Brighton punks Guru are making a commotion with their messy live shows and pointed, raucous singles. Fresh from a tour with Lady Bird, the foursome drop their third track ‘Fixation’ today.
It arrives right at the start of a bunch of UK shows including a set at the Green Door Store in their hometown this evening (Tuesday 23rd April), and The Waiting Room in London tomorrow (Wednesday 24th April).
Tommy Cherrill (vocals), Kieran Hunter (guitar), Ferg Belfrage (bass), Simon ‘Danny Boy’ Daniels (drums) team up to answer a few Qs about how they came to be, and what they're up to.
Hey guys, how’s it going? Was the tour with Lady Bird good?
Hey Dork! It's going well, ta! Buzzing to be showing everyone our new tune, especially one we're super proud of. The tour was amazing thanks; each city had its own unique, undeniable charm and individuality which made the experience constantly fresh, especially for four ill-travelled Southerners such as ourselves. Shout out to Harry for driving us and exposing us to the Teesside delicacy of the legendary chicken parmo. What a dish. What a city. It was amazing to meet Witch Fever and Arxx, two wonderfully talented bands and of course, a debt of gratitude must be given to Lady Bird for having us along for the ride and just being so darn kind and supportive on what was truly an eye-opening and still very surreal experience. Serious.
Are you well-behaved on tour, or do you get up to mischief?
Unfortunately, we found we couldn't get that rat-arsed every night! We all came down with a pretty nasty cold by Birmingham and had to take it easy from there on out. Obviously, we had a good time, but it's proper busy every day you have a show so being hungover isn't conducive to a fun car journey. Things got pretty messy in Glasgow though, where we had a day off. £11 for seven tequilas and a pint? Don't mind if we do.
How did you guys all meet and decide to form the band, then?
Ahh, this old chestnut. Tom and Kieran were friends for years in Maidstone, Kent, and moved to Brighton in late 2015. They met Simon on a hungover trip to The Breakfast Club and found out he played drums. Ferg then met Tom and Kieran at a party, where Tom bullied Ferg into listening to the (not very good) music he had recently been writing. After a few months of radio silence, Kieran randomly messaged Ferg asking if he knew any bassists. At the time all the bassists Ferg knew were already in bands, and he didn't play. About a week later there was a cheap bass in a second-hand shop window which he bought on the spot and messaged Kieran asking if he still needed that bass player. He did. Next week was our first rehearsal, and the rest is, or perhaps will be, history.
Are you creative in non-musical ways too?
Ferg bakes & loves to cook, he does so every day, Si works in a gin distillery making scrumptious liquor, and Tom is, quite literally, right now, glued to his Playstation – that really is all he does when he's not scribbling down lyrics or working. Kieran, on the other hand, has recently acquired his hot air balloon license and with the turn of the weather, we doubt we'll be seeing him much over summer, apart from band commitments, of course.
Did you grow up wanting to be musicians?
Yeah, we were constantly surrounded by good music as nippers, so I guess we had a lot to look up to. For Ferg, the tour with Lady Bird was literally his teenage dream come true – that is, to be part of a national, successful tour. I think some of us dabbled with the idea of crunching numbers or the daily commute, but existence behind a desk is no existence for us, you know? So yeah, I guess we did grow up wanting to be musicians.
What are your highlights from your time in GURU so far?
Paris. Paris was just, Jesus. We left accommodation to the last minute, so we ended up staying in a caravan club, one bed short at that. The roads are confusing; we misjudged when to fill the tank – to say the least – but boy, oh boy, did we enjoy the (cheapest) Parisian wine we could get our mitts on. All jokes aside, it was a good laugh and one we won't be forgetting any time soon. Also, we realised a lot of other bands don't mention how entertaining the time spent travelling to shows or studios can be and this is definitely an ongoing highlight for us. From chatting shit to pushing each other's buttons (or sometimes both) the time we've spent in motors and trains has been some of the most enjoyable time we've been able to spend together as mates. Aww.
Tell us about your new single, ‘Fixation’?
It all came together real quick – for us, the best songs usually do. It's a little bit of a departure from the last two songs we've released but by no means do we think that's a bad thing. It's still a Guru song; it's just got more of a groove to it, you know?
Where does the track rank in your ‘best songs we’ve ever written’ league table?
What else are you working on right now?
Numbers one and two in the aforementioned league table. Wink wink. We jest. We're always pushing on, trying to write new stuff and expand our sound. We're always trying to play as much as we can around the country, and we're ready to keep our foot firmly on the pedal into both the near and distant future.
Anything else we should know?
Nothing to declare, Officer. We just want to thank Margo and Nathan for their unwavering patience in the studio and transforming our intelligible ideas into a comprehensive track. SERIOUS.
GURU's new single 'Fixation' is out now. Catch them live:
23 Green Door Store, Brighton
24 The Waiting Room, London
03 The Finsbury, London
04 Portsmouth Psych Fest
16 Bermondsey Social Club, London
18 The Hope & Ruin, Brighton
05 Astral Festival, Bristol