Interview with Robbie Wilson from The Kundalini Genie

An  another great gift from Glasgow.  Talent is everywhere of course but from Glasgow we can find a lot of  pearls as the band 'The Kundalini Genie'

Robbie, thank you so much for accepting this interview. To start, tell us how is born The Kundalini Genie ? And who is who ?

Just after I left school I started practicing and writing heavily with some friends, we were all in a band together for a while before creative differences made us go our separate paths, it was a short lived experience but from it we wrote probably over 300 songs, most of which probably won't see the light of day again, but we got a lot of experience from that.  Between then and the current band, there was a bit of mixing about, during that time Julia, my partner and I, created The Kundalini Genie as an outlet for some of our own material.  

We were about two lead guitar tracks and a few vocal tracks away from a finished double album, 1hr 22mins in length, we were going to call it 11:11 and just release in online, but I was really stupid and didn't make backup files, and the hard drive the album was stored on got damaged and the album was lost forever, some of the un-mixed, un-finished tracks still exist but I would have probably ended up replacing a few tracks here and there just to fine tune everything. Archie had always been involved with us as the bass man, but it wasn't until we found Adam for drums that we kind of put together something solid and definable as a band, if you could call us a band back then..  We started off shitty, like everyone does really, we're still kinda shitty but we're getting there!

Since December we can  listen “Reverberation”, a very good work, a very good album, tell us more about this album ?   

RWe recorded the album in Carlton Studios in Glasgow, the place I work.  I sold guitars and various music gear to fund the project and was given a bit of resources from a family member to help us along the way. Because I had been recording for so long on my own and with Julia in our bedroom, we had come to a kind of understanding of what the process was like and what to expect and what was possible etc..   Which turned out to be the furthest thing from reality when you're trying to work with so many other people.  Paul McCabe from The Mushroom Club can be quoted here in saying:  "The hardest part about music is working with others" and I've found it to be really true, I was recording all of the tracks on my own before hand but I really just wanted to have a band of people I really enjoy being around and learn and grow and experience it all together with them, which I think makes it all a little more worthwhile. That said, the recording of the album was one problem after another, and I pushed everyone to the brink with the hours I wanted to put into it, by the end of the process the only person overseeing everything was me, because everyone was either so exhausted mentally from it or pissed off at the way things were turning out. At the end of it all, we ran out of money, and therefore we ran out of time, and to this day there's stuff on the album I definitely wanted to re-do, I'm mostly 'happy' with everything except Don't You Forget It, I wanted to re-do the bass, lead gutiar and vocals and have Julia add harmonies. As a band, honestly, I don't think any of us listen to it and get any enjoyment out of it anymore, we done it to death and we put it out, people seem to dig it but we're eager to put it behind us and move onto new material.

What is your favorite track from “reverberation” and why ?

Deja Vu-Vu, hands down, it's everyone favourite song in the band.  Julia wrote it. Originally it didn't have the build up/tempo change at the end in the early recording of it, but we were playing it live in Nice N Sleazy's once and it just kind of happened, and we all looked at each other like "Fuckin' yass!" Julia's vocals are so ethereal, and it's the song that turned out best in the recordings, the build up worked out well, it took me fucking forever to get the guitar solos down for it, there's three guitar solos happening, the main, forwards guitar solo, and two backwards guitar solos, and we did a cool panning technique where every four beats two of the solos suddenly switch from the left headphone to the right and vice versa.

What are your projects ? 

We're all currently working on new material, the songs are definitely taking a heavier feel, we're experimenting more with different chord progressions and stuff, too. We also have a split single coming out within the next couple months which we are doing with Los Acidos. We have a double vinyl for the album coming out in a few months too. And the icing on the cake is that I have been playing drums in my friends band, The John Farmer Band, which has been a lot of fun.

We can find all your work only on Bandcamp ?

Originally, yeah, in terms of purchase, but all of our music could always and will always be available for free on Youtube and Soundcloud.  We need money of course, but ultimately there's a lot of great music about that I want to buy, to download and have on my phone etc so when I'm walking about I can blast it on my headphones, but I just can't afford to buy it all, I just get by on what we make currently, so the bandcamp was for people who can afford it, but I didn't want to exclude folks who couldn't.  Plus, I made some silly wee videos for all of the album songs on the youtube. As of recent days though we should be able to be found on Spotify, iTunes, and all those other sites of the like.  We had been getting a lot of folk asking why we're not on Spotify, and I downloaded it to check it out.  Tonnes of bands I really liked who I didn't think had the audience they should have from the sources I was listening from, were getting hundreds of thousands of monthly listeners on Spotify.  We were really behind the curve on that one!

How many instruments you play ? 

Competently, over 30, in that I'd feel comfortable picking it up to record or perform with.
As for instruments I could give you a jingle on, I don't even know.  Julia gets pissed at me when I pick up an instrument for the first time and start busting out silly wee jingles like lord of the rings and star wars theme melodies etc, but she does the same thing, the little shit has been able to play every instrument she's ever picked up from the get go more competently than I could have from the start. 

What is your favorite band ? A lot of people, can listen on repeat the same track or the same album during several days, do you do it ? yes ? with which band  ? 

Well, I never have a favourite band that stays my favourite forever, there's too many and I'm always discovering new artists so it's always evolving. My first ever favourite band was Led Zeppelin, I would wake up on sundays as a kid to the smell of my mum cooking breakfast and my dad listening to 'Whole Lotta Love' or 'Black Dog', but over time my favourite band has changed countless times.
Having said that, the band I have been listening to a lot recently, and been really digging in the past few weeks has been The Murlocs.   I had been listening to them for a couple of days before I decided to look for some live videos and I realised that the singer in The Murlocs is Ambrose from King Gizzard.  The Murlocs' album Young Blindness is fucking brilliant, I really like it.   Ambrose is an annoyingly good singer, I've heard The Murlocs cover Psychotic Reaction and Everyone's a Winner and they're both the best covers of those songs about.  

 Conversely,  All a day without music, is it possible for you  ?

I mean, yeah of course, I can and have, for various reasons, when you're busy, or away from a device you can either listen to or an instrument you can play on. But in terms of the average day, I listen to music constantly, and I write and record constantly, I drive everyone around me nuts with the pace I move at musically, Julia has the patience of a saint.  I can't sit still.  I used to meditate a lot, and have since found that it's not really for me, in the traditional sense of meditation where you sit or lie down and close your eyes and practice various mindfulness techniques or just 'be', but I've come to find that meditative practices can be worked into literally every aspect of your life, and the way it works best for me is with a set of headphones on, listening to an album, or playing and recording.

Apart music, what are your other passions ?    

Music is my biggest passion, and it takes up a really big part of my life.  I have even had people close to me tell me that it's an unhealthy amount.  I love helping bands into a venue with their equipment, I love working in a studio and asking bands about this pedal or that amp or guitar, I love looking into new bands and I love sharing my friends' music with other friends etc.  I love making friends through it, every band that I like and come across, I'm always like "I bet I would be good friends with them!"  because I relate to their music so much.  That even upsets Julia, because now that we are playing music live and playing with some of these bands, who I have liked for a long time, I get into this mode of "I'm going to be their friend and we'll send each other music and help each other grow by encouraging one another and they can teach me things" and it rarely if ever turns out that way, either the band are busy, don't like me much or just aren't that type of person, and I get down about it.  
The psych scene, I have come to find, is quite competitive, and folk are often too invested in what they are doing to be invested in what you are doing and learn from it.  It's reached a point now with me where being a great band for me just isn't enough anymore, I know so many great bands, and seen so many great bands live, and just get so put off now, by dick-heads who think they're the next big thing.  If you make great music, and I meet you and you back that up by being a nice person, I'm your biggest fan, I listen your shit to death because it connects with me on a deeper emotional level, I can connect with your lyrics more, I'll pick up my guitar and learn all your riffs. 

Having said all of that, there are tonnes of other things I am passionate about, I love talking to people (Which is probably quite evident in my massive answers)

I've recently been getting into editing videos together, not creating my own but kind of in the sense of the way a DJ will sample other songs and mix them all together in ways to create their own music, I do that with video clips and overlays.  It's something I've seen a few folk doing similarly, like my good friend Sean Laffan from Psychoactiv or Vukosava Radenović's videos, which I dig, and we all have our own unique style.

I love reading, and writing, I have so many plans for writing all of these sci-fi and fantasy epics that I'll never get the time for until I'm old and shit.   I read almost exclusively sci-fi and fantasy, I do enjoy reality-based works, but I don't know, it doesn't appeal to me in the same way, I want to explore these vividly created landscapes of alien planets, and hang out at Tom Bombadil's house in Lord of the Rings.  

I love playing games, again, almost exclusively RPG and MMORPG games.  I love creating a character, and going into this cool mythical world and exploring and fighting monsters and learning all these crazy spells and abilities and following the storyline.

I love art, and on rare occasions love painting and drawing but I'm shit at it, one time I painted this crazy trip and it was perfect and the coolest thing I've ever done artistically but since then have never been able to match it.

I love going for walks and exploring nature and forests and stuff, I live in a good place for it where there's thick forest around my general region and lots of places to go walking.  I really enjoy walking in general, with friends, or with Julia, or on my own with headphones on, but that ties back into music, though.  I love walking about at night-time.  

There's probably nothing I love more than watching shit t.v and films with Julia, though.  I mean I love watching good stuff with her but we actually go out of our way to watch bad-good and just plain old bad films and t.v, because the banter we have is absolutely stellar!

That's it from me, I think.  Sorry for all of my massive paragraphs.  I can type really fast from years of pc gaming in my younger days, so before I know it in conversations I've got this massive wall of text, and look, it's happening again now!  

Thanks for having me, I dig The Psychedelic Underground Generation and what you and others like you do for music, it's an honour to be involved. Seek the truth and you will find, the soul that makes me yours, makes you mines!! 

Thank you so so much Robbie for your answers and we send you all good vibes for the future development.  You have all our support.  

Interview by Julie Aras