Interview: Xylouris White

Cover Photo Credit: Anna Faragona

Jim White, George Xylouris, and longtime producer (and secret third member) Guy Picciott is back with the new Xylouris White album, The Forest In Me. Accompanied by a film of the same name by Rebecca E Marshall and music videos by multiple filmmakers, the project is an audiovisual feast. We talked to George Xylouris about whatever is on our mind.

The Forest in Me will be out when we release this interview. Explain it in a nutshell, what is this album to you, and how did it come to be?

George Xylouris: This album to me is a new direction for Xylouris White. This direction makes me very happy and excited as I can see the new sound, not only hear it but I can see the new space we can work in, which is boundless. This record was made with me here in Crete, Jim in Melbourne and New York and Guy in New York.

The Forest in Me is your first new record after the pandemic. Did you feel a sense of reconnection as you made this batch of songs considering the societal shifts we have been through?

Yes, it was a very strange time. We made this record during the pandemic. On the one hand it was quiet and peaceful in my immediate environment around the village, and on the other hand there was a universal sense of uncertainty. Jim, Guy and myself remained connected through music.

Can you describe the physical recording process with three key moments that come to your mind?

We made much of this album recording separately in our home studios.

At some point Guy said to me, ‘George, it sounds like we’re in the same room’. I found that comment kept coming into my head.

In my solitude I felt an extraordinary sense of musical freedom as the world around us all, was so uncertain.

One morning I picked up a little Lyra and stroked the strings and it sounded beautiful even though it was out of tune in the usual sense.

If you were to handpick the easiest and hardest songs to write and record for this album, which two would you pick?

The easiest song was “Red Wine”, which was taken from our archive and the only song we recorded whilst in the same room at Guy’s studio.

‘Underworld’ was more of a challenge. I was trying to connect a feeling of outer space with one of a cave in response to a scene in Rebecca E Marshall’s documentary film, The Forest In Me. The feeling of the underworld and outer space and the connection of these two things. Jim had already recorded his part in reaction to the same section of the film. So I had the image and Jim’s part to work with.

How would you describe each of your albums so far in single words?

Goats – Goats

Black Peak – Horizon

Mother – Earth

The Sisypheans – Journey

The Forest In Me – Forest

A quick game, no cheating: Reply with the three most recently streamed songs from your library.

“Paizo kai Chorevo” – Giorgos Gevgelis

“Protos Chaniotis” – Kostas Gouverakis

“Chaniotikos Syrtos” – Nikolaos Charchalis

What is the most spiritual moment making music has given you thus far?

When I find that moment in the tempo of the dance which makes makes you feel free, and your hands go by themselves. Your imagination is talking and your hands are writing.

Anything you would like to add?

I’d like to thank Drag City, Remote Control Records, all the filmmakers who donated their time and effort to bringing The Forest In Me alive, Rebecca E Marshall for allowing us to share the title of her film of the same name and our community of supporters.

You can check out Xylouris White’s official website here and Bandcamp page here.