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