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The Gorgons Talk Making Music

21 August 17 interview: Gav Squires
photos: Gav Squires

The Gorgons were in town to play the Fuzzbox night at The Angel Microbrewery. We sat down with them after their set for a little chat...

Chris

How did you guys get together as a band?
Ben: We played together in a band before and me and Chris worked together in a café and we were both into the same kind of music so it was from that.
Chris: He was my boss. He was the head chef at the café and I was working underneath him and we used to put on the same music - we used to put on Ty Segall stuff on while we worked.
Ben: And then we formed a band and it wasn't that great was it?
Chris: It was kind of punky, aggressive
Ben: It was a four-piece and the other two really weren't on the same page as us so we decided to go into the practise room, just the two of us.
Chris: And Ben had this really cool riff and neither of us had ever played drums. So, we were just like, "you come up with a riff and I'll play drums over it and I'll come up with a riff and you play drums over that". Then we did that over and over again until we had a set-list.

I loved the fact that you swapped over between guitar and drums during the set, is that out of necessity - the fact that you don't have a drummer means that you have to swap?
Ben: Yeah, exactly. A welcome necessity I think. It makes it fun for us to have two sets.
Chris: It makes it different because we have to really plan the set - what songs are good to swap on and how many swaps should we do? It's almost like you choreograph it but it's good fun.
Ben: We get a lot of people saying that they've not seen anyone do it quite so much.

Ben

How long have you been together as The Gorgons?
Ben: Two years.
Chris: Maybe a little bit longer.
Ben: Yeah, two years - 2015, '16, '17. We recorded two tracks and then I went away for a year.

And you've always been a two-piece? No thoughts about bringing in a permanent drummer or a bassist?
Ben: Nah, this is the sound that we want.
Chris: It's how we write the songs as well. We book a practise room and I've got some stuff to record and we take four microphones and we turn up with normally an idea or we'll have like one line or Ben will have a bit of a riff. We turn up with pretty much nothing, a blank canvas, write it there, record it there live and then just put it out. If you get too many people involved, it slows it down.
Ben: Yeah, I don't think it would work so much because it's not necessarily in key, it's not tuneful and I think if you had too many instruments playing over that it would make you more aware of that than it should be.
Chris: It's trashy.
Ben: you get another person on and it might sound polished.

It lacks that immediacy that you're after?
Chris: Yeah. I think it's good that neither of us know how to play drums, it's good, it works.
Ben: Otherwise we'd just be any other band.

You've mentioned Ty Segall earlier, who are your other main influences?
Ben: The Cramps, we like The Cramps, Ty is a big one.
Chris: Yeah, Ty, Thee Oh Sees.
Ben: Thee Oh Sees not so much, that's just in general though.
Chris: We listen to a lot of it, I don't know if it really influences the actual band. We listen to a lot of random 60s compilations of garage bands but yeah, The Cramps are a massive influence.
Ben: Without realising and then we realised.
Chris: Yeah, we did some songs and then I got a live Cramps album and I out it on and it was like, "this is just us!". King Kahn & The BBQ Show are another one. There's loads.
Ben: We don't get to do them all live but we have quite a lot of variety - we have a doo-wop song.
Chris: We have an acoustic song, one with an electronic drum-beat. That's another good thing about it being just the two of us, it's very versatile so we can do a lot of whatever. A friend of mine, who's an actual drummer, says he loves it when a new song of ours comes out because you never know what it's going to sound like. It's just lo-fi and that's what makes it cohesive as The Gorgons.

Why "The Gorgons"? I don't imagine you guys looking at anyone and turning them into stone, so why The Gorgons?
Ben: Erm, I guess I like that kind of name, it reminds me of the kind of sound that I wanted to make, a bit nasty. I read a lot of books on Greek mythology when I was younger and it's also a cool name. It's completely image.
Chris: it's like one of those old '60s bands - you get the compilations where all the bands are "The" something and it didn't really mean anything, although The Mummies did actually dress as mummies.

That was a bit disappointing actually - The Mummies had the bandages and The Monks had the haircut and habits but you don't wear any snakeheads on stage...
Ben: Yeah, that's misleading.
Chris: But they were also women, the gorgons.
Ben: Doesn't really work does it?

Was this your first time in Nottingham?
Chris: Yes
Ben: This is the furthest north that The Gorgons have ever gone, the furthest that we've ventured.

How did you find The Angel Microbrewery?
Ben: It's really cool, really good vibe, really welcoming
Chris: It's in a really good bit of town, well I don't know Nottingham, but we pulled up at like 3 o'clock this afternoon and we went for a bit of a wander, just round the corner and we thought that everything's great here. We walked round all afternoon.
Ben: Made us a little bit jealous.

And with that, it's time for The Gorgons to make their way into the night, leaving behind only the memories of a great gig and the faint whiff of jealously over how great Hockley is.

The Gorgons Bandcamp

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