The Russian three-piece Gnoomes release their second record for Rocket Recordings, ‘Tschak!’ just eighteen months after their blissful debut at a suitably volatile time for the world. We had a chat with the guys about their new release.
The cover of your new record is quite striking, can you tell us about your choice of artwork for ‘Tschak!’?
The cover is relevant to the name of the album. We gave our LP the name ‘Tschak!’ apparently in homage to ‘Ngan!’ but primarily we wanted to connect our music to the Soviet times. This is because we used a lot of soviet analog gear during the production and the studio space where we recorded stuff was built in the 70s.
In our opinion ‘Tschak!’ is the sound of a soviet TV being switched off and when our label boss Chris Reeder showed us this option for the sleeve we were absolutely blown away because it fit to the idea perfectly!
Is there anything you’d like to tell us about the album? How were your inspirations and processes different from Ngan! and what do you hope listeners will get from the record?
Since ‘Ngan!’ had been released we’d been touring over Europe several times. We’d seen a lot of things that we’d never ever seen. For example we’d never been to Portugal before and it was so dope when we got to Cascais beach and saw the ocean. So we tried to reflect that experience on the album. Besides it was summer time when we had studio sessions and it was the great source of inspiration to us as summer lasts only for three months in our place so we permanently miss the warm weather.
We think everybody can find something personal on this record because we put our most sacred thoughts and reflections on what’s going on around us. It’s called Mirror Neurons when the audience can feel exactly the same way as an artist feels. There are 10 songs – 10 stories, some of them cross each other, some of them don’t, but hopefully they’ll seek the empathy in the listener’s souls somehow.
Your debut LP Ngan! featured a couple of tracks around a quarter of an hour long. The new record is made up of far shorter songs, a few under the 3 minute mark, is there something in particular that influenced this decision?
On this very record we had lots of things to say and we wanted to create stories in different genres while the first LP was an attempt to explore the space of songs from the different angles. On the other hand we liked to play around with pop form in a more laconic way.
In 2015 you explained that the main mechanism of psychedelic music is “to connect things, to join this particular experience into a global one.” Can you tell us more about this and whether you feel that this is happening now?
Yes we don’t deny this mechanism…it certainly mutated into something new, but the core of this idea is still the same. When we did ‘Ngan!’ we were limited by our own background- it worked as a cage a little bit and it followed to the straight music imitations while on ‘Tschak!’ we literally felt free to do anything we want. To cut a long story short the main difference between the LP’s is the increasing number of connections. We hope it led to more unique things but… we better let our listeners judge!
So you guys have been playing together for around 3 years now, what have been your best and worst experiences during this time?
To be honest we are not from the people who divide good and bad experiences. Every event of our life is valuable and considered to be very important to us. The trip to the UK quite literally was the best thing for Gnoomes as a band. The worst thing is probably the absence of demand on our music in our hometown, but we’ve already got accustomed to that.
What exciting plans do Gnoomes have for the year?
Our ‘to do’ list is massive! First of all we’d like to release ‘Tschak!’, apart from that there will be some splits that haven’t been announced yet, besides we’re already recording new stuff…don’t know whether we make it this year. We’d also like to get away from muddy reality as often as possible. We love touring cause it always makes us happy and inspires us heavily. 2017 has all the chances to be a big year for Gnoomes.
Check out Cascais from their debut album: