We got to chat to Fiona and Niall from Gefahrgeist about their dream collaborations, the Scottish gigging scene, and much more!
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Fiona: The lack of gigs this past year has highlighted the abysmal state of the division of wealth from the massive streaming services. We’d love to see musicians and producers actually make a decent amount of money for their work, and we’re happy to throw our support behind the many organisations fighting for a change such as Keep Music Alive and the MU.
What or who got you into music?
Fiona: My childhood soundtrack was female singer songwriters that my Dad would show me like Melania, Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter. I remember wanting to be like them when I was young! My Dad also got me started on guitar and encouraged me to start songwriting.
Niall: I come from a fairly musical family – my Dad and brother both play guitar. I grew up listening to a lot of old school punk before getting into video game and film soundtracks.
If you could have 3 musicians headline a festival, dead or alive, who would it be?
Fiona: Lianne LaHavas, Joni Mitchell, NAO
Niall: Lushlife, Bonobo, Nick Drake
What is your dream gig venue?
Fiona: I’d love to do a gig at a ski resort or beach festival! Edinburgh’s got a lot of great venues too, though. You can’t call yourself an Edinburgh band without playing Sneaky Pete’s so that’ll probably be our first stop.
If you had to describe Scottish gig culture in 3 words, what would they be?
Fiona: If it’s Edinburgh, it’s tame, respectful nodding. If it’s Glasgow, it’s mad dancing and heckling.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Niall: Ninja Sex Party
Fiona: Their music is totally different from ours, but we’re huge fans, so it’d be ace to hear what we could come up with together.
What plans do you have for any new releases such as videos or gigs?
Fiona: We have a lyric video for our new single Parasites (out 30th April) in the words from the incredible Lee Waters, and we’re also planning a couple of live videos for release in mid summer. With the news about venues in Edinburgh this week, we’re hoping to have an EP launch gig around autumn in the city!
What did you get up to during Lockdown?
Fiona: With gigs cancelled, I decided to put my efforts into building up the Scottish music community as best I could. I started a monthly playlist of indie Scottish artists called ‘Local Heroes’ and began a weekly review series called ‘Shoutout Saturdays’ where I pick three songs from the playlist to talk about. I also organised a charity collaborative album with 12 other female identifying artists where we all covered each other’s song which raised over £500 for Scottish Women Inventing Music. I’m also hoping to have my own radio show soon as well!
Niall: Video games!
What is the first thing you’re going to do when you’re out of Lockdown?
Fiona: Meet up in a beer garden with some of the amazing and kind musician friends I’ve made over the past year. And see my parents again!
Niall: Start rehearsing for a Gefahrgeist live set.
What are some of your favourite up and coming bands from Scotland?
Fiona: My three top picks at the moment are Dictator, Alex Amor and Hector Shaw. Ask me tomorrow and it’ll be three different incredible artists. There’s so many insanely good acts coming out of Scotland right now!
What’s a few songs that you listen to and think “God, I wish I wrote this”?
Niall: The Decline by NOFX and First Fires by Bonobo.
Fiona: Anything by Equador. And Telephone Number by Junko Ohashi which is a song I listen to pretty much every day.
How do you think the gig scene in Scotland is going to look in 2021?
Fiona: I for one would love to see more festivals and line ups with a bigger balance of genders represented. In the last few weeks, they’ve started announcing their line ups and most of the acts are white men (big surprise) which reflects the pattern of the music industry giving more opportunities to white male artists. I’ve met so many talented performers this year, a lot of them women, so the fact that these acts aren’t being considered baffles me.
For those who aren’t familiar with your music, how would you describe it?
Fiona: It’s definitely influenced by the crossovers in mine and Niall’s music tastes. There’s a lot of video game and film soundtracks in there, a big dash of Zero 7 and Massive Attack as well. On the songwriting side, I’m influenced by the female singer songwriters I heard growing up.
Niall: I studied composition and always wanted to write for orchestras. I soon figured out it was much cheaper to just buy Ableton and write electronic soundscapes instead!
What is the best musical advice you’ve ever been given?
Fiona: Don’t look at the music industry like a competition. Support and collaborate with your fellow artists instead!
Niall: Every band needs a good bassist.
Check out their social media below. Thank you to Niall and Fiona for taking part!