AllGood Artists ~
WHEN ONE APU BECAME 2ABUs
‘‘Thank you, come again,’’ was the catchphrase of Apu, the operator of the Kwik-E-Mart in The Simpsons.
Australians Tim Gruchy and Tony Kastanos had been metaphorically saying ‘‘thank you, come again to each other’’ as musical friends since the mid-‘70s.
So when the timing again proved right for another burst of creativity in the early ‘00s, their love of The Simpsons, and particularly Dr Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, along with the dark clouds of history at the time, gave creative birth to the 2ABUs.
‘‘It was just after 9/11 and we were looking for a name,’’ Gruchy says. ‘‘We both liked the Simpsons, the Apu character. I like to bring a lot of fun to what we do and we are always making up characters and ribbing each other.
‘‘After 9/11 we were going to call ourselves 2APUs but we decided that didn’t really work. It was a bit of light-hearted banter against America at that time – not against the tragedy of what happened but a support for other disenfranchised people. You know how it is. One person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.’’
Gruchy, who is part Indian, and Greek Cypriot Kastanos met in the mid-‘70s.
‘‘He was the first person I ever recorded with,’’Gruchy says. ‘‘It never had any real form then. It was the era of early analogue synthesisers and reel to reel tape recorders. Tony was originally a drummer, so he always used to bring rhythm to what we did, still does.’’
All through the ‘80s the pair were living in different cities.
‘‘He was living in Adelaide and I was living in Brisbane but we managed to record quite a few soundtracks for both of our different projects,’’ Gruchy says. ‘‘I was artist in residence in Adelaide and he was doing a lot of animations and shorts, so we would work on each others soundtracks. Again there was never a band as such but a lot of music was made and released as either soundtracks for videos or art installations many of which toured extensively and appeared in festivals.’’
There was a gap of about 10 years where the friendship remained but the musical relationship was on hold while the pair continued their individual musical journeys – Gruchy as part of electro-techno band Vision Four 5 and Kastanos continuing his soundtrack work.
‘‘We never ever really lost that musical connection,’’ Gruchy says. ‘‘I think once you have it with someone you always have it. So when the time was again right, we became the 2ABUs carrying on where we had left off, feeding off each other’s humour and musical ideas.
‘‘I have always been attracted to and by music that engages you on an emotional level. Songs can do that but so many people do it badly. I tend to play in moods and that’s where Tony and I have always had a lot of empathy. In terms of my keyboard playing, I was very influenced by contemporary classical composers such as Phillip Glass. It’s underneath a lot of the 2ABU’s music. I also picked up early on the notion of studio as instrument.’’
All three albums were recorded in a large terrace house studio in inner city Sydney, referred to as Dream Generator on The Dark Hand Of Abu.
‘‘It was set up 20 years ago by my brother Mic and I as a sound and vision studio,’’ Gruchy says. ‘‘Feature films get edited there, video clips, multimedia projects, all sorts of things. There is a self-contained flat and other accommodation. Vision Four 5 and 2ABUs had their studio there. Tony and Mic have both lived there at different times. It’s basically been Mic’s and my needs that have driven it. If one or other of us isn’t involved in the project then it doesn’t come under our roof.’’
Created by Tim Gruchy of the '2ABUs', 'Driving Blind' is the latest Video from their incredible spacious and sumptuous Album Warf_Air (Intellectro).
The album warf-air (intellectro) is the most recent work from the duo, and is incredibly accomplished!