Inside the Mind of Alt-Indie Virtuoso GAZ: Unveiling the Journey Behind ‘Lullaby For The World’


Welcome to Fanbase Music Magazine, where we dive deep into the musical world of GAZ, an artist known for his captivating melodies and powerful lyrics. Today, we have the privilege of exploring the intricacies of his latest single, ‘Lullaby For The World,’ and gaining insight into his creative process, inspirations, and journey as a solo artist.


Q: GAZ, your latest single ‘Lullaby For The World’ has been described as a compelling fusion of protest and prayer. Can you share the inspiration behind this unique blend of themes, especially considering your background and influences?

GAZ: Late last year, I stopped to think about what was going on in our world. Wars, protests, political mess, pollution, riots, unrest, and I am just scratching the surface. It dawned on me that the world I was looking at and living in was no longer the world I was raised to enjoy or had been accustomed to. It upset me, but what could I do as these were very big issues? I thought perhaps a poem might release some of my disappointment at where humanity has arrived. I then thought, no, what about a lullaby, a simple calming lullaby? It soon turned into a footprint for the song that had not come to light. As I dove deeply into thought with the writing and started to scribble the words down, it soon became a prayer-like plea to stop. To not kill my world. The soft beginning, but hard-hitting lines soon turned into anger as the song developed, it became my protest, the music grew harder, and this ultimately resulted in a full minute of high-tempo release in the final track. I was not musically inspired initially, just a simple human unhappy with what we have become. I also don’t believe that there was a particular influence in writing this, other than delivering my own feelings.

Q: Returning to the music scene after a hiatus, what motivated your decision to pursue a solo career, particularly given your previous success with CRUSH? How do you feel your solo work differs from your previous band experience?

GAZ: I was in a 4-piece band with some great guys. We performed live gigs around Johannesburg back in the late 90s with many of the prominent bands of the day, some of which are still around gigging. We played venues, toured a bit, did some studio recordings, and did very well in the battle of the bands and the like at the time. All we wanted back then was to get signed by a label, the same as what was happening to our muso peers. This didn’t happen, and I emigrated to the UK for 5 years and then returned to SA shores. I got on with a working career and had put music behind me. It always bit when I considered what we might have lost, but that was in the past.

Then the lockdown hit, and I started watching musos playing to their phones. I thought, if they can do that, then surely, I can put pen to paper again with the time at my disposal. So, I started writing. In a few blinks of the eye, here we are, releasing our 9th single of a solo album. Something I have always wanted. The bug had bitten, and it was time to be GAZ. The solo sound, to be honest, is not a million miles away from my CRUSH days, but the main difference I think would be that we were a home studio recording band. GAZ’s journey has thankfully surrounded himself with the very best professionals in our industry. This makes for not just an opportunity to work very closely and personally with producers or agents, but when it’s all you, it’s a lonely place to be. It’s what you do, and there is no hiding.

Q: As an independent artist heavily involved in the production process, what aspects of creative control do you find most fulfilling, and how do you navigate the challenges of being your own producer?

GAZ: Mark Beling is my producer and friend. He has full control of the production process. We work through musical passages and layers together to find the right sounds. My input is generally limited as I’m generally mesmerized by all the guitars, and equipment, and you don’t want to stop a good man in his flow. With this, I have always said that this is our album. I do what I do, and Mark does what he does.

Q: We’ve read about the challenges you encountered during the production of ‘Lullaby For The World’. Could you delve deeper into these experiences, perhaps highlighting a specific obstacle and the creative solution you devised?

GAZ: Mark and I chuckle that this is the longest production in history … and for good reason. To be honest, we started out with the track on the wrong foot, despite various attempts, we could not feel it. This soon turned into whiskey night, and we had a major catch up and general good chat. We laughed it off and returned to the studio soon after. I believe that we had deepened our bond, and the 2nd session flowed like the Nile. Then the track froze! We couldn’t record over it, and my vocal night turned into a technical session about hubs, wiring, software, and shining my phone light on every knob, wire, and button to find the issue. Mark had to rebuild the track piece by piece having to export every clip out of the prior and start a new track. Then … after considering our efforts a few days later, I snatched a music part from one of the verses and stuck it at the beginning. What this meant was that the track no longer worked lyrically so there ensued a total rewrite of Lullaby for the World for the get-go right up to the Mid 8. I feared Mark would kill me with that move, but he agreed it worked so off we went again. I then had some health issues, then Mark, then the December break and January which are terrible times to release music so guess what … here we are in early March, but ecstatic that we have arrived at our release day.


Q: With your upcoming solo album generating significant anticipation, can you provide insights into the overarching themes or concepts that tie the album together, and how they relate to your personal journey as an artist?

GAZ: The album is about reconnecting people with what they are supposed to be. It has an essence of rebirth, rebellion, and reincarnation in various shapes and forms. ‘Pay To Breathe’ refers to the high cost of living and losing our rights to the simple things God gave us. ‘Dopamine’ refers to the false highs that modern humans need. ‘Slow Down’ refers to turning off life’s noise and media. ‘Lullaby for the World’ is a prayer for humanity. The sonic styling supports from these previous narratives and creates a journey for the listener to self-reflect. My journey as a solo artist has been a massive awakening to what is inside me that I never thought was there or had perhaps been lost. I’m happy to be creating again, and I am happy that I have connected with my inner self.

Q: Your music is often lauded for its dreamy melodies and powerful rock sound. Could you elaborate on the process behind achieving this distinctive sonic balance, and how it reflects your musical vision?

GAZ: Dreamy melodies powered by heavy tones get my juices flowing. Nothing better than a bass line with some overarching guitar, synth, and padding. My process is usually writing the track with nothing more than a bassline in my head. This leaves the entire track open to harmonies and so forth. I have learned to not do too much until you get into the studio. Walking with a half black canvass opens the door to collaboration and creation. This works for me anyway.

Q: We’ve heard about your involvement with the Wah-pedal during recording sessions. How did this unique approach come about, and what impact does it have on the overall sound of your music?

GAZ: Oh dear … this is never going away. Mark suggested that I put myself to good use whilst he was recording a guitar part. He picked up his Wah-peddle, put it on his desk, and said give it horns Gazza! So, I did. You can hear the part near the end of the song. That’s me … the one-take Wah-Man!

Q: We’re intrigued by your penchant for conceiving songs in the shower. Could you share a memorable anecdote about a shower-inspired creation, and how it evolved into a successful track?

GAZ: I can share more than one memorable moment in the shower … ha ha! On a serious note, the shower is my receiving chamber. White noise, tiled walls that reverberate a great bassline or baritone voice. This happens all the time. In fact, the beam-me-down-Scotty happened again two days ago with another inspired shower session. I’ve started writing it. Cannot share the name as I believe that it will be the name of the album. I end up running from the shower to my phone for quick voice notes, or it’s gone. I lost some lovely songs in the past by not putting a snippet down.

Q: Given your role in producing your own YouTube videos, what have been some of the most rewarding aspects of this experience, and how do you see video production influencing your artistic expression in the future?

GAZ: Video brings a new life to the music that people can visually buy into. It’s a place where I can visually tie up what is in my mind and supports the feeling and narrative of the track. I honestly do not like to see myself in these videos but relented due to budgetary reasons and being told by other mentors that I need to be seen. This has proven to be a good move, although I’m fairly camera shy. Video clips and moving content are the way of the world, so I may as well get used to it and climb in.

Q: Your practice of not singing any tracks out loud until recording studio sessions is quite unconventional. How did you develop this approach, and what advantages do you believe it offers in terms of capturing authentic vocal performances?

GAZ: This is true. I hum a bassline and write my words. Of course, there is an accompanying melody of how I will sing it, but I’m too focused on the writing at that stage. My producer Mark always looks me up and down when I say that I have never sung this song before. Yes, very unconventional, and I’d be surprised if anyone else pitches up to his studio without having rehearsed beforehand. This approach leads to the ‘do it in the moment’ fear. In the fear is creativity and where we are best. I believe that is a David Bowie expression and for me, he is not wrong.


Q: Looking ahead, with an album release on the horizon and a successful string of singles, what new artistic territories or collaborations are you eager to explore in your music career?

GAZ: After the album is complete, the natural path is to collaborate with other willing artists who want to share the stage with me delivering the new album in live venues. I’m not looking for full-time gigs but would love an opportunity at a local multi-band concert to get stuck in on a broader level.

Q: Lastly, your personal inspirations and influences are of great interest to us. Could you share some key bands or musicians who have shaped your musical journey, and perhaps a specific album or song that left a lasting impact on you?

GAZ: Anything from LIVE, Depeche Mode, Placebo, The Editors, Sisters of Mercy, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, and the likes. Radiohead, Suede, Stone Roses. There is no doubt in my mind that OK Computer is the best album of my era. Never disappoints.

Q: Beyond the music, we’ve learned some fascinating titbits about you. Could you share any other lesser-known facts or anecdotes that shed light on your life and career as an artist?

GAZ: Sure. I’m the type of person who would get a haircut for a written radio interview. I have no tattoos as my dad put me off that with a massive crucifix on his lower arm which he wished he never did. My mom was a great pianist. I have no relation (that I am aware of) to Andy McCluskey of OMD, but I will ask him in person in April when we meet. I may resemble Rick Astley somewhat but sound more like Dave Gahan … oh sorry, that’s nothing to do with me as an artist (just having fun)! I hurt my wrist in an accident with a glass. It severed all the nerves of my left hand. That was the end of my guitar days. I play the tambourine (Crowd goes quiet). I break mic stands without effort. I always nearly knock my front teeth out with the mic at live gigs (Had a few close knocks), I once played a gig at my old high school to 800 people. I’m too tall for the lyric sheet stand when recording and too blind to read. It’s been fun guys. Thank you so very much for taking the time to interview me. Best Wishes – GAZ

As we conclude our insightful conversation with GAZ, we’re left with a deeper understanding of the creative genius behind his music. From his inspirations to his unique studio anecdotes, GAZ’s journey is a testament to the power of passion and perseverance in the music industry. We eagerly anticipate the release of his upcoming album and look forward to witnessing the continued evolution of his artistry.


Stream & Watch ‘Lullaby for the World’ >HERE


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