A Fistful of Bitcoin

Inspired by the music of Ennio Morricone and grunge rock, this song is a tribute to the Wild West days of the early internet and the vast digital freedoms that were once promised but now seem out of reach.

A Fistful of Bitcoin

Inspired by the music of Ennio Morricone and grunge rock, this song is a tribute to the Wild West days of the early internet and the vast digital freedoms that were once promised but now seem out of reach.

It was partly inspired by an article written by Kate Wagner entitled "404 Page Not Found". Wagner looks back fondly at the early days of the internet and suggests that there's something endearing about those old trashy MySpace pages - as digital spaces have become more and more standardised and commodified, we seem to have lost that initial "wild west", chaotic creative spirit that typified the late 90s/early 2000s. So our song looks back with both nostalgia and bitterness to this time, prior to when the digital space became carved up and "colonised", resulting in its more clinical (and profit-orientated) form that we know today.


What does it mean to be "woke"? And why does the idea agitate so many people? Via a 90s-inspired grunge rock aesthetic, an off-kilter drumbeat, and the powerful, raw vocals of Marta Owczarek, these are the questions explored in our new song.

The song is in defence of "wokeness" or being "woke". The Right Wing tend to perceive wokeness as, at best, trivial or unnecessary (e.g. changes in language, correct pronouns, etc.), and at worst, a threat to their way of life. This fails to understand the actual situation of oppressed minorities (POC, LGBTQ+, etc.), whose way of life is actually threatened on a daily basis due to social and institutional discrimination.

The chorus lyric, "sleep comes so naturally / such is evil's banality" is a reference to Hannah Arendt's notion of the "banality of evil". In other words, it is not necessary to be a monster or psychopath to commit evil acts - such acts can occur by mindlessly carrying out a task, such as the currently popular anti-woke agenda.

A Fistful of Bitcoin

Performed live at the national finale of the Local Heroes competition in Germany, it contributed to us winning "best live performance" and the public vote prize.

The epic, rousing alt-rock anthem "A Fistful of Bitcoin" combines an infectious violin hook with heavy 90s-grunge-inspired guitars and powerful female rock vocals that bring to mind bands such as Guano Apes and Skunk Anansie. Influenced by legendary film composer Ennio Morricone, the song is a tribute to the Wild West days of the early internet and the vast digital freedoms that are gone today.

Our Debut Album!


Carnivalesque embody the absurdity of everyday injustices under late-stage capitalism. Expect catchy melodies, hard driving basslines, a plethora of rhythmic styles, crashing walls of distortion, quiet moments of introspection & brutal social commentary.

After more than a year of writing and arranging, Carnivalesque released their self-produced eponymous debut album in March 2022. Featuring tracks such as "Riches to Rags" and "Green Room", the album forms a cultural critique of late capitalism, realised through a 90s grunge rock aesthetic which draws from an eclectic mix of influences.

British founder and guitarist Thomas MacMillan had already been working on the first tracks since 2018. He then met Polish singer Marta Owczarek, whose powerful rock voice and expansive vocal range perfectly realises both the delicate and heavy aspects of this material. The musical foundation is formed by bassist Hans Köbler, who has played with the band since 2019, allowing the band to develop their musical gut instincts. Hans has also been instrumental in taking initially abstract musical ideas and assembling them into a rousing arrangement. Finally, drummer Erik Hansen has not only been rocking behind the drums since summer 2021, but his new input and knowledge of music production led to the band finally releasing their first album.

Currently without a label and with unlimited artistic freedom, the album is produced in accordance with the DIY attitude of punk, which builds on rock music with various influences from funk, hip-hop, folk and world music. Thomas MacMillan describes his own music as follows: "I feel like a lot of current music and art is false representation and meaningless. Especially rock, which is basically dead museum music now. It's escapism, whereas I want the opposite: show people the harsh realities of life, draw attention to injustices and reveal false idealism. Rock music with a social realism aspect that is not afraid to borrow from other genres."

It is music for everyone, addressing vulnerable groups that do not feel represented by the ideal society. People who pursue meaningless and soulless occupations to maintain their existence; the exploited; people with mental and physical illnesses and those who fall through safety nets. The band wants to address a wide audience, which deviates from the usual rock clichés and has no place for sexism, boasting and egocentrism.

Carnivalesque demonstrated their skills in the "Local Heroes Bandcontest 2022", winning "Best Newcomer in Berlin" in the state competition before moving on to the national finals. There, they convinced both the jury and the audience, winning both the prize for "Best Live Performance" and the "Audience Award".


Marta Owczarek // Vocals, Violin
Hans Köbler // Bass
Thomas MacMillan // Guitar
Erik Hansen // Drums