Meet: London Post-Punks Ghum

Don Blandford

Usually you’d expect to find second hand sofas, used motors and ‘pre-owned’ furniture but Gumtree is also responsible for creating post-punk London-based band Ghum. The band formed through the social media marketplace and have since become dark, simmering stalwarts on the London gig scene.

Backseat Mafia caught up with Laura, Marina and JoJo from the band as they prepared for their exciting American gigs including a showcase slot at SXSW and their first New York show. Talking stage therapy, crowdfunding fun and a secret love of….Carly Rae Jepsen – this is Ghum.

Please introduce yourselves…

We are: Laura Guerrero Lora (vocals), Marina MJ (bass) and Jojo Khor (guitar). We’re usually a four piece post-punk/grunge band based in London but our original drummer Vicki Ann has sadly left due to work commitments so we may be back on Gumtree soon!

How did you meet?

We all met online. Marina posted an ad’ online looking for female band members and that’s how it all started.

What’s so good about living in London…and what don’t you like?

Best thing is the access to all the culture, music, exhibitions, the diversity…it is a very inspiring place. The worst is the tube at 5pm!

Describe your sound?

We are loud and quiet. Our sound is melancholic, aggressive and incisive, and at times atmospheric and dreamy. There is a constant element of darkness.

Favourite song you love to play live?

Saturn (available on the Ghum debut album Bitter – Everything Sucks Music)

Most memorable live gigs?

Playing at the Garage supporting Big Joanie and last Summer at Haldern Pop Festival, in the Spiegeltent.

How’s the music industry been treating you?

The best thing about it is finding support, people that believe in your project and help you to grow, the opportunities, the professionals and talents you can come across (if you are lucky) and you can learn so much from. The worst is the lack of opportunities for people with less economic resources, lack of diversity and nepotism! There should be more help for independent artists and that help should be better distributed among people that have less access to resources, that are at risk of exclusion and discrimination.

Laura, you have such a cool stage presence, you always seem to get in the “zone”, Is singing your therapy?

Singing and writing songs is very cathartic and allows me to let out heavy emotions and turn hard feelings into something that I like to be present in. It’s satisfying to create a version of a situation when all the parts are true to you. Labelling feelings makes them settle down for me. So yes, it is totally – therapy! On stage I feel great, I get into the songs and the flow and I tell the story. Although it’s taken me years to feel comfortable enough to enjoy myself. I used to feel very scared and self-conscious. Before playing with Ghum I literally run away from my first gig in London out of pure fear, it’s intimidating! But it’s much better now.

Which song do you wish you had written?

Respect by Aretha Franklin

Who are your heroes in music and who’s in your dream festival line-up?

Laura: some of the people I relate and admire the most are PJ Harvey, Kim Gordon, Ian Curtis, Lola flores, Mitzki, Rosaliaaaa

JOJO: Karen O because she was the first Asian woman I saw front a rock band and I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. I also admire Joey Santiago from Pixies for his guitar style and how he manages to create other forms of sound from his guitar that doesn’t sound like a guitar.

Our Dream festival line up: The Cure, Joy Division, Cocteau Twins, Pixies, PJ Harvey, Rosalia, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lush, Warpaint, Boy Harsher, Soft Kill, Choir Boy, Broncho, Dehd, Fontaines DC, Diiv, Big Joanie, Fraulein, Deeper, Depeche Mode, Black Pink…

Tell us about your Crowdfunder?

We started this Crowdfunder to fund our first trip to the States. We’re playing a couple of Showcases, The New Colossus in NYC and SXSW in Austin TX, but we don’t get paid for any of it since they are showcases so we need to fund everything from our pocket and it’s soooo expensive. It was very fun coming up with ideas for rewards we even offered to write a song and performed it privately for the person that would donate £1000! People have been supporting us so much we met our target thankfully. So so grateful to them. We will be sending lots of postcards from Austin to say thanks!

What’s the plan for SXSW?

We are so incredible excited to be in SXSW this year. We have two gigs and we are planning to see as many bands as possible.

And after SXSW, what’s next for Ghum?

We can’t wait to record new songs. We have been working in new material and it’s going to be quite different, we are going to add some new instruments and we are very excited about it. We want to tour again soon! Hopefully around South America (finally)

So, which one of you is always the last to leave the party?


Finally, please tell us a secret…?

There is more than one fan of Carly Rae Jepsen among us…

Check out the band’s track Bad Brain, below:

Find out more via the bands Facebook

Purchase the album ‘Bitter’ here

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