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I was given a copy of Guther’s album I know you know (Morr Music) by a friend of mine, in a ‘this is really good, you should listen to’ it context, but without any hints as to what it sounded like. Luckily, my friend was correct. It is really good. Guther are simple yet elegant, offering a selection of faintly electronic-tinged indie-pop songs with a sweet edge and a dark centre. They seem perfectly happy with a sound which does nothing more than please the ear; which is fine by me. Simplicity and elegance are hard to do well and Guther have managed it. Julia Guther answered a few questions via e-mail…

What do you think you sound like, and how different is that from what other people have said or written about you?

We sound like very simple and pure, melancholic, half-electronic, half acoustic indie-pop with catchy tunes. That’s not so far away from what people say, is it?

Are there any bands which you know, have heard, or have played with, that you’d urge the curious music fan to check out?

Masha Qrilla, Mek Obaam, Sufjan Stevens, Iron and Wine, Berend.

Do you feel an affiliation with any community, with regards to the music you make?

I don’t think so. Maybe our music has something to do with bands like Postal Service, maybe Stereolab – or at least that’s what I heard – but there’s no community. The only community I feel associated with is my friends, who are musicians, too, but make totally different music. For example Barbara Morgenstern, Christian Obermeier from Schneider tm or Quarks.

Which is your favourite of your own tracks, and why?

‘Taglieben’. I like the tune, the lyrics and the calmness in it.

How important are lyrics to your songs, and from where do you tend to come up with lyrical content?

On the one hand they are very important, as vocals are very important to me, but on the other they’re not. Sometimes I just need them to sing. I find it very difficult to deal with lyrics (obviously, as my english is very basic!). If it was more important for me to actually say something, I’d probably write in German, but the German language doesn’t really suit me. On I know you know the lyrics came quite randomly. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to every single sentence, I focused more on how to set the words nicely to the musical context. Words in music have to sound good, too. If they tell a good story but lack characteristic in matching the rhythm and metric of the music they become unimportant again. Or at least that’s my opinion. The content has always to do with feelings. Or I come up with a funny idea or one sentence that I like.

What would you be willing to give up/sacrifice for success in your band? Are you DIY purists or major label aspirationists?

I wouldn’t be willing to give up anything, but I’d never need to. I’m luckily on a label that is independent and very successful at the same time – and if I want to be more successful I just need to work on myself, on my music. But if it wasn’t like this I would go for DIY.

What does your family think of your music?

My parents like it. My sisters think that it’s kind of childish, but they’re proud of me anyway.

You’ve been asked to contribute to a charity covers album. Which song(s) would you most likely cover?

The Amps – ‘She’s a girl’.

What’s your favourite bit of band kit? If diskant could buy one thing for your band for Christmas, what would it be?

Oh, there’s loads. I just started to play guitar so what could I need? A good amp, a stage tuner and some cables. My favourite instrument, which I don’t know how to play (nor its name) is the huge, wooden xylophone? (Bands like Tortoise and The Sea and Cake use it loads).

What are the last couple of albums you bought, and are they and good?

Adam GreenGemstones – it’s okay.
Sufjan StevensSeven Swans – the best album I’ve bought in years!
The Go FindMiami – very good.
TarwaterThe Needle was Travelling – I didn’t buy it, I got it from Thomas Morr, but it’s awesome!

I should be buying more music! Sometimes people overlook what’s in their own back garden, in favour of what lies in a neighbour’s. Maybe it is time for those people to step outside and explore.

Guther website
Morr Music website