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Monday, July 18, 2016

Interview: GGU:LL

Last May, Dutch band Ggu:ll released their new album called Dwaling. It was already reviewed by DutchMetalManiac's Henric van Essen here and now Ggu:ll answers some questions asked by him. Read it below.

Hi, how are you?


First the probably most obvious question of all: the name. What does GGU:LL mean and where does it come from?

It sort of happened. The band evolved out of an unpronounceable long-named noise duo and developed into a four piece doom band. And in the process, more and more characters disappeared from the name, leaving Ggu:ll as the final combination of symbols. We pronounce it as Ghoul but we don’t especially feel close to an graveyard wandering demon from the Arabic mythology. It’s just our embracement of the chaos that surrounds us.

Can you tell us a little about the band and its history?

We have been making music for about seven years now. In that time we never had goals or other plans than just make the best possible music for the four of us. Along the way we were given a lot of great opportunities without a proper release, for which we are very thankful. There was a 50 copies self-released self-recorded self-everything demo and a 100 copies cassette EP release on Tartarus Records. We’ve played many great festivals and support shows with mostly an audience that understands what we are trying to do. This all concluded in our release by the mighty Ván Records this May.

Can you share a bit of information about the members?

The two guitar players Gert-Jan and William (who is also doing vocals) played in a lot of different bands before they were the initial noise-duo that started it all. Bart added his drums to this and soon asked Dave to join. Bart and Dave also played in different bands together. We are all rooted in the South of the Netherlands so we were destined to bump into each at one time.

GGU:LL seems to be shrouded in mystery, it’s almost impossible to find information about you. Why is that?

Mainly because we think it’s irrelevant to the music of Ggu:ll.. For us it’s not that important who writes and plays the music. But we’re not hiding as well. We don’t have cloths, make-up or masks when we perform. Because that would only distract as well. We just like to present Ggu:ll as the music we make and nothing more.

My compliments on ‘Dwaling’, I like it a lot, both music- and atmosphere-wise. How did it come to be?

Thank you! We are super pleased with the end result. It’s an album that displays our strongest songs in the best possible way. Joris Bonis, who recorded and mixed the album, has gone to the extreme to get the most overwhelming sound we could imagine. After that, we just send it into the world and Ván was the perfect partner to realize our music in a physical manner and attract a new audience.

It is said you never write lyrics to avoid interference with the overall experience of your music, yet there still are vocals on the album. Is it true you don’t write lyrics and if so, what is the story behind that?

That’s true. It’s not a preconceived plan but William started screaming into a microphone that was standing in the rehearsal room. Until that moment we were an instrumental band but immediately we felt the enormous power of his voice in our music. He just continued to do that and we never felt the urge to put words into his singing. It’s just an instrument, a feeling, an extra layer.

From what I have heard your aim is to make people feel, experience your music rather than simply listen to it. How do you achieve that?

That is probably more achievable live than in an uncontrolled environment. But yes, in a perfect world everybody would undergo this treatment. Our music is very primitive and “simple”. Just listening to it is to rational for the music to fully take part of your body. We use a heavy sound, a slow pace and a repetitive form to trigger some sort of primal instinct. It’s the same goal as ancient monks had or modern dance dj’s have: a trance-like state. Except our package is served cold and harsh.

Your music creates a distinct atmosphere of darkness and despair, depending on how you interpret it as listener. What, if any, is the message behind your music?

There is no real message, just that. It’s our search for the core of a song, the stripped version of a melody or the limit of repetitions by which a riff is still interesting. We play with expectations and genre boundaries. But never for the sake of experiment, always to achieve what you just pointed out. Darkness, despair, detachment, losing grip, feeling disoriented with no other option to just go with it.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

From a lot of music. We are all musical omnivores, distilling everything into Ggu:lls output. But also from our own experience as musicians in former bands. From people we worked with in the past, art we saw, books we read, movies we viewed, ideas we heard.

What are your plans now that ‘Dwaling’ is released?

There will be a cassette release soon by Tartarus Records. Richard is a great guy and he has a loyal following, so more people will know us when that comes out.
We will be playing some shows with Terzij de Horde this fall and some really cool festivals. And we started to write new material, because that’s a slow process in our case.

Thanks for the opportunity to get to know a bit more about GGU:LL and the people behind it. Is there anything left you’d like to share with our readers?

As Timothy Leary said; Think for yourself, question authority.

GGU:LL Official Website
GGU:LL Facebook

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