Throw Me A Frickin’ Label Hack: Seattle’s Giza

Because every day another band records another song.  Because 83% of those songs are unlistenable and you can’t be bothered to sift through the dreck.  Because metal is about not giving a shit and waking your own personal storm.  Because music is universal, expression is boundless, and even indie labels (whatever that means these days) don’t know everything, Decibel brings you Throw Me a Frickin’ Label Hack.

If you word associate “Giza” with “immense, iconic structures of ancient origin”, you’re in the right place.  This Giza has been ripped out of the sweltering African Northeast, however, and transplanted in the gloomy American Northwest.  The instrumental psych-doom trio stretches and warps a near-Pelican style into a trippy-drippy, voluminous thrumming that is sure to satisfy the grumpy bliss-beast in all of us.  The guys were happy to talk about their record, Future Ruins, which you can hear (and buy) at their Bandcamp page.  Git yo’ Giza on, multiple times, and you’ll be glad you did.  The more we listen to this, the further down the rabbit hole we go.  It’s dark down here.  And warm.  We’re never coming up again.

The Pacific NW has a famously expansive music scene.  What is your experience in the area? 

Steve – Well, the Pacific NW is full of bands of every genre but it seems as of late our area has become a hotbed of metal.  That alone is encouraging.

Trent – Pretty much all of my friends are in bands, and we all support each other. I don’t have any other music scene to compare it to, but I feel pretty lucky to be involved with such a dedicated and talented group of people. Its definitely encouraging, and I’ve been very lucky to play with some of my favorite bands in recent years.

 Rich –  Living in Seattle gives us the opportunity to play at sweet venues and clubs with good sound, play with interesting bands of all genres, see national acts, and work with great studios and producers all in our back yard.  I mean we aren’t even the only heavy instrumental band in town which is kind of eye opening as to how big of an audience there is locally for loud music.  The downside is sometimes there’s great shows on the same night that you can’t get to… that’s a good problem to have.

Your bio states that your goal was to write “loud instrumental music”.  Were you drawn to not having vocals for a particular reason, or are you just as happy to be playing instrumental music because it sounds great that way?

Steve – To me the main issue is that finding the proper vocals for any band is really hard if not impossible to do. Then you add another human to any equation that has to gel with everyone else and the task becomes quite daunting.  It’s not as if we’re opposed to vocals, in fact we’d love to have some, but we’d only do it under the proper circumstances.

Trent – I’m a big fan of instrumental music, and have had bad experiences with singers in previous bands so I tend to gravitate more towards that style but I’m definitely not opposed to vocals at all. Just would need the perfect person.

Rich –  I listen to a lot of instrumental music both heavy and not, so it wasn’t a real leap for me. Vocals are a really important, polarizing part of music that can direct how a listener reacts to your music without taking the time to absorb what you really sound like, and with our song ideas being so big it just seemed to work with leaving the listener some space to hear the song rather than freak out over whether the singer was “too black metal” or “too cookie monster” or whatever reason people are using not to like music these days.

Giza is a very young project (formed just last year).  What other music have the members been involved with before Giza?

Steve – I was is the band Bronze Fawn most recently. 

Trent – Besides Giza, I’m currently in a band called Grenades and another band with Rich called X Suns. Before that, I was in a lot of bands that aren’t worth mentioning.

Rich – I hadn’t been in a band for a long time before we started Giza.  

How did you get hooked up with Matt Bayles for the recordings sessions?

Steve – I recorded a record with him before.  I basically just asked him if he’d be interested in recording a new project I was in, and he  seemed pretty stoked so we scheduled the time. It was a simple story.

Rich – In addition to Steve working with Matt before, he’s from Seattle which made the logistics easy.  We talked a lot about what we wanted to do before working with Matt…  When you’re in a band and you go to the studio initially its sort of like looking into the mirror for the first time.  That’s really when you can hear clearly how you sound, as well as get some in depth feedback from an outsider.  It was rewarding to work with someone as professional as Matt from the start of this project, but who also gets what we’re doing.  We didn’t want to record with someone who was really talented but would be like “why are you guys playing that same thing for 10 minutes?” and have to explain why we think droney feedback parts are cool, and we are all big fans of the records he makes.

Have you been playing shows to support the album?  What is Giza’s live experience like?

Steve – Yeah, we’ve been playing out to support the album and working in new material.  Hmmm, our live experience is LOUD!  Not that shrill high pitched loud, but a shit your pants earth-shaking tremor machine.  I’m sure we could set off car alarms.

Trent – So far its been pretty much local shows, but we hope to get out and do a lot more very soon.

Rich – A good friend of mine describes Giza as an “amp band”.  We have a treasure trove of equipment we haul in for a Giza show.  Right now Steve is playing through a 2×15 and an 8×10, and I am playing 2 cranked full stacks.  Trent’s got some gigantic drums and cymbals and hits really hard, so it’s a loud experience similar to standing next to a 747 prior to takeoff.

If you were to put Giza on the best touring bill you can imagine, who would be on that tour?

Steve – Damn, that’s a loaded question…….Four Band bill:  Sleep, Electric Wizard, YOB, GIZA………hell, there’s literally a thousand of those sorts of bills I could think of…….that’s the first one I thought of that sounded awesome.

Trent – Electric Wizard, Sleep, and Bongripper.

Rich – I’d have to agree with Steve, and also with Trent.

What non-musical lives to Giza members lead?

Steve – I’m a bookkeeper by trade.  Nothing glamorous at all.

Trent – Soul-crushing daily wage-slavery. Occasional good relationships and numerous break-ups. Mixed with a poor diet, minimal sleep, alcoholism and daily THC consumption.

What comes next for Giza?

Trent – Sacrificing Virgins to the Tone Gods.

Steve – We are actually discussing details with Threshold of Pain Records about a very special limited edition vinyl release, that’s all we can say until it’s all figured out.  We’re also ramping up to go back into the studio in the late summer/early fall with Matt Bayles again to record our follow-up to Future Ruins.  We hope to have that out by the end of the year.

Rich – In addition to seeing Future Ruins on wax and recording a new record, some new T-shirts and other merch will be available in the near future from Giza.  Thanks to everyone who picked up a shirt or poster from our first batch.