London-based post-industrial electronic act Factory Floor are known for navigating the divide between dance music and electronic art. Now, ahead of the Perth show later this year, keyboardist Gabe Gurnsey chats to SHAUN COWE about their music and the band’s recording plans.
“Our last record, we were doing two-hour takes and lots of recording, then we’d chop out what we thought was the best parts of it. It was a very long process. I think, as a record, we all treated it as a different discipline. It was a different discipline and a different learning process because we were learning how to record. What we’re intending to do now is push the more live, atmospheric side of it more into the records.”
Last year, Factory Floor released their eponymous debut album. At the time, the trio were living and recording in a repurposed warehouse. It’s an experience that Gurnsey remembers as being a difficult time for the band.
“We set up a studio and we were living there for a bit. It was a tense way of working. I don’t think we’ll be doing that again because it just got a bit too much,” Gurnsey says. “We were living and breathing the record and it was very frustrating at time, but also, it kind of introduces some tension in the music as well.”
One of the aspects that set Factory Floor apart from other electronic acts is their intellectual approach to music. Toeing the line between visceral dance grooves and experimental art has brought the band a broad fan base.
“We’re stuck in between a few things, I think. It’s quite hard to define [us] sometimes, you know? I think that’s a good thing and it’s a good platform for us to kind of progress and try new things, to progress as a band in the future.”
Talking about the remix projects he has ahead today, Gurnsey styles himself as more sympathetic to the band’s dance fans, naming singer Nik Void as the progenitor of the band’s experimental direction. It’s a working relationship he’s glad for.
“It’s good to not just be one or the other. I think they go hand in hand. With the noisy side of it and the experimental side there’s a lot of organic-ness to that, and I think when that’s introduced to the dance music then it kind of makes dance music make a lot of sense. People want to get down to that old tribal tradition of repetitive, very organic human sounds. I think when that’s introduced in there it makes a lot of sense for us.”
The band’s dichotomous nature also means they land a wide variety of gigs. Talking about a recent series of shows Factory Floor did at the London Institute Of Contemporary Arts, Gurnsey explains the band’s avant garde shows and their effect on songwriting.
“We just approach it in an entirely different way to just a band playing on stage. Each night was more of an idea in its own right and it all kind of just came together. There’s a lot of improvisation in those shows and playing in galleries and stuff like that gives you a license to be more free with it. These are areas we want to pursue a bit more because they’re important for the creative process. They feed back into more normal tracks in a lot of ways – if that’s what you want to call them. It’s about sound discovery.”
From art gallery to Bakery, the upcoming Perth show will be part of the band’s first tour of Australia. Gurnsey sees the opportunity as somewhat of a social experiment, wondering how Australian audiences will take the band’s droning post-industrial music.
“We’ve never been over there, and it’s always been somewhere we’ve wanted to go and play and experience people listening to our music. It’ll be interesting to see what the reactions are like – that fascinates us as well because, from country to country, you get a hugely diverse crowd. It’s quite inspiring sometimes and it pushes you to create differently. Plus its Australia, we’re not going to say no to coming over,” Gurnsey laughs. “The weather’s really shit in the UK.”
Factory Floor will be headlining The Bakery on Saturday, December 13, supported by Kučka, Sacred Flower Union, Allstate and others. Tickets available via Oztix.