If you’ve been paying attention to the UK sludge scene, you would have heard of Gurt. These four sludge barbarians have been tearing up stages across the UK and Europe for years, picking up support slots with Dopethrone, Weedeater, The Sword and Red Fang, and having the opportunity to play festivals like Desertfest, Bloodstock and Hammerfest. Despite all this success, they’ve done it 100% DIY and their way with no compromise. Gurt destroyed it when they supported Dopethrone in London with music that was savage, unchained but also often hilarious. I had to know more about the world of Gurt, luckily they were open to questioning.
Jack: Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. How are you doing?
Gurt: All good thanks Jack, just getting ready to continue writing album no. 2 when we can finally get in the same room. [Laughs]
Jack: How did Gurt come into existence?
Gurt: We used to get this question a lot, but it was basically from another Blues rock band called Rowse that you all need to check out, but the only actual original member from the original band is Gareth [Kelly, vocalist] who funnily enough was never in Rowse. The name itself comes from the initials of the four members of the band, Gareth, Ulrich, Rich and Tarquin.
Jack: When you joined forces, did you always know you were going to be a sludge band?
Gurt: The whole point in Gurt was to play filth and we all had a shared love of Iron Monkey. The first song we learnt was ‘666 Pack’ so I guess the answer to that is yes. We would not really consider ourselves a sludge band these days though as the music is so much different from when we started.
Jack: What are the main influences?
Gurt: Humour, drugs and animals.
Jack: I’ve always felt there was a strong horror influence to Gurt, would this be the case?
Gurt: Not at all, we would love to know what made you think this!
Jack: I’ve always found your stage presence and music to have an atmosphere of horror about it. Gurt obviously have a sense of humour, is it important for bands to have a sense of humour?
Gurt: Yes yes yes! We can’t stress this enough. It’s very important to be able to take the piss out of yourself and there are so many poser idiots out there particularly in the “metal” scene. Particularly in today’s music industry there is less and less chance of being “famous” and it is definitely not cool to be in a band, it’s just great fun when you have a great time with like-minded people!
Jack: The song ‘8 out of 10 Cunts’ is about journalism. What’s the story behind this song?
Gurt: [Laughs] It is indeed. It’s basically aimed at a certain small selection of reviewers that feel the need to write “balanced” reviews of music, we kept getting ones that were written saying we were formulaic or repetitive but then giving us high marks of ‘8 out of 10′. If you think we are shit give us a low mark or if you think its great don’t feel the need to put something slightly negative to look like a great “journalist”…oh dear, sorry folks!
Jack: MetalRecusants turned 5 years old in May. Is online journalism more relevant than print journalism now in metal?
Gurt: I guess it’s all the same really, but online stuff is much easier to access in the modern age. The problem can be that the more popular print magazines (with the exception of one!) are more elitist now so they discount so much talent from underground music. That’s all we will say on this as we could talk about it for hours!
Jack: You just finished a quick tour with Dopethrone, how did that go?
Gurt: Awesome, as always. We love those guys so much and they really have helped us get to where we are today. The twenty date Euro tour we did with them in 2014 was the best experience we have had as a band and partying with thoroughly nice chaps is always a good thing too!
Jack: You’ve toured a few times with Dopethrone, what do you like about their music?
Gurt: Its nasty as fuck…what’s not to love!?
Jack: You’ve toured Europe with them before, is Europe different to the UK at all?
Gurt: Yes it is. The crowds are always great and much more open-minded to new bands, the promoters look after you fantastically and the money is way better too. No offence to UK promoters but it is a shame that music is not valued as much sometimes over here.
Jack: How was Desertfest this year?
Gurt: Once again it was brilliant. We had the Underworld at capacity which is great news and it was an absolute honour to open the festival, only topped by the fact that we had our brothers from Trippy Wicked join us on stage to do our recent cover.
Jack: Do you have fond memories of playing with Red Fang?
Gurt: Of course we do, we literally had just finished our 20 date Euro tour with Dopethrone and were awaiting our first time appearing at Bloodstock Festival on the second stage and had not long released our debut album so it was a really good time for us. Playing that show was an absolute honour and the likes of which may not be seen again, and the guys from Red Fang were proper gents and really sound to hang out with. It was like the hottest day of the year, the Black Heart is like a sauna in weather like that!
Jack: You’re going to start writing the second album soon. How will it be different to your previous albums?
Gurt: We are not going to give too much away as we don’t want to spoil the surprise but we have basically entirely given up on caring what we sound like and just writing what makes us smile (not that we didn’t do that before!) It is already sounding so different to the norm, even the new track that we have been playing live of late ‘The Ballad of Tom Stone and Reg Montagne’ is one of the most brutal things we have ever written so it’s a very exciting time.
Jack: On your Facebook under record label you wrote ‘NONE! Do It Yourself you lazy fucktards.’ Would you ever consider working with a record label if the right offer came along?
Gurt: It would have to be the most amazing offer ever for us to go against what we believe in as a band. The DIY element to what we do means that we have total control which we would never want to lose; we may not have the exposure that some of our peers have but we know that what we do get is down to our own hard work, and we get to use ALL of the money we make in going straight back into the band on new songs and awesome new merch for you all! DIY4LYFE!
Jack: What are your plans for next year?
Gurt: Album, tours, and festivals…hopefully! We have some pretty interesting stuff in the pipeline.
Jack: You’ve done a lot of covers, what do you love about playing a cover?
Gurt: We all have such different music tastes between us all that it is really good to take a popular song that may not be obvious to do in our style and make it our own, we have a list so big of covers we want to do we could just carry on as a tribute band and give up writing our own songs all together.
Jack: Finally, Gurt have played a few Christmas covers. Do you plan to do any more? I’d love to see you do Chris Rea’s ‘Driving Home For Christmas’.
Gurt: We never say never with this one as the two we have done so far have been so much fun, but having said that we feel it’s about time we did our own original Christmas song…but maybe next year!
Jack: Thank you so for your time and I hope the album creation process goes smooth.
Gurt: Cheers man, us too. Hopefully next time we speak it will be with lots of new tunes in tow!