What was the biggest fun during the making of Are We There Yet?
TG: For me it was the entire process. Not necessarily the writing since many of these songs were already written prior to getting into the studio (the studio, which by the way was nothing more than a monthly rehearsal room we turned into a recording make shift studio). I love tracking, I love experimenting with different parts whether their alternative guitar tracks or additional vocal harmonies, seeing what works and seeing what doesn’t. Since I have Pro Tools in my home studio I have the ability to work whenever I get the urge. Then the mixing process and working with Mic Angelo over at The Mix Palace was more than I could have ever hoped. Heading out to his studio late at night after work for about a month was an eye opener and we credit him with much of the praise we are getting since his mixes made the album what it is. After the mixing phase we had a chance to sit back and wait for famed mastering engineer Brian Gardner to master the tunes.
So I guess the answer is yes, I HAD FUN making Are We There Yet?.
If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?
TG: Oh man, that is a tough question. I’ve personally gone through so many changes of who I am (and who I thought I was) that there isn’t one particular song that could make anyone know who I am. I guess for this album it would be a split between FAKETOWN and JULY. Both for different reasons (FAKETOWN for the content and style and JULY for the aggressive sound I’ve been striving for) but I had so much to say during the writing of the album that these two songs represent who I was at the time I wrote them. Funny thing is they both can be interpreted different ways (and they have been by different reviewers). I guess that says a lot about me, doesn’t it. 🙂
The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?
TG: Yeah, the industry definitely has changed. I long for the days where good music was just good music and THAT was what it was about. It wasn’t about the music video, or the dancing on stage or, to some extent, the image (we know image has always played a role in the business but now it seems the most important element). I’ve seen plenty of shows where I work and I stand by the statement that if your sound check is actually a dance rehearsal you can pretty much sum up that the music will probably suck. That being said, musicians these days have tools that were never available to the previous generations. The Internet alone has made it possible to find fans all across the world 24/7. The live show isn’t your only connection now. But with every positive there is a negative. Because of the instant ability to reach anyone at anytime also means the market is over-saturated. Anyone can be on the Internet pushing his or her music, which makes it so difficult to be found. Sure you can try and make a viral music video but much of that still requires a gimmick (hell, we shot the first iPhone 4S music video back in 2011 which netted us over 120,000 views in just 3 days but how much resulted in finding fans?).
We know there are plenty of potential fans out there that could make it possible for us to do music for a living (and I’m not talking about being rich, I’m talking about making the same money I do now as a waiter). The problem is getting to them. Since there is so much out there it’s hard to sift through everything to find what you like. I equate this to gold mining. You have to run a lot of dirt to find those flakes of gold but eventually after enough dirt has been moved, you’ll find the gold (and they will find you).
Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?
TG: I hate always pushing the band but I’d have to say that as a musician, our drummer, Barry Nagel is the man. Ken and I have always thought that Barry was one of the best drummers we’ve ever heard. His work ethic, his style, his ability to transform a song that I (or Ken) have written into something that gets me scratching my head thinking ‘Wow. That is us?’ Whatever song we throw at him, Barry simply makes it better.
I know he’ll make it someday. I just hope we are there with him when it happens.
She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?
TG: Well I’m not much for date tapes but I will give you my 5 songs that would be on it. Our lives are full of music. From the time we are born to the time we die we place songs on our personal soundtrack; songs that mean something. Songs can make you recall a memory, songs that just mattered for whatever reason at that moment in your life. This philosophy is how we approach song writing. We want our music to mean something to someone. We hope to be added to someone’s soundtrack that gets him or her through that tough time or makes them think of their dad or mom or brother or sister. We want the music to move them somehow. These five songs were some of the songs from my own personal soundtrack (and each have their own reasons for being there).
Sand (Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra)
Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot)
Hold On Blue Eyes (LaMarca – a guilty pleasure for sure)
Skip A Rope (Henson Cargill)
Norwegian Wood (The Beatles)
Ok, I admit that would probably be the most somber 5-song-mixed tape in the history of dating so I’d probably end up listening to it by myself 😉
What’s up for the next couple of months?
TG: We have an upcoming show in NYC as part of the International Pop Overthrow festival (Nov. 7th at Bar Matchless in Brooklyn at 4:15pm in case anyone is interested). That pretty much sums up our live schedule for now. We have a radio campaign in place (which markets to the college crowd and is surprisingly working as we had hoped) and we are in the process of ‘running dirt’: promoting ourselves on social media to enough of an audience to filter out the gold. In the end we will either be broke musicians still mining for fans or happily working on our next album.
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