Fear the Summer will be one of the big surprises this year. Colman Gota’s new record was produced by John Pfiffner. And Mitch Easter plays a mighty solo. Sweet Sweet Music talked to Gota about fuzz guitar arrangements, raising the game, The Replacements and a soul-searching kind of thing.
Let’s make the first seconds count! What about the Fear the Summer intro? Wake-up call or anxiety attack !?
That is the genius of John Pfiffner and his love for fuzz pedals (Mastodon style). If it was up to John Pfiffner there would be only fuzz guitar arrangements. I´d say it´s more of an anxiety attack than a wake up call.
If Mitch Easter is involved everybody always seems to hear exactly what het brought to table. What did he bring to your table?
This time Mitch Easter was less involved than on other occasions, but the mighty solo on “Already Dead” can only be played by him (Don´t try it at home). Another North Carolinian, by the name of John Pfiffner, took care of the guitar solos department and Alvaro Escribano contributed some.
Somewhere between The Replacements and Tom Petty. Would you take that as compliment?
Absolutely, The Replacements are an all-time favorite and I love Tom Petty too.
For A Reason, what a song! Is the sound a little different compared to the other songs or am I hearing things that aren’t there?
“For a Reason” is the kind of song that you don´t know where it comes from. It´s good that sometimes you surprise yourself. I started with a guitar riff, but I soon realized that It made much more sense with the piano. It took sometime to figure out the bass line and the rhythm pattern but once we did, all the pieces seemed to fall in place. It has some original arrangements and a melódica, which is an odd instrument for my trade.
3 records in 3 years. Your bio says you are ‘at the peak of powers’. Is there an explanation? Did you write all those songs in one emotional outburst or do new ones keep coming at you as well?
I started writing as soon as I got back home from the “Tape” sessions. I had a good bunch of songs and I toyed around with the idea of recording on December 2016, but I had only four songs that I really liked. Suddenly I wrote “Already Dead”, “Fear the Summer” and “Someday I´ll Get it Right” in one go, and then I had 7 songs and an album seemed more likely to happen.
Now I´ve raised my game, so the new stuff has to be at least as good as the songs on “Fear the Summer”. The songs keep coming but it seems I´ll have to write a good bunch of them to have quality material. When it comes to songwriting you can´t take anything for granted. I have developed my own craft, but anything could happen, from writer´s block to even better songs. Let´s hope for the better, it´s a soul-searching kind of thing.
The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When would Fear the Summer be a success to you?
It definitely has. For me success sums up in the concept of “something happens”, meaning that you don´t have to push everything, that things start happening by themselves. Shows start to get packed, people beyond your radar start to become interested in your work, girls tattoo your name…
She will decide on a 5-song mix-tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?
You mean from “Fear the Summer” or generally speaking? If it´s from “Fear the Summer”: “Never lie”, “What goes on in my head”, “For a Reason”, “Fear the Summer” and “Make a Stand”.
How will you promote Fear of Summer? Will you do some touring as well?
I´ll try to get to as many places as I can, but I can´t afford to put more money out of my pocket, so we´ll see. Being a solo artist is quite a trip, you get all the credit (and deservedly so) but you have to pay all the bills.