INTERVIEW: Naysayer and Gilsun

I was first introduced to the work of Melbourne’s own Naysayer and Gilsun via a mass text from a local night club saying (and I’m paraphrasing here, it was years ago.

I was 18 and probably amped up on half a bottle of Malibu and imitation brand coke when I got it) ‘Come and see a show that will change your life’. A brash statement from the club (one that totally contrasts with the humble and down to earth demeanour of Luke Neher and Sam Gill) but a statement that has proven itself to be more and more accurate as the Naysayer and Gilsun show has progressed over the years. We caught up with Sam to talk singles, cinema screens and making the transition from mash-up show to the psychedelic curve ball that is NGTV.

So for those who have been living under a rock for the past few years, who are you and what are you about?

I am Sam Gill, I am one half of audio visual production duo Naysayer and Gilsun. We make and perform an A/V show called NGTV, where we perform video and music at the same time on cinema sized screens, playing a variety of music that we’ve made as well as (for the most part) the work of others.

So are you sneaking other unreleased tracks into your live sets?

No, I mean not really, this is kind of like where we’re at making the show now. I don’t know, it just depends on what you count as your own stuff. There’s a lot of edits we use, but for the most parts its a lot of other peoples audio production that we just build off.

So you’ve got a bit of a back catalogue of tunes to release?

Yeah, at the moment there’s quite a few demos there that we need to finish. We’ll probably doing a four to five track EP….well actually we’ll definitely be doing an EP at the beginning of next year and we’re just narrowing it down to what we feel are the best tracks. A lot of them are done, a lot of them have been sitting there for a while and now it’s just a matter of getting them mixed and mastered.

You guys made a big impact over the past year and a half – two years with your NGTV volumes, can we expect more in 2013?

We haven’t really decided to be honest, we took a break because we were working more closely on original music. I think once a lot of that is worked out we’ll want to go back and keep going, because we’ve got quite a lot of material that we’ve played live now that we would like to make new stuff. It’ll either come out really soon, or we may hold off until we’ve got this EP done and then think about debuting all this new material. It’s kind of all up in the air to be honest, we certainly haven’t left it all behind.

Your sets have really progressed in the relatively short time you’ve been touring NGTV. NGTV 1 was largely made up of the material we saw in your first two video mix tapes.

Yeah, there was a lot of material that we had played in some format before, you know basically mash ups and cut n’ paste edits that we’d done. As way of easing into the new format, we definitely made it a pretty fluid transition from all that older stuff into that video stuff. Since doing that, I guess with each show we’ve introduced newer and newer material, and it’s kind of gone in a different direction.

After seeing your show at Melbourne Music Week, it really seems clear that the transition is complete and you guys have really found your feet.

Yeah, it can only ever be as close as we can possibly make it, you know, to what we want. We were fortunate enough to have a big fan base who followed what we did with the mash-up stuff. With the sets we were playing around Australia before we launched the audio visual show, because we did that so frequently and for so long that there came a point where we knew that you can’t necessarily just throw one idea, and one giant set of material, out the window without showing a pretty huge lack of respect for the people who have supported you. So with that in mind, we wanted to make it a pretty natural and honest transition into what we saw the show to be. And that doesn’t mean that when we were doing the earlier shows that we weren’t into it. That was exactly what we wanted to do at the time, but now it’s just a matter of letting it evolve by itself and being a little braver about what we want. It’s just cool that people are coming along with us, because we feel like now we can just take risks and not necessarily feel like doing whatever feels safe is best.

So your debut single ‘In Mind (Ft. Simon Lam) came out in November, how’s it been received so far?

We have been overwhelmed. Blown away to be honest and I’m not just saying that. As much I’ve rambled on and on about slowly pushing the show to a new place, to put out the single is really a big leap, and once we got over the stupid fear that maybe no-one would like us and whatever (you realise it doesn’t really matter), it was pretty amazing to see that people liked it. We were pretty humbled.

Thanks for chatting with us dude!


Words by Chevy Long