On 18th November, Belgian singer and keyboard player Mickael Karkousse, guitarist Dave Martijn, bassist Tom Coghe and drummer Bert Libeert, in other words, the band GOOSE releases their new single ‘What You Need’ along with visuals directed by Raf Simons and Dior long-term collaborator Willy Vanderperre.
The single is the title-track from their upcoming new album, recorded in LA with Ariel Pink, Air and Beck writer and arranger Jason Falkner, who also contributes guitars, synths and piano on several tracks. Mickael Karkousse’s previous career in fashion contributed to shaping the band’s image.
As one of the youngest street cast faces designer Raf Simons has ever used, the singer debuted in his iconic Radioactivity show of A/W 98-99 featuring the music of German avant-garde Kraftwerk.
Using this underground experience, the band later collaborated with cult fashion photographer and filmmaker Willy Vanderperre to create a short film to mark the release of ‘What You Need’ with images from Stanley Kubrick’s favourite Larry Smith. Art is Alive catches up with the band ahead of their tour.
How do you approach the creation of a new piece?
We look for a connection between the four of us. Something that inspires us as a band. Even if you have gathered lots of demos in advance, it’s only when we have that “click” that’s when we start being productive.
For What You Need we escaped from home to L.A to gain a creative freedom. And that trip stood for everything the album was about to become.
Who are your biggest influences?
Bruce Nauman, Michael Jackson, Andy Warhol, The Beatles, Alan Parsons Project, Air, Pink Floyd, Daft Punk, Steve Reich.
Who would you dream to collaborate with?
Giovanni Ribisi, great actor, personality.
How have you been made aware that Raf Simons was a fan and have you ever collaborated?
He heard the song ‘Words’ on the radio while he was working in his studio. When he heard it was a GOOSE song, his office then mailed me asking if I was the same guy that used to do runway shows for him. Then we got together and the invited us to Berlin to play at The Avant Garde series that he was curating. It was such an honour to find out that he liked our music; he is the reason I started to listening to Kraftwerk and Laurie Anderson after all.
What’s your next project: tour?
Yes we started to promote the new album around Europe and touring is our fuel. It gives us so much energy.
How do you approach the “visual identity” of your music?
When we hear music, we see an image and vice versa. We have had the chance to work with extremely talented people like Storm Thorgerson or Pierre Debusschere, who’s work inspired us is so many ways. And for this album we collaborated with director/photographer Willy Vanderperre and DOP Larry Smith. The result of that partnership is a short film that drags you into our world of creation. It’s both romantic and edgy, I guess that is part of Willy’s trademark.