What are the Virgin Tongues?
Let's start with what they`re not. They're not one of these new Indie-bands that look and sound like they were casted for MTV, desperately chasing the next trend in rock. The Virgin Tongues are not to be so easily labeled. The kind of energy they have can`t be fabricated, it just happens. Like an earthquake. Or an involuntary chemical reaction. And all it takes is three guys, two guitars, two drums and a stage. It's a primal kind of energy. “It's nothing else than those cave drawings,” drummer Nima once described their music. But when he pounds his drums with his maniacal cool, Mikey plays his floating guitar lines and Duncan delivers his yearning vocals, that alternately sound innocent and wicked, there's a strange beauty to it, a certain grace that can't be explained by the guys dandy-ish attitude alone.
“They don`t look like they`re from this world, “ a female observer recently described the Tongue's stage presence, “it's like...they all hatched out of the same egg”.
Duncan McKnight, Robert Michael Giddens and Nima Ashe first came together in a big test tube called Berlin and despite coming from completely different backgrounds. Ducan grew up in the Californian desert. Mikey, son of an English father and a Greek mother, spent the first 8 years of his life in the Northern German city of Oldenburg, before relocating to England with his family. Nima is from no particular part of the United States. They quickly realized that they shared the same musical vision and played their first show after just one practice session.
Though associations with the Velvet Underground or Jesus and Mary Chains might crop up, if only for the minimalist stage set up, the Virgin Tongues don`t like to get stuck pondering on their influences. “Our experiences shape the music we make,” Ducan explains, “ and it's our music and not anybody else’s.”
If the Virgin Tongues had any role models, they wouldn’t be found in the world of rock, nor in the 20th century. More likely, they'd come up with names like Lord Byron or Oscar Wilde. Says Mikey: “Rock 'n' roll didn't just start with Elvis.”
The Virgin Tongues certainly didn`t invent it either, although everything about them, from the hair to the sunglasses to the attitude suggests otherwise, but there's a huge hunger for it in a city, whose music scene seems to have been dominated by Techno and Electro for a long time. “Our fans are people who are craving for rock 'n' roll... maybe we can bring a a bit of it back to the scene,” says Duncan.
That and a whole lot of glamor
To put it in Nimas words: “Everyone starving for something, let’s get some makeup on!”