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LAist Band Interview: The Go! Team

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The Go Team! are here to make sure that indie music doesn't take itself to seriously. Their infectious mix of samples, funk, rock and cheerleading results in a guilty pleasure that's easy to forgive. After their recent gig at the El Rey, LAist tracked down the band and got an inside track on what made The Go! Team tick.

The Go! Team are: Sam Dook (guitar), Chi (drums), Kaori (guitar, wind and keys), Jamie Bell (bass), Ninja (vocals) and band leader Ian P (electric guitar and harmonica).
 
LAist: How would you describe your music to someone who's unfamiliar with your band?
 

Ian: The question I always dread:  it's really all my favourite sounds slammed together in a messy trashy style - car chase horns, double dutch chants, breakbeats, detuned guitars, girl group sounds, bollywood strings.
   
LAist: What is your favorite venue in Los Angeles?
 
Ian: I dig the Troubadour.
 
LAist: You're known for high-energy performances.  What are your biggest influences either musically or theatrically?
 
Ian: Sonic Youth,  Public Enemy, Velvet Underground,  and The Rock Steady Crew.
 
LAist: Describe your creative process for writing composing - who is responsible for lyrics and music, and what comes first?
 
Ian: I write the songs and the album was largely done by me in a basement in Wales.  It happens by trial and error - welding together loads of samples or my own melodies until it works somehow. That's layered with loads of live instruments from recorders to banjos.  when we do live shows ninja does her own thing over the top and writes her own lyrics.
 
LAist: Is it true that the band formed by accident?  Describe how you got started, and how/when you knew the line-up was final.
 

Ian: Not exactly by accident.  I wrote a bunch of songs and played most of the instruments on the record—and then was hassled into playing live in sweden last summer in a festival. I pulled in the other 5 pretty quickly through friends and adverts and we just took it gradually from there with no particular plans to conquer the world.
 
LAist: What jobs did you have before Go! Team?  Do you miss having a  regular day job?
 
Ian: Well, I used to make documentaries for the Discovery Channel and National Geographic about mummies, NASA and sleepwalking.  We all worked until fairly recently Ninja was in University, Jamie a draftsman, Sam worked with kids in a school of rock, Chi worked for the council I think.  I don't think any of us really miss the 9 - 5: it's no way to make a living.
 
LAist: With whom would you most like to collaborate as a band on your next project?  Why?
 
Ian: David Axelrod, Cornelius: They both carved out their own sounds without any reference to anyone around them
 
LAist: What was the first album you purchased?
 
Ian: Fuck knows. Probably Boney M or something.
 
LAist: What's your favorite LA-based band?
 
Ian: Don't know any - isn't LA the epicenter of Hair Metal?
 
LAist: How do LA audiences compare to audiences in Europe and other  countries?
 

Ian: When we came a few months ago they were one of the more low key audiences compared to the UK. But when we played the El Rey the other day they were one of the best crowds.  Yanks tend to whoop more.
 
LAist: What music is loaded on your iPod right now?
 

Ian: Don't have an iPod - but i've been listening to the new Noards of Canada album, Sufjan Stevens, Tanya Winley, Architecture in Helsinki.
 
LAist: How did you come up with the name for the band?
 
Ian: I read an article about plane crashes.  The "go team" are the people who clear up the wreckage and find the black box.  It's fucking morbid.
 
LAist: If you could give one piece of advice to a new band, what would it  be and why?
 

Ian: Man, I don't feel wise enough to be giving out advice. But maybe "don't put too much stress on getting signed by a major label as if they are gonna solve all your problems—just do what you would be doing anyway.  getting signed should be a by-product."
 
LAist: What are you trying to accomplish with your music - is it just fun  or is there a bigger message to fans?
 
Ian: I think energy and originality are way more important for me than just fun. When people call us a party band it's always a bit of a gutter.  There are no great earnest messages it's more into trying things that hopefully haven't been done.  I suppose it's more about ideas—like lets try mixing car chase horns with discordant guitars.
 
LAist: What's one interesting thing that fans may not know about Go! Team?
 
Ian: Sam, the Go! Team guitarist, lives above a funeral parlor and once had a rooftop party where someone fell through the skylight into a pile of coffins below.


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