Turbo Goth Wants To Rock Out With The Message Of LOVE. Check Out Our SXSW Interview With This NYC Based Electronic Rock Band
AUSTIN, TX- When I go through my selection process of acts that I want to catch at SXSW, I have my own personal preferences. Obviously, the quality of the music matters, but I’m always a little more excited when I see a band that features asian musicians.
When I clicked “play” on Turbo Goth’s Spotify playlist, the pulsing, distorted bass of “Venus Flytrap” filled my headphones and instantly caught my attention. All of a sudden, abrasive guitar riffs and piercing synths hit. Then the lead singer’s soft, delicate vocals, in an almost Hope Sandoval way, floats in and creates a satisfying balance. I was intrigued. When I found out the band was Asian, I dug a little deeper.
I listened to their 2010 album Destroy Us All and was particularly drawn to their hard hitting tracks (“Short Circuit Mirage”, “Cosmopol”, “Julio Polet” etc); the tracks that make you want to shake your leg uncontrollably while you’re sitting at a desk working. There was a kinetic kind of energy I got from their sonics, and I knew that I had to hit up their late night, after hours set at Valhalla to see how, and if, they would be bring that energy to life.
In the dark room, filled with machine generated fog, Sarah Gaugler and Paolo Peralta, both dressed in appropriately black ensembles, rocked their late night set amidst the violent flashes of unrelenting strobe lights. It was visceral primal feeling that I got from their music, and was exactly how I was hoping their performance would make me feel.
Paolo in particular physically manifested the feeling of the music that was being played. He was a mad man, possessed by his instrument, and I couldn’t help but focus my attention on his playing.
Recently, I was able to catch up with Turbo Goth and asked them how things were going, and to learn a little bit more about their music.
Upon retrospect, were you guys able to what you wanted from your SXSW experience? Was it any different from the last time you came to Austin in 2014?
Yes we were able to create new connections and make new friends! We rocked our showcase at the Valhalla and it was one of our best shows to date. We are now more familiar and not as overwhelmed compared to our SXSW 2014. SXSW has been our almost annual pilgrimage. We played SXSW 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019.
I know that art, generally, is important in your lives. I follow Sarah’s tattoo page and her work is so delicate and light, which I find is quite a departure from some of the hard hitting electronic sonics that you guys perform. I can hear the delicate and light attributes of your art in your voice, but is the music a way to let loose a different side of your personality, or is there another correlation that I’m missing?
We are humbled and honored to be a medium to express beauty, may it be through music or visuals. There is great beauty in this universe and we are grateful that there is art for where we can express the beauty we intend to offer.
Based on what I’ve been able to scour online, you released your debut album in 2010. You’ve released your first new tracks since that debut this year: “Coelestia” and “Love Will Be All There Is”. Why was there such a hiatus, and are these singles a lead up for something bigger coming this year?
There might have been a hiatus in releases but we have never stopped playing live. TURBO GOTH takes us to places and leads us to special moments that are to be cherished forever. Yes, the singles will lead to more releases. We have lots of songs to be shared.
“Coelestia” seems to be your most dreamy track to date. It almost has a Mazzy Starr kind of vibe to it. What is that song about? What does the titled “Coelestia” mean?
Coelestia means the Stars. It is inspired by the sacred book Arcana Coelestia by Emmanuel Swedenborg. It means being one with the universe, being one with the life inside you and outside you because separation causes pain and delusion. Truth is oneness with the one true source of all. It has been called many names but it is most known as Love.
You perform often around the NYC area. Do you have plans to tour nationally or even regionally? What are your plans for the the rest of the year?
Our plan is to tour the US and rock out with the message of LOVE.