Backstage: GoGo Penguin

  • Music
posted by Aimee Whistler

A classic-meets-contemporary fusion of hard hitting jazz and electronica, GoGo Penguin has been redefining the landscape of modern beat making since their rise to stardom in 2014. Inspired by traditional composers and modern day heroes from Aphex Twin to Shostakovich, the Manchester 3-piece have had a landmark year. Nominated for the prestigious Barclaycard Mercury Prize and celebrated by the music press for their brave new sound; the acoustic piano trio dropped their debut album ‘Fanfares’ to resounding adulation, kick starting a whirlwind career they never thought possible. Now playing sold out shows from Birmingham to Belgium, we catch up with the guys from GoGo Penguin as they embark on their first European tour.

Since forming in 2009, what would you pin-point as your breakthrough moment?
We’ve had a lot of great times with the band over the last few years but in terms of breakthrough, being nominated for the Mercury Prize was a big one for boosting our profile.

You were nominated for the 2014 Mercury album prize, how did that feel?
It was great! We’d all been so busy that we’d forgotten all about it so it was an awesome surprise. Unfortunately we were all in different places when we got the call so there was no big celebration but we definitely made up for that on the night.

Many have hailed GoGo Penguin as acoustic electronica, but how would you define your sound?
To be honest, we try to avoid calling it anything. We don’t really mind what others label our music as but it feels limiting and restrictive if we define it and that’s the last thing we want when trying to be creative.

If you were to invite a Dj/Producer remix one of your tracks who would it be?
Stray or Jon Hopkins would be very cool although I think the dream would be to collaborate with Bjork.

What is the most coveted track in your record collection?
An Ascent – Brian Eno. 

Name three artists that have influenced your sound?
Aphex Twin, Queens of the Stone Age & Squarepusher. 
Any plans for some southern-hemisphere tour dates yet?
Definitely – nothing set in stone yet but we’ll be over there soon.