Geoff Cheesemaster Interview

Posted: 16/01/2014 in Interview

This was an interview/preview I conducted with Geoff Cheesemaster in Oct 2013 for The gig is long gone but Geoff was so charming and funny I though the interview deserved another read.

Bubbling under Brighton is a thoroughly dedicated sound art scene. Partly because the local universities focus on the subject and partly because Brightonians are just so damn switched on, man. One individual completely indispensable to the scene is the Spirit of Gravity kingpin Geoff Cheesemaster.  We’ve got him into Brighton Noise towers to discuss the up-coming Green Door Store event on 7th November.

Brighton Noise: It wouldn’t be unfair to describe Spirit of Gravity as being quite underground. Would you like to give us an intro to what you do?

Geoff Cheesemaster: What do we do, we put on things we’d like to go to. Back in the early days when the phrase ‘live electronic music’ was something of an oxymoron. Thee Founders decided they needed a regular night to play at. So they set up the Spirit of Gravity to put on vaguely electronic experimental live music. Mainly themselves, but also like-minded people. People with the same values rather than people with any ideas of genre. Which is what we still do. For example, in September we had John Wall the sound artist with some really extreme abstraction, Baconhead came up from Bristol and played their semi-improvised dubsteppy thing, and local psychedelic post noisers Ian Murphy & Nicholas Langley.

So run us through the bands playing on the 7th. Do they all sound *exactly* like The Arctic Monkeys?

DOGEESESEEGOD Are exactly like the Arctic Monkeys in that they playfully take the best of modern indie pop music and turn it to their own ends, which in this case means gurgling it up through gallons of phlegm into their hideous array of distorting boxes and playthings and throwing the results as loudly as possible at a plastic illuminated goose. ARC Are exactly like the Arctic Monkeys in that there’s three of them that use stringed instruments, and they play them through pedals and amps. But they don’t have a drummer. And they use Violin, cello and double bass, and have played in orchestras and jazz groups and now make scary music; too scary even for goths. proper scary, and so soon after halloween. Stereocilia Are exactly like the Arctic Monkeys in that they do (Hurrah!) have a guitar. But they bend that with laptop trickery and fancy units and do some AV stuff thats blinding as well.

So yes, this would be exactly like an Arctic Monkeys show in every way, apart from the way it looks. And the way it sounds.

A younger audience seem to be getting into sound art of late. Is it the new wonky-dubstep-step?

Definitely. Dubstep was invented in an improvised elektrocreche session, a little known fact. But no, there are a bunch of amazing sound artists coming through, or having just left The University of Brighton. What I like to think we do is provide an audience to allow that kind of experimentation to flourish.

What are the advantages of coming to a Spirit of Gravity event over say, Oceana on North Street, and will it be suitable for a Scouse hen-night?

If the people on the trip from Liverpool fancy a range of decent experimental electronics, then they’d be welcome. This year we had an act play the night of their wedding – straight from the reception. The advantages we offer over Oceana? None if you fancy banging house, but if you fancy a range…

Seriously Geoff, It seems every time I go on Facebook you are putting a gig on. Where do you find the energy?

Usually we only do the regular monthly shows, you must be getting old if you think they’re coming round fast. Although this month (November) we snuck in the extra show with Roshi andDavid Thomas v Gagarin. But really we’re just fanboys, we love putting on new things. If I get talking to someone who has an interesting project on the go, surely it’s natural to want to get them an audience who will appreciate it.

Spirit of Gravity put on probably the least boring gigs you will ever go to. Geoff will be the guy in the wholly convincing ginger wig and is extremely friendly and approachable, and if you have an interesting enough project, he’ll probably give you a gig.


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