Revolution: The Shoegaze Revival – Behind The Songs Part Two

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shoegaze revival

As we previously reported, Welsh/Canadian record label Ear To Ear Records and Indonesian label Gerpfast Kolektif have joined forces to release a pretty stellar mix of new shoegaze tunes. The compilation, titled Revolution – The Shoegaze Revival, is a heady mix of shoegaze, dreampop, and nugaze and brings together 30 bands from 16 countries and 5 continents.

This is the second part in a three part feature (check out the first part), in which we ask each band to tell us about the song they contributed to the compilation. What is clear from the answers is that shoegaze has become a global entity, loved from Hong Kong to Pakistan to Brazil to its home in the UK. Many thanks to Shauna McLarnon of Ear To Ear Records, Ummagma, and Shameless Promotion PR for coordinating the interviews. Legend.

Download the entire compilation through Bandcamp for free!

What inspired you to write the song you have featured on this compilation and what is it about? How did the songwriting process take place?

The lyrics are simply a suggestion inspired by induist holy text Upanishad, according to whom true knowledge must go over the deceptive appearence of the world; time and space are just a form of our sensory and mental representation, but if you want to put your fingers on reality you have to rip this veil of illusion and go further, beyond phenomena, beyond forms, even beyond your thinking. Music has the very same structure of our mind, suggesting that maybe somehow our brain could be tuned on a different kind of wave, coming in direct contact with what Kant named “the thing in itself”. This was the last song to be composed for our first, self-produced LP “Rev Rev Rev” – not so long before the recording sessions. It’s quite an unusual song for us, since it’s marked by a 6/8 rhythm. It started from a guitar riff, then we added the bass and the rest. As for the rest of the album, it’s basically a full band take.
Laura Lacuzio, Rev Rev Rev (about their track ‘Rip the Veil’)

I was inspired by the Japanese anime film “Nagisa no asukara”. I made this song, using a vocaloid at first. But then I re-recorded it and also re-arranged it again. I played both the bass and the guitar at my home studio, and it was only the vocals that were recorded in a music studio. My friend from school sang on this track and I played everything myself. This is a story about a boy who was loved by a girl who sank into the sea.
Magao (about his track ‘Dive to the Sea’)

What inspired me to write “This will end tonight” is depression, when you feel lost and what to end it all. It is a song about suicide and the thoughts that run through your head when you feel you have no escaping your own demons. The song was recorded with me on guitar and Bob on drums at the same time. Then I added the bass, the lead guitar, and the vocals. It was done in one take after jamming it twice in our studio.
Tom Lugo, Stellarscope (on their track ‘This Will End Tonight’)

We started writing Muffhead during a time when we were inspired to try something new. Back then we had another name and another concept for the band. Muffhead brought us to shoegaze and was one of the first songs we wrote for Jaguwar. There’s not a lot of meaning in the lyrics but the song means a lot to us. It is a very typical Jaguwar song, defining a new chapter for us. Songwriting went pretty fast as Muffhead is a simple pop song. The first time we recorded the song was years ago and it was a lot faster and noisier. We were not pleased so we recorded the song again a year later and that’s the version you know today.
Oyemi Noize, Jaguwar (on their track ‘Muffhead’)

We were inspired by that come and go through the cold bohemian nights in Lima, staring through fog-up car windows in the city, and we would think to ourselves : “Trasnoche” (all-nighter) could be the title of the –back then still unfinished- track. “Trasnoche” is about transporting ourselves to a specific moment in time in the underground Lima nightlife, where sound, headlights from cars on the highways, drinks, music, glances , words and smoke all get mixed up in the city. The track was written and composed a few years ago, and initially it was recorded with a keyboard; guitar and it even had vocals, but we decided to cut out the vocals when we completed recording the bass. Rolando added that great bass, Jose in guitar and initially myself (Jorge) on keyboards, sequencer and guitar. The three of us worked on the final touches for the track included on the album.
Jorge Rivas O’Connor, Puna (about their track ‘Trasnoche’)

The song actually created by our lead guitarist, Ritchie. So he had some good riffs, and then we polished it into a song. We tried to put more reverb noisy atmoshpere on the song, similar like what Ride or Chapterhouse has done. I always love how the Ride create their song covered with noise and reverbs. The lyrics, actually about a surreal feeling with someone, like in a limbo and you can’t get out our want to leave the moment. Actually, ‘Limbo’ was the first title we gave on the song. The process to make this song pretty easy on the writing part, and also on the recording. We recorded it on semi dub track recording session. we records the drum, rythm guitar, and bass. after that we filled in the leads, layers, and vocal.
Peter Andriaan Walandouw, Damascus (about their track ‘Slightest’)

‘My Flowery Dream’ was inspired by our real life stories. All of us live naively. Being naive save us from the cruelty of the world. We tend to ignore social norms that are hard to understand and prefer to live by our own rules. “Dream” in this song refers to those “rules”. You can see this in the lyrics. Indonesians call this attitude rebellion or anarchism. But we called it a flowery dream. The irony is, as a dream, it isn’t totally real. The fact is that we still have to deal with society’s standard of living. This is the compromise that is also faced by most other musicians in Indonesia.

So this song is about our naivety and the “rules” we dream of. Specifically, “rules” about how we deal with time. We believe that time is relative. We can manipulate and control it. Being old is an illusion, just like being young, and that’s okay. And we try to describe this belief in this song.
Dwianto Prastowo, Intenna (on their song ‘My Flowery Dream’)

This song emerged from an old Duelectrum tune. I changed the lyrics (the original ones were in Portuguese) and rearranged some parts of the song. The lyrics are nothing special, and there is no special meaning. Plus, I borrowed on some element of the melody from ‘My Life In Art’ by Mojave 3, and applied this here too. Most of the time, I try to find a good melody, put some chords on it or a good riff and then I start to think in terms of verses. That’s why I believe we make pop songs to play at a high volume. Here are the lyrics for this song: “She doesn’t see / She doesn’t care for the money / Her mind is open but she cannot feel the sun / So let me take you through your childhood / Let me bring your happy days again / Please forget about the sad songs / We have a life to live right now.”
Filipe Albuquerque, Duelectrum (on their song ‘She Doesn’t Feel The Sun’)

I was greatly influenced by cool phrase and strong reverberation sound when listening to “Morning Light” by Giirls. I myself also thought that I would have liked to make this song, so I composed ‘Sway, Fadeaway’. This song is for someone special and the soundscape was to express the “wavering, delete disappearing” feeling in both the lyrics and sound. I wrote this song three years ago and recorded it in 2013, and then we released the mini-album “Sink You”. The following year, we recorded it again in order to make the PV for this song. The version that we recorded last year turned out much better, and I like the way the vocals are more mixed in the sound.
Ayumi Kobayashi, Spool (on their song ‘Sway, Fadeaway’)

Believe it or not, we never wrote songs on our own. Every single song was written by the band together. The lyrics always comes last. And this song is not an exception, we can’t remember exactly, one of us came up with the opening riff casually and we just developed the rest together. It’s a very natural process and it turned out to be one of our favourite songs.
Tim Ng, The Yours (on their song ‘Honey Treats’)

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