You might have caught London’s Turbogeist on their recent tour with ‘Pure Love’ or ‘Fidlar’, presenting the crowds with a real taste of their own, energy loaded hardcore punk. Their sharp, honest and unpretentious musical approach offers listeners something rare within the music scene and with an excellent EP on its way (March 11th), which you might have already picked up on the tour. Turbogeist are ready to take on a bigger audience with their explosive, open minded and guitar packed music storm. Get ready.
I caught up with the guys in Brighton, while supporting ‘Fidlar’, and had a great fun-filled conversation with Luis (guitar/vocals), Jimmy (guitar/vocals) and Tom (guitar) about touring, mermaids, stage moves, today’s music and much more.
EVA: Describe each one of you with one word.
LUIS: Tom – Heavy, Jimmy – broken, James – Token, only because it rhymes, nothing racist! Josh - Nosh.
TOM: Luis - spider
EVA: Give me 3 reasons why should people listen to your music.
LUIS: It’s a lot better than anything else you’re going to have to do in your day. You might sweat your balls off and have a good time at it. You might learn to catch a tune.
EVA: What was your first ever show as Turbogeist like?
LUIS: That was just me and Jimmy at St Moritz in 2009. It was messy but all our friends were there, so that made it really fun. It was as good as any first show can be. Nah, it was really crap, I’m just trying to make it sound a lot better than it was.
TOM: It was great man, it was great. Ten thousand people, losing their minds!
EVA: Best and worst moment while supporting Pure Love?
TOM: Best - throwing sausage rolls at them, playing ‘My Sharona’ and distracting their show. Worst - throwing sausage rolls at them, playing ‘My Sharona’ and distracting their show.
LUIS: They were really fun to tour with though. I was a bit sceptical as I usually am; I judge everything quite a lot, but they were really cool. But literally that was the last gig, both of those things. So Bedford was the best and the worst thing about the whole tour.
TOM: It was a good last show and it was bad that it had to end.
LUIS: Aaah, beautifully put. Yes, it was quite sad but when you’ve been touring with the same people for two weeks, you kind of want to move on with your life. I haven’t heard their record yet, but I know it’s just not going to be the same as hearing it live.
TOM: You can’t hear the cycle pit around the drums on a CD!
EVA: You have a song called Alien Girl. If she landed in front of you and offered you to do anything you desire, what would it be?
TOM: I’d take her to a really nice restaurant and meet her parents.
Alien Girl Video:
EVA: You seem to like all sorts of creatures. Where did the idea to write Mermaid’s Revenge come from?
JIMMY: I really like the sea. I’m obsessed with it and I like to go surfing. I have this thing, when you go out to the ocean and you’re a bit far out, you look down and you don’t see anything when you go down; so I had this kind of paranoia for quite a long time that I was going to be killed by a mermaid siren. I became obsessed with all kinds of fantasy and fairytale stuff, so it was kind of an extension to that - the two loves of my life. So that’s what happened.
Mermaid’s Revenge Video:
EVA: Your EP ‘Ancient Secrets’ also includes tracks with darker titles like Zero Friends, but still sound uplifting and fun. Is that intentional?
JIMMY: Zero Friends is not really about having no friends, it’s more about the bullshit of social networking.
LUIS: It’s about thinking you have loads of friends, but they are friends on the internet. If you want to spend all your time on the internet that’s cool, but it’s just a bit sad and we just like to make a bit of fun out of it.
EVA: If I was to come to your gig with the potential of offering you a record contract, how might you impress me?
LUIS: Get our willies out and do a handstand.
JIMMY: I don’t think that any novelty is really that good. I think every kind of novelty has been already done; every gimmick has been done, so you just have to deliver. And what we deliver is raw, visceral good time music!
LUIS: Nowadays, labels don’t want to form and shape bands. If they see someone they like, they’ll sign it. It has to be good what you do, and we’re trying to make it good. Everything has been done to a certain extent; we all like different music so everything is always going to be different with us.
EVA: Funniest and most embarrassing moment on stage?
LUIS: I don’t think either of those have happened yet.
JIMMY: So far, I’ve had an embarrassing moment on stage when I played about three quarters of a set without my guitar plugged into my amplifier. I was literally having the greatest time, rocking out and really enjoying myself!
EVA: So where did you learn your dance moves Jimmy?
JIMMY: They are all free formed. I take a pinch from modern, classical jazz dance, little bit of a Cuban feel, little bit of Carlos Acosta and taking some of the early ballet stuff and mix up a little rumba. It all boils down into a one man’s circle pit. That’s my favourite move and that’s the one I do the most. Since I don’t have a guitar, I feel a bit uncomfortable so I feel like I’ve got to do something.
EVA: So what happened to your arm?
JIMMY: I fell over about a month ago and it hurt like child birth.
EVA: How do you know how that feels like?
JIMMY: I was told by the nurse, that it was more painful than a child birth. She told me to breathe like I was giving a birth.
EVA: If you were to interview yourselves, what question would you want to ask you?
JIMMY: Nothing too brainiac, just keep it simple. But I’d like to ask myself who the best guitar makes of 21st century are.
LUIS: I’d just talk about music for like five hours. About Tom Waits’ production values or what Prince reads when he’s on the toilet. Whether he reads his own lyrics and what inspires that guy...
JIMMY: He’s inspired by his own brilliance.
LUIS: He probably looks in the mirror saying: ‘Damn Prince, you’re a fine motherfucker’
EVA: If there was a headline on a front page of a newspaper about your band, what would you want it to say?
LUIS: Just Turbogeist, exclamation mark!
EVA: What advice would you give up and coming bands?
LUIS: Listen to Prince, keep at it and have fun, but not too much or you’ll end up smoking weed sitting on your couch. It’s not a lot of work, like working in McDonalds or in the office as estate agent or something, but you’ve got to work hard. We’ve been doing this for four years, me and Jimmy and with this line up for two years. You’ve got to keep at it and if you think one of your songs sucks, don’t be ashamed to say it and move on to make a better one. With four people, there is a lot of dynamic. You’ve got to be open and make sure none of your friends are using you. It’s like being in a relationship, without the sex and the holidays and the love... There is a lot more hate in it. You gotta give and take, otherwise you’ll end up being in your own bubble. Some people can get away with that, but it might only last five years. If you want it to last forever you gotta talk to each other.
EVA: If you were to sign any band, who would you sign and why?
LUIS: A London band called ‘Shuga’.
EVA: Don’t you play in that band?
LUIS: Nope, he just looks like me. He’s really cool that guy. I love the way he plays guitar and sings - really talented guy. Their new stuff is good and they just got a new guitarist, so it’s a four piece now. I’d sign them, definitely. http://shugaworld.com
EVA: So what are you planning for your EP launch?
LUIS: We’re doing a party at Black Heart in Camden on March 11th, and everyone who buys a ticket gets a free 7” single with Black Hole and Mermaid’s Revenge on it. They’ll be some drink deals on the night and this really cool band from Sheffield called Bloody Knees are playing. They’re really good, you should check them out. Lot of my friends are DJing too.
EVA: What are your thoughts about today’s music?
LUIS: As in today, what’s the date, 27th of February 2013 - it’s getting better. I grew up in the 90’s listening to a lot of cool music from the 80’s. I wish I could say the same about the kids today, but I think a lot more people are picking up on the guitar music; but I’ll always know what good music is to myself. I could be on a desert island with every Replacements record, every Tom Waits record or every Prince record and I’d be happy. Sadly none of those acts are making good music now, except for Tom Waits. I know bands that listen to their music, so maybe that reflects it. Music is still about inspiration from the past.
EVA: So when do you think Turbogeist is going to make it big?
JIMMY: When we release our album. People will know, and they won’t be able to ignore it any longer. It’s a real thing. We don’t make fake music for people, we make real music. And just because we haven’t had a release, it’s hard for people who haven’t seen us, because they don’t get to enjoy the music. But once our album is out, they will.