In anticipation of his new EP Montana on Ellum, we spoke to Lithuanian artist Gardens of God. Dark, mystical, and futuristic are all words that come into mind when listening to his perfectly crafted beats, and it’s no surprise that the last 18 months have seen him release two EPs as well as tour all over the world. His unique style and tantalising melodies, showcased on iconic records like Gluk and Zulu, have very much shaped his path into the techno spotlight. Read on to become better acquainted with this upcoming artist…
Gardens of God is a great name, how did you land on it and does it reflect on the kind of music you make?
Thanks! Actually music was first, name came after I made the “Ys” EP. I was thinking about the music I did, the music I want to do in the future, and it was like “ I need something mystic, ethereal, giving more questions than answers”. After long thinking “Garden of Gods” (similar to famous Lithuanian novel “Forest of the Gods”) was pretty close to that, I just improved it a bit to what made the name more mysterious and intangible.
Can you describe your sound in five words or less?
Deep, dark, melodic.
With the release of Zulu in June, Montana coming out in December, and playing shows all over the world, do you find it difficult to find time to experiment with new music? Where do you find you produce your best work?
It’s hard to say what’s harder, to have plenty of time for a track and then stuck in the studio for few months searching, or make it after the boost of energy you get from a touring impression, but in a very short time. I’m always struggling making something new and fresh, and I’m not the only one, I guess. We’re making kind of art, I’d say, and the art never comes easily.
2015 has seen you travel all over the world, including a tour of South and North America, as well as countless festival gigs. Where has been your favorite country/venue to play, and is there anywhere you’re yet to go that you’d like to?
It was my best year so far, and I couldn’t say I had any bad gigs. A lot of different crowds, places and experiences and most of them give you something new, something undiscovered and what makes this “job” beautiful. Germany was the country I played most this year and I’m in love with the crowd there (it’s the mutual feeling, I hope), South America was a blast, lots of great gigs touring with the Ellum family in and outside of Spain. Impossible to pick… As I said, discovering new places and meeting new people is one of the best things being an artist so I’m looking forward to all of it.
Who would you say have been your biggest influencers outside of the realm of electronic music?
Even if I didn’t love classical music so much when I studied it, it gave me the biggest influence, I guess. Structure, melody lines, harmony – the basics needed for every musician – is easy to learn from classical music. Now I listen a lots of indie folk, jazz, ambient music, and even dance music that doesn’t need sophisticated harmonies or complex beats but I take some mood, feeling elements, so I could say it inspires me nowadays.
We’re all very excited for the release of your new EP back on Ellum. Is there anything you’ve learnt from your past work that have fed into Montana?
Not sure if I’ve learnt something from the past work, but I was inspired by these big room gigs and festivals this summer and wanted to make something sounding big, but still good to party at the intimate club or listen through your headphones.
You’ve mentioned in a past interview that the Lithuanian house music scene is small in comparison to that of Berlin or Amsterdam. Are there any features that make it unique or things that make it stand out in comparison to the clubbing scene here?
Well the country is small and quite unique with it’s history so the scene could be unique as well, I guess. There is a lot of talented people in various spheres work hard to reach their goals and it’s the only way to stand out – electronic music artists / Dj’s are not an exception. I believe in 5-10 years everything should look better as the new strong generation is coming.
Your last EP was released on Ten Walls’ Boso label, only a few days before his outburst on social media that caused quite a bit of a stir online. Regardless, Zulu was still a huge success. As someone who worked closely with him, and who shares similar origins, can you comment on this issue and maybe also the role of social media in keeping your private and work life separate?
I’m always trying to stay objective, see and hear both sides in every situation as much as I can. It’s harder this time, as it affected close friend of mine, but now, after some time passed, I see no one is perfect or worse at this point. Social media is inherent communicating with people, sharing news and promoting yourself. On the other hand it can destroy your goals in 24 hours when you take the wrong turn. We live in the world where negative things are way more interesting than the good news, so you need to be very careful not to fall and be eaten by people who are hungry for bad news.
With the digital world growing rapidly by the second, the music and performance industry seems to be getting more and more difficult to break into. Can you give us one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring musician?
To be unique and work hard. Work harder if it doesn’t help.
Earlier this year Pulse named you as a ‘must hear artist of 2015’. Are there any new tracks/artists out there that you feel are a ‘must listen’?
If you’d ask about Lithuanian acts – upcoming “Few Nolder” tracks I was playing all the summer are dope, “Manfredas” is another “must hear”. I’m also proud of my future star friends you should take a look at: “Shall Ocin”, “Agents of Time” (Pulse named them as well), “Raxon”, “Lehar”…