Meet Geese – the rising Brooklyn five-piece primed for a stratospheric ascent in 2022 with their dizzying brand of psychedelic post-punk.
Still in their teens, the quintet, consisting of Cameron Winter, Gus Green, Dom DiGesu, Foster Hudson and Max Bassin, caused a stir in the indie scene with the release of debut single Disco in June – an ambitious cacophony of sprawling psych-rock that hurtles in with a running time of just under seven minutes.
It may seem an unconventional choice for your introduction on paper – but the impact was immediate, earning praise from the likes of Matt Wilkinson on his Apple Radio show and Rough Trade.
“We decided Disco was going to be the first release but it's also the longest one on the record, which I thought was an interesting choice”, guitarist Gus told Daily Star. “That's one of the elements that I and people enjoy about it. It ended up being the right move."
Created in a windowless basement of their Brooklyn practise space, Projector is one of the year’s best albums, channelling influences ranging from Deerhunter to fellow New York heroes Television.
They formed in 2016 as high school pals, bonding over a love of sharing new music within the group, before adding Foster to the ranks. He was once challenged to listen to an album a day for five years. “I've listened to more than 3,000 albums”, he tells us. An impressive feat.
They thrive on the spontaneous direction of their must-see live shows, too, chopping and changing their sonics while retaining Geese’s expansive and ambitious sound.
Make sure you catch them at The Windmill in Brixton on November 17 before heading to the Sebright Arms in Hackney a day later. Trust us, it won’t be long until Geese are gracing major venues.
Daily Star’s Rory McKeown caught up with Cameron, Gus and Foster to talk about their journey so far, the creation of Projector, their influences, living in Brooklyn, and their live shows.
Hi guys. How can you sum up the past 18 months for Geese?
Gus: "It's very exciting that things have been happening. We released the first couple of singles this summer. Just months before that was a bunch of prep but it's all very exciting."
You drop your debut album Projector later this month. Tell me more about its creation. When did the process start?
Cameron: "We started writing it in early fall 2019. We finished up recording it around the beginning of 2020. We've had them for a little while at this point. It's been a process of getting people to take care for the past year.
"We were going to self-release it over a year ago but that obviously didn't come to pass."
Throughout Projector you touch upon themes such as anxiety over the future and frustrations with the present. How did you get into the mindset of writing these tracks? What else was inspiring you?
Cameron: "All of the tracks were written when I was still 17. It was a lot of school stresses and relationship stresses. In college, it's a very panicky time. That definitely rubbed off on the lyricism."
Is the songwriting process collaborative, or are you the main songwriter, Cameron?
Cameron: "I'm the main songwriter, yeah. It's not always me as a rule but for most of the material on Projector it is.
"But songs like First World Warrior and Exploding House, those were much more collaborative."
Gus: "Cameron will come in with an idea that may or may not be fully fleshed out. Then we'll workshop it a bit. More often than not, it is more fleshed out."
Projector is an incredibly sonically sprawling affair showing you're not afraid to take your sound to different directions and sounds, with strings and brass used in some parts. What was it like seeing the record evolve? Is its final form how you intended it to be at the beginning?
Cameron: "Initially we wanted to make something that we could play live. Something that could be more immediate and based within the guitars. Our second guitarist, Foster, who had previously been a friend of ours who was inhabiting the band's space, and would hang out with us – we recruited him.
"The more psychedelic or electronic parts of it, Gus and I really spent most of high school doing electronic stuff in our rooms. Experimenting with putting in samples and textures in the music we were making in the basement."
How much as Brooklyn shaped you and how important is the area to you guys as a band?
Gus: "In terms of the energy of the area seeping into the music, I feel like what we're doing is isolated. We were very much down in a basement with no windows and would stay there for a good portion of the night. There is a lot of musical history that we ended up pulling from, that centres around New York and Brooklyn."
Anything in particular?
Cameron: "For me, I'd agree with Gus that it was more so the nature of us all being in the city. I've always liked bands like Television that shout out locations in New York. We don't really do that on the album but it's that sort of connectedness to the location might have been inspiring in one way or another."
Marquee Moon is a seminal album, isn't it? Are you big fans of that era of music?
Gus: "Marquee Moon is the best! What else is there?"
What other influences are there for Geese? Do you branch towards other artists or eras for inspiration? Or do you go with how your sound evolves when you're in the basement?
Gus: "We'd spend a lot of time showing each other new music that we liked. We would try and one up each other in finding the coolest piece of music. There was a lot of new stuff every time what we'd be listening to.
"That all ended up going into the creation of the record."
Cameron: "We've been doing music sharing in general for the longest time. It's been a big proponent of us hanging out together and being in a band.
"We'd like to bring Foster over and he gave the most music."
Gus: "It's true. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of albums."
Foster: "I was taking guitar lessons from this guy and he said on a whim 'you should try listening to an album ever day for three months'. I'm very intense at times so I was like 'I'm going to do that for five years'. I did that for five years, all through high school and a little bit afterwards. Then I gave up. In doing that, I've listened to more than 3,000 albums."
Were there any albums that you can remember blew your mind?
Foster: "Public Strain (by Women) is always a big one – the main one for sure."
Cameron: "Deerhunter. Animal Collective."
Merriweather Post Pavilion is a classic.
Cameron: "It's true but there's a hot debate between us about what the best one is. Merriweather Post Pavilion has fallen from grace in many of our eyes."
Gus: "It's Feels, for sure! That's the best one."
Cameron: "I'm a Strawberry Jam man."
Strawberry Jam never gets the praise it deserves.
Cameron: "I know! I feel like it's the best one but it's overlooked all the time."
When you are in the basement with no windows, is that how you work best? Have you changed since then or are you going to keep creating music like this?
Gus: "It's definitely not how we work at our best. It was really dark down there and really hot. There were no windows!
"It's its own thing and a nice place to hang out but it's hard to do long hours down there. There's totally an energy down there that you can't get in other places. It's sort of unique."
When you compare your time in the basement to your live shows, is there much difference?
Cameron: "The live performance is sonically a little different than recorded material, which I think is on purpose for us. I feel like if I got to a live performance and they play it exactly as it is, I'm disappointed sometimes, personally.
"It's usually a little nuttier on stage. We try to have a really good grasp over the songs so we can toy with them in real times if we want to."
Does it go in different directions live?
Gus: "Yeah. Naturally we will change our parts a little bit. It still sounds like the same part but we end up playing off each other a lot. It's such a lot of fun."
Have you managed to play many live shows recently?
Cameron: "A decent amount."
Gus: "This whole past summer, we've been playing shows on and off around New York City."
So shows are opening up again? It must have been a great feeling being able to go back out there after such a long break.
Gus: "Yeah, thank God."
Cameron: "Especially around New York – it's great."
Gus: "Part of the reason for waiting on releasing things was to time it with getting people out and seeing our live shows."
You're playing the Windmill in Brixton and the Sebright Arms here in the UK next month before a tour in February. How much are you looking forward to these shows?
Gus: "I'm pretty stoked. The Windmill's going to be super cool. It's a tiny venue, I've heard. It's going to be awesome."
Your singles so far have been met with a wealth of praise. That must be a great feeling…
Gus: "It's cool. I didn't expect it. We decided Disco was going to be the first release but it's also the longest one on the record, which I thought was an interesting choice. That's one of the elements that I and people enjoy about it. It ended up being the right move."
Are you thinking about your next material? Will you go on a different direction?
Cameron: "It's going to be a pretty different direction. We've been working on it and we're excited to make it better."
Gus: "We've been writing material for over a year now. As Cameron said, it will be different. It will hopefully be exciting."
What's next for you guys?
Cameron: "The Projector tour – hitting Europe and hitting the States."
Geese’s debut album Projector is out on October 29 via Partisan Records/PIAS
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