Since the neighboring and adjoining country Belgium has seen some of the greatest electronic acts like Soulwax, Mumbai Science, Aeroplane, The Magician or Modek there are four handsome guys that surely can keep pace with these outriders. Though GOOSE use more than just two turntables but instead create a smashing electronic sound adventure with their synthesizers, guitars, drums and in between the great voice of frontman Mickael Karkousse. The band from Kortrijk, Belgium was recently described by The Guardian as an ‘onstage powerhouse, successfully bridging the gap between electronic music and rock’ and now they spoke with us about their beginnings, musical influences and latest record “CONTROL CONTROL CONTROL”.
I’ve been listening to your music for years now but I still wonder how your band name GOOSE aroused. Is there a special story behind it?
There is a story but not necessary a good one Before we formed GOOSE we had an other name ( that we try to keep off the internet ). We joined this band competition and needed a new band name because we competed for the second time in 2 years. So we came up with GOOSE because we were fans of Top Gun when we were kids.
Another question concerning your band history: How did you as a band start and how long are you already in the business?
We started out like a lot of us I guess: friends growing up together and discovering music together. At the age of 16 we started playing together once a week in Bert’s bedroom.
It’s only in 2002 that we decided to take it seriously and really started to work on the songs and sounds.
All these experiments led to what became our first album: Bring it on (2006/Skint)
When your first album “Bring it on” was released me and my friends were absolutely obsessed with it. The sound was smashing and I really liked the combination of electro and rock. Your new album “Control Control Control” is this time darker and more industrial, I think. How did your sound evolve from the very beginning until now?
It’s always hard to imagine how people will ‘read’ your music. We didn’t make this album because we wanted to sound dark.
This album wrote itself in a way.
All songs were written over 6 months time and recorded in 2 weeks. We didn’t want to ovethink the creative process, but instead we focused on the playing. The 4 of us, together live in one room.
Dark? To me it isn’t dark but honest. It’s real. We don’t pretend to be 16 or aim to please the 16 year olds. I think we covered the full spectrum of emotions on ‘Control Control Control’ : the fun, the nostalgia and the future…
My favourite tracks from “Control Control Control” are “United” and “Your Ways”. The mix made of drums, hard guitars and even so electronic influences reminds me of a fusion between Depeche Mode and Kaiser Chiefs. Did these artists or other ones affect your record?
We get that comparison a lot. And we are pleased with it. Depeche Mode are heroes to us. They are one of the fewer bands that keep producing amazing records on a very high level of creativity.
Kaiser Chiefs? That’s harder to relate to, but I can see where it comes from in a way. If you think of the ‘early days’ KC where they managed to speak to big crowds on festivals and came up with lyrics that thousands of people could sing along to.
I have read that for your third studio album you had a producer on your side for the very first time. Was it a huge difference to work on “Control Control Control” with somebody behind you than producing “Bring it on” or “Synrise” on your own?
Yes it was different, but the right thing to do. By Producing 2 records yourself, you learn a lot about sound but most of all about yourself and the band. Having this baggage it was easier to learn to trust someone that isn’t in your band.
With who did you always wanted to work together and why?
Michael Jackson because he is the best songwriter and performer in the universe.
Well-known electro artists like The Bloody Beetroots, Surkin or Les Petits Pilous from Boys Noize Records remixed tracks like „Low Mode“ or “Black Gloves”. Who would you like to remix or are there already some upcoming projects on the way?
Choosing a song to remix is like making a new friend: When you least expect it you hear a song and you think, that is the one! Last time we had this feeling was with Jesse Ware’s Night Light, but unfortunately the love wasn’t mutual and the version we made was rejected
At the moment we are finishing a soundtrack for a documentary about the Magnum Photographer Carl De Keyzer.
At the moment you’re touring Europe and I had the chance to see some of your shows in Berlin like at the Berlin Festival 2010 or at the Magnet Club in 2011. It’s always been a pleasure to watch you on stage! Your gigs are full of energy and after every performance my clothes were completely wet. What can we expect on this tour?
We are on tour with an intense light production. This year we are focusing on bringing a full experience to the audience. More than ever we invite you to be part of the show. We sweat = you sweat
I am also a huge festival fan. On which festivals are you featured this year?
A personal highlight for us is headlining on the second stage at Werchter Festival.
You already played in cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles. What was the most beautiful tour experience in many years of touring?
Probably Australia. Not only because of a 22hour flight, but you really feel you are on the other side of the world and people have developed other habits. (Apart from the heavy drinking of course).
Somehow you feel like there is a weight that falls of your shoulders the moment you land there.
The Australians say: ‘No Worries’, well that is something that we keep in mind where ever we go on tour in the world
Is there a special song that you love to play the most on each gig?
For now it is Synrise because it took a while for people to learn to appreciate the song, but every time we play it now, it’s like we are all on the same trip. It’s always a nice moment.
Last question: What are your three all-time-favourite-songs?
An impossible question to answer. Music is about emotions, so depending how you feel you choose different tracks …