The Beauty of Noise: The Gaa Gaas Interview

As a fresh decade takes its first breath there was only one place to start a new series of interviews with some of the most exciting independent bands and artists and that was with one of our major faves here at The RR. So with big thanks to band founder Gavin Tate welcome to The Gaa Gaas…

Hi Gavin and thanks for sharing your time with us once more.

It has been a long while in the planning but you have just unveiled the band’s debut album. What have been the prime emotions in its build up and now final and highly anticipated release?

GT: Bonjour, mettez-vous à l’aise. The honest truth is that as well as the unfortunate circumstances of label battles, finance was a huge factor for the reason it took so long to release a full album. I was abused as a child at a detention centre in my home island of Jersey where I was illegally locked up in solitary confinement for sometimes months at a time and was beaten. I received a big compensation from the Government that I’ve put into the physical side of the album release out on our own label Movement-2 Records. It’s a fantastic feeling to know the album is finally out there, the response has been amazing! 

 For those new to The Gaa Gaas could you reveal how the band began and its history since?

GT: I attended a tour in 2002 that consisted of 3 pinnacle groups of the time which were Ikara Colt, The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, and The Parkinsons. That show in Brighton inspired me to form The Gaa Gaas made up of members that I had met at a club night called Bomp! (a weekly event that was held in our birth town of St Helier). The band relocated to Brighton in the mid 2000’s and we’re now mainly based in London. Prior to the album we had released two 5 track EP’s, a few singles, a couple of split singles and have been featured on many compilations since! We have also been given the opportunity to play some big name festivals alongside bands such as Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Primal Scream, The Stranglers, Happy Mondays, and Richard Ashcroft.

What were the inspirations which most sparked your own musical adventure and also the band’s sound?

GT: I think a lot of it was to do with attending gigs and festivals. I always wanted to be on stage and behind the scenes because that side of it felt more appealing to me when I was just a young lad. The sound of the group has been developed and matured through observation and experimentation. We love lots of different styles and even though this band has had many members over the years, we’ve still managed to maintain the same sound throughout. It’s post-punk more than punk, but can still be classed as rock. We’ve stayed true to our name by making it a bit nutty as well.

 Turning back to the album; a powerful collection of songs to tempt newcomers it also in a way works as a round-up and compilation of the creative adventures existing fans have devoured over the years. How did you approach it to make it strikingly fresh, which it is, to all?

GT: There was the option to record the album with completely new songs and leave what we had already done behind, but our fan base would have been completely thrown off as songs like ‘V.O.L.T.A.I.R.E.’ and ‘Close Your Eyes’ are strong enough album tracks. It was decided to have our previous singles included on the release along with the best tracks of both EP’s and a studio outtake that we well and truly underestimated titled ‘The Type of Mood’, which has had the most radio interest, something we never expected at all. ‘Indian Giver’ album version was kept behind as we knew we wanted it for the release and it works being the only instrumental on the menu. No one counted on it and that’s what we wanted. We’ve now created more anticipation as the next album will follow up in 2020 with songs no one has yet heard and I tell you hand on heart, the new stuff wipes the floor with anything we’ve done before.

 It does feel like the closing of a chapter before The Gaa Gaas unveil a new adventure ahead, is that how you see it in some ways?

GT: We’re not the most organised band in the world, but we make up for that with enigma. No one ever knows who’s actually in the band as every time we play live there’re always new members. We are like today’s equivalent of The Fall. Not by choice either. Maybe I’m a difficult person to work with, maybe they are. Also we’ve had some almost fatal hardships within the group that has led to cancellations of planned shows and tours. Every band goes through bad experiences, but you just have to soldier on. The new decade will see us actually jumping in vans and doing the circuit again, something our fans have been really gunning for, and plus with the new material it will be like a complete reincarnation

 Obviously some of the songs within the album were written way back, are you someone who has had the self-will to leave them alone or over the years have found yourself nagging away at them in some ways?

GT: I just think those songs really deserved to make an album. I’d love to see our first record stacked alongside stuff like Damned Damned Damned and Never Mind The Bollocks in the bargain shelf at Wax Factor Record Shop in Brighton one day. That to me would feel like more of an achievement than seeing it in the racks at Rough Trade. Everything’s too polished these days. We are as true to punk rock as the innovators and that attitude in music needs to come back hard ‘cause the industry is mostly made up of rich geeks and there’s no flare like there used to be. I believe those songs carry some of that old skool sensibility!

 As you mentioned the band has been based between Jersey, Brighton and London over those same years, putting aside now with the album’s release, which has been the most potent moment for you in The Gaa Gaas emergence?

GT: I think the release of ‘V.O.L.T.A.I.R.E.‘ was monumental to the band. As soon as that came out we were getting booked to play everywhere…The coolest club nights throughout the UK and Europe, being played on Radio 1 on MTV 2. At that point I thought we were going to explode as Island Records were interested and we were playing shows every week. But it’s like anything. People inside and outside of the group had misconceptions and doubts about where it was all going, but I’m still on that boat of the best is yet to come.

Have you found that it has become easier for a DIY fuelled independent band to find opportunities to play and find a release for their art or harder?

GT: Groups such as The Cramps did everything themselves. Pressed their own records, designed their own fanzines, organised their own shows and tours. In the end the best thing about that is you’re not owing an advance to any labels. DIY and the independent side of the business is where most of the bands and labels we all know and love first began, but inevitably everything gets snapped up by the majors because people need money for bigger projects, for security, and a lot of the time for their own Cocaine fuelled ego’s. Not needing to be under anyone’s wing or supervision is no chore to us. We would quite happily carry on independently until our livers pack in, our lungs collapse, and our nostrils fall off. Even then we would probably still keep going!

 And how hard has it been to keep the passion and determination going in making music across the long life of the band?

GT: The great thing is people never know what to expect from us. Maybe that forms some sort of excitement in itself. Music is always being written and recorded. There’s so much that has never seen the light of day and now that we have a functional record label of our own we can look at more frequent releases. We are going into the new decade with a much more experienced head on our shoulders. As well as for our own passion and our own urges, we would really love to put Jersey on the musical map of producing great bands in the same way The Parkinsons did for Portugal.

 I know there are new songs poised to bring bold new Gaa Gaas adventure to UK music; can you give us some idea of what they will reveal?

GT: If you enjoyed the political vision of ‘Close Your Eyes‘, let’s just say the 2nd album will hold more of that fire. We are going more electronic the next time around massively influenced by Ultravox, but also taking inspiration from greats such as U.K. Subs and The Damned, also stuff like Tool which I’ve only really just adapted to thanks to our new guitarist Simon. The next wave of songs will be a massive step up from what anyone has previously heard. That’s all I can give you!

So what is on the horizon for The Gaa Gaas live and recording wise?

GT: Our first show of 2020 will be a headline slot at 93 Feet East in London’s Brick Lane as a release party for the first album with support from some of our current faves. Robert King of legendary Scottish post-punk band Scars will also be DJing. From then on we’ll be playing constantly the same way we were this time 10 years ago. The live shows are where it’s at with this band. As soon as we came off at Weekender Festival last year, we just wanted to do it again and again. We were tempted to over step Stereo MC’s slot, that’s how much we enjoyed it. As for recording the next venture will be album number 2.

The Gaa Gaas have been a band which has perpetually excited us at The RR, is there a particular moment which has given you the biggest satisfaction and pleasure in its time to date?

GT: I think it would have to be performing at Drop Dead Festival cause it was the furthest we’ve ever travelled to play. Right on the outskirts of Russia and we got billed alongside bands such as Zounds, Specimen, Sex Gang Children, Noisy Pig, and Stereo Total. It was an honour to be invited to play at that event. We still can’t believe we made it there in one piece.

 Again big thanks for chatting with us, anything else you would like to add?

Please donate anything you can to Crisis UK and get behind the Musicians Against Homelessness campaign organised by Emma Rule. Let’s try and get Britain back to a much better state by forming unity and becoming a more humane place to live.

Check out The Gaa Gaas further @ http://www.thegaagaas.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/TheGaaGaas   https://twitter.com/The_Gaa_Gaas and read our recent review of their excellent self-titled debut album @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2019/12/06/the-gaa-gaas-self-titled/

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Membranes – Nocturnal (Kitty Lectro Remixes) EP

photo by John Middleham

Originally a potent part of the band’s acclaimed latest album, What Nature Gives… Nature Takes Away, post pun icons The Membranes have set their new EP around the song Nocturnal and given 2019 a send-off as memorable as it is contagious. The three track release sees the UK band team up with darkwave-goth rock luminary DJ Kitty Lectro for two remixes alongside the album version of the perpetually additive encounter.

photo by Kitty Lectro

Formed in 1978, the Blackpool band has been leading and helping to continually shape the post punk scene for over 40 years while Kitty Lectro has crafted remixes for the likes of Kommunity FK, Andi Sex Gang, The March Violets, Still Patient, Lestat, ANKST, Strap On Halo, Angels Of Liberty, Das Projekt and many more. It feels like it was inevitable that one day the two would unite and Nocturnal is that glorious moment.

The EP opens with Kitty’s dance floor nurtured take on Nocturnal, the pulse of the track an immediate incitement the body can only respond to. It brings an eighties synth pop feel to the song’s animation, shedding a certain infectious light on the track’s unique shadows and dark intimation. The bounce of the song is inescapable virulence and its dance-floor instincts fertile ground for that physical participation, Kitty bringing the instinctive catchiness of the track to the fore.

Kitty Lectro’s Meow Meow Money Mix is next up and straight away for us eclipses the rousing enjoyment of its predecessor. Cinematic drama instantly breathes across the track as John Robb’s tones slowly and rapaciously crawl through ears, Kitty’s intensifying the song’s original shadows with a devilish touch. It lurks, it crawls, every moment of the track a trespass on the psyche and a spark to major pleasure; its Halloween-esque atmosphere a tenebrific shadow on the world today.

As mentioned the album’s original version completes the EP’s line-up, the track as irresistible as ever. For all the magnificence of Kitty Lectro’s two slices of glorious temptation, they do miss the delicious senses carving, bone scything lead incitement of Robb’s bass. Certainly its swing is exploited within the remixes but here it just directs and manipulates body and appetite even before the prowess of the rest of the band escalates the track’s dark, slightly carnivorous majesty.

Put all three tracks together and you have one of  2019’s best EPs and a proposition 2020 will have to go some to match.

Nocturnal (Kitty Lectro Remixes) EP is available via Definitive Gaze @ https://membranes.bandcamp.com/album/nocturnal-e-p

https://www.facebook.com/theMembranes/   https://twitter.com/membranes1

https://www.kittylectro.com/   https://www.facebook.com/KittyLectro   https://twitter.com/KittyLectro

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

From streets and trees

With again thanks to our friend Shauna of the great band Ummagma and leading light of the mighty Shameless PR, we have discovered another clutch of singles sure to ignite your interest.

The Room in The Wood is centred round the creative union of guitarist Paul Cavanagh and vocalist Dave Jackson, the pair back writing and playing together again since the demise of their post-punk band The Room in 1985; a band whose single, Things Have Learnt to Walk That Ought to Crawl still finds an eager place in our ears. That alone sparked real anticipation as what The Room in The Wood might offer and as Charmed reveals, it is pure captivation.

The likes of The Doors, Burt Bacharach, Beck, Fleet Foxes, and Nick Cave have been offered up as suggestions to the band’s sound but as soon as Charmed began its suggestive balladry, it was The Monochrome Set which came to mind and escalated the natural magnetism of the song, To be fair, the track is unique to The Room in The Wood in every way but that additional scent does it no harm as neither the flighty lures of Simon James’ folkish flute and the autumn stroll of drummer Colin George Lamont’s rhythms.

Released via A Turntable Friend Records, Charmed is a slice of melodic beauty with snapping jaws at social disparity and a real joy.

Also released through A Turntable Friend Records is the latest single from the black watch, a LA-based outfit consisting of John Andrew Fredrick, Andy Creighton, Scott Campbell, and Rob Campanella. Crying All The Time is taken from Brilliant Failures, the quartet’s new album planned for release mid-2020 and no finer a teaser for the full-length are you likely to hear.

A slice of psychedelic indie pop, the song has a definite eighties scent to its enterprise; indeed in certain moments and in varying degrees bands such as Echo and the Bunnymen, The Sound, and The House Of Love came to mind though it would be wrong to say that Crying All The Time shared anything less than the black watch richness.

From the citric jangle of guitar to the rampant incitement of rhythms and Fredrick’s participation encouraging vocals, the single rides pop rock instincts with creative boisterousness. Everything about it is virulent infectiousness yet embraces an organic DIY feel which again harkens back to late seventies/early eighties invention and boldness; another of numerous reasons to swiftly check it out,

photo by DC Cane

With their new self-titled mini album set for release January 31st, Beat Hotel share the second single from it on the 3rd. Bury It Deep is a song with an indie rock jangle and melodic pop catchiness and an ear pleasing invitation to that upcoming release.

Featuring current and former members of The June Brides, The Loft, The Weather Prophets, Distractions, Mudlow, Mojo Fins, and Lolita Storm and based between Brighton and Plymouth, Beat Hotel is the long-time project of guitarist/vocalist Paul Pascoe and bassist Arash Torabi. With drummer Dave Morgan having played on records alongside the likes of Jazz Butcher, Primal Scream, Vic Goddard, and Subway Sect, there was plenty to intrigue from the band’s musical experiences alone and Bury It Deep quickly rewarded with its accomplished enterprise.

There is a touch of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions to the song’s guitars at times, a hue which escalates its natural infectiousness and the melodic prowess of Pascoe and fellow guitarist Stephen Brett. With a psych rock breath adding to the track’s shimmer against the darker lit stroll of rhythms, Bury It Deep soon had ears hooked and with increasing strength by the listen. Released through Occultation Recordings, it is a song which suggests that upcoming release will be well worth a good listen.

Also with a new album in the wings, German gothic rockers MONO INC. release a pair of singles to entice ears towards that bigger proposition.

The Book of Fire and Louder Than Hell are the opening two songs upon The Book of Fire LP which will be released January 24th via SPV / NoCut in Europe and ADA / Entertainment One in North America. The eleventh full-length from the Hamburg quartet, it is a concept album of a “time when knowledge gained over centuries was systematically erased…A time of the inquisition”, an adventure the two singles suggest will make for a fascinating exploration.

The band’s sound is a weave of gothic rock and folk scented metal evenly embracing familiarity and uniqueness. The Book of Fire is a canter of melodic dexterity and lyrical intimation and straight away coaxes attention with its melodic lures before bursting into a bolder and heavier surge. Martin Engler’s tones soon unveil the track’s shadow bound tale as the rhythms of bassist Manuel Antoni and drummer Katha Mia echo that darkness.

Louder Than Hell similarly takes the imagination into a saga of drama and darkness and with matching enterprise from its electronic enticing to robust rock exploits. With Mia’s tones a rousing company to Engler’s lead and the guitar of Carl Fornia weaving suggestion as potent as the lyrics, the track makes for a stirring encounter, eclipsing its companion on the way with both tracks joining those previously mentioned in luring intrigue and attention the way of the bigger proposals they come from.

The final single we urge you to go explore is The Delicate Balance of All Things from Beauty in Chaos featuring Wayne Hussey. The song is the first appetiser for the LA-based collective’s new album, The Storm Before The Calm, a release due February 21st via 33.3 Music Collective which as its predecessor sees the project formed/led/curated by guitarist Michael Ciravolo (Human Drama/ Michael Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel) uniting with the craft and talent of numerous musicians.

Also a potent part of that debut, Finding Beauty in Chaos, The Mission’s Hussey joins Ciravolo in The Delicate Balance of All Things, his distinctive tones a calm and suggestive presence within the psych bred web of guitar and the melodic shimmer from their evocative strands. Craftily infectious in groove and gait and hauntingly dramatic in tone and imagination, the track simply bewitched ears and appetite while laying the seeds of eager anticipation for The Storm Before The Calm.

https://www.facebook.com/theroominthewood/  https://twitter.com/davejacksonroom    https://theroominthewood.bandcamp.com/   https://theroominthewood.bandcamp.com/track/charmed

http://johnandrewfredrick.com/   https://www.facebook.com/theblackwatchmusic   https://twitter.com/blackwatchmusic   https://theblackwatch.bandcamp.com/track/crying-all-the-time

https://www.facebook.com/Beat-Hotel-107226936009024/   https://twitter.com/paulbeat70   https://beathotel2.bandcamp.com/album/beat-hotel

http://mono-inc.com/   https://www.facebook.com/monoinc   https://twitter.com/mono_inc

https://www.beautyinchaosmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/beautyinchaosmusic/   https://twitter.com/MichaelCiravolo

MONO INC.’s THE BOOK OF FIRE TOUR Dates

06.03.20 – Münster, Skaters Palace

07.03.20 – Köln, Carlswerk Victoria

12.03.20 – München, Backstage Werk

13.03.20 – Nürnberg, Z-Bau

14.03.20 – Wiesbaden, Schlachthof

15.03.20 – Pratteln, Z7

20.03.20 – Berlin, Columbia Halle

21.03.20 – Leipzig, Haus Auensee

27.03.20 – Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle

28.03.20 – Stuttgart, Im Wizemann

29.03.20 – Saarbrücken, Garage

03.04.20 – Hannover, Pavillon

04.04.20 – Hamburg, Sporthalle

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright