Gavin Brown Chats To Buñuel
Crushing Noise rock group Buñuel have just released their latest album Killers Like Us and it’s an intense, challenging, and rewarding listening experience packed full of discordant grooves, punishing riffs, and commanding vocals. We caught up with Buñuel vocalist Eugene Robinson and bassist Andrea Lombardini to hear all about Killers Like Us as well as what Buñuel has planned for the future, their favourite films of their filmmaker namesake, and what the members’ others projects have in the offing.
Your new album Killers Like Us is out now. Can you tell me about the making of the album and was the process this time?
Eugene: The making of the album was not markedly different from how anyone who has ever made an album would make an album. It involves studio time, mics, isolation booths and a raft of technology that couldn’t hurt and sometimes even helps the process. All of which are much less interesting to me than what is actually being said with this album.
Andrea: The compositional part of making the album had been started when I was asked to join the band but most of the music was composed playing together. Eugene added vocals and lyrics later, as usual.
What has the reaction to your new material been like so far?
Andrea: Lots of people are listening to the music, and I like that. Reviews are positive but I’m not really into them.
Can you tell us a bit about the album cover for Killers Like Us and why you chose that image?
Eugene: Well the record is called “Killers Like Us”. Nothing else seemed more suggestive of what it is the title means.
Andrea: It’s an object that brings up contrasting feelings, like the music.
Killers Like Us is the third part of a trilogy that started with A Resting Place for Strangers, and The Easy Way Out. Does listening to all three records in order create the ultimate Buñuel listening experience?
Eugene: I’d be very careful with this. Which is to say while the answer is “yes”, this is very much like asking “is sticking an icepick into a light socket the ultimate electrical experience?” Of course the answer is yes. Just not a healthy yes. If you care about health at all.
Andrea: I think the ultimate listening experience will be a live concert and, yes, we are going to play material from all the albums.
Did you always want there to be a musical trilogy?
Eugene: Well it seems like a pretty good start.
How does it feel to finish the trilogy with this album?
Eugene: We’re still breathing. So not much of anything is finished,and when it is, the likelihood that I’ll be able to understand that question beyond the vale of the living? Low.
Andrea: The reason behind finishing something is to start something new with a fresh mindset.
Have you had any thoughts yet about new music that Buñuel will do in the future at all?
Eugene: No. But that is never my specialty. My specialty seems to be distilling feelings. Mine definitely. Ours maybe. Which is to say I always love the surprise that Buñuel ends up being. and in addition to understanding it from the feeling point of view I also have a strong sense of what I’d like to see us doing on stage. my feelings now? Think Dean Stockwell in Blue Velvet. That’s what I feel like mostly these days.
Andrea: As a band we listen to a very wide selection of music, mostly far from what sounds similar to us. We try to bring that sound to our noise.
The band is named after filmmaker Luis Buñuel. What was it about him and his films that inspired you to name the band after him?
Eugene: If you’ve seen The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie that is all you need to know really. It’s the slyness. Which is the confusion that connects to laughing at versus laughing with. I also have a thing/affection for deaf artists it seems. Him, Johnny Ray, Beethoven….something about having your art being more important from a sensory perspective than not.
What are your favourite Buñuel films and why do you rate them?
Eugene: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie or The Exterminating Angel.
Andrea: I like Belle de Jour
How did Buñuel get together in the first place?
Eugene: The original bassist Pierpaolo Capovilla came to an Oxbow show and later emailed me about it. We had played together before when One Dimensional Man played with Oxbow in Rome but I hadn’t remembered this. When he told me what he wanted to do, I was excited. I have no idea what conversations were had on the Italian side prior to.
You have a show coming up at the Supersonic Festival in July, and a tour around that time. What are you most looking forward to about playing that particular festival? And about touring?
Eugene: My history with Supersonic goes way way back and it’s always been a joyous time. So, my expectation will be that this will be a wonderful continuation of that. And Buñuel has toured twice before, and those have been great times as well. But being that this is the first time OUT of Italy? well I’m ecstatic. I love Italy. But taking this “well-kept” secret and making it a little less secret? That is the dream.
Will you be playing a lot of material from the new album when you play live?
Eugene: Almost exclusively.
Andrea: It’s mostly the new album plus…classics.
Do you find playing live a cathartic experience? Especially with all that has gone over the past couple of years.
Eugene: We will find out if it continues to be so. I almost died during the last couple of years so anything that’s not that? Che joya!
Andrea: Live playing is the reason why I’ve learned to master a musical instrument.
What have you missed most about playing live?
Eugene: Staring into the crying faces of the audience.
Andrea: High volumes.
What have been some of the most memorable shows you have ever played?
Eugene: Buñuel’s live shows have all always been like blitzkriegs…play the first day I land, no days off, and crush everything until it’s over, so I think of them not as discrete shows but Tour 1 and Tour 2 and Tour 2 was the most memorable because we were closer to figuring things out and this always feels….significant.
What are the band’s other touring plans once the album is released?
Eugene: Everywhere we’re wanted. That pays.
What have your other projects got planned for the future that you can tell us about?
Eugene: Oxbow is releasing Love’s Holiday in 2023 on Ipecac and will tour on this as well in 2023. None of us have any clocks at home that run backward so we’re moving forward as fast as life will allow.
Andrea: I have a few other projects that will come out later this year and hopefully find a time-space for touring.
What have been some of the highlights of your musical career so far?
Eugene: That I’ve made it this far and been able to make the music that most often and most directly answers the dictates of my soul.
Andrea: I’ve played with many people I started admiring on records. Everytime that happens it feels like a complete circle, I’d choose that image instead of a peak in something.
BUÑUEL have announced live dates for July – dates below.
EUROPEAN AND UK TOUR DATES:
02/07 – Arcella Bella, Padova (IT)
03/07 – Fluc, Wien (AT)
05/07 – Cassiopeia, Berlin (DE)
06/07 – MTC, Cologne (DE)
07/07 – La Bulle Café, Lille (FR)
08/07 – Cafe Oto, London (UK)
09/07 – Supersonic Fest, Birmingham (UK)
10/07 – The Prince Albert, Brighton (UK)
11/07 – Crofters Rights, Bristol (UK)
12/07 – Glazart, Paris (FR)
13/07 – Le Bamp, Brussels (BE)
14/07 – La Grenze, Strasbourg (FR)
15/07 – Humbug, Basel (CH)
Thank you so much for spending time with Gavin and Circuit Sweet.
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Words: Gavin Brown