For the longest time, instrumental rock has found itself in a predicament of not enough originality, something that has afflicted dozens of modern bands. Enter Australian sludge, stoner and alt rock inspired GOUTS. On their new EP “Big Horse I Love You” they provide a listen much more adventurous than typical, one-dimensional offerings and successfully blend the multi-genre inspiration into dynamic and very organic sounding smoothness. Both gritty and melodious, Melbourne based GOUTS created a progressive-thinking entity that breathe new life into an often dull and played-out genre with great results. To give them a nod, we sat down to get some more details about their work, let them tell their story and
Available now on La Choza De Doe, Catábasis Records, Monasterío De Cultura, Noizeland Records, Pissjoy Records.
𝐺𝑂𝑈𝑇𝑆 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑖𝑛 2018 𝑖𝑛 𝑀𝑒𝑙𝑏𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑛𝑒, 𝐴𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑙𝑖𝑎.
Back in 2014, before we knew each other, my band ‘Hotel Wrecking City Traders’ did a 20-something date tour of the UK and Spain. When our Spanish booking agent was putting the dates together for that leg of the tour, his initial thought was to pair us with a local band, CODO, which unknown to me at the time, was Julio’s band which he played bass in. So anyway, our booking agent approached CODO to play with us and it couldn’t happen as Julio had actually moved over to Melbourne, Australia. So maybe a year or so after we returned from tour, we were playing a local show in town and Julio came along and introduced himself and we have been good friends since. I always think now knowing him that it’s a damn shame we didn’t get to do that tour together.
I think the more we hung out we discovered we both had a lot of similarities in our music tastes, whether it was Radiohead, Samiam, Old Man Gloom or Kinski. I think we shared a desire to write some music which we were both really passionate about but just didn’t really sit in the style of what we were both doing in our respective bands.
𝑊𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑠𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑑 𝑝𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑟𝑓𝑢𝑙, 𝑑𝑎𝑟𝑘 𝑎𝑛𝑑 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑣𝑦 𝑤ℎ𝑖𝑙𝑠𝑡 𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔 ℎ𝑜𝑜𝑘𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑚𝑒𝑙𝑜𝑑𝑖𝑒𝑠. 𝑆𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑏𝑒 𝑒𝑞𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑠 𝑏𝑒𝑎𝑢𝑡𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑜𝑠.
Big Horse I Love You was a lot of fun to write and record.
I think both Julio and myself were in a place where we both really wanted to make a record in this style. Just hanging out together and talking music before we ever even set foot in a rehearsal room helped to give us an idea of where we wanted to take it. I threw together a few riffs I was playing with when we got together for our first practice and from then on it really seemed to flow. We recorded in a small studio at someone’s house here in Melbourne.
We spent two days recording, where we got down all the drum and guitar tracking on day one. The second day was just layering the guitars and adding some texture. Having no vocals, it really kind of took on its meaning over the course of the writing process and was just a natural reaction to what was happening around us. You know it’s something everyone can relate to with everyday life, both the joys and the hurdles. We lost two family members in the process and that always takes its toll and stirs up emotions and I think playing music together was our little way of dealing with that.
Plans for 2020
As far as plans for 2020 go, I think like everything else in the world at the moment we are at a bit of a stand still. At the moment Julio is stuck in Madrid and I’m back in Melbourne. And with all the current lockdown, even if we were in the same place, we wouldn’t be able to get in a room to jam. It’s made for a pretty tough time to be putting out a debut record but it’s the way things are, so it is what it is at the end of the day. Hopefully in a few months’ time Julio can head back to Melbourne and we can get back to rehearsing and writing together again with the aim of releasing more music and doing some shows in 2021.
COVID-19 in Australia
Here in Australia we are very lucky in the grand scheme of things when you look at its effect on other countries around the world. You look at the death toll in Spain for example where Julio is and it’s staggering. So, they are taking every precaution they can here at the moment and the music scene has taken an enormous hit. I mean in reality it’s just non-existent at the moment. The country is currently going through a 3-stage procedure relaxing lockdown but even when you look at where they are hoping to be by that point it is still a real concern for the music scene in general. I think it’s really a ‘help where you can’ and ‘wait and see’ scenario. It’s a very strong community here so it will bounce back but as far as a putting a timeline on that, who knows. It’s a real shame because when things are normal it’s a really healthy music scene with loads bands doing good things.
Other bands from Melbourne
To be honest I’m not too sure of what is due to come out this year. I know the dudes from Wicked City are about due another release.
I always throw their name in there as I just think they are a really great local band. Other local bands I’ve really enjoyed recently are Mote who put out a really good album last year and Jackson Reid Briggs & The Heaters just put out an album not long ago, which admittedly I haven’t had a chance to listen to yet but I’m sure it would be a good listen based on their last couple of records.
As far as I am aware the fine folk that are River of Snakes are currently working on another album, so I’m looking forward to that.
And I actually have another album due out this year. It’s all mixed, mastered and the artwork’s done but it’s another one that is just on the backburner at the moment while we get through all of this. The band is called Light Pillars and it’s something I have done with Andrew who plays drums in a Sydney-based band called Comacozer.
Julio has been living in Melbourne for the last 7 years but he is originally from Madrid. He’s also has been playing there and knows a bunch of bands from Spain that would be worth checking out like Afilador, Louded, Tromort, KLS and Khmer. He left Melbourne last July to spend a year in Europe at an artist residency and in that time he put out a demo with a Madrid-based post-punk band called YOVOY.
Here is a playlist I put together of music that helped to inspire us over the years and brought us together to create GOUTS.
“Big Horse I Love You” track by track commentary:
Bike Ride To The Bee Shrine
This is probably the track which to me sums up what GOUTS is all about. It’s the second track we wrote and it is equal parts catchy and melodic as it is driving and heavy. Before we ever got into a room, Julio and I chatted a load about music and I really feel like on this release we draw influence from all those different places that got us excited about music over the years. We’ll be the first to admit the name ‘Bike Ride To The Bee Shrine’ is totally ridiculous!!!!! Actually, it holds some meaning to us. Over the course of writing all these songs we seemed to go through a bunch of different shit which makes more sense when we start talking about the other tracks. I rocked up to one particular session having been stung by bees at work. Julio was nowhere to be seen but eventually rocked up with a mangled bike and looking like shit! He had wiped out on his bike and actually ended up at hospital that night, but prior to heading to hospital, and all credit to him, we got in the room and wrote a good chunk of this song.
All Hail The Big Russian
This song came from a couple of riffs that I wrote at home. In my head it sounded a lot different to the final product and that’s a lot to do with how Julio was hearing it when I played it to him. Ended up being one of my favourite tracks. Julio said how it sounded like some weird early 90’s Sub Pop stuff gone heavy. I loved that description and felt it kinda described how I like my music. During the writing process my mum lost her partner to cancer after battling it for some time. He was a really big personality and he had the nickname The Big Russian. I knew I wanted to name a track in his honour and I felt like this one was both fitting to his character and the battle he had to go through.
Fuck Those Guys
Not a whole lot to say about this one, it’s fairly self-explanatory!! This was actually the first song we wrote together. It’s the shortest track on the album and I think it was a good way to get familiar with each other’s playing styles and it helped craft where we were heading as a band. The name suits the song, I think. No bullshit… it just is what it is. It’s the day to day stuff; work, traffic jams, people… that are constantly grinding on you all day and then you get to rehearsal, turn up loud, run through this track for 2 minutes and say ‘Fuck Those Guys’ and move on.
Gulurtak My Black Metal Friend
From memory, this was the last track we wrote before going into the studio to record. I think we had really hit a point at this stage where the ideas were flowing really well and we were feeding off each other’s strengths both as musicians and song writers. It has a really cool, dark, and powerful vibe to it and is a fun one to play. I remember when Julio threw me the idea for the name, I was thinking what the fuck is this guy talking about hahahahaha. But I love it! And let’s face it, we all need a black metal buddy in our lives.
Let’s Get Kinski
This track probably came about around midway through the writing process and I think we both just wanted something really upbeat and hopeful sounding where we could just lock in with each other’s grooves and have fun playing. The final riff was so much fun to play and we always found ourselves going on and on with it and throwing layers of crazy effects and swirling fucked up guitar sounds. So, I think that’s what made us decide when we record it let’s just finish it as quick as we can and when you’re least expecting it. It’s a fun one to play live and you can have a lot of fun with it. As far as the name goes it’s an obvious play on words and a nod to a band that we both really love called Kinski.
This track came about from a couple of riffs that Julio came into rehearsal with. I loved it as soon as I heard it. It really just hit you straight from the get go. I remember it took us a while to work out where we wanted to take it, but we stuck it out and I think it really paid off in the end. And it’s a good mental and physical workout for us both. The name came from our second loss during the writing period. It came from totally out of the blue. Joe Taylor was Julio’s nephew. It was a really tough time for Julio and his family and I was glad we spent the time we did on this track to get it right and pay our respects as best as we could.
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