Foto: Sonja Wiegand
Text: Sophie Jüterbock

TAKE BERLIN – a beautiful example of a chance meeting. The two musicians Jesse Barnes and Yvonne Ambree needed to meet twice before embarking on their musical journey together. Both were working in different bands at the time, but the second time they met, Jesse and Yvonne discovered that chance had given them a wonderful opportunity. And thus the two started writing songs for their very own musical project, TAKE BERLIN.

Berlin is part of your name. Why Berlin and not any other city you have both been to?

Yvonne: It was more an idea that developed out of a situation. We didn´t sit down for hours and thought of a name. Jesse came up with it first and I wasn´t really sure. But after a while I liked the idea and sound of the two words together.

Jesse: Perhaps it’s a loose reference to Leonard Cohen’s song.

Some of your songs are about true stories. Maybe you can say a little about that?

Jesse: Kentucky was written about a cat that lived on the roof behind us in Brooklyn. We gave him or her that name and based the correlating song around the idea of a cat being an important character in the workings of a castle.

Is TAKE BERLIN your main job or do you still play in other bands?

Yvonne: We are both full time musicians and work with other bands as well. TAKE BERLIN is our main focus at the moment, though.

Jesse: Yeah, we still freelance a lot with other musicians and bands. Gotta pay the rent!

You give a very grounded and traditional impression. The acoustics and soft tones make your songs very pleasant – calm and relaxing. Do you subscribe to a “retro” life-style and deliberately turn away from the modern day rush? Is that something you like to put into your songs? Or is it something you don’t even think about – is it “just you”?

Yvonne: We didn´t try to make that kind of music, but I guess we are both tired of being in the “fast lane“ all the time – especially in big cities like New York or Berlin, so maybe it was good to take a step back.

Jesse: We are retro in some ways, but Yvonne says I’m addicted to my phone. In a sense, I’m in my own world... For instance, I just got on facebook a few weeks ago and still find social networking strange and difficult to grasp. I’m glad the music makes you relax. This can be hard to do!

What is your favourite place in Berlin?

Yvonne: Definitely some of these beach bars on the spree in the summer (Badeschiff / Bar 25 etc.).

Jesse: That’s a tough one... I dig the Görlitzer Bahnhof area, but we also have some friends in Friedrichshain and I love the Sunday Market... I buy a new pair of vintage eyeglass frames every year.

Are there any particular things you miss about Germany/Berlin?

Yvonne: The Bread and Kräuterquark!!

Compared to other capitals/big cities is Berlin a world city or a German city?

Yvonne: It´s a German city but even more becoming an international city – it´s probably one of the least German cities, but still more German than other places outside of Germany.

Jesse: I feel some other cities seem much more „German“ to me...it’s international.

Even though the European Tour is over for now, definitely keep an eye out for TAKE BERLIN. Because they are bound to be back to European shores before long. And when they do I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a new song or two in their beautiful repertoire to make the evening as comfy as a place next to the fireside. So roll up in your chair and have a listen.


                                                                                                         ... pushed by BANJO & ELFE.

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