Grids & Dots discuss their sultry new track and how life mimics art
There’s no denying that Grids & Dots serves up Sydney’s latest shade of shoegaze. Fresh off their latest single, we caught up with singer Daniel Handaru to discuss their influences, their lineup and the summer bliss that is. The great divide.
With two shimmering tracks under their belt, Grids and points are a project to be reckoned with. From their introspective lyrics and vocal harmonies to their eclectic works, this independent trio is practical and perfectly tuned.
Of The Byrds at Tropical fuck storm, their influences extend widely, lending to their impressionistic take on Sydney life. Joined by the talents of Carmen Minikus and Pat Hisshion, we caught up with frontman Daniel Handaru for a frank conversation.
HAPPY: Hey Daniel, how are you? Where are you at the moment?
DANIEL: At the moment, we are back to rehearsals and we are preparing to play our first concerts since March! It has been such a strange year for us and for everyone. We had the maximum recording and release of our first singles, to the sadness and stumbling blocks that came with all the external things that were going on in the world. We’re also making a music video for our next single this weekend!
HAPPY: Congratulations on the release of your second track, talk to us The great divide?
DANIEL: Thank you! The great ditch ‘The theme of s is actually quite sad and personal about family members who are too far away, either physically or emotionally. But sonically, we turned it into a really trendy act, which I think reflects a kind of feeling of hope to take the plunge from whatever is going on and be freer. We weren’t really planning on recording it on our EP sessions but Wayne Connolly, our producer, liked a demo so much that he asked us to teach it to the band and we recorded it there.
HAPPY: How did this song inspire the most collaborative process?
DANIEL: With the songs we’ve written so far, I’ve always mostly written the structure and the melody myself and then brought them in for the rest of the band to flesh out and add some color. But I really wanted Carmen to be more involved in the writing and singing process. She’s good at harmonizing and really adds her own character to the songs. I have always liked groups with several singers singing harmonies, like The Byrds, Pixies or a lot of those 80s shoegaze bands, so we both wanted to try more of that approach.
HAPPY: Grids & Dots, where does this name come from?
DANIEL: Band names are a bit silly, don’t you think? It’s like having a superhero name or something. Carmen and I currently have day jobs as visual designers, so we really use grids and dots in our daily lives. People have pointed out to us that it reminds them of Stereolab album titled Points and loops and I think maybe I even listened to this album a bit when we were trying to come up with a name!
HAPPY: How did you meet each-other? Was there something that started the creative relationship?
DANIEL: We met for the first time in a shared flat in an apartment near Chinatown in Sydney. We came from such different musical backgrounds: I had just returned from Canada and was mostly used to playing in loud, more post-rock bands at the time and Carmen was a classically trained pianist. I think we ended up really influencing each other on what music could be. Carmen started playing synths in a band that I briefly started at the time before buying myself a guitar and we’ve never looked back.
HAPPY: The work for The great divide is super striking, how did this happen?
DANIEL: Wayne had this idea that our song The great divide conjured up images of the great dividing beach on the east coast of Australia and somehow when he said that it seemed to fit the song perfectly and thematically. Like someone who is leaving or has left for The Great Divide and we are going to find them now. I manipulated images of mountains I found online to look like watercolors and Carmen made a car to give it a focal point.
HAPPY: Do these two singles have a taste of something bigger to come? An album maybe?
DANIEL: Yes! We have another single coming very soon Scenic route records and then we’ll actually release a seven song EP that we recorded (and still mix now) at the start of the new year.
HAPPY: Who is your ideal support niche for?
DANIEL: Internationally, one of my heroes is the group Yo La Tengo – so eccentric but so melodic. I’ve never seen them play and playing with them would be like all my dreams come true. Locally we are big fans of the Sydney band Single women and my favorite is Tropical Fuck Storm.
HAPPY: Thank you Dan, bravo for the cat!
DANIEL: No, well done!
Check The great divide here.