For Birmingham born singer-songwriter and beatboxer, Ed Geater, rhythmical dexterity is complemented by lyrical prowess.
Growing up on a staple musical diet of alternative rock, folk and electronica, equally matching his love of classical music, Ed switched his primary childhood instrument from violin to guitar and pursued his love of song-writing, whilst harnessing his metronomic skills as a beatboxer.
Influenced by his obsession with ambient electronic artists such as Bonobo, Boards of Canada and Four Tet – Ed set out to create the same vivid and textural musical landscapes, but only using his organic vocal beats, acoustic guitar and loop station. The resulting sound is an electronic infused, pop-laden and folk inspired tapestry, clear nods to revered songwriters.
Whilst Ed creates this sound completely authentically live, without any sampling, when producing in the studio he is not afraid to weave in layers of sonic textures, synthetic patterns and bass lines into his acoustic arrangements, adding depth and richness to the end product. I gave the man a mammoth task for his #CLICsLIVENOISE, in the space of a few hours he nipped to the studio and filmed this fucking magical number!
After signing a management deal in late 2015, 2016 has been a year of real growth for Ed. After signing a non-exclusive recording deal with London based independent label Music Mandi, ‘Barriers EP’, spearheaded by lead single and video ‘Don’t Think’, was released in March. The EP received significant support from BBC Introducing including a live session at BBC WM’s headquarters in the Mailbox. This all lead to Ed’s first UK headline tour in June and appearances at national festivals including Cornbury and Beautiful Days.
2016 has been an altogether new level with the release of Unseen EP, the second extended player to be released on Music Mandi lead by the house tinged pop banger ‘Symmetry.’
Ahead of his next gig at The Troubadour, West London on 20th October, we got down to business…
When and why did you start playing?
I started playing violin at the age of 9 due to my Mum’s classical influence, but I picked up guitar at the age of 14 because I wanted to try something different. I started playing the current singer-songwriter/beatboxer project in late 2012 – as I wanted to pursue a solo project after being in a couple of bands.
What instruments do you play?
This project is solely focused on guitar, beatbox and vocals at the moment, but I also play violin, piano and a bit of drums.
What was the first tune(s) you learned?
I think guitar-wise it might have been ‘Drive’ by Incubus. I absolutely loved that band in my early teens. Going back way earlier than that I think the first ever tune I learned was Pachelbel’s Canon on violin.
Vinyl, tape, CD, or digital?
Digital is definitely the future. So many people seem to want to stream instead of buy these days and it’s cool to have all the world’s music at your fingertips. I think a lot of people nit-pick over small differences in audio quality and that argument can be blown out of proportion. A good song is still a good song regardless of the format.
How do you handle a fuck up on stage?
It took me a while to get good at performing solo with a loopstation, and there were times where I fucked up so bad I literally had to stop a song and start again! But nowadays my mistakes are smaller and tend go unnoticed. I find that trying to work with a mistake by improvising around it seems to do the trick.
Who or what is your ultimate influence?
Has anyone been able to answer that question with one name?! Impossible! As a vocalist I’ve been very influenced by Brandon Boyd of Incubus, but also the softer, falsetto tones of Jeff Buckley. Guitar-wise I’m heavily influenced by the percussive fingerstyle playing of guys like Andy McKee and Antoine Dufour. As a beatboxer I’ve been inspired by the rhythmic technical beats of Reeps One. Finally in terms of my overall sound (and also in terms of how I produce my tracks) I’m massively influenced by electronic stuff. Think ‘Boards Of Canada’, ‘Bonobo’, ‘Four Tet’.
Where and when do you wish you’d been around to play at?
I wish I’d been around in Germany in the 1700s so I could have met JS Bach and experimented with combining beatboxing with some of his Chorales, Partitas and Fugues. Everyone knows Baroque with beats is going to be huge one day.
If I gave you an elephant where would you hide it?
In it’s own trunk. No one would know it was an elephant.
What is your favourite colour of socks to wear?
The colour that best accentuates my ankles. It differs each day. Keeps me on my toes.
Crunchy or smooth?
My voice has been described as smooth, so I guess there’s your answer. Although I’m not sure anyone has a crunchy voice.
If you were a biscuit, which would you be?
A Hob Nob. It is undoubtedly the best biscuit. The bestcuit.
If you could have anyone locked in a room so that you could torment them for a day, whom would you choose and how would you torment them?
I think most people can agree that Donald Trump deserves tormenting. I would have the chorus from ‘MMMBop’ by Hanson blasted on never-ending repeat through massive speakers, and after a few hours start to slip little subliminal messages in there. Trump wouldn’t know if they were real or in his head. Also I would mess with the audio so it got more and more discordant and disturbing the longer it went on. I’m pretty sure that would be the most tormenting thing possible.