It’s hard not be affected by the live energy of Galaxians. Blending dense rhythmic synths, live and sampled drums, and insanely powerful vocals, Galaxians – preferably in some sweaty underground venue – are a band you need to open your heart to and experience.

I caught up with the Leeds-based trio’s drummer, Matt Woodward, to learn a bit more about them.

What’s the story of Galaxians?

Jed and I met in Leeds in 2011 or thereabouts. Jed got in touch because he was interested in playing synth in a band I was in at the time. The band had actually broken up but I was interested in doing something new that didn’t involve guitars and wasn’t based in rock music – two things I was pretty sick of at the time. We had a few jams in my basement in Hyde Park and it was just really good and fun. We discovered we shared a passion for music none of our friends were into. I was really discovering dance music in a big way, so it was a chance to do something.

So it went from there. Emma and I had lived on the same street for a long time and had been pals and neighbours. We invited Em to initially collaborate with us in 2016, on some new songs we were writing and recording. It just went so well in the studio that Em joined the band right there.

Tell us about your relationship with Leeds and other cities in the North.

It’s been a pretty fun and fruitful relationship for us so far in general. We’re all northerners but I don’t think we’re territorial in any way. We love playing in Leeds of course, but also Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, and Glasgow. We’ve had really warm, welcoming, and appreciative audiences in the North and on a personal level I just find it easy to make music and to live the life I want to live here. There’s a lot of really exciting stuff going on in the north in places like Glasgow and Sheffield, especially music-wise. Maybe it’s just easier to form and establish communities here. That’s a big part of why I like it.

What are Galaxians trying to achieve creatively?

First and foremost, to write good songs. To become better songwriters and to write music that people remember and feel something for. In terms of the process, we just do what we feel and whatever comes out is where we’re at at that particular time. We have a desire to grow and evolve and change and just to keep making music that’s as honest and as organic as possible. Sometimes the best things happen when you’re not thinking about what you’re trying to achieve.

What’s your perspective on music in Sheffield today?

Well we’re pretty sad about Audacious Art Experiment coming to an end in its current manifestation. It’s a spiritual home-from-home for us. On a bigger scale Sheffield has been a really exciting place for quite a while now, in part as a result of more spaces popping up that aren’t traditional rock music venues but something different, something more community-minded, and something altogether more experimental. We always keep an ear open to what is happening there, and we absolutely love playing in Sheffield. We’ve had some great times at places like Audacious, the Night Kitchen, and Picture House Social.

What’s next for Galaxians?

It’s a pretty exciting time for us. We’re in the studio recording a bunch of new songs which should be out sometime in 2019, possibly as an album and EP. We’ll see. We’ve got some really fun gigs to start the year, including playing at The Social in London as part of Independent Venue Week, and two UK tour dates (London and Leeds on 1st and 2nd March) supporting ESG, which will be something else. Later in the year we’ll be touring the new songs to accompany a record release.

What we’ve been listening to

Matt Woodward – Galaxians

VARIOUS – Running Back Presents Front
VARIOUS – Nouvelle Ambiance! Sounds from the Pan-African Paris Underground
FACTORY FLOOR – 25
STELLAR OM SOURCE – Joy One Mile
M.I.A – Arular
MAXIMUM JOY – I Can’t Stand it Here on Quiet Nights
BRIAN ENO – Before and After Science
FREE LOVE – Luxury Hits
GRIM LUSK – Sunp0101
A CERTAIN RATIO – …To Each
MALLARD – Verte
JANET JACKSON – Janet Jackson