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 Gaa Gaas – Self Titled

There is no sense of understatement when we say that the debut album from UK outfit The Gaa Gaas has been one long awaited and highly anticipated release, to the band as much as fans, but now finally here there is no sense of an anti-climax in its arrival and triumphant presence.

We admit we have been hooked on The Gaa Gaas sound since discovering the Jersey hailing, often Brighton/ London based outfit over a decade ago, the band itself emerging from the imagination of vocalist/guitarist Gavin Tate and co in 2003 after meeting at a garage punk club night called ‘Bomp’ in St Helier, Jersey. Subsequent singles, EP’s and live shows across the UK and Europe have only brought greater acclaim by the year and richer reputation by the creative escapade but as all artists know it is a perpetual struggle to realise the next step or ignite greater attention. The Gaa Gaas have met all obstacles and hold ups with resistance as the years have sneaked by but the determination to release their album and breach major spotlights has now found its moment with the latter of the two surely to deservedly follow.

The Gaa Gaas sound is as individual in its character and enterprise as it is unique in its voice. It is bred on the nutrients of post punk, punk, psych rock, noise and much more but as suggested emerges as its own senses menacing, imagination seducing sonic virus. From within a drone enlivened nagging, hooks bite with creative rabidity as rhythms tease with serial killer like intent. That alone proves an irresistible trespass but add the infernal melodic toxins which the band just as easily conjure, it all makes for one rapacious addiction which is no more enjoyable and compelling than within their self-titled debut album.

The album opens with Close Your Eyes, a lone strum of guitar providing a lingering scent of sonic jeopardy from within which a rhythmically swinging clamour bursts. Instantaneously it is a contagious affair, the bass of Jamey Exton leading the rhythmic infection further driven by drummer Stewart Brown’s bold strikes. The sonic smog escaping Tate’s guitar smothers as it seduces, his vocals dancing with almost contempt on the wires within that enveloping incitement. Resistance to the track’s bounce is non-existent as the track manipulates limb and spirit alike, a glorious start to the release firmly declared.

In its own Bauhaus hued architectural landscape, Statues proves just as gripping, bass and beats setting a virulent lure as guitar and vocals express their twisted psych breath upon industrial and post punk honed intimation. Tate’s keys are just as invasive and animated as the ravening sounds escaping his guitar, the track as magnificent as its predecessor and indeed the following V.O.L.T.A.I.R.E. A track we devoured years back, it is still as powerful and irrepressible now, from its first citric sighs through the rhythmic stroll which invades every instinct to move, and the tart melodies which wrap its pure contagion, the song devours ears and appetite like a swing loaded creative plague.

The Type Of Mood is just as insistent in its groove and infection, the keys of Peter Hass a tangy sweetness in the more caustic but no less tempting commotion expressed by Tate’s guitar. Again there is a vocal eighties post punk air to the track, a cold nostalgic din given greater depth and adventure by The Gaa Gaas’ senses trespassing imagination while the ever rousing Hypnoti(z)ed provides a less intrusive but equally as overwhelming and manipulative not forgetting delicious incitement. The bass of Ali Cooper is at its core temptingly harassing as beats bite and Tate’s vocals holler, everything off kilter and bewitching like an especially devious cobra before it strikes.

C.U.T.S. is built of the same devilment, every aspect niggling at the senses and each strand of its web crawling under the skin before unleashing its predacious rabidity and sonic fermentation. Drowned in its tide and blissful in its maelstrom, the track just had us lost in our own physical and emotional eruption before The One Eyed Stranger took ears and imagination on a stroll through dark avenues of enterprise and addiction. The sax of Luke Georgiou lights the way with delicious drama, its enterprise echoed in the tones of Tate and the persistently swinging rhythms of Cooper and drummer Matt Maguire. Once more Bauhaus come to mind in many ways across the track and though there is no real comparison to The Gaa Gaas’ sound, Pete Murphy and co are the closest to give some inkling of its identity.

In the 2018 version of Entertainment which graces this release, punk rock is the fuel to its discontent and creative agitation, the track biting back at a landscape as prevalent now as any previous time as the beats of Maguire take lethal pot shot. It is a song which in its early writing hints at the eventual wonderfully nagging quality of the band’s sound which is fully employed by next up Perception within its scuzzy senses haunting, habit forming rapture.

The album concludes with Indian Giver, a beguiling psych rock nurtured instrumental as potent on the imagination as it is the ears. There is a Cure like scenting to the track, especially in its rhythmic saunter, and dour breath which manages to be as radiant in beauty as it is dark in suggestion. It is a fascinating and enslaving end to a release which even with our already in place eager expectations of pleasure left us basking in richer joy, invasively impressed, and expecting the band to finally find deserved recognition in far broader and intense spotlights.

The Gaa Gaas album is out now on Movement-2 Records; available @ https://thegaagaas.bandcamp.com/album/self-titled-album

http://www.thegaagaas.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/TheGaaGaas   https://twitter.com/The_Gaa_Gaas

Pete RingMaster 05/12/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Gaa Gaas – Close Your Eyes

art gaa gaas_RingMasterReview

It has been a long time in the waiting and an increasingly anticipated moment; that being the time when something new from The Gaa Gaas would step forward to infest ears. That occasion is now with the release of new single Close Your Eyes, an irresistible taster of the new evolution and adventure in the UK band’s exploration of sound. Showing a rich vein in flavour and sonic variety without losing the hypnotic insistence of their earlier successes, the track is simply going to have old fans drooling and a host of new followers entangled.

Formed after a garage punk night event at a venue in St Helier on Jersey in the Channel Islands, by vocalist/guitarist Gavin Tate, The Gaa Gaas spent their first two years honing their sound and becoming a potent live proposition on the island, before relocating in 2005 to Brighton, then later London from where they switch between the two. Their hunger to play live took the then trio, across the UK and Europe with shows and tours, a success in turn building an eager fan base stretching outside Britain as far as France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, and Sweden. The following years saw the release of two EPs to strong success and the embracing by internet radio shows and stations alone, of songs like the 2010 James Aparicio (Nick Cave, Mogwai) produced and Robert Harder (Brian Eno, The Slits) mixed and mastered debut single Voltaire and the equally devoured Hypnoti(z)ed.

As suggested, recent times have been a quieter affair with the band though work on their first album has been an on-going adventure. Now with an inescapable new maturity to their sound and bold expansion to its tapestry, the foursome of Tate, keyboardist Peter Hass, bassist Jamey Exton, and drummer Stewart Brown, have a new piece of virulent temptation ready to entice and thrill. Like a gift placed in the hand by a loved one making that certain request to prolong the surprise, Close Your Eyes had an air of excitement to it even before a note is heard, something all their fans will no doubt equally feel.

The Ali Gavan (former member of The Electric Soft Parade) produced song strokes the ears with a single raw caress of guitar first, its resonance remaining as a sonic mist brews up around it. It is a swift and firm coaxing which soon parts from the inside, opening the way for the eager stroll of the song to bound through. With a punkish rockabilly like swagger to its rhythms and hooks, the track instantly has ears gripped; only strengthening its hold as Exton’s bass flirts with, Brown’s beats jabs, and the sonic web the band is renowned for envelops the senses. With Tate’s vocals potently leading the lure, a new melodic infectiousness reveals its growth within the band’s sound. It is a tempering to the caustic nagging potency the band has always shared but another compelling hue only adding depth and might to the great post punk/noise pop catchiness which coats the swing of the proposal.

Like a mix of The Horrors, Wire, The Adverts, and The Three Johns, yet openly individual to The Gaa Gaas, Close Your Eyes worms under the skin and into the psyche in no time. As suggested, it has the prime recognisable sound of The Gaa Gaas at its heart but feels like the key to a whole new adventure which the band has obviously been working on across that recent calmer period in their emergence.

Backing the single is the siren-esque Indian Giver. Originally composed as an instrumental, the track has become an even richer provocative embrace of the senses since Tate’s dissonance scented harmonic vocals have merged with the song’s sonic imagination and early Cure/Artery like atmospherics. The result another dramatic incitement of the psyche through seductive tempting and provocative majesty.

With both tracks taking the listener into unique and individual landscapes of suggestiveness , all that is left to say is roll on their new album set for later this year and roll on the big bold spotlights surely set to crowd in on The Gaa Gaas if the single is the sign of glories to come.

Close Your Eyes is released February 29th via Movement-2-Records @ https://thegaagaas.bandcamp.com/album/close-your-eyes

For more info check out https://www.facebook.com/TheGaaGaas and to hear more of the band’s new songs head over to https://www.facebook.com/events/1034320063257409/1047980888557993/ at 23:00 GMT also on the 29th February.

https://twitter.com/The_Gaa_Gaas

Pete RingMaster 29/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/