you was, when my other band “Blendof” was asked to open for you in this small town in Bavaria. Funny thing is, LFD’s now singer Steffen, was our roadie back then. It must have been 2014 or 2015 and I remember the promoter saying the other band is gonna be a female punk duo from Canada. I told my band and everyone was like “that sounds wild. I wanna watch that band, I wanna play that show”. We didn’t really know, what to expect, but I remember being absolutely blown away by the sound and the energy coming from the stage. After that, Blendof opened for you again once or twice and in 2017 I did a show with you and Joe Vickers right here in Ulm.

Mobina Galore tour dates
Mobina Galore tour dates

Mobina: If you could do a collaboration with any other band or artist on a song who would it be?

LFD: Well everyone in the band answers that question different, so here are our top 4: Garrett Dale (Red City Radio), because he’s the James Brown of punk rock! Ned Russin (Title Fight), because he had a huge influence on some of us. Dave Grohl, because he has been an idol for us from an early age on. Frank Turner, because we never get sick of him.

Mobina: What are some of your favourite tour snacks?

LFD: That might just be the best question we were ever asked! We actually do have an enormous bag of snacks sitting between driver and passenger seat, when we are on tour. It’s mainly filled with the usual sweet and salty treats like chips, nuts, cookies and chocolate. So there is something in there for everyone and every taste. Oh and our drummer loves to eat stew cold out of a can, which brought him his nickname Niggi Con Carne.

Mobina: Did you know as a band from the start that you wanted to focus your songs and attitude towards anti-fascist, animal-friendly, pro-feminism etc. or was it something that came clear as you started writing more songs?

LFD: Actually, as I already have a political punk band, I thought I can use Love Forty Down to write more about personal stuff and life in general. Although we do have some non-political songs, most of the times when I start writing, sociopolitical lyrics come out. I guess there is still to much stuff in the world, that really pisses me off. And the rest of the band quickly got on board with that kind of image for the band. They got engaged themselves and now all four of us drive the band in that direction.

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

Previous Story

Ukrainian artists share insider perspectives on the Russian invasion and the war in Ukraine

Next Story

Ukrainian artists speak out against war – part #3, with Sasha Boole and ARHAT