Back To Dust: Get People

"It’s really just completely open..."
Get People

According to myth, Get People were born from a long, lonely drive through Death Valley.

It's an easy thing to buy into. There, amongst the endless searing heat and golden rocks, the band would have been completely alone with the sound of the car stereo melding with the stunning surroundings. Live, Get People have a similar mixture of intense music and visuals.

Newly expanded to a four piece with the addition of Michael H Smith, the band match out there, sensual electronics to thoughtful, sensitively produced visuals. Set to play Clash Magazine's latest issue launch party this Thursday (November 6th) Get People musician Dom Goldsmith agreed to answer a few of our questions.

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You’re now a four piece?
Yeah. Michael H Smith – who is a friend of ours – joined the project full time as our animator. From the very beginning we wanted to make the project and audio / visual experience, and Michael is facilitating that with us. We’ve been working together, sending him music and then he sends us visuals. We’re working together and it’s really cool, actually, it’s really fun.

How will this translate to a live performance?
Basically at the moment we are doing a render which we play to. We’ve got these ideas on how we can integrate Michael live, but at the moment it’s recorded beforehand. We’re going to change that but at the moment it’s a render projected behind us.

Does Michael have an art school background?
Well, with the animation it’s self taught. His art is really cool, we’d been looking at it before and thought that it would work really well with our music. His style fits with the fairly otherworldly vibes which we are trying to create. The whole idea being that it is this place that we can all go to which is metaphorical.

Is the creativity within Get People quite communal?
Well I mean there’s no set rules, at all. It’s really just completely open, we all put as much into this project as each other. There’s a level of respect their which comes with that because we all know how emotionally.. in terms of emotional input we all know how much goes into it so there is that level of respect behind it whereby everyone is on equal terms.

You refer to it as a project rather than a band.
No, that’s not trying to be either way. With Michael coming on board.. we’re working towards this idea that one day it could be something where there’s art and music, visuals and film. Something to work towards. Whenever that happens, I don’t know. Calling it a project – that could be a by product of working on various programs, you call them projects. You get that word engrained in your brain, maybe it’s from working on the computer for so long.

Do you work together, eyeball to eyeball?
Me and Casper are working together every day. Martin comes in and works with us as and when. Also, we’ll have at least one, maybe two sessions working with Michael every week as well just to see where we’re at and where it’s going. One thing about working to a computer screen is that you can see what colours and contrasts work, with the music as well. It’s kind of all the time and mostly together.

Did you think of music in visual terms before you started this project?
I definitely.. when I’m writing or producing I liken a lot of things – in normal life – I find it a lot easier to visual things. I can’t read music or anything so when I visualise notes I think of things going higher or things going lower. In terms of how thick something is, you do think of it in terms of thickness as well. In terms of the frequencies ranges and stuff. You do start to visualise things, but when that happened I’m not entirely sure. Certainly, within Get People we try to marry music and visuals as much as possible. At the beginning we were trying to do it ourselves, using stock footage and stuff like that. We used to take pictures on these journeys, Caspar and me, and then put them together as these stop motion journeys and then stop them out in a DJ program. It was fine for a time but the quality was rubbish so when Michael came on board it really helped us realise our original ideas.

You’ve been working with Luv Luv Luv is that a partnership that’s going to continue?
Definitely. They’ve helped us hugely and we’ve had a great relationship with them. In terms of the album, once it’s done we’re kind of open, basically, to everyone’s ideas. Hopefully Luv Luv Luv will contribute to that. We’re aiming to have it done in January and then enter post-production with a guy called Mark Ralph. He did the last Hot Chip album, 2 Bears and is now working on the Hot Natured project. The advantage of that being that once it’s done we then think about where we can license it. We’ll own the record, which is not always the case for a band. We’ve produced it all ourselves to we’ve not had to pay huge studio costs, whereas sometimes with a band you’ll need to pay fifty, sixty grand before you even start. We own our record and we’re open to thinking about what we want to do with it.

How would you incorporate the visual aspect on an album release?
It will be a huge element. We want the album on vinyl as paramount. The sound quality on vinyl is just so much better. Unless you tick the magic box in iTunes it’ll download things on 128 mp3 which is like rubbish. In terms of formats, the artwork looks beautiful on 12 inch vinyl that’s where it’s at, really. However we’re definitely thinking about other ways to put the album out, in terms of marrying the visual world to it. Maybe we’ll end up having a theatrical, musical theatre vibe to it, in a way. These are all things which are developing at the moment, but will take time to finalise.

You’re working on this now, though?
We’re looking to put the album out in June or maybe September. It’s fun to actually be getting to the point where you have this album.. I think we all have the sense that doing these EPs we’re developing in the right way but only recently did we all feel that we’d got whatever we wanted the first album to sound like and that’s why we’re doing it.

How has the visual element impacted on the music?
It’s funny, I think it has. Seeing what Michael actually visualises, how Casper and I are producing. Also our lyrical content is being directed along a pathway of mysticism and myth. It’s funny, walking down the street if you send me some music it would end up more like Plan B’s lyrics. However the visuals link it to something which is quite different. That’s something which has only happened since Michael’s been involved, as well. We’ve definitely been influenced by him in the process.

Photo Credit: Sid Difford

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Get People and Cave Painting are set to play the latest Clash Magazine launch party on Thursday (November 6th).

Facebook event.

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