Cozy talk with BLOND

A cold autumn day in 2020. Two journalists from Horizont magazine, Elaha and Charlotte, are on their way to meet Nina and Lotta, the front women of the fancy band Blond from Chemnitz. Their music is progressive, casual and damned honest. Relaxed over a warm tea we talked about the band’s history, the Capital of Culture 2025, their podcast and much more.

Elaha and Charlotte in a relaxed conversation with two-thirds of the formation Blond. Foto: Daniel Franz

The three band members:
Nina Kummer: front singer, plays guitar, sister of Lotta
Lotta Kummer: sits at the drums, sings too, sister of Nina
Johann Bonitz: plays the bass guitar and keyboard (actually also the brother of Lotta and Nina, but from different parents)

How would you describe each other in three words?

Lotta: Nina is super cool, open-minded and smart.
Nina: Lotta is funny, intelligent and very smart.
Lotta: (laughs) Intelligent and smart is the same, but it doesn’t matter.
Nina: Yeah, okay, you look good too.

When did you start making music and what were your plans at that time?

Nina: We come from a family of musicians. Both our parents and our brothers were in bands and so it was clear for us that we had to try it.
Lotta: Music has always been an important part of our life and that’s why we knew that there is a possibility to live from music. Nobody has ever said
to us that we can’t try it. The question was also never: Would you like to play an instrument? Rather we were asked: Which instrument do you want to play?
Nina: It was like a game for us, we played band. In 2014 we wrote our first real songs and in 2016 we released our first EP. Only from that point on the
whole band thing got really serious.

Why did you choose the name “Blond” for your band?

Lotta: We were just looking for a short cool word that describes us.
Nina: And Blond is a German word, but it also sounds international. And of course, we are blond ourselves. (laughs)
Lotta: When we gave ourselves the name, it was more of a spontaneous action according to the motto: We are now founding a band! What do we call it? Blond! Fortunately it’s a cool name and so we can still use it today.

Who inspires you?

Nina: I am a big “La Fee” fan. I was ten when she was quite famous and she was an absolute role model for me because she was a girl who stood on stage and sang. Through her I realized that of course this is possible for girls
and I wanted the same thing. But she only had the role model function because of that, not because of her music. (laughs)
Lotta: I loved the music of Missy Elliot and Gossip. The distinctive and memorable bass lines were very inspiring for me.
Nina: But nowadays we don’t have a really big idol anymore.

Lotta Kummer, Johann Bonitz and Nina Kummer from the Band BLOND pose in their pose in their stage outfits.
Foto: Ernesto Uhlmann

Who supports you the most?

Nina: Behind us as a band is a big art collective, they are friends of ours. We ourselves are part of this collective. The so-called “Bikini Kommando” supports us since the first day. It is involved in our music videos, photos, our merchandising and many other things.
Lotta: We are incredibly happy that we can always rely on them.
Nina: They are part of our crew and also accompanied the tour at the beginning of the year.
Lotta: But also our family supports us a lot, without them we would never have been able to get this far.
Nina: And not to forget: our fans! The “Blondinators”! Of course they push us the most.

What did you do during the Corona time in spring and throughout the year?

Nina: We made some video clips and a podcast. It already has 33 episodes so far. And we played live in Hamburg at the Reeperbahnfestival. It was very strange, it was like we were playing in front of the audience from the “Schlagergarten”, it was a sitting concert. But we also had a Corona concert
in Leipzig and that was more like our normal concerts. Because the audience was in front of us. Although in groups and in separate areas, the audience was allowed to sing and dance.
Lotta: The people were very happy about it. What we love about our concerts is the dancing, the sweating people and the mosh pits. In Hamburg
we were not allowed to interact with the audience at all, that was a pity. But the audience just started clapping their hands and singing along a bit.

How is the podcast (name: “Da muss man dabei gewesen sein”) you mentioned going? Me and many of my friends listen to it regularly.

Nina: I am still totally surprised. Sometimes I have the feeling that we are actually just talking nonsense. But a lot of people write to us who think that the podcast is totally funny.
Lotta: We started without even knowing how long we wanted to go through with the project. Actually it was only meant to be a bridge for the Corona period and now we have been recording new episodes for over half a year.
Nina: And we have to search for a new theme every week.
Lotta: But I love it. We are now in a great flow.

What is your biggest wish for Chemnitz?

Both: That Chemnitz (at the time of the interview’s publication) has become the Capital of Culture! (it worked out!!!)

You live in Bernsdorf. Is it the best quarter of Chemnitz?

Lotta: Definitely, but we think that the “Brühl Boulevard” will be the coolest area of Chemnitz in the near future. But we like it here very much.
Nina: Especially because Bernsdorf is an area with many students and different cultures.

What are your three favorite places in Chemnitz?

Lotta: Well, in any case the Atomino, we love to party…
Nina: I like the Zeisigwald, because it is so green.
Lotta: We can combine that with the Zeisigwaldschänke. It’s a big secret, but there is the best ice cream I have ever eaten in my life.
Nina: I also like being in the Borssenanger Gallery. And a vacant house has to be there in any case. There is an old factory building in Annaberger Straße, where the ibug, a kind of street art festival, took place about two years ago. Now it is empty again and you can enjoy the art all to yourself. But of course that is illegal, so psst!

A short question for all insiders who have always wondered: Who of you has been rioting in the city?

Nina (laughs): I think it was just difficult to sing “My little sisters are rioting in the city” and so there was only one left. This is how I explain it to myself.
Lotta: We were always together.

What personal experiences have you had with migration in your family?

Nina: Our grandmother comes from the present Poland. After the Second World War, a part of the family went to the USA and another part to Germany. But I know little about the American branch of the family, because our grandparents hardly ever talked about it. We grew up very open-minded towards other cultures. In my primary school class there were children from Iran, Russia, Turkey, Vietnam. Tolerance was always totally normal. That’s why I was shocked later when I realized that other people are not so openminded. This made us politicized and engaged. We have never experienced exclusion due to our origin, we are quite privileged.
Lotta: We have encountered prejudices as well, but this cannot be compared to the discrimination or racism that people experience because of their origin or apparent origin. For example, if someone smoked during the break, the teachers at our school always thought that our parents had sold cigarettes and weed to the students in question because we are an artistic family.
Nina: After the 2018 riots, we were often asked outside Chemnitz what
it was like to live in the “Nazi city”. Of course this is a bit generalizing but it is really important to talk about it. It is our personal concern that something
like this does not happen again.

How international is your fan community as a Chemnitz band with mostly German lyrics?

Lotta: This year we got some new fans from Russia, that was surprising. And when we post something new, there is always this one comment: “Come to Brazil”. So we must have at least one fan somewhere in Brazil, but we don’t know who it is. (laughs)
Nina: I think, especially because of our many German songs, the majority of
our fans already speak German. But we are always happy to have non-native speakers in the community. And I have heard that there are apparently teachers in Sweden who use our lyrics and our music for practice in class. And of course we hope very much that our whole fan community is open-minded and international.
Lotta: This is the first interview we’re doing bilingually and of course we hope to achieve even more success worldwide. (laughs)

View from the stage at a BLOND concert.
Foto: Ernesto Uhlmann

What makes you happy in life?

Lotta: If I can do what I want to do…
Nina: …and be who I want to be.
Lotta: And not be judged for it.

Chemnitz forever?

Both: YES! For us it is important to keep trying to improve the existing conditions and here is our home with family and friends, the place where we can get involved but also relax.

Thank you very much for the interview. It was a pleasure talking to you.

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