An interview with IMPALA independent album of the year award winners GURR

GURR – In My Head (Duchess Box Records)

How would you describe your band and your music?

We play garage rock with indie and pop influence, some people also call it psychedelic and wavey… Rock music! And we have lots of fun playing live – it sounds much louder than on the record.

How did you get started?

Laura and I met in university in Berlin during our bachelor’s program! But we didn’t start a band until we travelled together through the UK and got best friends. We both were in bands before and with moving to Berlin we were just looking for something new. So we just started making music with each other.

What inspired this album?

We started the band a few months before we both spent a year abroad in the United States. So when we came back, we released an EP and just started touring. We toured for a long time, juggling university and work and hitting the road in our free time. So one day we said: Let’s put it all into an album and finally record it. We saved up some money from the shows we played all over Europe. And the content was just all the emotions we saved up since then and all the songs we took on the road with us: Songs about spending time in Berlin again, what we’ve experienced in the year abroad and the musical influences that we picked up on the way.

How does it feel to win the IMPALA Award for European Independent Album of the Year?

Really amazing. We won the VUT Indie Award in Germany before and were blown away by that too. An Indie Award on a European level is really rewarding since we always wanted to grow internationally and not only stay in Germany. When we recorded the album we didn’t think a second we would come so far, so it’s even crazier thinking about our former selves, just happy that Grant and Duchess Box Records would print it on vinyl! That it reaches so many people now is just very moving.

What is your relationship with your label?

We actually met Grant (founder of Duchess Box Records) years ago at a bar and he came to our very first shows in Berlin. He became such a good friend to us and pushed us to play more and become comfortable on stage. When he told us he thought we’re the best band in Berlin (bold statement) we just stayed humble with it too because we just worked all the time on becoming better – having someone behind us that believed in what we’re doing was a huge part in going forward.

Was it important for you to sign on an independent label?

It’s so different to perceive the music business from the outside and then stepping into it. Like we really just wanted someone that we’re friends with to release the record with us because also we couldn’t imagine someone else taking over the steering wheel. It was really important to be close to everything and make decisions together because it’s important to see how much work goes into it and be thankful for everything. I think we wouldn’t have worked as hard if someone else would have just done every little thing for us.

Also the shape of the release and the decisions we have made on PR and touring is what we imagined it to be – it helped us to built confidence and grow as a band.

What’s next?

Right now we’re finishing album number 2, which we are planning to release this year as well. We’re gonna play lots of festivals and dive into another headline tour in Europe and Germany.

27th March 2018

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

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