Edward Burnett talks to mystery-fantasy band, Gelax, about their humble origins, their UK inspirations and plans for the future.
RnRR: Hi guys, would you mind introducing the band and who’s who?
GELAX: Gelax is a mystery fantasy indie band that started as a duo between Gelareh (GelaxKey) and Tareq (Taarqazz). Gelareh left her country Iran to pursue music and sing where it’s forbidden for women to do so under their oppressive regime. And Tareq’s own struggles with his war torn country Palestine and disbelief in the Middle Eastern system and finding peace, brought him to Canada. We both shared much in common, from views on life to the constant struggles growing up with an untraditional mind in an old school society. Our musical fascination with Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Portishead, Queen, Massive Attack and Pink Floyd, gave them the excitement and confidence to start writing songs together in 2016.
RnRR: Nice to meet you and a very poignant backstory for the band from such tough origins. What was it exactly about the bands mentioned above that proved to be an inspiration?
GELAX: I guess we gravitated to their darker sounds, mixed with elements of hope and critiques of societal issues. The topics of their songs had more of a deeper outlook about the world we live in and the daily struggles we face. The band grew after a period of doing electronic sounds at home mixed with acoustic instrumentation’s, to include Olaf on drums and Jason on bass for more of a live feel.
RnRR: The subject matter therefore is a key driver of musical inspiration for the band as a whole then. Do you prefer that live feel to the oppositely studio sound? Does that stem from a love from performing live?
GELAX: Actually we love both feels. We try to incorporate both elements in our live performances. The instrumentations add an extra dimension to live shows.
RnRR: That’s a good outlook to maximise the quality of performance. So, for new listeners, what songs of yours would you recommend to really get the essence of Gelax?
GELAX: Hmmm, tough one. We’re constantly discovering new sounds and moods with each new song, but I think “Life” “Crazy Arms” and “ Mr square” have a good variety in sound to get a good feel of the vibes.
RnRR: All are very good songs in their own right but might I bring up “Crawler”, as I couldn’t help but feel strong Radiohead vibes while listening, particularly interesting considering you cited them as an inspiration. Would you agree? Were you aiming for that style of sound?
GELAX: That’s very interesting that you heard that. Obviously we’ve never seen it that way or write it as such, but we’re extremely honoured to even be in the same sentence as Radiohead! It was a song born out of Gelarehs own questions of self and realities, with Tareq layering the parts section by section based on the intensity of the lyrical content to more and more delusional with a final climax and burst musically. Of course I’m sure at a deeper level, Radiohead’s influence and inspiration will always seep it’s way into our psyche. Which we’d be grateful to pay homage to.
RnRR: It’s good to know the inspiration runs that deep. So let’s talk about live shows. What’s the greatest gig you’ve played and why?
GELAX: I think there are a few memorable ones, but the Garnet in Peterborough Ontario stood out for us. Such a warm and passionate place about music. We felt very comfortable and loved playing there.
RnRR: A good venue with a an even better crowd always makes for a great gig. Is there any venue/festival that you are dying to play in the future?
GELAX: Oh that’s a tough one haha. If we’re gonna dream then we’ll dream big. Coachella or the next Woodstock would be nice. Would love to play any place in England too. Would be so surreal to tour there, since most of our musical heroes came from there.
RnRR: Okay, well with that in mind, for the last question I’ll ask something I ask many bands. In a year’s time, where would you like to be? What are your aspirations for the coming months?
GELAX: We’re currently working on our first full album which is exciting because it’s going to be fully done with producer Tim Abraham, who we loved working with on our last 3 singles. He captures our moods and directions very well. Once completed , we aim to have a tour to support the album. We’re also targeting lots of festivals to play next year, so busy times!
RnRR: Busy times indeed. All the best for the future and we’ll be sure to update the page with any of your news.
Find out more about Gelax via their website at www.gelaxband.com
American rockers, Cold Shoulder chat to Edward Burnett about what the music means to them, upcoming projects and fan interaction.
RnRR: Hi, would you mind introducing the band to our readers and what you specialise in?
CS: Hi! We're Cold Shoulder and we've been a band for about a year now. We are a rock band that brings quite a bit of our influences to the table. I'd say we sound most like Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and a sprinkle of Seether.
RnRR: Where are you guys from and what’s the story between you all meeting each other?
CS: We are from Antioch, CA (near San Francisco) and actually met via Craigslist! Joe (guitar) and Jason (bass) were looking for a drummer and singer and had an ad posted. Marcus (Vocals) and Jacob (drums) were looking for a guitar player and bass player to jam with. We met up and played some covers and just clicked right away. I guess you would say the rest is history.
RnRR: What a great backstory to a band on the up. Who would you say were your biggest inspirations for getting into music and actually going out there and having the confidence to form a band?
CS: Great question. I'd say mostly Alice in Chains, Seether, Soundgarden, and then some older influences such as Motley Crüe. We also love the way some more nearby acts such as Slaves or Nerv navigates the music and digital space. Big shout out to Nerv with that actually, we got a chance to speak with Dillon the vocalist and we just loved the way the band performed and connects with the audience on multiple platforms. It's always fun to pick the brains of people who you feel do a great job.
RnRR: Exactly and always good to acknowledge those that help and inspire along the way. So for new listeners, what songs would you recommend to give a real sense of the band?
CS: We only have 2 singles out, "Don't Call Me" and "Know Your Enemy". They both have a different feel/style and would say to check both of them out. We'll have a new song coming out in early February as well!
RnRR: Yes different styles indeed and throughly recommendable. Both obviously have a very heavy rock feel to them, which arguably gives them a strong personality in their own right. Is that what you’re aiming for with your February release too?
CS: Yes definitely! It pulls a little more in the Alice In Chains direction, but is still very much heavy rock.
RnRR: That’s good to hear that you’re sticking to your root inspirations. So other than a new single in February, what other plans do you have for the coming year and foreseeable future?
CS: We are going to continue to write music and release every couple of months. We are planning to record an album or EP as well, but don't have a solid release as of yet. We'll always continue to play shows and are definitely looking to play shows further from our locale!
RnRR: Exciting stuff, so with the mention of live shows, do you prefer to be on the stage rather than in the studio? Or are there significant pros to each?
CS: We love being in the studio. It's so fun to explore the dynamics of our songs and discover new parts and layers. However, there's something so special about that connection that happens with an audience in front of you. We love playing to folks who like our music!
RnRR: Very well said as live venue events always have a unique feel to them that you just can’t replicate. So one final question, this time next year, where would you like to be? Aspirations?
CS: We would like to continue to grow our fan base and keep the connection we have with our fans. We would like to have our EP/album released and to be playing shows outside of our immediate area or even outside the state. Our favorite thing is the fan interaction and we're always brainstorming unique ways to connect. We have some cool stuff in the works for video ideas and showing what goes on behind the scenes. Some of that will be releasing more frequently as well.
RnRR: Sounds like a good plan and looking forward to your future projects. Thanks for your time and we will be sure to update the site with any news coming from your camp.
You can find out more about Cold Shoulder via their social media channels, @coldshoulderband on Instagram and @cold_shoulder4 on Twitter.