THE GULPS (from l-r): Francesco Buffone (guitar), Raoul Khayat (drums), Harry All (vocals), Charlie Green (guitar), Simon Mouchard (bass)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
PHOTO by KOVACS LASZLO
Based in London, but hailing from different parts of Europe and the Middle East, The Gulps are a five-piece united in giving listeners an explosive, highly-energetic rock n’ roll sound that effectively reflects their diverse origins.
Having performed well-received sets at venues and festivals across much of the UK, the band brought out their debut EP, entitled ‘In The Kings House‘, this April, which was produced by legendary producer and Killing Joke guitarist Martin “Youth” Glover, and has so far had an overwhelmingly positive response.
The quintet recently spoke to me about all of this, and much more.
How did the band first get together?
The Gulps come from different parts of Europe and the Middle East. Charlie and Harry came from Spain to find their music spirit in London. They met Francesco, Simon, and Raoul at music school, and decided to form the band.
The boys united over a mutual appreciation for high velocity interests that held music at its core, and together, they realised this explosive energy through the formulation of The Gulps.
How did the name The Gulps come about?
The aim of the project was to create a sensory experience for listeners that stimulated a multi-faceted reaction across the body. The act of “gulping” is the physical manifestation of such an event, and so we decided to make it our namesake.
What are the band’s main musical influences?
Each band member brings their own geographical discography with them to influence the sound of The Gulps. Primarily, the boys draw upon their inspiration of rock’s household names, such as The Strokes, The Rolling Stones, and The Clash, to ground their compositions.
This appreciation, however, only acts as a foundation, paying homage to sounds of the past, as The Gulps reignite the industry with their own dissertation on what it is to be rock-‘n’-roll in 2019.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
As with the conception of a painting, story, character, or dance, our songs begin at the intersection of experimentation and inspiration.
Usually, one of the boys starts with a riff that is presented to the rest of the band as an invitation to create, and it is from there that the creative unconscious is called upon to lyrically inform the poetry of the song and bridge The Gulps with the listeners.
What inspires the band lyrically?
We are influenced by what we see every day, both at a personal and societal level. It is finding the drama in even the most seemingly mundane acts that compels us to write.
In April, you brought out a debut EP, entitled ‘In The Kings House’. How was the recording process for that?
The EP was recorded over three days in The Doghouse Studios, a Martin “Youth” Glover establishment, which is located in a serene oasis just outside of London, and to make music in such a naturally contemplative environment added to the success of the production, alongside the irreplaceable guidance of Martin and Michael Rendall.
And how has the response been to the release up to now?
The amount of support we have received from everyone since the release has been amazing, and this is indicative of the overwhelming amount of votes we received for the Mad Cool festival, where we won a spot to play thanks to the contributions of all our fans far and wide.
Having played at venues across the UK and France, as well as festivals such as Camden Rocks and the Truck Festival, the band recently performed at the Mad Cool festival in Spain, alongside such big musical names as Noel Gallagher, Iggy Pop, and The Cure. That must have been quite an experience for you all.
It’s true that we had not played alongside such renowned names before, and this was a different experience for all of us, for sure, but to be honest, whether it is a small venue in Chalk Farm or a massive stage in Madrid, it is all about the vibe and the music.
We have played in super intimate spaces before, where the relationship between the music and the crowd has been as moving as playing larger venues. It is of course a nice feeling to be considered for festivals that showcase the big names as well, but what is more satisfying is fulfilling the concept of The Gulps.
And how is it being on stage overall?
The energy felt whilst being on stage is almost like you are operating on another frequency, as time seems to go at a different pace, and we suppose that’s where that expression about time flying when you are having fun comes from.
Maybe it is not like this all the time, but when you are really doing it right, it feels like you are flying.
What are your plans for the near future?
We are thinking to record an album with Martin at the beginning of October, also we’re going to try and get on festival bills around the world.
And lastly, what is the band’s long-term aim?
Well ultimately, the aim is like we said, to create an overall sensory experience for audiences, and that is a forever ongoing process that will never be wholly satisfied.
If we had to speak in milestones, then recording an album and having the opportunity to play to different crowds around the world would obviously be aims, however that is not the purpose of The Gulps.
‘IN THE KINGS HOUSE’ – THE DEBUT EP FROM THE GULPS – IS AVAILABLE NOW VIA YOUTH SOUNDS, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: