With music being described as ‘the score to a film that doesn’t exist’, and a collective creative goal to ‘provoke the abstract and intangible’, vibrant post-rockers Grün are set to make an impact with the imminent release of Manyana, their expansive second LP. Corin Shearston chats to bassist Andre Matkovic
The Haze was welcomed into the Katoomba home studio of bassist/producer Andre Matkovic to discover the band’s creative process, how Grün meet
to rehearse with far flung members, and how Manyana was made in a remote NSW beach house on the South Coast, in the town that gave the
album its name.
How and where was Manyana created?
“Manyana was inspired by, written in, and mostly recorded in Manyana in Shoalhaven over two 7-9 day sessions in 2014. We took a two-week break,
hired a house on the beach, took all the instruments and recording gear and set it up in the kitchen to make the album. There was very bad phone
range and internet reception, so we were uncontactable for two weeks in this beautiful location on the beach. We recorded everything we played;
the jams and impromptu sessions. At times we would just have two chords, or a little melody or something, and then we’d spend the next hour just
stretching that idea out to every possible angle. A lot of rubbish came out of that, but so did some amazing little moments. Those were the ideas
that we used to build the album, making for a nicely flowing record. A lot of the stuff we recorded in the jams were actually used in the final
recordings, such as the guitars and keyboards.”
How did Grün originally form, and how do you meet to collaborate with your far-flung bandmates?
“Leon [Kelly], (founding member/guitarist for Grün), and I have been playing music for 15 years. Leon’s got a death/doom metal background with Cruciform,
who are still going, although we met in a pop-rock band called Ilead. We did a few cool things as Ilead, but then split, with Grün forming as a
result. Grün was originally called Greenland, and we released an EP called The Prisons Of Language in 2003. Our first album, called Greenland,
came out in 2011, released under the name Grün.”
“After a hiatus we added Piers [Twomey, guitars/keys] from Ilead and Ben [Matson, drums] from Diplomat. When we rehearsed before our show supporting
Meniscus at the Manning Bar on November 18th, 2016, we rehearsed for 16 hours over a weekend at the fantastic Top End Studios in Marrickville.
Ben flew down for rehearsals, as he lives near Byron Bay. Leon lives in Marrickville, Piers lives in Dulwich Hill, and I live in Katoomba, so rehearsals
are a big deal. Fortunately, the gig went really well. As something to work on away from the commute to Sydney for Grün, I founded Sonori a while
back with Tim (Mahony, cello), who’s friends with Grün.“
Just to wrap up, Andre, are there any other similar sounding bands to Grün in Australia, that you’d like to mention?
“Absolutely, there’s some great Aussie bands at the moment. Meniscus, who Grün opened for at the Manning Bar, are one. They’re a great, vast instrumental
psychedelic band, who use soundscapes. Solkyri from Sydney are brilliant, they’re a young post-rock band. They actually played up in Katoomba with
Sonori. We Lost The Sea are a really amazing post-rock band that fit in the same genre. We’ve played with some of these bands over the years, and
have known some of them for ten years or so, and they’ve all been getting popular in the scene…”
Stay tuned for the release of Manyana. @grunmusic