This September 27, Rizal-based electro-shoegaze band GYHT are set to release a new EP, Life Is a Simulation, serving as the highly anticipated follow-up to 2018’s Maybe in Another Universe I Deserve You.
Accompanied by a launch party in Mow’s, courtesy of local production outfit Furiosa, the new EP will be available in various formats, including cassette tapes from DIY label/collective the Genjitsu Stargazing Society.
GYHT’s upcoming release brings together a mutual love for the stranger side of science. Inspired by concepts like time travel and the multiverse, Life Is a Simulation introduces fresh sounds and production techniques, all while staying true to the unique sonic character built by the band through the years.
While we anticipate the new EP, read on for our quick chat with GYHT members Rosan, Pat, James, Joben, and Gibson as they talk about their music, influences, cats, and expectations.
Hello! How are you all doing today?
Rosan: “Hi! We’re good. We have a new bassist on board, and we are looking forward to playing at Nothing’s show here in Manila next month. Unfortunately, James can’t join us for the time being, due to medical reasons. We wish him well.”
Let’s start with your band name, GYHT, which we know to be short for “Goodbye Yesterday Hello Today.” Can you tell us about the story behind it, and why you chose it as your name?
Rosan: “’Goodbye Yesterday Hello Today’ was based off a Facebook status from Patrick. It was about learning from the past and not dwelling, and focusing on the present. James saw it and suggested we use it as our band name. We thought it was perfect since we all could relate to it. But then I said it was too long, so why not use the acronym GYHT instead? Haha!”
This September 27, you’re releasing your new EP, Life Is a Simulation. Can you talk a bit about it and its concepts?
James: “Actually, this is a long overdue release. We finished the songs last year, but only recorded it in June because of our busy work schedules. With the help of Furiosa, we are finally pushing the launch for September 27, and we’re really excited about it!”
Rosan: “Sometimes you have those weird thoughts that someone might be controlling you, like an NPC character. Is this real? Are we even real? That’s why we thought of Life Is a Simulation as the perfect name for the album.”
Pat: “We all love TV shows about time travel, the multiverse, and simulation theory. We thought maybe we could make a concept album inspired by those themes.”
I’ve noticed references to cats on both EPs, from features on album art to a new song called “Purrito.” Any special meaning to that?
James: “My cat got sick and died last 2017, and I had a hard time dealing with it. The art on both albums are tributes to our cats.”
Rosan: “‘Purrito’ is a song about finding a comfortable, safe, and warm place away from chaotic life. The title is inspired by my cat, who always sleeps on my bed wrapped in a blanket. She looks like a burrito!”
How does the new EP differ from your previous release, Maybe in Another Universe I Deserve You?
Gibson: “The latest EP has live drums, as opposed to the previous one which was pure electronic.”
James: “Maybe in Another Universe I Deserve You is about meeting someone you thought was right for you but didn’t work out. So you think—what if there’s a universe where there’s a better version of yourself, and you both end up together?”
Rosan: “Life Is a Simulation is about adulthood and self-experience; it’s about the feeling of hardship, pain, and the anxiety we experience in our daily lives. When things don’t go your way, sometimes you say, ‘Pinaglalaruan yata ako ng tadhana.’ [‘It seems like fate messed with me.’]“
Which songs on the new EP are you most excited about, and why?
Rosan: “For me, it’s ‘Fight Flight Freeze’ because it’s based off my personal experience, particularly how I deal with panic disorder.”
James: “My favorite is ‘Fire Queen.’ The lyrics have a personal feel for me, plus I like the heavy riffs in the intro and how we fused shoegaze with sludge in the track.”
Patrick: “I love ‘Why Don’t We Die Together?’ because it was inspired by the Japanese films ‘Pieta in the Toilet’ and ‘Before We Vanish.’ The lyrics are about the end of the world but are still filled with hope. The tone is very melancholic.”
Joben: “I like ‘Fire Queen’ and ‘Purrito.’ The tracks by themselves are already packed with serious punch, but when it comes to the live performances, we have the freedom to add layers to the songs, making the experience even more fun and interesting. There are lots of possibilities.”
Gibson: “’Purrito.’ I love the speed and intensity, and it’s one of the songs I enjoy playing live. I also like ‘Why Don’t We Die Together?,’ especially during live performances, because we play it with a click track, and I like how the drum machine and acoustic drums interchange.”
From everything GYHT has released, the band has pretty much developed a unique sound of its own. Who would you say are your biggest influences?
James: “We started as an electronic/post-industrial band. Our early albums were influenced by Nine Inch Nails, How to Destroy Angels, and The Depreciation Guild. For our recent releases, we listened to a lot of shoegaze and bands with heavy guitar riffs—My Bloody Valentine, Deftones, Nothing, Jesu, Hum, Cocteau Twins, and Slowdive.”
Rosan: “I think we influence each other too, since we all come from different musical backgrounds. That’s good because we’re more open to creating diverse sounds for our band.”
Why did you decide to have your new EP available on cassette? What about the format appeals to you?
James: “Cassettes are more durable and aesthetically pleasing.”
Patrick: “The satisfaction of rewinding the tape and playing it in a cassette player—so nostalgic!”
Rosan: “You can’t skip the music on tapes unless you press fast-forward. Cassettes make you enjoy and appreciate the entire album in full.”
What are your expectations for the upcoming EP launch at Mow’s?
Rosan: “We hope people will enjoy our music, support our merch, and have some fun. Come on—it’s a Friday night!”
What do you hope for listeners to take away from the new EP?
Rosan: “Some people have told me they felt they were ‘in another dimension’ while listening to Maybe in Another Universe I Deserve You. I hope Life Is a Simulation can leave a refreshing sonic experience for our listeners as well.”
~Words by Kurvine Anna Chua