BY PETER LILLIS
Korpilombolo, Sweden is a remote “locality” in northern Sweden. With approximately 530 residents, Korpilombolo recently gained notoriety for being home to the mysterious GOAT, a fast rising and fantastic psychedelic rock band with a penchant for tribal drums, blues-drone freakouts and voodoo-like masks. Wrapping up their first US tour, GOAT played sold-out shows at some of our top venues, including The Music Hall of Williamsburg, Austin Psych Fest, and the Empty Bottle. We were fortunate enough to catch their Chicago date, which was also attended by Ty Segall, Doug McCombs and countless other scene juggernauts. For reference, view their entire show at Philadelphia’s Johnny Brenda’s.
After their Chicago date, we caught up with a member of the band who introduced themselves only as Fluffan. The following interview only creates more questions: Who else is in their tribe? How did the GOAT tradition begin? What did the other iterations sound like? Are you pulling my leg? Nonetheless, Fluffan opened up to us about the meaning of psychedelia, the possibility of a second US tour and the planet Tellus.
Frontier Psychiatrist: We had your album World Music as our #2 psychedelic album of 2012, second only to Tame Impala’s Lonerism. Do you agree that GOAT is a psychedelic band? What elements do you have in common with other rising psychedelic bands? How is GOAT similar to the first wave of psychedelic bands, including Jefferson Airplane, Os Mutantes, 13th Floor Elevators, Cream, etc?
Fluffan: Thank you a lot for that but I don´t know. The whole “defining music by genre” is getting quite boring by now to say the least. And the term ” psychedelic ” has been so overused at this point in time that it almost does not mean a thing anymore. By now I guess anyone fits into the psychedelic category, even Lionel Richie. On the other hand anything will appear psychedelic at the right place when in the right state of mind, right? Like Snickeriet and so forth. It´s all in the hands of the perceiver I guess
I really have no idea man. Similar maybe in the way that we also like to play music together with friends and be creative and have a good time? Jefferson Airplane had a female vocalist. Eric Clapton has glasses and one of us uses lenses.
FP: Is there a relationship between your music and drug use?
Fluffan: I don´t know you tell me. There is probably a relationship between our music and doing dishes, laundry and walking your dog as well for all I know.
FP: What world do you think World Music appeals to?
Fluffan: I guess it appeals mostly to the human population of Tellus and maybe some animals too. I´m not so sure about the rest of the universe yet.
FP: What role does your voodoo background play in your songwriting and/or performances? Do you make your own masks? Does each mask hold a special significance? Is there a relationship between each mask and each instrument and/or performer?
Fluffan: It´s not exactly voodoo but if you mean the vastness of the eternal seer/ GoAT then this is the foundation I stand on. My way of perceiving life and what fills my whole being. No [the masks] have been passed down through generations. The one I use has been buried together with former members of Goat several times. Then of course un-buried and put back into business again. You will learn more about this relationship in the info sheet of our coming LP.
FP: Have the masks changed over the years?
Fluffan: No, they must never change!
FP: The album is well produced: very heavy and full sounds without losing the natural/tribal feel. How was the production, recording and mixing process? Who did you work with? Do you feel that the final product is what you imagined? Will the next GOAT album have a similar sound, or do you feel the moving in a different direction?
Fluffan: Thank you. It was mostly done at night during the cold winter. It was all effortless and spontaneous. I worked with people from our tribe. I don´t know about the final product though I never imagined anything really we kind of just jammed along but I think it sounds nice enough.
Yes, the [new album will be in] same direction, more or less..
FP: Are you enjoying your time in the USA? I see it’s your first tour here, have any members of the band visited the states before? How did you enjoy the tour?
Fluffan: Yes very much! Other members, yes. Me, no.
We absolutely loved every minute of it. I loved watching the performances of Holy Wave which just got better and better throughout the whole tour the more I got to hear the songs. Truly mind expanding music! Not to mention their light show. Among the best bands I ever saw actually and they are wonderful musicians and top notch lads on top of that. Someone should get them over to Europe ASAP! This is by far the best part of touring for me, all the wonderful people you get to meet!
FP: How was this tour made possible? I’m sure it’s not cheap or easy to move the band and all your equipment across an ocean and a foreign country. Do you have any interest in doing it again?
Fluffan: Through our booking agency, Holy Wave’s backline and good old dollars basically. Not cheap but you can keep costs down to a minimum I guess. Flights from Munich where I reside are not overly expensive and you can eat fairly cheap in the US as well and we borrowed all of the backline, plus some other gear from the gentlemen in Holy Wave. Yes I would love to [tour the states again] but I don´t know if that will be possible.
FP: Anyone you’d like to thank over the course of this tour?
Fluffan: Most certainly! All the people from the Goat commune. Holy Wave. The guys from Acme guitars – what an awesome performance! Everyone that came out to our shows and supported us! Anyone who tries to make a change in society for the better and contribute to the whole. All those who don´t settle down for old belief systems and look into reality using their own experience/ discernment. The seekers of truth!
FP: What are some other bands from your area that we should check out?
Fluffan: Anders (The Silent Boatman), Hills — new LP out on superb Cardinal Fuzz Records now, Joe MCphee – Nation Time, Sun Ra and The Shaggs. Also people should really check out Holy Wave, go see them live and buy their stuff. It will be worth a fortune in the near future so you can just see it as an investment in your wallet but more importantly as an investment in your soul and a way of saving yourself a lot of trouble and time buying stuff that is no good. The same goes for Cardinal Fuzz records and of course Rocket Recordings.
FP: What’s next for GOAT?
Fluffan: We are playing some festivals and of course doing service at temple. We are the businessmen of the mind & soul plus the players of instruments too!