FENSTER is the de-constructed pop manifestation of New Yorker-turned-Berliner JJ Weihl and Berlin-born Jonathan Jarzyna, a right-time-right-place product of the winter of 2010-2011. Layering subtle distortions, melodic chords and city soundscapes under dream narratives, the band’s name springs from an ominous incident during the recording of their first album: a window shattered on JJ’s head, bestowing her with a bump and the name FENSTER.
Both JJ (25) and Jonathan (26) met in 2010, when JJ became a solo-act opener for a project of Jonathan’s at the time, where they played together in a box made of televisions. In a natural, even fateful progression of events, JJ and Jonathan had soon dropped what they were doing and began writing music together, as a duo.
When Jonathan met Greek composer and producer Tadklimp on the street one afternoon busking in 2009, he never could have imagined that Tad would end up recording, mixing and creating the sonic universe of FENSTER. The three set off together in January of 2011 to lay down their first tracks in their basement rehearsal space in Berlin. That first period of intense songwriting cemented a strong creative collaboration between JJ, Jonathan and Tad, pretty much cut off from the outside world, busy giving rise to the dreamy, sweetly dark land of FENSTER.
Beginning to play live shows just after the completion of their demo, FENSTER realized that the DIY recordings made in that basement – with both members playing all sorts of instruments - would not be physically possible to play live with just the two of them. Enter Rémi Letournelle (24), French-born House Manager of underground Berlin venue Marie Antoinette, who, after doing FENSTER’s live sound at several gigs around Berlin, would become their third member, playing drums as well as participating in the on-stage instrument-swapping that is intrinsic to FENSTER’s live show.
Being discovered shortly thereafter by Morr Music, FENSTER added a number of new tracks to their existing demos, the result of which is their debut album BONES. After “touring” around Berlin, playing everywhere from house parties to galleries to nice big stages, they completed their first European tour in the Fall of 2011 through Germany, Switzerland and France in their trusty red van named Kokkalaki (which means “little bone” in Greek.)
So, if the world doesn’t end as the Mayan Calendar predicts, Bones will be released in March of 2012, and FENSTER will embark upon their first adventure to the good old US of A to play South by South West, tour around the east coast. After different time zones, amplifiers, and local liquors have sufficiently beguiled and delighted them, they will return to Berlin, sleep for five days straight, and then kick off their European tour in April 2012.