Saturday 31 October 2020

Picking Up In A Pandemic: Geist Interview


Despite life still being very uncertain right now, bands are finding different ways to reach audiences while proper live shows are not possible and are writing/recording music remotely, while sometimes being in different locations with different restrictions. One such band who're picking up after line-up changes and finding ways to perform are Geist. I recently did a short interview with frontman Ian about how things are going and what they have planned.

TNIO: Last year I did a series of interviews about mental health in music. With the current Pandemic still at large, it seems apt to ask you guys about your experiences during lockdown and beyond? What have you been doing as a band and how have you kept your motivation up?

Ian: Lockdown for each of us was quite different. We received the news of Luke’s departure quite early in the National lockdown so we had to focus on a replacement, but not knowing when it would end was stressful. The motivation was finding someone who would fit seamlessly with our mould as it’s worked for so long. Thankfully we had material on the go from just after Swarming Season, so that left us motivated throwing ideas around and started talks of what was next (when time allowed it).

You’ve recruited Andy Findlay (previously of Crossburner/Legions) as your new bass player. I first discovered Crossburner thanks to Footloose Records, when the band released their self-titled 10” in 2014. How did this new partnership come about and what does Andy bring to your sound?

My old band Cholera toured with Crossburner way back and we stayed in touch since then. Pretty much up until Andy and I started another heavy band together. Obviously I was aware of what Andy brought to the table from a players perspective but his work as a producer is amazing too. We had a few auditions prior to Andy, but something here or there was swaying our decision. 

In terms of Andy and what he brings to Geist, only time will tell, but he’s super keen and everything he’s suggested so far has materialised into something positive. He sent us an audition video nailing probably the hardest song from Swarming Season, and looked in his element playing it. Then at his audition he’d learned a further two more songs and again dialled in a huge tone, and played them with ease. He hit it out of the park and we all feel reinvigorated. 

I’ve read on social media that you’re going to be doing a special live session soon. How much are you looking forward to that and will there be any new material aired during the session?

So the live session is being tracked and filmed November 2nd and will be aired shortly after. We’re all really looking forward to showing you that things haven’t slowed down for us and show Andy off a bit. There’ll be a mixture of songs on there and indeed we will be playing a brand new song. This is essentially the first time we’ll play “live” since we toured in February before the world as we knew it ended. So there’s definitely an itch that needs scratching there. 

I know 2021 can’t come soon enough but do you have any plans yet for next year? I’ve seen some bands publicising gigs already (even though things are still uncertain).

So we’re not actively booking any shows really. 2021 is still uncertain and with Andy being new to the fold we’re exploring all avenues of creativity. We were going to release a 7” to break the gap of Swarming Season and the next thing but writing is going so well, we couldn’t find a natural cut off. That being said, we made the decision a week or so ago to continue writing and release another full length. By the time the music scene is able to be a thing again, it’ll be knocking on 2 years since Swarming Season was released so we felt a 7” wouldn’t cut it. We’re currently 5-6 tracks deep with bare bones ideas for new songs so not that far to go really. Now we know what we’re working towards, there’s an end goal and with everyone being so inspired, things are moving into the unknown really quickly. 

All that's left for me to say is thank you to Ian for answering my questions and keep your eyes peeled for Geist's live session via their social media pages, including Facebook here -

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