Photo courtesy xylouriswhite.com
Band: Xylouris White
Country of Origin: Australia/Greece/USA
Xylouris White isn’t your typical garage band, but it’s the sort of totally unique cross-continental collaboration that really gets me going. Greek singer and lauto player George Xylouris met Australian drummer Jim White (Dirty Three) in Melbourne in 1990 while on tour with his father, Cretan Folk artist Antonis Xylouris. All of those influences are on display in the duo’s recorded output and live performances, which the Scotland Herald described as a combination of “free-jazz, avant-rock and ages-old Greek folk traditions.” Their 2018 album, Mother, is already one of my frontrunners for album of the year, and I’m pleased to share these responses from George himself.
1. What is your desert island disc (the one album you couldn’t live without?)
Promotomastores (Translation: The Primators Of Cretan Music 1920-55)
2. How did the band members meet?
At a party in Melbourne in 1990s.
3. What is the underground music scene like in your home country?
It’s in my house. It lives here.
4. What are some of your biggest influences outside of music?
Walking in the desert by myself. Characters, people, faces, kids, talking with kids and playing with them. And people I remember from my town that I grew up with who have mostly passed away. Water and rocks and the countryside.
5. Tell us about your favorite show you ever played.
I don’t have a favourite show. There are many favourite shows. I remember a show back in the 80s in a shed in the countryside of Crete, it was winter and the roof was leaking and there were buckets all around the place and it was packed with people dancing and changing the buckets full of water, and people having fun while it rained heavily outside, and I was playing looking at people dancing, watching my dad playing and tapping his foot on stage and the whole stage was shaking and I was playing with the rhythm the stare [sic] leaking and the people running around. It was such a fun night because also there were really good dancers, old grandmas and youth all dancing together and the water was leaking…..you know.