Having spent the last few years releasing a broad and diverse array of breezy and anthemic offerings, Toronto-based outfit GelaX recently returned to deliver their captivating new EP 'Dreamonic'.
Channeling a eclectic range of directions including dark-pop, psych-rock, and trip-hop throughout the five-track collection, 'Dreamonic' makes for a brilliantly engaging listen. Jam-packed with emotionally-charged textures, soaring production, and killer hooks throughout, their latest release spells great promise for the years ahead.
So with the new EP available now, we sat down with them to find out more about their origins and what has inspired them most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Gelareh: Drums, I've always wanted to be able to play drums but so far I haven't gotten the chance to pursue it.
Tareq: My parents had a keyboard that I used to try and figure their soap opera music on it when i was 8 or 9, but never got serious till I got my guitar at 14, Kurt Cobain's fault.
What was the first song that inspired you to make your own music?
Gelareh: I was in love with singing since I was a child, so I had to make a basic song to be able to sing on top of it, I Guess anything I've listened to inspired me in a way.
Tareq: Hmm weird question, hard to remember that far. I know before I started learning any instruments seriously I was obsessed with Final Fantasy games music and always wanted to write music for the game. I'd often lay in bed and imagine pieces in my head.
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
Gelareh: I was mostly into pop and slowly started to get into trip hop, dark electronica and indietronica.
Tareq: omg, where do I start. I was a bit of a musical whore. But I think what made the most impression on me at the time was the grunge movement and metal. Oh plus Pink Floyd and any spacey psychedelic stuff.
What do you find is the best environment to find inspiration for your music?
Gelareh: Environments usually don't inspire me as much as stories and societal issues happening around us. My own experiences and struggles as well of course.
Tareq: A guitar, a joint, solitude, and a broken heart. haha, ok not always a broken heart, but definitely when I'm more introspective or melancholic.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
Gelareh: I've been rediscovering lately 80s new wave and post punk. I love what Alt-J does with music as well and their uniqueness.
Tareq: Anything new by Radiohead is a winner in my books. Also recently I've been getting more into Grizzly Bear, fantastic lyrics and arrangements. The latest album by Patrick Watson is absolute joy and a surreal cinematic experience, he writes from the heart and has so many colours and moods to keep you guessing the whole way.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
It's not exactly personal about specific people in our lives, but usually in response to interactions with certain people in our past or stories that made an impression on us. Like "Mr Square" which was based on Gelareh's experiences with chauvinistic men.
What has been the most unusual moment in your career so far?
Gelareh: When you realise you can't go any further with your singing passion in your home country (Iran), since women aren't allowed to sing or take the stage on their own, so you have to leave everything behind to pursue your dream.
Tareq: While on tour, one of our city stops bar/music venues had absolutely no PA system, no microphones, no backline, or a basic drum kit, even though they claimed to be a hub for all the classic rock bands that have passed by and played there. We had to rush to the nearest music store to get basic equipment minutes before closing.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Radiohead! and then we'll quit music!
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
Gelareh: Videography, video editing and animation. Anything visual really, I often see pictures and images in my head before bringing them to life on our IG page.
Tareq: Does guitar teacher or composer count? I guess I would have either been a movie director or actor. I love the mystery and ingenuity that goes behind the scenes to make it impactful on screen. Studied about Orson Wells in University in Film courses and was blown away by his passion to break the rules just to get the feelings he had of characters on the screen.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
Gelareh: Never quit, no matter how hard it gets.
Tareq: Play with feeling and stop thinking too hard about your parts and just enjoy the simplicity.
GelaX's new EP 'Dreamonic' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in full via the player below.