(In) Snakes and Ladders delivers the ferocity of a post-punk track but without discounts in its melodic elements!
Read our interview with the The Guru Guru below.
Describe your sound in three words!
Jan (guitar): Intense musical coïtus.
Tom (singer): Deep feel extract
You have a double EP underway due for release in late June. What is the main concept of the EP?
Jan: The past year has been hard on the entire world and we’ve all been struggling with the disconnection it has brought. Our entire way of living has been short-circuited, highlighting the inequality in the current social and economic environment. We’re on a pivotal point of change which will determine our future, to me the EP is a musical reflection of this turbulent and yet interesting time. An eyewitness testimony, sitting in the middle of the hurricane.
Tom: DIY. We knew if we were to release anything new this year, we would have to do this on the lowest budget possible. It was Brent’s first time working on new music with us, so we decided to try a lot of new things. The songs were originally built up by all of us separately recording stuff from home. Many of the lyrics are about the past year, of course, though most songs carry more than 1 or 2 subjects.
You have been constantly creating new music which seems to be experimenting with new influences and ideas. How much time do you usually spend in the making of an album, from the conception of the idea to the recording stage and changes that might happen meanwhile?
Jan: It depends, we always have a sort of creative efficiency when it comes to writing our music. Our inspiration/influence is drawn from inside each individual in the band rather than a real tangible genre and it’s that collective musicality that defines who we are as a group.
That means that if we grow older our perception of things change and therefore also the music. The process then is always in a recording phase, from conception of the idea until the end result. This makes for a very organic way of writing because you can really shape the song together, making it so that every part is complementary to the composition. When the song is ready to record for real we’ll rehearse it together to see if it needs any adjustments. Almost like building a car, you need to test it to see if the seat belts and everything works. Usually there are no seat belts in our music but that’s okay.
Tom: To answer your question, it takes about two years.
You have performed live in many festivals and with other bands. Do you have a memorable story to share with us?
Tom: We’ve played together quite a few times with our friends from Brutus. One time, they found a pack of foam fish stickers and covered our instruments. They did it after our soundcheck so we didn’t even know until the show started. I didn’t even notice until after. One of the stickers is still visible on my lighting box. A nice memory for me.
One time we drove from Belgium to Croatia for one festival show and didn’t play. There was a huge storm when we did our soundcheck and all electricity broke down. The festival site flooded. By the time they had fixed it the festival already had 4 hours delay when it started. And the delay only got worse as time passed by. They asked us if it was OK for us if we played at 4h in the morning. But we couldn’t. We had to drive back because we had another show the day after in Belgium…
Which of your own lyrics represent you the most and why?
Tom: Many of the lyrics represent a certain state of mind or feeling. Most of them I have experienced myself, some I haven’t. Some words have very deep meaning to me personally, other words I just sing because I like the sound of them. That’s why I prefer the listener to figure out what the song means to her/him.
If I had to pick one song: and I’m singing aren’t I
What do you think is the relation of music to the struggles for social justice?
Jan: Cultural movements have always been an interplay between their environment and the internal emotions of the individual, that’s what being an artist is all about to me. Our job is to create nuances and textures, to inspire and be inspired. Especially in these times where everything is torn apart in left and right (which is such an outdated concept) .
Art highlights the present moment in all the sounds, colours and emotions that come with our perceptions of it.
All the inequality we see in the world results in suffering. Most of us are drifting away from our natural state and are trying to fill this feeling of emptiness with greed, power, money, addiction, you name it… but it will never fill the gap. In this process you lash out and hurt your external world and everybody in it.
Absorbing culture can make you see this and can make you feel something different, this sense of connectedness, it’s the first gateway to a deeper healing of the soul.
Do you have any new, emerging fellow artist(s) you admire and listen to?
The Guru Guru: We love ‘HEISA’. We love ‘The Haunted Youth’. We love ‘It It Anita’. We love ‘Go March’. There are a lot of Belgian emerging bands that we like and support!
How do you spend your day when you are not making music?
Jan: I like to read books when it’s raining or go on walks when it’s not. When it’s possible i love to get together with friends and just talk and laugh, it’s something that’s truly missed.
Apart from all that i also like to meditate and do Yoga.
Tom: I teach, I like to walk my dogs, listen to interesting podcasts, enjoy music, I like history, maps, poetry… I try to learn new stuff each day. I try to stay in shape with body weight workouts.
Thanks Guru Guru!
Stay tuned. The Guru Guru new EP is set for release on the 25th of June on ‘Rumble Heap Records’.
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