Formed by Markus Gmür (vocals, acoustic guitar) and José Garrido (guitar, bass, drums programming), Metrophobia has characterised their music as a combination of the bands that shaped their sound and their own current sensibilities and production quality.
Their first encounter was many years ago when they worked together on a few projects. For their first album, they laboured tirelessly to create and record Silent Treatment.
From Ride, Pavement, and Dinosaur Jr. to Guided By Voices and Grandaddy, they proudly display the influences that have shaped their music.
More about the artists’ background, music career and next project can be found by reading on.
What are your real names?
What’s your official Showbiz name?
José: Our band is called “Metrophobia”. It means an irrational fear of poetry.
Mark: It has absolutely nothing to do with big cities or the tube (subway)
How did you get into music?
José: As a child, I always played with musical toys. Always listening to the radio. My first real instrument was a synth. As a teenager, I would spend hours in my room exploring all the sound possibilities. Later, I would record original songs, playing them track by track. After a couple of years, I bought an electric guitar, as my taste in music evolved.
Mark: A thousand years ago, I met José and with a couple of friends, we started playing music together. We were a band from the alternative scene of Geneva. We did a few gigs and small festivals, recorded a single (2 titles) that unfortunately was never released, and loads of demos. If we had at the time, all the tools that are available today, we would have a few albums behind us. But everything was a lot more complicated back then.
As life goes on, we all went our separate ways. The drummer travelled abroad, to learn English. José as well as working full time, started a night college, to study IT. And I went to Barcelona to study design. But music always stayed at our side, and now our roads have met once more.
What field or genre are you into and how would you describe it?
José: I’m into alternative rock, indie rock, noise pop, lo-fi, grunge, punk, and shoegaze. I love songs where there’s a lot of noise (electric guitars with distortion), with good rhythm, and are full of melodies. Like the album “Nowhere” from “Ride”, “Ferment” and “Chrome” from “Catherine Wheel, and “Tuber” from “Bivouac”. I love when all the instruments play a melody, and they meet over a sea of noise. “Kaleidoscope” from “Boo Radleys”, and ”Rave Down” from “Swervedriver” comes to mind.
Mark: Our music as “Metrophobia” is very eclectic, within an alternative rock sound. It is difficult to put a tag on it.
What were your first project and the people you worked with and which year?
Mark: Our first was in the nineteens. We were four, we had little experience, but we really wanted it. Now we are two, with a lot of experience, and the same motivation.
Who or what inspires you or motivates you? And why?
Mark: What inspires me is love, heartbreak, the struggle to overcome difficulties, equality, and a nice cold beer in summer. José I’m more into a nice Irish stout, in spring or autumn.
Any models you look up to? With reason(s) why?
Mark: I Got No Idols (Song by Juliana Hatfield).
What do you look out for in this line of business?
José: For me, it’s not a business, it’s a passion. I don’t want to be the next “big star”. I just want to continue doing the music that I love and share it with people that have the same interests, and the same taste. Of course, I would love to be able to live from the music, but the main reason would be to have more time to create. Sometimes, after a long day at work, you need to rest. It would be nice to have that extra 10h hours per day to do what I love to do.
Mark: We seek nothing more than that our art is recognized, that those who like our music enjoy it. And the one who doesn’t keep looking.
What are some of the challenges you face in your career path?
José: Time is an issue. Days only have 24 hours. I would love to have the luxury of time, do all the things I need to do, and still have time to do what I want to do.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
Mark: Before it was difficult for a label to discover you, to be able to publish your music. Now it is difficult for the labels to know you because everyone publishes.
José: And for music enthusiasts, we use to go to our favourite record shop to get advice, listen to new releases, and discover new bands. Now, there is so much in an offer that it’s a real challenge to find that rare pearl that you’re dying to share with your friends.
Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters?
José: “Remember why you’re doing it: it’s for you. Not for the fame and money, but because you love it.”
Mark: My grandmother used to say: “Always do what you love, and at the end it will give you money”.
What is your current project about?
José: Our current project is to continue making the music we love, release a single once per month, and by the end of the year, release our second album.
Mark: Release a single per month, until our fingers bleed.
What are your hobbies?
Mark: I have a dog. I love going for long walks, and playing with him.
José: I have a French Bulldog. He snores and fart (a lot), but he’s the nicest dog ever.
What do you do aside from this profession?
José: This is not a full-time job, it’s my passion. During the day, I work in IT for an international company.
Mark: I’m a designer, working in advertising.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
José: Listen with your heart, not your ears.
Mark: Don’t forget to vitaminize and mineralize yourself! The big phrase from Mighty Mouse.