Geese on “Projector” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, May 29th, 2023  

Geese on “Projector”

Preflight Check

Aug 10, 2022 Photography by Ray Lego (for Under the Radar) Issue #69 - 20th Anniversary Issue
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Mid-September 2021 finds the Brooklyn based band, Geese, two days out from a Friday night set at R.J. Daniels, a sports bar on New York’s Long Island. The spot is known more for 50-cent wing nights and NFL game days than hosting the country’s likely-to-be next big post-punk band. The five-piece group of 2020 high school graduates is comprised of Cameron Winter (lead vocals), Gus Green (guitar), Foster Hudson (guitar), Dom DiGesu (bass), and Max Bassin (drums). If the sports bar gig seems incongruous for a band that was also booked for a midday set at Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Festival (where they played a few hours ahead of label mates IDLES) and had just revealed a string of European and U.S. dates that include stops in London, Paris, and Berlin, one must remember that at the moment the general public doesn’t have much of an inkling about the band. With earlier work wiped from the internet, at the time Under the Radar spoke to Geese there were two released singles (“Disco” and “New Era”) and a handful of live performances under their collective belt.

Several of the members were friends from early on as Green explains, “I’ve been friends with Max and Cameron since lower school. We were part of band programs back then.” Until recently the group practiced and recorded songs in Bassin’s basement, where their debut album, Projector, was recorded beginning in their senior year of high school. “The basement got a little flooded after we moved out due to the hurricane [Hurricane Ida], but we got most of our stuff out,” Bassin says.

When the band signed with local-to-them label Partisan, it afforded the group some additional perks. Their already recorded album was given a professional mix, the beginnings of a tour started to come together, and a professional practice space was obtained. During the interview, Winter was hanging and rearranging foam on the walls of a currently leased out space at downtown Brooklyn’s Pfizer building. The mention of one of the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers leads the band into a devolved sparring match about who received the best vaccine. “When everyone else is a zombie, we’ll still be going strong,” Winter quips, sharing solidarity with the interviewer for Team J&J.

The recent legalization of marijuana in NYC, relative vaccination superiority, and the prospect of free food at Friday’s show seem to hold as much interest for the bunch as discussing their music. When asked about his stage presence and comfort performing live, Winter jokes, “I’m usually suspended from the ceiling like Peter Pan.” The most focused of the group, at least at the moment, Green explains, “We have a lot of fun live and it’s a bit more unhinged. The record sounds pretty tame in comparison.”

Pressed further about his vocal range and inspirations, Winter admits to molding his tone to the song at hand. “I was probably being inspired by a lot of the Brits in the punk scene around the era of [Echo and] the Bunnymen and Mark E. Smith of The Fall,” he says.

Winter’s voice on record never gets to the manic level of some of the band’s U.K. peers, and the group also smartly avoids the overtly topical in their songs. While the dual guitar attack of Green and Hudson is at times fierce and other times deliciously tangled à la New York punk pioneers Television. And DiGesu and Bassin stand out for adapting their approach to the moment, from the high-hat disco stylings of “New Era” to the more hurried and desperate affair on the ironically named, and not-so-disco, “Disco.”

With their debut album freshly out in the world, the group admits to having plenty more post-Projector recorded work under wraps. Understandably so, given the protracted amount of time during lockdown and in pursuit of a label. Pragmatically, when asked about playing new material live, Winter points out that people haven’t even heard their first album yet at the time of the interview. “We’re trying to be tight lipped and not performing too many new songs, just because people haven’t even heard the first record yet,” he says. A point well taken, but one now remedied. With Projector now released and positive reviews of both the album and their live sets streaming in, the band’s next steps will no doubt bring even more interest.

[Note: This article originally appeared in Issue 69 of Under the Radar’s print magazine, our 20th Anniversary Issue, which is out now. This is its debut online.]

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