GEESE – Interview

Foto-© Paula Hornickel

Making DIY great again – die Brooklyner Band Geese tauchte im vergangenen Spätherbst auf, um aus dem selbst gebastelten Proberaum-Studio kurzerhand ihren Ikonen und klanglichen Vorbildern wie The Strokes, Talking Heads und Television frische, wie zeitgeistige Konkurrenz zu machen. Dabei ist das älteste Mitglied gerade mal 19 Jahre alt, die Sessions finden immer nach der Schule statt und im Kellerraum dienen schon mal Turnschuhe als Mikrofonständer – was dem experimentellen Mix aus mitreißendem Indie-Rock und aufbrausenden Gitarrenriffs, sowie melancholischen Texten und ordentlich charmant-jugendlichem Sturm und Drang keinerlei Abbruch tut. Ein bemerkenswertes Debütalbum einer Band, die großes Potential für die Zukunft mitbringt – wir trafen die Band vor ihrem Auftritt in Berlin Ende 2021 zum Fotoshooting und schickten ihnen per Mail eine ganze Latte an Fragen – unser Interview mit Geese!

First of all how are you?
We’re doing well.

You are all childhood friends from school, right? In which situation did you form the band?
Geese started as a recording project between Max, Gus and Cameron way back in middle school. Dominic and I (Foster), joined in high school. All of us were mostly looking for an excuse to neglect our schoolwork.

How would you say did being in a band and working such long hours on an album change your friendship? Was it always easy?
In the end I think it only made us closer as a band. There were definitely moments where recording became stressful, but working on Projector was always a respite from our lives, and thankfully we never lost sight of that.

As you are all still pretty young – how supportive were your parents and did they always support your ambition, or when did they come to realize that this is getting really serious?
Some of our parents have jobs in the music industry, so by and large our families were supportive of Geese’s success. Once labels started getting involved they began to realise that Geese was getting to be the real deal.

You are just touring through Europe – is it your first time coming to Europe and how is it to tour in this strange times?
It was indeed our first time. I would say it was different than we expected, but then again none of us really had any idea what to expect. It was a great ride.

Coming to your record – maybe first of all, when did you make Projector and was it somehow influenced by covid-19?
We actually wrote and recorded Projector the winter before the pandemic hit, so almost none of the record was influenced by Covid. By the time we went into lockdown, Cameron was deep into mixing a rough version of the record.

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How do you feel about being a newcomer band, during this strange times, where touring/traveling but also getting recognition might be harder?
We thought of it as a blessing and a curse. It was definitely patience-testing at times to wait at home while all we wanted to do was release music and play shows, but waiting that extra time also gave us the opportunity to acclimate ourselves to the newfound success.

What musical influences do you have?
For Projector, our biggest influences were Women, Preoccupations, Grizzly Bear and Deerhunter.

You often get compared with The Strokes, which might also be an easy pick, as they are from New York too – how do you think about that and did they have a certain influence on you?
I think every band from New York eventually gets tired of being compared to The Strokes – which I guess means we will too.

What do you think about such comparisons at all?
In my mind comparisons are only as good as the bands you’re getting compared to.

The album took shape in your own built basement home studio – it’s said that you used sneakers as mic stands and pillows for your amps, could you describe a bit how you built it up, where you had the knowledge from and what is special about that place?
The Nest was an ongoing project pretty much right up until the moment we left. Every 6 months we would try and expand a little farther into Max’s basement – at one point we even fit a TV down there (which did wonders for our concentration). We ended up making the space our own in the process.

How was your work routine during the writing/recording?
About as disciplined as you would expect from a group of 16 year olds.

You did also completely write, record and produce the record yourself – which sounds unbelievable for such a young band, delivering such an unique and great sounding debut. Were there any talks / ideas to re-record parts in a regular studio, with an producer?
No, we never wanted to re-record any of the parts.

How important is this DIY spirit for you as a band and for your creativity or is working with a producer + in a studio a plan for you for the future?
The DIY element to Projector is something we all hold dear to our hearts, but it certainly has its limitations. We’re very much looking forward to recording in a studio in the future.

I love how hectic and overwhelming the record sounds during the songs and how you challenge the listener – was it like a outlet for you during this strange times, that you locked yourself in the basement to break out in those songs?
I would say it was; music has always been an outlet for us.

You also mentioned in the bio that you are wanting to confuse the listener – is this a result of the very linear and boring pop music, that is everywhere and is made not to edgy as playlist material, not wanting to be skipped?
I think it came out of a delinquent desire to mess with whoever was listening to our music – so, in a sense, yes it is.

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There are so many great songs on the record – Low Era stands out as one of our favorites though. Could you tell a bit what it is about, how it was written and if there is a story behind the song?
Low Era was our shot at a more pop-y sound, we had never tried writing a song like it before so it was definitely challenging to make it sound right. Our pre projector music wasn’t very pop at all with more prog and ambient sounds.

We also love the title song – why did you choose it also as name of the album?
We honestly just liked that name for an album. Projector sounded short, sweet and invoked many meanings and feelings. The song was already called projector too and we thought that as a song it encapsulates all the elements we used throughout the album.

Your songs or better lyrics are full of anxieties, like being alone, having to fight, living in a strange world – is this something that you felt through covid-19 so heavy or were those already in you before, how did they manifest in you?
The lyrics and music were all written in 2019 pre pandemic. We were all very stressed about what’s next in our lives, with high school coming to an end and having to apply to college there was looming anxieties and doubts about what’ll happen after we graduate.

How did you get signed by Partisan/Play it again Sam?
From the spring to summer in 2020, we were in discussions with multiple labels going back and forth. Partisan came into the mix kinda later into the search but immediately proved to us that they would support us and welcome us into their family with open arms.

How did it feel for you when there was more and more talk about your band, as you are one of the most hyped bands at the moment? Is it easy to stay on the ground?
We are utterly in shock that people enjoy our music. We honestly just love writing and playing together, so if the people like what we had, why stop. We’re keeping our heads down and continuing what we love.

What are your next plans?
• Release more music
• To achieve Nirvana

Geese Tour:
11.06.22 MTC, Köln
12.06.22 Molotow SkyBar, Hamburg
14.06.22 Kantine am Berghain, Berlin
18.06.22 Milla, München

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Bedroomdisco-Gründer, Redaktions-Chef, Hans in allen Gassen, Golden Leaves Festival Booker, Sammler, Fanboy, Exil-Darmstädter Wahl-Hamburger & happy kid, stuck with the heart of a sad punk - spreading love for great music since '08!

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