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Seven Quick Questions... Goya

Seven Quick Questions... Goya

Interviewed by
Jess Nicholson
Tuesday 29th March, 2016 11:10AM

Last week we took a peek behind the curtains of Eyegum Wednesdays at San Fran with the first in a series of interviews with artists performing at the weekly residency - kicking off with a wee chat to local artist E N T and international gust Lafidki. This time round, Jess Nicholson posed Seven Quick Questions to Lucas Donnell of Goya following his mid-week set, and here's what he had to say about Goya, along with his other solo project, Heatpump. Have a read, and then check out below to see what's coming up at Eyegum this week... 

1. Where did you find your sound for Goya?

It kinda developed organically from playing around with different distortions and stuff, but I guess it came from blimmin’ nasty 80s post punk, and there’s this revival at the moment in Canada that’s like Viet Cong but they’re taking the same sound and pushing it further in different ways… That’s kind of where Goya came from.

2. You never formally learned to play the guitar, how did you learn and how did you build the stamina to persevere and make music on your own?

I picked up guitar because I couldn’t sing and play bass in my first band (Man/Woman) - it was a three-piece of bass, guitar and drums. I couldn’t play bass and sing at the same time but I’d written all of these songs so I picked up the guitar and taught myself to play by watching, um, live videos of Talking Heads, so I kind of ended up playing guitar like David Byrne and he doesn’t really play guitar…. normally. So I’ve ended up with a weird hybrid kind of style.

Uh, stamina? I guess just wanting to create and to have a sound, wanting to take what’s in my head from listening to things and other bands, and I guess wanting to do something similar but in my own way – that’s what drives me to make my own music.

3. Tell me a bit about what your first Goya albums on Bandcamp are about – is it more than yo-pros and robots?

Yeah [laughs]. Uh, the first album is completely different from the rest of my stuff. I made it like two years ago… yeah around this time two years ago. I was listening to different music and I wanted to make something that was different from what I had been playing before, which was more electronic based. And so I wanted to make a really analog sounding, more of a 70s kinda throw-back, RnB, kinda psychedelic thing – and I mean the old stuff was poppy and I wanted to make more guitar-pop kinda stuff. So yeah, that’s what came from that. And I guess it kinda coincided, uh, with a break up, boo hoo. So it’s kind of a breakup album. It’s more self-indulgent in the sense that it’s more touchy feely but yeah, that’s not what the new stuff is about. The new stuff is more broadly social. It’s still related to me but it’s more about shared, more relatable experiences… I hope.

4. Tonight you played some songs I’d never heard before, are you writing new material with Jono and Frazer?

Uhhh for the most part, actually entirely, I write the lyrics and guitar and I create the structures of the songs. But since they’ve come on board the new material is created more as a band, so I’ll write the guitar and vocals and Frazer will pick up rhythm and Jono will play bass and that, especially Jono playing bass, has created more of a Goya sound because uh, the music is so bass focused. The bass really drives the songs.

5. Heatpump, your solo project, is a very different sound; where did that come from?

Oh! I’m totally, TOTALLY utterly obsessed with 80s Italo Disco music. I think it’s camp enough to be really interesting but it’s not too corny. Some of the bizarre synthesizer and drum machine sounds are so throw-back, but to me they sound so so good. I really wanted to make something that was along those lines of being easy to listen to, but still interesting and still kind of weird. Like, it’s almost kind of uneasy in the sense that it’s poppy and listenable but also unusually emotive. I wanted to make it something you feel, but not a feeling that you feel is appropriate for the music. There’s a new Heatpump EP coming out soonish and that’s kind of where the vaporwave genre is coming into it – where vaporwave is unsettlingly strange, but satisfying.

6. When can we expect to see Heatpump live?

Well I did play a set on the free stage at Chrony back in February, but there is actually a booked gig on the 25th of May with Eyegum at San Fran. That should be a whole lot of fun with a whole lot of new material and it’s possibly going to be a played set and semi-improvised.

7. If you were a flower, what flower would you be and why?

Hands down I’d be a nasturtium. They are delicious and I have very happy and fond memories associated with nasturtiums.

This week's Eyegum Wednesdays at San Fran will feature the musical stylings of Mother's Dearest along with Waterfalls. Head over here for more information.

Photo by Kahu Kutia


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