Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Love Without Violins”?
It is a cornerstone of the album we’ve just recorded. It has a less than obvious song structure, which ends up being the biggest challenge for The Gift: We have an established career in our home country of Portugal, and we need songs that push the envelope so we can develop further, experimenting with things that make being a part of this band even more interesting.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
All the sessions withing the two years’ timespan of working on this album were extremely inspiring. Working with Brian Eno is always exciting! One day we’re swapping instruments, another we’re inventing new sounds with an underwater tube… for this specific song Brian sent us out on the street looking for new percussive objects. We were right beside a big forest, there wasn’t much besides sticks and stones. That’s what you hear in the beginning of the song, that strange and curious percussion gives it an once an intimate but noisy character, it draws you in. All the sounds you hear came from that search for new sounds…
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Yes, we will unveil it soon. It makes sense. It is an album we’ve been working on for a long time and we want it to reach out to a lot of people. It is a mysterious video, magnificently filmed. Stay tuned…
How was the recording and writing process?
As I said, very exciting. Challenging is perhaps the best word to describe what we did with Brian over these last couple of years. We started by playing the songs and then ideas started flowing, we kept a large white board where we’d scribble out key words and the images that the songs brought out in us. The fact that we were not in a rush made everything very relaxed. One day we’d sit on a river bank writing lyrics, the other we’d be in a darkened room recording the band in complete darkness. It was like a playground for musicians.
What was it like to work with Brian Eno and how did that relationship develop?
I met him by chance during some holidays in São Paulo. We became friends. We went to museums, “favelas” – that’s the Brazilian slums – and we just talked a lot, on many subjects. We got to know each other better and then he caught one of our shows in Spain and liked what he saw and heard. We always look to make a new record within an artistic frame where we can have fun. Neither The Gift nor Brian wanted to make a standard record in a standard studio where you try and make things perfect. I also produce records myself and in my opinion the best approach is to just let time flow and let the mood of the environment you are in, and the musicians, take you to places where you haven’t been before, creatively speaking. And that’s what it’s like working with Brian Eno. It’s not expecting anything and then realizing you have it all, even if you’ve inadvertently wandered in strange ways, sometimes somewhat complicated to actually get through. Breaking through to a unique place is a thing of rare beauty. That’s what we sought out in producing this album. Seeking beauty…
How much did he get to influence the album?
I think I’ve just answered that…
What role does Portugal plays in your music?
We are very well known in Portugal. We have an independent career with several no. 1 singles that goes up against the biggest artists in the world on the Portuguese airwaves. Our fans grew up with us and everywhere we go thousands of people fill up festivals and local town squares every show on the tour. Having achieved that in our own country ends up being the perfect trial run. We’ve been around for 20 years, and we find we are finally ready to take all that experience to expand to new markets around the world. We’re ready for it, thousands of shows under our belts. And we have our best songs ever to play to the world.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
Yes the album is almost ready, we’ll have new singles and the album coming in early 2017.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
We want to take things in stride, a record like this one has to be well communicated. Also all the release territories have to be in sync. We want the music to get out to people in several parts of the world and that takes its time. But I believe the path ahead is well signaled…
Any plans to hit the road?
We are very much a live band, we love playing live, and we are ready to play the new songs. I also believe the best vehicle for the promotion of our music is on live stages, that’s what demonstrates whether a band is actually good. We’re ready for that process, reaching out to people, playing in front of as many of them as we can.
What else is happening next in The Gift’s world?
Enjoying the moment. Enjoying this phase. Enjoying this new beginning. We want the world, and we want the world to want us.