Gwenifer Raymond is a Welsh multi-instrumentalist, originally from Cardiff but now residing in Brighton, England. Gwenifer began playing guitar at the age of eight shortly after having been first exposed to punk and grunge. After years of playing around the Welsh valleys in various punk outfits she began listening more to pre-war blues musicians as well as Appalachian folk players, eventually leading into the guitar players of the American Primitive genre. She has since been playing her own moody and often-times manic original American Primitive styled compositions on guitar and banjo around the UK and the US
1: God does play dice with the Universe.
2: Dogs are mankind’s finest invention.
3: Gremlins is the best Christmas film ever made.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
I dig weird old-time sounds that somehow manage to seem totally alien and absolutely familiar at the same time. Like you revealed some uncharted landscape on the outer fringes of your own brain or soul. Music, I think allows me to be an explorer.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I was a little kid, eight or nine or so, with no interest in music; nothing had ever grabbed me. Then I heard Nirvana’s Nevermind and it took me at the chest and never let go. I immediately wanted a guitar. There’s a freedom of unintellectual expression in music; something that evades analysis. The same primitive animal drive has me now as it did then. And I am equally inarticulate to explain it.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
This is an impossible question.
Come on Pilgrim
Truckin’ My Blues Away
Bringing it All Back Home
Death Chants, Breakdowns and Military Waltzes
Those of literally just the first that jumped to mind, and I’m certainly misrepresenting myself. Ask me again in five minutes.
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
David Bowie. Cocaine, milk and peppers. The sense of a place where things are actually happening.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Seat F7, in the cinema at the bottom of the hill.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Make truly awful, gore-fest horror movies.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
The Baby Huey Story / The Living Legend
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’d like to see if I could cut the mustard with Captain Beefheart at his most despotic. I’m sure I would come out either a poet or a mad-woman.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Melt Banana at The Welsh Club, Cardiff, are tied with Melt Banana at Patterns, Brighton. Best live act in the world.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Cognitive wherewithal is, for me, incompatible with my creative process. If I can’t make it right there, in real time, it’s not happening.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have three siblings, all of whom are very artistically driven, either as creators or enthusiasts. They’re all very supportive and of course we maintain the proper amount of sibling-rivalry as decorum requires.
Gwenifer Raymond performs at the Kiezsalon on Wednesday, 29th May along Orange Milk co-owner Seth Graham!
Photo © Jimmy Guest