Gon von Zola

  • Gon von Zola
  • 2018-07-11

North London-based musician/songwriter/producer Gon von Zola was born in East Germany, but moved to London where he joined the squatting scene to survive and played his way through the city’s clubs. He’s just released single ‘Blue Is…’ written with Sue Denim of The Mighty Boosh and Robots in Disguise. We caught up with Gon to find out more about his music.

It’s about escaping the weight of society.

First up, tell us bit about yourself - what first got you into music?
Kids records I used to play when I was sick, a little guitar I got for my third birthday and piano lessons at the age of six. Actually, they nearly got me OUT of music because they were so school-like. I quit after 6 months. Later on I taught myself how to play the guitar.

Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from?
The Beatles. They had this “we’re just a little band and anyone can do it” approach.

You were previously known as The Budda Cakes. How has becoming Gon von Zola evolved your sound?
Less harmonium, more fuzz and more complex lyrics.

How would you describe your style?
Indietronica.

How do you go about writing your music?
I take my guitar, sit somewhere quiet and see what’s inside of me that wants to come out.

If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
Paul McCartney.

If you could collaborate with any dead artist, who would it be?
Charlie Chaplin.

You moved from East Germany to London where you joined the squatting scene to survive and played through the city’s clubs. What were the key moments during that part of your life?
Learning that home is not a physical place, but the people who you regard as your friends and family.

Tell us about your new single ‘Blue Is…’. What’s it about?
It’s about escaping the weight of society.

When did you write it and where did you record it?
I wrote it with Sue Denim in Bangor, Wales, almost two years ago. She had dreamt the chorus and I came up with most of the verses. I recorded it by myself in Leipzig, Germany.

What are your hopes for ‘Blue Is…’?
Hopefully lots of people get to hear it.

Where can we see you live next?
I have a gig with my band at the Hawley Arms in Camden, London on Wednesday, July 18th. It’s the pub where Amy Winehouse used to hang out and serve drinks at the bar.

Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
Save up as much money as you can, it’ll only get worse financially.

Watch the video for ‘Blue Is…’ on YouTube below. For news and tour dates go to gonvonzola.com.

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