What are your names?
Fiona Liddell (Vocalist & Songwriter) & Niall (Neel) Rae (Producer, Songwriter & Bassist)
What is the band’s name?
Gefahrgeist (which means ‘Danger Spirit’ in German).
How did you come up with the band’s name?
The name was taken from a book Niall read called ‘Beyond Redemption’ by Michael Fletcher.
What is your genre of music?
We’ve so far been described as electronic pop, electronica, synth pop, ambient pop… you name it.
Give us a little bio about you as a band.
We met at University, and Niall joined my wedding band ‘The Apollos’ in 2017. After getting to know each other better, we realised we had very similar tastes in music despite our different composition styles. Niall sent me a few of his tracks to put vocals on and I sent him a few of my songs to produce. In the end, we decided to join forces permanently and form Gefahrgeist
What made you go in to music?
We both grew up in musical families. I’ve been singing since I was about two years old and took violin lessons from a young age. Niall grew up playing guitar and bass with his Dad and brother. He would describe music as one of the only things he’s good at!
Are you a signed?
You have released your new single ‘Graceless’, tell us more about the single.
‘Graceless’ began as a four chord piano jam that Fiona wrote while waiting for a student to turn up late to a vocal lesson. The student’s name was Grace… hence, she was ‘Graceless’! The lyrics aren’t about that, though. They cover a variety of themes from war, religion, nature and death. The lyrics and feel of the song don’t quite match up as it sounds very happy and dreamlike!
What is the meaning behind the single?
The single is meant to be a strong introduction to our unique sound and style. We’re hopeful that it’ll bring people a bit of joy in this time where we’re all still waiting for life to get back to normal!
Describe the track in two words.
What was the writing process like?
This was the first song I brought to Niall for collaboration. It started out as just the chorus and chords. Niall soon put bass and synths to it and it began to take form! We went a bit mad with the harmonies at the end, but we wanted the song to climax in some way. We added some harp to it in the late stages (written and performed by the wonderfully talented Esther Swift) to add to the dreamlike atmosphere we had going.
What was the recording process like?
This was recorded almost entirely at home. Niall used Ableton for the production and I used my home studio for the vocals. Esther was recorded by Dave at The Noisefloor in Leith with Fiona sitting in.
Who did you work with on the single?
The single was mastered by Phil McBride (Midi Paul) and the artwork and music video were created by Tyler Mortimer of Blank Page Digital Art.
Will we see a music video for the track and if so what can we expect from it?
Yes! It’s also scheduled to drop on Friday. It’s a fully animated masterpiece by Tyler. It’s been described as ‘Girly Monty Python’, so take from that what you will! We think it looks awesome and that Tyler did an amazing job.
Will we see an EP or Album and if so, what can we expect?
We’re hoping to release a full album of songs by Summer 2021. It features a few more collaborations from the likes of Conscious Route (True Hold Records) and Graham Coe (The Jellyman’s Daughter). For fans of London Grammar, Banks and Bonobo, this should be up your street!
Do you have any online shows coming up?
We’re looking into the possibility of putting on a live gig in early 2021.
What else can we expect in 2020?
We have a second single coming out before the end of the year called ‘Nukular’ featuring cello from Graham Coe (Jellyman’s Daughter), so make sure to follow us to find out more!
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
We’re always up for working with other musicians and seeing what we can create together! To contact us, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org (ask for Fiona).
Do you play any instruments?
Fiona sings and plays piano, guitar and violin. Niall plays bass, piano and guitar (although he maintains that he could play anything if you give him half a day!)
Who are your influences?
Fiona is influenced by female singer songwriters that she listened to growing up e.g. Aimee Mann, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin etc. Niall’s production style is influenced by artists like Bonobo, Jamie T and Imogen Heap.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Fiona often writes instrumental pieces first and then puts lyrics to it later. Or she’ll wake up with a song in her head and she’ll need to write it down! Niall will usually write a piece on Ableton and then spend hours or days fiddling with it until he’s happy with it!
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Hopefully back to gigging live!
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
We both do music full time, so when we’re not doing that we enjoy video games, cooking and Korean cinema.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
Fiona: ‘Diamonds & Rust’ – Joan Baez
Niall: Anything by Townes Van Zandt
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Fiona: Take regular breaks and drink more water
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Fiona: Remember that you’re writing for your own enjoyment and not to hang too much on whether or not it’s getting lots of streams or attention. You can easily lose yourself in the numbers of it all! Music is supposed to be fun and for creative expression – not for fame or likes
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
Fiona: If you’re in East Renfrewshire, check out Rouken Glen Park!
Niall: If you’re in Meldrum, look for the exit!
Your coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first? Home!
2/ Who do you see first? Fiona: my husband Niall: my dog, Bo
3/What do you eat first? Does coffee count?