Rising stars ĠENN have conquered Brighton, their slick indie confidence and cutthroat psychedelia balancing on a knife edge – now they have set their sights on the rest of us. With the release of their bizarrely brilliant new single ‘Mackerel’s Funky Mission’, taken from their upcoming debut EP ‘Liminal’, we caught up with Leona from the band to talk about getting started, lockdown, and what exactly is going on in their new fishy odyssey.
How did you guys start making music and form ĠENN??
It all started in 2011, Janelle and myself founded Cryptic Street (our former name) back in secondary school. Our present line up came together in 2019, and we’ve been making noise ever since.
How would you describe your sound for our readers?
Honest, visual, colourful… very ĠENN!
You’re based in Brighton but Leona you’re from Malta – how does this mesh of geography and cultures contribute to ĠENN?
I value my heritage a lot, and even more so since I moved to the UK in 2019. This appreciation has certainly left a mark on my writing and this contributed a lot to the visual representations that you might come across to in the EP. I simply can’t deny where I from.
How did your debut EP, ‘Liminal’, come together?
Surprisingly enough, we managed to put it together during lockdown through early 2020, even whilst confined in separate households.
‘Mackerel’s Funky Mission’ is quite an absurd, surrealist song – what was the idea behind this?
I think Mackerel's Funky Mission is an escapism mechanism.... you sort of pretend to be someone else - in this case a fish - to escape from a current situation. It's fun to pretend you're something else and write from that perspective. It was also inspired by our confinement as I wanted to be a fish just to be able to travel without restriction. I tried to be as visual as possible with the lyrics and the story.
How have you been keeping occupied across the lockdown periods?
Mainly watching too many french films and reading too many existential novels. I’ve also enjoyed a fair bit of running and cycling along the seafront… Oh, and naming all of my house plants.
What are you looking forward to doing once lockdown ends?
GIGS! CINEMA! Maybe a little bit of socialising, but only a little bit.
If you could share the bill with anyone else, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
We will open up for an Agnes Varda film. Agnes would be there to compere.
What do you want people to take away from your music?
That’s up for them to decide…