Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, Arts Correspondent

Interview With Michael Sele (The Beauty Of Gemina)

Iconic Swiss band The Beauty Of Gemina have released their first UK single ‘Apologise’, taken from their forthcoming album ‘Skeleton Dreams’. The track is an energetic, powerful slice of indie-rock led by Michael Sele’s strong and narrative voice. “This song is full of light and darkness about the human dilemma, knowing the time to say good-bye but having no words to say It” says Sele. To learn more, we spoke to Sele.

First and foremost, hello and how are you?

I’m fine, thanks.

Tell us about the record you have just released… How do you feel when releasing a record?

Exhausted but full of anticipation! It feels like sitting on a green field after a long mountain hike. I feel very happy with the new album and I’m sure it will get a special place in the TBOG discography.

I recorded, mixed and produced the album in my own studio buried beneath the “Altes Kino Mels”. This small-scale theatre is situated in the pretty village of Mels, overshadowed by the imposing Pizol mountain. It’s been my creative home base for many years. The album will be out in the UK in February 2021.

What inspired the record?

The last two years were marked by a number of highlights, great tours and first concerts in South America and Mexico, but also two years full of life-changing experiences. So it was, back in spring 2019, that I unexpectedly had to undergo major and complex heart surgery and my world was turned upside down for months. Following this, I needed to recover and the time I took to do this turned out to be a highly productive period.

Tell us a little about your creative process...

It was a long and silent process. For months I had been working with an acoustic guitar or a piano and only my iPhone. Countless small recordings of fragments, song ideas, chords, vocal lines and phrases. After that period, I started listening to the demos again and again; and step by step, I handpicked my favs and the work in my own studio could begin.

If the record were an animal, what animal would it be?

An eagle, strong and elegant.

Define your sound in five words…

Melancholic, bluesy, hypnotic and indie-influenced.

What was the first song that caught your attention?

It’s such a long time ago, but I remember a song I heard on the radio that was really breath-taking. The song was Starman by David Bowie. They did not say the name of the song, so I had to buy a few records to find it.

What was the first song you bought?

I really can’t remember but probably a single from a local band in my hometown.

And the first album?

I guess Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield.

What was the best concert you have ever seen?

Peter Gabriel on the Secret World Live Tour 1993 in Zurich. Incredible and still on my mind!

What did the experience teach you that you have translated to your own shows?

Going with your fans on an emotional journey from the highest mountains to the deepest oceans.

What other artists are you most excited to hear from?

Nick Cave, The Cure, Chelsea Wolfe.

If you could work with them, what would you hope to record?

A soundtrack for a film noir.

If you had to pick three artists to be filed next to, who would they be and why?

Björk, PJ Harvey, Soap & Skin – never lose your visions.

If you could jam with one artist alive or dead, who would it be?

Mark Hollis.

If you could have written one song by another artist, what would it be?

One by U2.

Someone is making a film about your life, who will play you?

Benedict Cumberbatch.