The Picturebooks
| April 24, 2024 |

The Picturebooks Join the Gibson Artist Spotlight Program

A thunderous duo redefining rock’s boundaries

In line with the brand’s ongoing commitment to elevating new music from emerging musicians around the world, the annual Gibson Artist Spotlight program will showcase an evolving roster of musicians who will be featured across Gibson’s global and international channels. 

The Artist Spotlight program debuted in January 2024 with Austin Sexton and recently added Mona LindgrenAlex Ritchie, Zach Person, and Devon Thompson to the ranks. Recently, it welcomed Ayoni and now The Picturebooks.

The Picturebooks, a distinctive rock duo from Gütersloh, Germany, consists of the gritty vocals and fierce guitar work of Fynn Claus Grabke and the dynamic drumming of Philipp Mirtschink. Their raw, minimalist style, marked by a blues-infused garage rock sound, sets them apart in the rock music scene.

Formed in 2009, The Picturebooks quickly gained recognition for their visceral performances and unique approach to music production, often utilizing custom-built instruments and unconventional recording techniques. Their discography includes several albums that showcase their evolution in sound, with “Home is a Heartache” and “The Hands of Time” as notable examples.

Known for their DIY ethic, the band has toured extensively worldwide, with over 400 shows in the last five years, captivating audiences worldwide with their powerful live shows and establishing a loyal fan base.

The Picturebooks have four albums under their belts. A fifth one, “Albuquerque,” will be out in early July 2024.

We caught up with The Picturebooks to find out more.

How would you describe your music?

“We’re a two-piece that has never actually learned to play an instrument professionally. We’re from a small town, met at a skatepark, and at some point, just started playing music without really knowing what we were doing. As a skateboarder, you learn to work with what’s there and make the best of it.

“That’s kind of how we approached music; let’s just go for it. So it’s kinda hard to put a label on it, to categorize it into a genre, it’s whatever we want it to be, and we’re inspired by so many things outside of music but, obviously, also by music and other artists. We still try to be open to any kind of music. If it’s good, it’s good.”

What is your favorite piece of gear?

“I’m going to be honest and say that I have a bunch of Gibson and Epiphone guitars, and most of them are vintage, but if it comes down to reliability, looks, and, most importantly, performance, I will always reach for my new ES-345 in cherry red. This was a guitar that I got as a loaner for a really cool UK/EU tour and I completely fell in love with it and bought it straight away. I was always playing my old ES-125 from 1952, and it’s still probably the guitar that’s closest to my heart, but the ES-345 is just so freaking good.”

What has been the highlight of your musical career so far?

“That’s hard to say because I believe, as an artist, you don’t want that to happen because you’re scared that that was your peak, and it’s downwards from now on. So I will say right here and right now is my highlight because I would have never thought that I’d be able to get here with this thing that I believed in so much for such a long time now. I signed to my first label when I was just 17.

“Being a small-town kid, it wasn’t very easy to explain what I was doing in school and society in general. There weren’t other kids that were into what I was doing. Luckily, I had my parents, who were supporting me 100 percent, and my now wife, who was already my girlfriend back then, to get through this and work hard. Even my drummer Philipp was with me back then, and together we went through so much to say now, everywhere we get to do this is the new highlight of our career.”

What would be your dream artist or producer collaboration, and why? 

“We’ve done a collar album during the pandemic, which was a lot of fun. Working with artists like Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), Denis Lyxsen (Refused), Neil Fallon (Clutch), Chris Robertson (Black Stone Cherry), and Elin Larson (Blues Pills), just to name a few, was a dream come true! On our album “Hands Of Time,” though, we have a song called “You Can’t Let Go,” and it features one of our favorite singers of all time, Chrissie Hynde, who has become a friend through this project and now has invited us on The Pretenders’ UK/EU tour.”

What does being part of the Gibson Artist Spotlight program mean to you?

“It means the world. It’s hands down my favorite and has always been my go-to brand when I got myself a guitar. I love the look, sound, feel, and vibe of the company. The very first guitar I ever held in my hand was my dad’s SG™ from 1972, and I was not even ten back then. It was always the only guitar brand I was going for. It’s built into my DNA.”

What’s next on the horizon for you?

“We’re releasing our brand new album “Albuquerque” in May of 2024. We’re super excited about that, and obviously, the whole album was recorded on Gibson guitars. We’re also going on tour quite a lot. We’ve got a headlining Spain Tour coming up, followed by supporting The Pretenders on their UK/EU tour, which is such an honor to be a part of that. We’ll play a bunch of festivals this summer before starting our own two-month-long UK/EU headline tour.

“We will release a bunch of music videos over the year to promote the album and everything else you’ll be able to see on our socials, where we are very active to keep everyone up to date with whatever is going on in our lives. See y’all at the shows, give us a follow on our socials; make it happen!”

Find out more about the Gibson Artist Spotlight program and visit The Picturebooks’ profile.