MEMBERS: Guro Gikling (bass, vocals), Richard O’Flynn (drums, vocals), and Luis Santos (guitar, vocals)
FOUNDED: At the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
FROM: Based in Liverpool, by way of Norway, Ireland, and Brazil
YOU MIGHT KNOW THEM FROM: past tours opening for Jungle and Warpaint, or as “the Bee Gees on Diazepam,” as they call themselves.
NOW: A self-titled debut that combines irresistibly funky rhythms with dreamy melodies into one soulful package
Bundled up under a massive blanket, Guro Gikling and Richard O’Flynn, two-thirds of international trio All We Are, are currently freezing in a small flat in Liverpool. The perennially foggy port city, best known for giving the world The Beatles, has become a home away from home for Gikling, O’Flynn, and their bandmate Luis Santos, who not too long ago were living in Norway, Ireland, and Brazil, respectively. A chance meeting on their first day of class at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (co-founded by none other than Sir Paul McCartney) brought the three together as friends and eventually as bandmates.
Their friendship was formed the same way so many great unions have come together—over a few drinks. “We went for a pint and that was it,” says Gikling. “We decided to get together and jam that same night and that’s how it happened.” With totally disparate musical and cultural backgrounds and a shared love for hip-hop and anything with an infectious rhythm, their “psychedelic boogie” style was born.
After graduating, the trio settled on Liverpool as their home base and quickly got to work on their first record. Written between Norway and Wales and recorded in London, the music on their self-titled debut flows forth as naturally as their friendship was formed, and that sense of ease shows in their subtly sexy, disco-inspired sound. That feeling of musical (and emotional) harmony runs through every track, from the falsetto peaks and grooves of “Feel Safe” to the slow-burning “Something About You.”
Songwriting credit is shared democratically by all three members, and their approach to the process is fairly effortless. “We love to just go into a practice room and hang out,” explains O’Flynn, “All of our songs start with us jamming and we try to follow the good ideas that come up and take it from there.”
“We don’t see [this record] as a flash-in-the-pan thing that’s easily dated; we want these albums to be precious to people, for as long as they want them,” says O’Flynn.
As relaxed as they may sound, All We Are are far from complacent with the buzz they’ve been stirring up; they’re eager to share more music with the world. “We’re really happy with our debut, but we’ve already started writing for our next album,” says Gikling. “We always will try to do things, not necessarily better, but to develop and to be as good as we can.”
Being in a band often means your future is never always quite clear, but that fact doesn’t stop All We Are from having some admirable goals. “We want to make albums that are actually quite precious to people. We love what we do and we really put a lot of ourselves into it, so when people come back to us and say, ‘I really fuckin’ loved that album,’ it means a lot to us,” O’Flynn says. “We don’t see it as a flash-in-the-pan thing that’s easily dated; we want these albums to be precious to people, for as long as they want them.” If All We Are’s debut is any indication of the future, listeners will be treasuring these songs for a while to come. FL