By Luke Buckler
Unbelievably Bad Contributor
Melbourne power pop outfit Gnohms are really embracing their amorphous qualities. Last time UB spoke them, they were called Ohms. Since then they’ve dropped members, gained a couple consonants, and refined their hooks. They’re also about to launch a new record, then finish up. But they reckon they might come back next year.
Despite the closure of this chapter and their glowing praise of little sticky nugs, Gnohms are pushing hard across the finish line. For the second time, they’ve teamed up with a local animator on their video for the hazy bop of new single ‘Under The Bus’. We checked it out and then asked guitarist Pat about various stuff… mainly recreational drug use.
You’ve changed the line up and your name since we last spoke – tell us about the changes you’ve been going through.
Halfway through making the next Ohms record our singer quit, so the rest of us sang a third each. Me and Mark had sung before, but this was the first time Lauren ever had, and she surprised us (in a good way). This is the first record that Mark appears on, as a bass player or a singer. I mixed our tracks with excessive distortion and compression, which several better engineers tried to talk me out of. All these changes justified a name change, and after failing to agree on a new name we just went with Gnohms – suggested by a friend as a joke, which of course stuck because there is no God.
There’s a reasonable sonic leap from the Ohms output to the first Gnohms single, Marihuana is a Lot of Fun. Was the devil’s weed solely responsible for the bass fuzz and trips clip?
When Ohms started in 2013, the idea was “garage punk meets power pop”. That was a pretty narrow, specific vibe, and the scope has been broadening ever since. Four years later, we have a song with vocoder and corny guitar wailing and crazy stuff we never would have done before. Change keeps it fun.
The second single, Under the Bus, shows us yet another side of Gnohms – to us, it sounds a little like the Beatles when they started messing with trips. What parameters does Gnohms set itself when you’re writing?
That swung beat always makes a song sound Beatley, so we just went nuts with the falsetto harmonies and all those campy extra layers. There was a lot of laughing to edit out. As for parameters, I normally use a standard structure and avoid lyrical earnestness at all costs. Beyond that it’s mostly just a case of asking, “What’s a song I’d like to hear right now?” and then trying to create it. With “Under The Bus” I was attempting a sixties baroque pop song like Sagittarius’s “My World Fell Down” with a 90s rock chorus like Harvey Danger’s “Flagpole Sitta”.
What’s on the cards for Gnohms in the immediate future?
The biggest thing on our horizon is splitting up. Our goal was to get this album made because we thought it was too good not to see through. Our last show is our album launch (Nov 26, Tote). We may return in some form next year.
I’ve just had a mad sesh on the buckets and I think I’m greening out. What should I do?
Just go to bed. Your work is done here.