30 Seconds interview: GoGo Penguin

GoGo PenguinWhen it comes to jazz trios, GoGo Penguin may be one of the most adventurous out there, both in terms of their unusual moniker and equally ambitious sound. 

This Manchester jazz group are Chris Illingworth (piano), Nick Blacka (double bass) and Rob Turner (drums/percussion). The trio met at the Royal College of Music and bonded over a shared love for the eclectic experiments of Brian Eno, Debussy, Aphex Twin and Shostakovich.

After honing their sounds post-college, the group hooked up with Matthew Halsall’s Gondwana Records to release last year’s debut album Fanfares. The record did much to gain them love from music fans and press alike. Both the BBC and The Guardian raved over their exploratory sounds while broadcasters Mike Chadwick and Giles Peterson also gave them full support. Fanfares was among the shortlisted records for best jazz album at the latter’s Worldwide Awards.

With a second full length record expected this year, the trio have a busy live schedule lined up with performances at this year’s Love Supreme Festival and across the UK all set to win over increasing numbers of fans. M quizzed them on their jazz experiments and what they’d be doing if they weren’t making music…

We first started writing music because…

We started writing the kind of music that we wanted to hear because nobody else seemed to be doing it. We also wanted to experience the composition, arranging and performance process not just individually but together as a band.

We have been making music since…

For approximately two and a half years.

Our music is…

Acoustic-electronica. We did an interview in Istanbul recently and that’s how the interviewer defined our music. We quite liked it and thought ‘we’ll keep that’.

You’ll like our music if you listen to…

Aphex Twin, Esbjorn Svensson, Bad Plus, Squarepusher

Our favourite venue is…

Band On The Wall. It’s a great Manchester venue steeped in so much history. They have nice big subs too!

Music is important because…

It can express the inexpressible.

Our biggest inspiration is…

There are way too many musical influences to list but generally we’re inspired by music, our environment and each other.

Our dream collaboration would be…

Thom Yorke, Bjork, Brian Eno

To try us out, listen to our song…

We’ve just recorded our second album and the band has developed a lot since the first record but it’s not out yet so off our debut album listen to Last Words.

If we weren’t making music we’d be…

Unemployed.

In 10 years time we want to be…

Doing exactly what we’re doing now but on a bigger scale.

www.facebook.com/Gogopenguin

gogopenguin.co.uk