|Glasgow meets Paris via London and Helsinki - Voodootron featuring Gil de Ray and Benjamin Goursot|
Voodootron is the creative brain works of Glaswegian vocalist Gil De Ray who lives in London and keyboardist Benjamin Goursot, a Parisian living in Helsinki.
Their video launch is set to coincide with a live show performance at The Social this Friday coming where the duo will be showcasing their debut single Nuclear Sun at one of the trendiest and most iconic intimate venues in central London.
Having described their sound as "post-Krautrock-Nicolas Jarr, sci-fi displacement blues with a sneer of Suicide", It’s All Indie were dying to catch up with Gil de Ray to hear more about the fascinating creative partnership.
Do you want to start telling us how Voodootron came about?
“It started six years ago, that is when I met Ben. We were booked on the same bill at The Lexington. It was the first Gil De Ray gig I did after my band BlakMagikSociety split up. Ben was over from Helsinki with his band Madam De C***. We got on straight from the bat, recognised each other as musical brothers. So we hatched a plan to release a joint 7” with Madame De C*** on one side and Gil De Ray on the other. That was our first single, “Bad Motherf*cker”. Anyway, he ended up doing a remix which had this real heavy voodoo vibe to it. That’s where the seeds were planted for what we would do with Voodootron.”
How did your creative collaboration begin from when you first met?
“Over the years we kept in touch and Ben produced an early GDR album “Low Sun Rising” which we put out on Bandcamp. I went over to Helsinki, hung out, recorded and played a show there with his band. We were both finding our way with our own bands so it was fitting in around that.
It wasn’t until last summer that we really made a conscious decision to do something together.”
“So I flew over to Helsinki, hung out, watched films about the Great Pyramids and discussed theories on astrotheology, sonic levitation and the writings of people like Zechariah Sitchin and the whole 12th Planet, Annunaki thing. That’s when Voodootron was born. Eating pizza, drinking beer, twenty-three hours of daylight, it does strange things to your body clock. It was pretty intense but in a week we got down the guts of the album.”
Being just the two of you, I would imagine establishing effective ways of work together is absolutely crucial, how do you like to work and how did you combine your ways of working?
“When I got back to London we just bounced files back and forward, Ben has the patience to really work on the details of the production whereas I just kind of like to throw down ideas really quickly. I’ll go back to them and develop them but I like to get that initial idea down as raw as possible. Ben sculpts them and makes them sound sick. It was like a factory. I would work on a new song send it to him in its roughest state and go to bed. By the time I got up in the morning there would be a mix waiting for me in my inbox. It makes the whole process really exciting. Like being a fan. You get to hear things like a fan because you are kind of hearing it for the first time. The song is there but the dynamics and the energy is new.”
What do you see as the major difference between being in a full band and working more as a duo and being more project focused?
“Being in a conventional band is harder. You have a group of guys, all with their own ideas how things should sound. You have the live dynamic of people playing together which is exciting but it has a different nuance to this way of recording. And then there’s the physical aspect of it. You have to rehearse, learn your parts, get it down and it takes a lot more organising to schedule four or however many people’s lives in to sync. The way our lives are now, that is harder to do because everyone has so many commitments to just survive. “
How do you structure or plan your writing work? How challenging is it to be creative in today’s world?
“I work when I want to, late at night, early in the morning, whenever the mood takes, same with Ben. It’s a lot less pressure that way. We wanted to make something in the spirit of Suicide, electronic but with the feeling of a rock ‘n ‘roll band. That is where we come from. Lyrically too, I wanted to push things further. I don’t hear too many people singing about war, institutionalised paedophilia or Jung’s theories of the subconscious."
"They might be out there but I don’t hear them. I write the only way I can, from my experience, of how I see the world, how it’s presented to me. How it affects me. It’s just about communicating those ideas, those perspectives. We’re all living on this crazy revolving rock and we know nothing. Our history is stolen and our true roots hidden. All we have is our shared experiences which we all relate to in our own way. That’s how we learn and keep growing.”
Voodootron are playing at The Social on 15/06/18
as part of Prison Tan Series - Cold Lips magazine