Interview: Grumbling Fur
Published on August 10th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
We adored Grumbling Fur’s drippy, trippy third album Glynnaestra, describing it in our four-quail review as a “masterful convergence of electronic and organic”, so we furred them over some questions and they grumbled back with the following…
Dumb question to start with: why did you decide upon Grumbling Fur as a band name?
Mr O’Sullivan came up with the idea after he accidentally ingested a tea pot full of mouldy cornflakes, also we like Cameron Jamie’s film Kranky Klaus which feature these hairy yeti-like beasts. We like moody beings, we are moody beings.
I like the fact that you play drum machines rather than program them. Is this a style you stumbled upon yourselves, or did you take your cue from someone else?
Our use of playing drums with keys stems from wanting to keep the tracks fluid and organic and not looking for a form of perfectionism in electronics. We do also programme beats but then filter them through banks of pedals and loopers, beat matching and deconstructing as we go.
Were you being serious when you mentioned using mescaline as a creative stimulant, as it were? It makes sense to me in terms of how ‘drippy’ and otherworldly the music sounds.
That was a particular night, full of many ideas but no one was in a fit state to play or realise any of them. However, a few weeks later the ideas came back to us and we recorded “The Ballad of Roy Batty”.
Have you considered experimenting with a different catalyst on the next album? Do you have material in mind for it, and if so what can you tell us about it at this ridiculously early stage?
We are carrying on developing ideas, mostly song structures at the moment but very layered and lush. We are trying to be free and open and not discussing things too much, but enhancing the way of working together.
It’s all about creating a balance between all of the skills you have both acquired over the years while simultaneously generating new ideas and not second-guessing yourself.
Do you plan to embrace social media at any point? People like me would like to keep abreast of your movements!
What is your live setup like?
Live we use a mixture of electronics, miked-up acoustic instruments, sampler, electric guitar, fx and vocals. It sounds pretty close to how the record is with a few changes and twists here and there to keep us interested. Always sonic.
How did you come to the attention of Thrill Jockey? Do you like their output in general?
Mr Tucker had already released his solo material and his tape loop radiophonics project IMBOGODOM with Thrill Jockey, so it seemed like a good idea to keep it in the family and they are a great label to be involved with, artistically.
Is there any other new music from 2013 that you’ve enjoyed, that is if you’ve had the time to investigate?
What year is it? Quasimoto’s Yessir, Whatever has been on rotation recently.
Grumbling Fur, thank you.
Glynnaestra is out now on Thrill Jockey.