Updated: Sep 9, 2019
Words by Abi Whistance
To The Local sat down with dark-wave quartet GHUM before their headline show at The Sunflower Lounge, in support of their recently released EP The Coldest Fire.
So, you’re touring your latest EP The Coldest Fire, what’s been the reception so far?
Guerrero: It’s been great! We had a show last night and the reception was amazing, people were really excited and were buying the EP.
Khor: There’s been a lot of dancing, which is exactly what we want from every show.
The EP’s been featured in the METRO and The Guardian too- how did that feel?
Butler: It’s good, it’s feeling kind of surreal but really cool. We worked so hard on it so it’s great that people appreciate it.
Guerrero: We’re really pleased, it’s been incredible and it’s nice to see people appreciating what we do.
In terms of dark-wave, are there influences for the band as a whole?
Khor: I’d say obviously we all love The Cure, a lot of their earlier stuff probably. Bands like Soft Kill we love, then other bands in that scene . Marina is a massive dark-wave fan.
MJ: Yeah, I am.
The dark-wave genre is quite niche, would you say that it’s something that brought you all together?
Khor: Yeah I think there’s a scene in dark-wave music across the world actually, but it is still very niche. In terms of our influences and how we take it into our music it crosses across generations. Lora loves Pixies, Vicki loves Sleater Kinney, I love Yeah Yeahs, and we all take those influences to make something a lot fresher. But in terms of dark-wave it’s still very new to us, we’re learning.
Guerrero: I think we started doing this type of music because it was natural too, it was a natural evolution of our music. I think it came from your [MJ] bass and your [Butler] drumming, and then we add on to that.
MJ: We send each other songs we’ve been listening to, and we bring in all these different sounds.
Guerrero: Yeah we definitely got ideas from there, but we did fall into this type of music naturally, the lyrics and melodies felt right.
You mentioned dark-wave was a worldwide thing- you’re all from very different places, do you feel that the UK has the most room for dark-wave?
Khor: Probably Brazil I’d say, they go mad for dark-wave!
MJ: Yeah they love dark bands from the eighties, I grew up then and it was constantly on the radio. In South America they go crazy for dark music.
So what do you think is next for the UK dark-wave scene?
Khor: I think UK dark-wave is crossing over with psychedelic at the moment, and we’re reaping the benefits of that in terms of us broadening our music. I think it’s starting to become more prominent than it used to be and I’m really excited for it.
Are there any UK bands you’re keeping your eye on in terms of dark-wave?
Butler: Aufbau Principle!
Khor: And also Drahla from Leeds, they’re also really great. They’re more like post-punk though. It’s quite difficult to name some, I hope there’ll be more and I hope we can inspire other bands out there.
So, in terms of your tour, are you excited for your night in Birmingham?
Butler: Yeah, absolutely! We’ve played at The Sunflower Lounge before.
Guerrero: It was on our first tour, this was our second date I think. It was a really good experience.
GHUM's latest EP The Coldest Fire is available for streaming and purchase here.
GHUM are also appearing at TipFest 2019 at The Victoria, London. Purchase tickets here.