Gyoza is back with a second studio album, Early Bird. It’s brilliant, effective and, be warned, rather addictive.
Their homonymous debut came out in 2017 with highlights such as Are You Mad, What Can I Do, and The Young Stranger. Since then it’s apparent that their songwriting is as direct as it is honest; their sound has matured as it explores darker places, reminiscent of bands such as Chevelle, A Perfect Circle, Incubus, and even a little Deftones.
Tension unveils as Up Where They Belong throbs, letting out a thin layer of smoke that swirls and swells, it guides you onward, as we advance it gets harder to breathe. Suddenly we’re face to face with the source of the raging fire. Just as this encounter takes place Veins swiftly shifts the pace while surrounding us with a splash; eyes open, wide and bewildered, they take in the blinding scenery before them. Our sight settles as Nothing To Be Ashamed Of confronts us, and we're ready to fight back. This song delivers some of the strongest vocals from the album and a stirringly introspective bridge; melancholy and anger dance along and intertwine until it ends abruptly with a BANG! Glitch slithers in right after, it stretches smoothly and lays low... at first. It reaches out into the light but fails to grasp it. For a slight second, the song skips back to its beginning. The album is filled with delightful details such as these.
Silence. The drums start to spell out a warning, In My Room breaks in and it’s dangerously seductive; it struts and lurks, desire blooms along with regret; there’s a tender restraint that leaves us feeling very vulnerable. This intimate piece has a dark sweetness to it, as it fades we’re left comfortably astray. On this album they are constantly exploring very interesting soundscapes through the keyboards. Unveiling Roy lingers with a light ebb and flow, the horizon lies still and lonely until Killing Goode comes along. Loud, stimulating and inviting; it lifts us up and gifts us with a sense of direction and there’s nothing we can take with us, we just have to hurry and enjoy before we’re left behind (in addition this one is definitely a highlight). Loss permeates the atmosphere with Requiem For A Lie, this sorrow is soothed by the beautiful way they deliver these emotions. Release and redemption carry us solemnly as Sold takes over. The album comes to its end and it feels as it’s just begun; this has to do with the way they work, they’re rather straightforward and concise; the tracklisting is also key to a solid album with destinations worth revisiting.
-Tell us your story, why is Gyoza no longer food?
Well, at least we like to think so since we put our first album out. It may sound cliché for a band name story, but all of us have always loved Japanese cuisine, though it was more the case of liking the sound of the name. And of course, now we like to think that Gyoza will never be only food again, at least for us.
-Would you tell us about the process of your first album, Gyoza?
Xavi (Montferrer) and Adrià (Martínez) had plenty of ideas and decided to form a band, then Alex (Fdez-Cardellach) and Antonio (Postius) joined them. We really just started coming up with ideas and putting them together, spending from 2 to 4 hours in our rehearsal place and not choosing any idea till we thought it really was the best we could offer. After that, we went to Nautilus Studio with long time friend and producer Lluís Cots, who some of us had previously worked with, and spent a few weeks there. We can say we were finally a band with a first record album and ready to go wherever it took us.
-It appears that Early Bird comes from a darker place, how did you find this place; what did you find in it?
There are lots of causes for stress from carrying and trying to manage a band as years go by. Also, along with pure joy, a lot of personal frustrations come as well. We spent almost three years presenting our first album, and during that time lots of personal and musical things happened to all of us, that became a source of tension and frustration. It seems that we were able to portray that feeling...
-Please tell us more about Nothing to be ashamed of and its music video.
The song is based on the topic of conflict and the fact that people cannot change their true nature, no matter what. The video idea circles around a very tense situation, in which we can see some characters interacting and taking justice into their own hands.
-The album flows so swiftly, is there a concept or a destination to it and to its tracklisting?
There actually is, or at least that's what we were thinking about when putting the tracklist together. The album, from start to end, goes through many types of situation and all the problems any person can encounter (whether it's disappointment, sadness, etc...), and it ends with the last song, which provides us with the opposite, it gives us a sense of relief and closure much needed in these trying times.
-Would you tell us the story behind Unveiling Roy and Killing Goode?
The song is like spending a day in the life and tribulations of the fictional character Roy Goode from the great western tv series "Godless" (much recommended!), so that's why we went for all those peculiar sounds you can hear during both prelude and song.
-There is a beautiful sense of loss and solitude on Requiem for a lie and in Sold (though there’s a glimpse of redemption in this second one), why would you think those feelings translate so powerfully/effectively into music?
I guess it's because in any situation whether you have lost something you loved or when you feel somehow isolated or alone, that's when the intensity of one's feelings it's at its biggest. Of course, feelings are one of the biggest subjects in our lyrics, and we seem pretty comfortable when it comes to capture those feelings or mindstates on our music. Also, we think these are issues that anybody can relate to.
-Are those states of mind also an effective starting point for your song-writing or not so much?
Not always. We come with the instrumentals first, so depending on the feeling the song conveys, the lyrics will be sadder or maybe lighter. It is true, though, our lyrics tend to be on the depressing side and based on our experience or our surroundings.
-On both Nothing to be ashamed of & In my room we see you driving all around, so what local bands would you recommend to blast them speakers as we drive?
A lot of them, but right now we would suggest Medusa Box, The Wax, and Vuelve Zinc. These are a few of the many top-notch rock bands going on in our city.
-How has the pandemic affected you as artists? How do you think these circumstances might shape the music scene in the near future?
Right now, we are in the same situation as any musician on the planet when it comes to playing live. Sure, our music is still living in the album and now we all have access to digital platforms and we do think they are going to come out twice as stronger than they already are, but we miss the personal touch, the flesh and bone of live music and going to gigs together… But of course, all of this is for the better and we hope it ends soon.
-What’s on the horizon for Gyoza? Any last words?
We simply just want to keep doing what we do and creating our music and being true to ourselves, and finally, we would love to fight for this project/band as far as it goes.
At last, as always we want to thank anyone who likes and pays attention to our art and stay safe! See you when we all come out!
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