- by Rob Taylor Release Date: Label:
SB: Firstly, congratulations on the wonderful new album ‘Requiem’. What at first seems like a more restrained musical vision, is really a giant leap forwards in showcasing the collective talents of the band. It seems less dense, more free, better delineated. Fair comment?
Thank you, I´m very happy you like it and hear these developments in the music. We feel that this is by far our best album.
SB: When I saw you at the Metro Theatre in Sydney last year, the music conveyed an energy I haven’t experienced since the peaks of rave culture, managed with most of the band not even moving an inch. The dance movements of the astonishing female vocalists however reminded me of a dragon boat in a Chinese New Year procession ! The crowd went nuts. I know I did. Is this a universal response across the world?
Where we’ve played so far, people have always been really into it, and that has helped us, and pushed us to play effortlessly and well, and this in turn has inspired our listeners, which have pushed us further, and so it goes....
SB: Requiem is like a modern opus in two parts, the folk-like aspirations of the first six tracks giving way to the more typical abandonment of ‘Goatband’ and beyond ? That transition into ‘Goatband’ is beautifully judged !
Thanks! Goatband’ ends side A. The composition of our albums is a very central part of all three of them. On Requiem it was even more important to get it right, since it is 4 sides, and you want them all to have a good start, ending and flow. But at the same time it’s important to get a good flow from first to last song also. I hope we managed to do what many double albums do, which is to not to be so direct, but instead create a flow that will grow over time, like Exile on Main Street for example. We will know in 10 years.
SB: The birdsong in ‘Union of Sun and Moon’, the Muslim call to prayer on ‘Psychedelic Lover’. There’s a real solemnness, a sense of peace around which your hypnotic rhythms still invoke a wild dance ?
Yeah, that was the idea actually. Calmness, solemnity and peace as some sort of background layer. Its established in the beginning and then it comes back here and there. Like the prayer, the water after ‘It´s Not Me’, the beginning of ‘Goodbye’ and the ending..
SB: The music on ‘Goodbye’ is a kind of mutation of the Eastern Raga ? So much of your music is composed around repetition, establishing a groove, gaining momentum. Did you look to the East at all for your influences ? Classical minimalism ?
We look everywhere and nowhere at the same time. It might sound strange but what I mean is that we don't filter out things we hear, but at the same time we just play music without trying to achieve anything special in the songs. What we do comes natural, and there is not much thinking involved. The thinking comes later when we put an album together, not when we write and record it.
SB: Goat seems more than just a band. I’m interested in this notion of a ‘collective’. Do you foresee new musicians joining Goat into the future, a constant renewal of the band’s legacy into the future? The kids on the cover. Are they the new generation?
I hope so, that would be wonderful. The commune and its music will surely live on, but the rock band within that might have an end after all. Or it becomes something different, I don't know. [The kids on the cover] might be the next generation, if they want to be, or the next generation carpenters, taxi drivers or soccer players. Whatever they want to be.
SB: I think, in view of Goat having this supernormal kind of identity, being defined by collaboration rather than individual ego, I’m beginning to understand why your actual identities are not so important. However, don’t you sometimes feel like coming out from behind the masks?
I have actually glued mine onto my face so that is impossible I'm afraid.
SB: Thanks for talking with Soundblab and good luck with the tour.
Thanks for your nice questions! Nate (Goat)
(Photo credit: Andreus Johansson)
Goat head out on tour in October, check them out at...
07 Oct / Babel / Malmö / Sweden
08 Oct / Den grå hal / Köpenhamn / Denmark
10 Oct / Stadtgarten / Köln / Germany
11 Oct / Ampere / München / Germany
12 Oct / Berghain / Berlin / Germany
13 Oct / Karlstorbahnhof EnjoyJazz / Heidelberg / Germany
14 Oct / Cabaret Sauvage / Paris / France
17 Oct / All Saints Church / Brighton / UK
18 Oct / Coronet / London / UK
19 Oct / SWX / Bristol / UK
20 Oct / Riverside / Newcastle
21 Oct / 02 ABC / Glasgow / UK
22 Oct / Albert Hall / Manchester / UK
11-12 Nov / Oslo Psych Fest / Norway