PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF FOR US WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH YOU AND YOUR MUSIC AND TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.
Hello! We are Elektragaaz. We describe ourselves as an electronic multi-fusion instrumental band with a filmic or cinematic approach. We combine elements of electronica, alt-rock, progressive rock, jazz, classical and funk. We recently released the EP, The Synaesthetic Picture Show, Now Playing Part. 3.
HOW DID YOU FORM THE BAND?
Dreamed up and led by a reclusive and intensely private Frisian composer Poppo Redband, the band is mainly made up of musicians from the New York Metropolitan area. Redband initiated the project with a telephone call to Trebor “Big T” Lloyd, a New York producer at City Canyons Productions in New York City. Lloyd agreed to listen to the material that Redband had composed. Intrigued after he heard the compositions, Lloyd set about to find what he considered to be the cream of New York area musicians. The result was Elektragaaz.
HOW DO YOU WRITE? - DO YOU HAVE A KEY SONGWRITER, OR DO YOU ALL WORK TOGETHER?
Redband composes the electronic core of the music and then the Elektragaaz band contributes additional flavors with bass, guitar, keyboards, woodwinds, strings and brass.
WHAT INSPIRED THE ALBUM OR SINGLE?
The EP actually follows naturally from three previous EPs released in 2021. However, while Elektragaaz has now released three EPs in 2021 (The Synaesthetic Picture Show, Parts 1-3), the group doesn’t simply churn out six new songs every few months. Poppo Redband, the principal writer for the band, launched Elektragaaz in 2017 (at the age of nineteen) and the catalogue from which the band has crafted its ongoing series of EPs is a deep one. Redband was inspired by old and new pop culture from video games to film noir to tales of gods and heroes—both modern and ancient—to epic science fiction, to a myriad of other pop influences.
CAN YOU SUM UP THE ALBUM IN A FEW WORD?
One commentator described our latest EP in this way: “It goes from sounding electronic to cinematic, from dark and moody to unbelievably joyful. The songs stir up your thoughts and capture your imagination, transporting you within seconds of listening.” We think (and hope) that’s pretty accurate. We want to unreel personal films, personal movies in the listener’s mind
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MUSIC VIDEO FILMED BY YOUR BAND OR ANOTHER ARTIST?
Elektragaaz just released a new video of a single, Dancing with Evil Intent, from the EP. We think it’s pretty cool.
WHAT RECORD CHANGED YOUR LIFE AND WHY?
We’ll let individual members of the band tackle that question.
Kate Amrine aka Kosmic Kate (brass): Miles Davis’ So What. It opened up my ears to jazz and space and improvising.
Jasper “Shogo” Dutz aka Jas Windstorm (woodwinds): I have a lot that have really influenced me but the main one is Oliver Nelsons' The Blues and the Abstract Truth. The way every solo on that album brings something unique to the table despite the song forms being very similar really inspires me and highlights individual musicianship while still being part of the team.
Josh Henderson aka Josh Firebow (strings): Jascha Heifetz’s Double Album of Romantic Violin Concerti; One of the first CDs I bought, and wore that one out/was first exposure to big Romantic violin Concerti.
Tom McCaffrey aka Tom Elektron (electric guitar): In Rainbows - Radiohead. It’s a masterpiece in subtlety with layers. You’ll hear something new every time which will change the way that you listen to it.
Mathew Muntz aka Mat Thunder (bass): The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady by Charles Mingus. The way Mingus is able to make a coherent, beautiful, and vulnerable compositional statement atop a bed of roiling interactive chaos is something I aspire to emulate in basically all of my music.
Kathy Sheppard aka Kathy Kaos (keyboards): The summer after we graduated from eighth grade, my friend returned from a vacation at the Jersey shore with an album she had won at a game booth on the boardwalk. She handed it to me saying, "Here. I think you'll like this. It has a lot of piano on it." It was the first Emerson, Lake, and Palmer album.
WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT MAKING MUSIC?
Kate: Eating probably! or cooking :)
Jasper: Playing videogames with my friends, seeing concerts or looking for cool restaurants around New York City.
Josh: Hiking, walking.
Tom: Hangin out with friends and planning the next adventure
Mat: Cooking Balkan food, reading about history, sleeping.
Kathy: Mom first, teacher second, musician third.
DO YOU GET NERVOUS PERFORMING LIVE, IF SO HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
Kate: Sometimes! I take deep breaths, do yoga, practice / over-prepare, and do a lot of visualizing.
Jasper: It depends on the situation. Most of the time I'm fine, but sometimes when I'm in situations out of my comfort zone or when I'm performing in front of certain colleagues I can get nervous. I usually deal with it by investing even more of my consciousness into the music I'm playing and trying to tune out any and all overthinking/unproductive thoughts.
Josh: Sometimes, but breathing and keeping it rolling helps!
Tom: Not anymore because I know that no matter how many mistakes I make nobody will know unless I make a face
Mat: Sometimes, meditating helps
Kathy: Here is my cure for stage fright, which works like a charm, and the best advice I am pleased to share with any student who is nervous about performing for an audience: as soon as you feel the stage fright coming on, just think of all the people who are more famous than you are, who suck. Works every time!
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE MUSIC?
Kate: Everything! All art and non art forms can be inspiring. The other day I was jamming out to a cement truck and it inspired an upcoming composition.
Jasper: The fact that it is universal among all humans regardless of cultures/backgrounds. The fact that we can participate in something that connects us to everyone else is really special and I want to do that for the rest of my life in some way.
Josh: The World around me, and the limitless things (good and bad) it has to offer.
Tom: Everything in my life; my peers and co-creators, my friends and loved ones, all the thoughts in my head, and the feeling of total freedom from playing music which inevitably feeds itself to inspire more.
Mat: I want to hear cool stuff I've never heard before.
Kathy: Creating music is a way of life. Inspiration flows from living.