top of page

Geo: "I Believe We All Find Beauty in Imperfections, Things That Aren't Right, That Don't Fit, It's Life"

Straight from planet Earth... here comes Geo! The Dutch no wavers' debut album, Out of Body (Erste Theke Tontraeger) has already infected critics and fans with its weirdo-funk grooves and radical sharpness. Currently in the middle of a European tour, we were able to catch the band between shows to talk about local WhatsApp drama, playing shows in a supermarket, and of course, their new album. 

Paperface Zine: What have you been listening to, reading, watching or spending a lot of time doing?

Gijs: Listened to a lot of power violence lately, I have put it in a playlist called 'meditation' for my other band meditation, reading Ursula le Guinn, drawing a lot.

Ype: Been diving into the world of Dutch pirate radio music! And listening to a lot of Cabaret Voltaire and Ryuichi Sakamoto.

K-J: Just finished Dune Messiah and I just started in De ontdekking van de hemel by Harry Mulisch. With music, recently it's been a mix of Stereolab, Yo La Tengo, Mick Karn, King Crimson, Luther Vandross and Dutch pirate radio music. Also I've been watching lots of reels on social media, working events as sound engineer, and I recently moved into a new apartment, so I have some decorating to do.

Jorne: Not really listening to a lot of music, I didn't have a smartphone or Spotify so I was mainly depending on an iPod shuffle with about 200 songs. Busy writing new songs and just finished a tai chi course which was super, reading sound poetry and about dada.

PZ: As an introduction for our readers, how did Geo get started? What were some of your goals and inspirations when putting this project together?

Jorne: I had been involved in music for a while, mostly organizing, etc. But not really playing so I wrote out some ideas/songs and gathered friends that I believe are all great musicians. I was very inspired by the no wave movement, which was reflective of my mental state and gave huge inspiration for expressing it! the artistic freedom, the energy, the ugliness, the intelligence, it really resonates! It challenged me to act out. Covid gave us a bubble to create our own little language of contrasts, weird sounds, fragments! A feeling that you are dancing on a volcano, sometimes poppy, sometimes the opposite. It's fun to play around with expectations, it keeps everyone on their toes! I believe we all find beauty in imperfections, things that aren't right, that don't fit, it's life. 

PZ: Your debut album Out of Body has already made some waves since its release on April 25th! What can you tell us about the writing and recording process for this release? I've read that you've been working on some of these songs since the band started.

Jorne: Yes, well, all the songs have been written in 21-22! Writing was interesting, I moved to Amsterdam during Covid, Michiel lived in Rotterdam, the rest in Groningen. We exchanged some sketches over the mail, sometimes whole songs or just a drum or a bass, someone else would add something to it, then someone would make something else from it, or added a verse, we ping pong'd most songs around, it all happens rather precise and contemplative. Thank you to the internet & home recording! We went to the studio to record it at the end of 2022 and then we had a long process of mixing, cause we are all opinionated peoples, but it turned out great thanks to Casper and Fokke. And to Erste Theke Tontraeger for liking it so much and helping us put it out in the world! It was a depressing period for me and that reflects in the lyrics, a conversation with myself mostly, albeit tongue in cheek! Anyway, we have been sitting with this material for a long while so now really looking forward to making new songs, different ideas, more freedom and abstraction.

PZ: I first got excited for this album after hearing the fun and funky "Big Fire" single! Any particular insights on this track came to be? 

Jorne: It was one of the last ones we finished, Michiel wrote a bigger part of the instrumentals. First with a jangly guitar that went like ti-du-du tu-du-du tu-du-du, then changing that by only doing the barre's it felt so nice! I remember hearing it on the train and was immediately excited to finish the song. We always play it at the end of the set and it excites and sometimes exhausts.

PZ: What about "You Are All Strange?" The percussive elements on this one are particularly interesting.

Jorne: Yes, I made the drums on an app that I have on my phone, FunkBox, a lovely suggestion for people that can't drum and are too overwhelmed by drum machines! You can select sounds, patterns, bpm's, everything. It was too difficult to play, so we had to divide it between perc and drums. The song is about a time I was living at my parents place, who lived in a perfect neighborhood. Everyone was maintaining and controlling their own garden, waving 'hi', making small talk, a lot of social control! It felt so far from the real world. I was endlessly fascinated and had an encounter there where I was deemed suspicious in the neighborhood WhatsApp group! I was followed by one of the people living there, it resulted in a strange conversation. 

PZ: Another special thing about this band is your visual style; can you tell us about the new album's cover art?

Gijs: The band really aligns with my own world! Although I exaggerate the nervosity of the music in my drawings. With the album it's a bit more expressive and aggressive, experimenting with charcoal. It really fitted my state of mind in that time! 

Jorne: Gijs is an amazing artist, so it's great that he wants to do the artwork for everything! it connects all the dots.

PZ: You're also just about to head on tour in support of the album! Any locations/venues you're excited to play?

Ype: We play in a small supermarket that will be turned into a "venue" in a village called Roncherolles sur le Vivier! Groceries and baskets pushed to the sides and bringing our own PA, interesting to see how it works out! 

K-J: Looking forward to the food in France and drinking Pacific Punch at the road stops (my favorite Monster Energy flavor). When we come home we play Vera Mainstage in our hometown Groningen, which feels pretty monumental! 

Gijs: Happy to return to Geneva, we met some really nice people that are hosting the show at Bongo Joe!

Jorne: So happy we can return to Fusion, really nice festival in Germany!

PZ: What do you want our readers to know about the music scene in the Netherlands right now? Any other bands we should check out?

Jorne: There are some really great bands and musicians! Good labels to check are Amsterdam-based label South of North, it releases amazing records from befriended acts like Devon Rexi, Lyckle de Jong, Kim David Bots & Nicolini! Or Het Generiek, with beautiful experimental releases. Our friends of The Homesick are just the best, also worth checking Dutch charlatans Huub Prins, Karel, De Witte Kunst and of courrrrrseee Lewsberg and Goldblum!

Gijs: We are also hosting weird DIY shows in Groningen and Amsterdam called 'zot' and 'klonk'.

Out of Body is out now on Erste Theke Tontraeger. Check out Geo's following tour dates below.


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page