We chatted to Sven and Jürgen from Optional Gherkin ahead of their debut LP release ‘Sauce On The Side’.
Where are you from?
Sven: We met in this bar in Paris. Then we didn’t see each other for 2 years, but met up in Shoreditch and we decided to grab some synths and just blow the world away.
Jürgen: Ironically I don’t know where Shoreditch is, but I’ve been there.
What instruments do you play?
Jürgen: We all play synth.
Sven: I sometimes do vocals.
Jürgen: I sometimes scream and beatbox.
What are your influences?
Jürgen: There are only two: Bullet for my Valentine & Kraftwerk.
Sven: You know the theme from The Magic Roundabout? It’s nothing like that.
Who do you hope to emulate musically?
Jürgen: No one and everyone.
Sven: We want to be more popular than Ziggy Stardust, but less popular than Justin Bieber.
Tell us about ‘Sauce on the Side’.
Sven: It’s probably the most exciting release of 2015. It’s basically a 25 minute instrumental concept album, based on some recordings of bats I did in a cave in Romania.
Jürgen: There’s a hidden track on the end of the album called ‘Are you paying by Cash or Card?’ and that’s just the sound of tills over beats created by dogs hitting drums with their noses.
We’re creating a genre that I like to call ‘vaudevillian electronic hip-hop’. It’s inspired by post-good, which is making music that you can’t tell if it’s good or bad. It’s so intense, interesting and fascinating.
Sven: Have you ever seen the painting ‘Nighthawks’, which is currently being exhibited in Boston? It’s nothing like that.
Jürgen: I can’t stand Bruce Springsteen, because everything is in 4/4. We never end the day until we’ve written at least seven bars in 3/8. (Drums on table to demonstrate this time signature for album track ‘1 2 3, You Dick’).
Sven: Have you ever read Roald Dahl’s ‘The BFG’ whilst on a carousel? It’s nothing like that.
What do you hope the future holds for Optional Gherkin?
Jürgen: I’m more worried about the past. I have some actual skeletons in my closet. Do you know anyone who wants some skeletons?
‘Sauce on the Side’ is being released on Burger Beats Records in 2015.
Ben McCabe & Josh Franks