NAS 10 Questions with About Gorillas and Vampires
This time, we get to know About Gorillas and Vampires, a husband and wife duo from Germany. Gorilla - Songwriter, Producer, Engineer. Vampire - Lyrics, Vocalist.
The track "Waves" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.
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1. Tell us a little about where you are from and what you are currently doing.
Hey there! We are from Cologne/Germany, we're husband and wife and we make music together. At the moment music is just a side hustle, both of us work in full time jobs during daytime. We actually founded About Gorillas and Vampires about ten years ago, but we never released anything until 2022. When the pandemic hit we finally had some time to go through all the demos, picked out the best ones and went into the studio to record them properly.
2. What inspired you to start playing and making music?
Gorilla: I started playing bass when I was 16, inspired by mostly melodic punk rock bands like NOFX, Lagwagon, No use for a name etc. I played in a couple of bands and then decided to go to Audio Engineering school to learn how to record bands professionally. I then worked in studios for a couple of years, recording/engineering bands and helping them to fulfill their musical vision. I've always written songs but self-doubt and insecurity always kept me from releasing my own stuff before 2022.
Vampire: I've always liked to fiddle around with instruments, even as a kid. I loved (and still do) to play songs just by ear and singing along. I'm also a creative writer. That helped me a lot while writing lyrics. In 2012 my husband showed me the first AGAV demo "Small Town Blues" (also our first single) and I immediately came up with a melody and lyrics. The rest is history I guess.
𝟯. Who are your biggest influences?
Gorilla: For me it was melodic punk rock. Blink 182 rocked my world back in the days. Nowadays I listen to a lot of different genres like Alternative Rock, Pop, Metal and even Country Pop. Bands/Artists like Tool, Toadies, Killswitch Engage, The Midnight, Faith No More, The 1975, Peter Gabriel, The Cure, Kraftwerk and many, many more. And no, I'm not ashamed of admitting: I like Country Pop! :-)
Vampire: I don't stick to just one genre either. For me it's The Police, The Smiths, The Cure, Jewel etc. and also movie soundtracks specially from Thomas Newman, George Winston, Ludovico Einaudi. And I have a weakness for listening to lo-fi music while I'm cooking ;)
4. What are your goals in the music industry?
As a married couple we love making music together. While we're not necessarily looking to become rich and famous, we are passionate about sharing our music with listeners that connect with the sincerity of our music. As introverted artists, it's important to us that our music is genuine and true to ourselves.
5. Tell us about your creative process when you make new music.
Gorilla: I usually start with a basic chord progression or a bass line. Sometimes I find it inspiring to listen to just drum loops, find a cool one and start from there. I almost always start writing the verse first, then chorus and middle 8. After that I start arranging and working on transitions between the individual parts. We always record real drums and later on augmenting them with samples from old school drum machines. Since I can't play the drums I call up a good friend, who is an amazing drummer, and we book a fancy studio to record the drums there. I absolutely love recording drums! It's one of the most rewarding things you can do in a studio imho. Anyway, after everything is edited and polished, I hand the 80% finished playback over to my wife and she does her magic.
Vampire: I then listen to the song over and over again, humming a melody first. Sometimes I have the lyrics first and try out if they are "singable". If not, I change some words or even a whole sentence. We often focus only on the Lead Vocals when in demo stage and any backing vocals or add lip ideas we do on the fly in the studio.
6. What is your all-time favorite song?
Oh man, that's so hard to answer. Almost like asking a mother of four: Who's your favorite child. :-) But if you would force us to give an answer, we'd probably say "In your eyes" from Peter Gabriel. This song touches us on so many levels. Simply put: It's the perfect piece of music!
7. What is the best advice you have either given or received in terms of music?
It's a boring one but yet so important: Less is more! Especially when it comes to overdubs. Be brave deleting elements, even when you already spend a lot time working on these particular elements.
8. Proudest accomplishment?
Releasing our first single "Small Town Blues" in May last year! Like we said before, it took us ten years to overcome all the self-doubt to put our music out there. We even got played on the radio on release day because we have a good friend who works at a radio station. Such an amazing feeling, definitely a bucket list moment!
9. Just for fun! What's been your most embarrassing moment so far?
Gorilla: I was in the control room with a band, mixing one of their songs. I showed them the high end hardware EQ I was using on the master bus and was raving about how much of a difference it makes and so forth. The bassist, also an audio engineer, hit the bypass button of the EQ and absolutely nothing changed. Thing was, I completely forgot to put it on the master bus in the morning.....
𝟭0. Tell us about your lowest and highest points in music so far.
The lowest is always when we make content for social media and we spent hours on a sunday to make a 30 second video and it gets maybe 40 views. The highest is being played on the radio and taking part in a song contest with over 2000 participants and actually winning a special price for outstanding production.
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