Behind the Track

Behind The Track: Gnarlah

19th February 2019

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BIMM Brighton trio Gnarlah recently released their debut single, the blistering, riff-filled alternative rock anthem, ‘Find My Design’. We spoke to the three-piece about their songwriting process, their influences and the story behind the track.   

What was the inspiration/is there a story behind your track?

When it came to this track, we had already written a bunch of song that we were really happy with. However, we wanted a song that could define our overall sound and represent what we’re all about! Over Brighton Pride weekend, we decided to lock ourselves away until we had written a track we were content with that could be a debut release. It ended up being the hottest weekend of the year and subsequently we felt like we were going insane, as we were writing in a boiling-hot room all day with no breaks. After a good while though, the opening riff came about and from there the rest of the track came together really quickly. 

How did you approach writing this song?

For our general writing process, we would always start with getting all of the instrumental down before looking at the vocals. We knew what we wanted from this song, which was to have a big opening riff, a melodic vocal line over a heavy instrumental, and to make a ‘big’ chorus with more aggressively styled vocals.

We like to involve concepts and themes into our lyrics for other songs, however with this track we wanted to write something a bit more relatable to all us. The song is basically about being trapped in an unhealthy relationship (whether it’s with family, friends or a partner) and how after lots of conflict, you realise that you need to step back and focus on yourself. It’s something that all of us in the band have had to deal with at some point. 

Do you have a favourite line/section of the song?

Our favourite section is the post-chorus section towards the end of the track. It’s what the track has been building up to and hints towards our heavier side, especially with the aggressive vocals. The last two lines of the song are also our favourite lyrics: “I’m taking my time, to find my design”. That’s where we got the title of the track from.

Can you describe your sound in three words?

Heavy, energetic, and ‘riffy’

How do you feel your sound has developed from studying at BIMM?

Joining BIMM and also moving to Brighton has exposed us to so many different bands and musicians  who all play such eclectic music. That has influenced us very strongly. We have definitely noticed how we started to gain influence from bands that are very grungy and fuzzy, however we also listen to a lot of commercial rock music. So, influences from bands such as ‘Demob Happy’, ‘Audioslave’, and ‘Muse’ have all blended together in our music.

What’s the best thing about studying at BIMM?

The best thing for us is the people, everyone is so supportive to each other, regardless of what genre of music they’re into.  Alongside this, at a more basic level, if none of us were at BIMM we wouldn’t have met or been able to form ‘Gnarlah’.

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James Watts

Social Media Assistant, Professional Bassist and Music Journalist. Career highlights include performing at some of the UK's premier music festivals, recording in Abbey Road and interviewing Debbie Harry.