There is something about longing for a thing that you do not have. In the midst of winter, it is ever too easy to ache for the heat of the sun, and similarly GEOWULF‘s music aches with palpable nostalgia, for a previous era or a bygone relationship.
They are also a pair very well travelled; being born in Australia and flitting between London, Berlin, Gothenburg and more over the course of their friendship and subsequent time as a band. Surely, they know all about homesickness, but we caught up with vocalist Star to discover if a more-nomadic lifestyle has ever spurred their creative side…
Your most recent single ‘Don’t Talk About You’ has charmed us to the core with its bittersweet, sun-soaked sound. Can you tell us a little about what the track means to you?
The track is about the up and down’s when you’re going through a break up or even just involved in a toxic relationship.
What was the writing process like for you on this track in particular?
I had the idea for the song whilst staying in a hostel in Copenhagen. I remember trying to record it on my computer without a mic and having to quietly hum the melody so no one else would hear! (Not sure why I didn’t use my phone though?) It then went from version to version over about two years, which is actually kind of cool because we were able to revisit it and add different parts.
‘Don’t Talk About You’ and your previous single ‘Saltwater’ are both of a sunny disposition despite the lovelorn lyrics. Are there any particular inspirations that you think have inspired this?
Tom (the other half of Geowulf) and I knew from the start what we wanted the music to feel like. We quite like the contrast of a song that is somewhat upbeat but also maybe makes you feel a little sad or nostalgic too.
Your recent video for ‘Don’t Talk About You’ has a hazy nostalgia about it and looks a lot more DIY than your video for ‘Saltwater’? Were you both actively involved in the creative process for it? Did you want to capture the past in the film?
‘Don’t Talk About You’ is quite clearly about something that has already happened and the feelings you’re left with, so we were all on board for a ‘nostalgic’ style for a video. We have a pretty close team and so all contributed largely.
You’re an Australian band and are very well travelled, stating that you are based in London, Berlin and Gothenburg. Do you feel that your surroundings infuse the music that you create and if so, how and why?
Yes and no. I think being on the move helps you become inspired from the small things, being on a train, being in a new city etc. Also, think when you live away from home maybe you spend a lot of time analysing your relationships and experiences so maybe end up feeling you have more to write about, but I don’t believe the places themselves have influenced the music.
What have your experiences of living in the above cities been like for you? How do they differ and what do you love about each the most?
Living in Sweden was great for writing music. I was studying but because it was the middle of winter when I moved from Melbourne I actually found it hard to meet people, alas red wine + my dorm room = new material and lots of emotions. My time there is really special when I go back. Berlin is fantastic. Very affordable and super supportive of artists. London and I have a love/hate relationship. The expense of it can really get me down and sometimes the weather, but when I’m away from it too long I miss it like crazy.
What made you want to move from Australia to Europe? Has it been what you expected or hoped for?
We had a huge group of friends that moved over in 2010. We were all young musicians, photographers, actors and dancers. Coming from a small place in Australia I think we all thought London was the place things could really happen. Tom’s been here now for seven years along with maybe half of our friends. I’ve come and gone a lot. I think the last few years have been really positive. Those early years were hard though. I shared a room with a girlfriend for six months. There was a point when I was living in another place where we were five people in a two bedroom apartment. It was a little mad! But also fantastic because we were all in our late teens / early twenties and felt the world was at our feet. (Sorry for the cheesy line.) Enter reality ….
Are there any interesting musicians, bands, creatives or artists that you’ve encountered on your travels that should be on our radar?
Countless. Edward R, Turi, Daniel Norgren, Ider, 0800hrs, list goes on.
How did you and Toma meet and what led you to collaborating on Geowulf?
We’ve been friends since we were teenagers. When I was living in Sweden, I asked Toma if he would mind helping me out on some early demos and I guess we both were just super excited about what started to come about. I suppose it worked well because we could be honest, “nahhhh don’t like that,” “that’s lame” etc!
You have recently started sharing photos and musings over on geowulf.co; was it important for you to expand the project this way? Why so?
Yeah, I like the idea of tying music, poetry, photographs together. I love that imagery can further a story, especially once music is involved.
‘Saltwater’ has exceeded 1.5 million plays on Spotify – congratulations! How do you feel about how listeners have responded to the track?
We were pretty shocked to be honest. But obviously really happy that people love the song and that people have connected to it in the same way we do.
What can we expect from you in 2017? Is there an EP or album in the works?
We actually have an album on the way, and will be in the studio the next few months!
Geowulf’s latest single ‘Don’t Think About You’ is available to buy now.