GusGus was initially formed in 1995 as a film/music collective. This spawned a short film and a critically acclaimed best selling album in Iceland. After striking a deal with 4AD in 1996 they became one of the most sought after electronic music acts out of Iceland.
We had the chance to speak with them ahead of their Miami gig at Bardot on November 5th.
Electronic Groove: Hey guys, a pleasure to be interviewing you – we have followed you for a long time. You’re originally from Iceland and have been going strong for more than two decades. How does the scene compare back then to what it is now? Can you let us know some highlights of your career so far?
GusGus: Back in the days when GusGus was born, 1995 to be exact, it was following an era of many vibrant and fundamental changes within electronic music. After the birth of house in the states, the party animals in Britain and the techno minds in Germany took over and defined a new platform for music. Anything was possible and we were inspired by that feeling. Today everything is much more sophisticated and retro-minded. There is no special scene we relate to though there are new artists we highly respect. So we need to create our own scene that is basically a mixture of late 70’s and 1993 ambient breaks stuff, infused with new sound possibilities and the trademark GusGus groove.
Electronic Groove: Has your approach to your music changed over the years? Or has it always had the same motivation and inspiration?
GusGus: The approach is very much driven by the same force, a desire for exploration and music being an emotional force for us. We never see others as fans to please, we just approach music as a means to fulfill our own emotional needs. Being able to share that with others is, however, our greatest privilege.
Electronic Groove: What’s the biggest thing you look forward to when performing live with all of the your equipment?
GusGus: Just bringing the party, I just love playing our set, always.
Electronic Groove: Which tracks are you most excited about playing on your US tour, and which cities are you playing for the first time?
GusGus: I guess we are most excited about playing the latest new track in the set, ‘Cream’, and also two others that are new, ‘Lifetime’ and ‘Our World’. But I have to admit that each time I start David, Lust, Airwaves, Over, Arabian Horse, Crossfade, and Deep Inside, it gives me a nice feeling knowing that the audience is now in for a treat.
Electronic Groove: What can newcomers to your sound expect to hear at Bardot here in Miami on 5th November?
GusGus: A powerful performance from one of the veteran electronic bands from the turbulent era of the 90’s, exploring soundscapes from every spectrum of electronic music, entwined with irresistibly arousing beats.
Electronic Groove: Have you got any new projects coming up? Your last album Mexico was released in 2014, so we feel that you are due a release sometime soon 😉 If there is, what is the inspiration for this new project?
GusGus: The new album is in the making to be released no later than the fall 2017 (hopefully in the spring though). The inspiration is our own urge to explore and this time we are visiting the late 70’s arpeggio driven nerd music and the ambient breaks of 1993.
Electronic Groove: If you could only pick one instrument/machine from your live setup, what would it be and why?
GusGus: The most important piece is not an instrument, it is the Mackie mixer VLZ1604 that connects everything through my fingers. But then if that was the only thing I had on stage not much more than silence would be experienced. The live set is curated through carefully selected pieces of gear that make it possible to create huge soundscapes, tight grooves and a 100% manually manipulated electronic live set.
Electronic Groove: Did all of the band grow up with a musical background?
GusGus: Me and Daniel have no formal musical training.
Electronic Groove: What’s the step-by-step process when working together and producing music for GusGus? Who does what?
GusGus: I come up with small ideas for grooves, chord structures, and soundscapes, then Daniel picks those worth working on in his mind and then we finish them together.
Electronic Groove: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with at the moment?
GusGus: Alex Banks and Metodi Hristov
Electronic Groove: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, we will see you at your gig at Bardot!