You’re in for a treat today – we have already introduced you to the musical collective that is Gorilla Apocalypse, and their new single, ‘Tornado’; now we talk to the members of the group themselves. Enjoy!
First off, what exactly is a Gorilla Apocalypse? In my mind’s eye I see hordes of gorillas swooping down from the branches on a rampage, destroying everything in their wake…but your music suggests otherwise?
GA: The chaos you mention in your question is a great metaphor for what we’re trying to do musically. Not the sound, but the approach. Blue Collar Records is a label with an eclectic roster of artists (rock, alt rock, hip-hop, Americana, blues, jazz, etc.). Fortunately, we all really like each other. Gorilla Apocalypse gives us a chance to work collaboratively as a team. We started with just a few of us to build a foundation, but our next project, which is already in the works, will add more musical voices to the storm, embellishing the chaos. The real question is: How many artists can we bring to the party before it gets too crowded? We’re all looking forward to answering that question. However, I can tell you this; It looks like we’ll have vocals in 3 different languages along with more instrumentation on the next album. Also, in addition to Miles Jah, there will be at least one or two more hip-hop artists participating as well. So musically, the APOCALYPSE IS NOW.
Likewise, your new single, ‘Tornado’ is a lot gentler than the name suggests, given that it’s a boppy dance tune. Could you say that your aim is to keep people on their toes when it comes to knowing what to expect from you?
GA: Absolutely. Gorilla Apocalypse is about a variety of approaches coming together to achieve a unified whole. When our debut album drops on July 3rd (everyone, please fire it up on the 4th and give it a listen while barbecuing), our audience will experience a cohesive collection of songs that standout individually as well as work together to form an overall theme, which was recently described as “Love: The Good, The Bad, and The ugly”.
We’re loving the lyric video for ‘Tornado’. How did you come up with the images to represent each of you?
GB Bernard: Naturally, Grizz is a grizzly bear. Makes sense, right?
Grizz: I got the name from a high school history teacher. Science and history were always my best subjects. Also, I’m 6’5”, which is more than a foot taller than IZ. So, yeah, she looks like a house cat next to me.
IZ.M.B: Right, plus I do really love cats. Also, my moody cat is basically me in cat form. I raised her from a kitten. Guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
How did you come to form Gorilla Apocalypse? What’s next for you?
GB Bernard: I actually had the idea for awhile, including a full collection of lyrics, but it happened a lot faster than planned when one of our other artists couldn’t make a session (at Milkboy the Studio) last minute. Fortunately, Miles Keller, one, of our favorite engineers, was ready to roll.
IZ.M.B: Ultimately, Gorilla Apocalypse is designed to be an ongoing project open to artists both on and off the label. Everyone’s welcome to the party if they bring something good to the celebration.
Grizz: Everyone’s invited to the apocalypse. Oh, and we’ve already recorded two follow up singles and started working on a second album.
Who or what do you find most inspiring in your life? How about in terms of music, what is it that makes you want to write a song?
Grizz: Most of my inspiration comes from visuals. As a kid, I played my Playstation with the sound off and music playing in the background, so even then, I was creating my own soundtrack. Also, Daft Punk is another big influence. I like that a lot of their albums actually have films to go along with them. I suppose I just like telling great stories in a musical way.
GB Bernard: In my life, it’s the miracle of family and friends. Artistically, I love to write and I love music. Also, I have really eclectic taste in music. What I don’t have is a good voice to articulate my words in song. Thank God for IZ. She really exceeded my expectations in every way. Also, Grizz is a brilliant producer.
IZ.M.B: My song writing inspiration varies from project to project, but since the music and lyrics were already there, I had to cater my vocal lines to what GB and Grizz had created. Gotta love team work. Speaking of which, Justin Miller and Miles Keller were hugely important to the process – Shout out to Milkboy and their amazingly talented team. You want to make great music, that’s the place!
What’s the back story for ‘Tornado’? Is it about a real life relationship?
GB: Yes and no, we’ve all been involved with people who were loads of fun, but incredibly destructive in the process.
IZ.M.B: Yes, I didn’t write the lyrics, but I was in the middle of a similar situation in my personal life at the time. Fortunately, the guy who entered the picture right after the one I would equate to a “Tornado” really turned out to be a ray of light. I drew on that, of course, while recording “Tornado”.
GB Bernard: Grizz, you wanna say no tornados in your life? Your lady’s perfect.
(GA: All laugh)
Finally, and I ask this question of everyone I interview, what question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does? And what’s the answer to that question?
GB Bernard: Do you want a million bucks and why are lyrics the most important part of any song, including instrumentals? Answer – Yes, of course, pay me, and isn’t it obvious? lol
Grizz: Where in the hell is Carmen, San Diego? Answer – Don’t know.
IZ.M.B: What’s my biggest life’s goal? Answer – To be a bao bun. Who doesn’t love a good bao bun. No one ever bothers a bao bun.
‘Tornado’ is out now! Check out our review here.