We lock down Gravity Wins Again vocalist/guitarist Gareth Allison inbetween his hectic recording sessions for a couple minutes. He activates our hilarity unit. Check out what the delightful bandleader has to say on digital rights management, moustaches and Ninja Turtles.
What’s with the ninja turtles? (the band has a photoblog detailing their adventures)
Well, the Ninja Turtles were Luana’s bodyguards, protecting her from Elvis. Didn’t you know? If you read our recording studio blog, you’ll be able to get more of a backstory to what else is going on in the studio whilst we record. Of course, if you actually meant “what’s with the Ninja Turtles” like in general, the TV show…I would tell you that it was an awesome show when I was growing up. My favourite was Michelangelo. Leonardo was cool too. I saw the movie that came out last year…it just wasn’t the same as the excitement of going to watch that first movie back in 1991 or whenever it was…good times.
|Gravity Wins Again: stripped down at the Coffee Bean
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How long you been making music as an individual? And as a band?
Gravity started in 2004 with just myself and an acoustic guitar, touring around and playing shows all over the country. I recorded my debut 7-track EP in East London, and managed to sell a fair number of them at shows and to overseas kids via the Internet as well – good ol’ Myspace! We have expanded to become a full band late last year, with Drew Maunder (bass) and Nic Smal (drums, vocals) joining me onstage to give the songs the performance I’ve always thought they’ve deserved. Plus, it’s way more fun playing with other guys, and good friends at that. We have a few shows lined up in & around CT, and a tour planned in April up the coast, so if you haven’t ever seen Gravity (or if you’ve only seen me perform acoustic), please come along and check us out! If you don’t, Nic will cry and nobody wants that…nobody.
Who’s your biggest influence?
Well, I can only speak for myself here, but bands like Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, Further Seems Forever, Thrice, Blink-182…amazing bands. The Finkelsteins as well (RIP). I went on quite a few tours with them over the last few years and learned a great deal about life on the road, the music industry and getting shot in the inner thigh with a BB gun at close range! Ha! Matt Allison of Dockyard Studios (no relation to me) has also been highly inspirational. I don’t know where I would be without him. As for Drew and Nic. Hmmm. I’d have to take a guess and say that Drew only listens to power ballads from the 80′s, and Nic is a big fan of German skronk jazz and any solo artist with a moustache…but that’s just a guess. I’ll stick to it anyway.
Digital rights management is on the way out. What’s your take?
Interesting question. The music industry is reeling at the moment, with sales of music plummeting. It’s a tough one. Music is so easily available on the Internet, and I think that DRM kind of makes people not want to buy it because it won’t play on this or that player or they can’t show it to their friends. I think it’s put a lot of people off buying an album online when they were actually intending to buy it.
If someone ripped your hard-worked album, would you beat them to death?
Haha – I guess we would have to track him down first, but we don’t have a bloodhound so that’s probably not going to happen. If someone ripped it and gave it to his friends, hopefully his or her friends would like it enough to buy an actual copy for themselves. We are totally independent, so when you buy either a physical or digital copy of our albums, the money goes straight to us. If you like it, please buy it so that we don’t have to eat 2 minute noodles and polony all day, every day. That’s pretty much the way I see it. personally, I like to listen to an album before buying it – we will have clips and full songs up on our Myspace and official site so that you can “try before you buy”…you can’t do that with underwear, but you can do it with albums!
[all images © Kim Lostroscio]
Who pays for your recording?
We do. we are totally 100% independent. We don’t have rich parents, we use our own money. The quality of the recording has amazed us so far – we have done most of the tracking here in Cape Town and not only are his rates great, his equipment is phenonemal and he has tons of experience. He also likes high-fives – if you ever see him, give him one.
Where do you rehearse?
We rehearse in our townhouse – Nic and I share a place with a really cool guy named Colus who is so supportive, and we practice in the lounge. Nic has an electronic kit so that we can keep the volume down, and we’re working towards all practicing with headphones on so that we don’t disturb the neighbours. It’s been pretty cool
What’s your ideal gig?
Hmmm…well, any show with good sound, lights and a little backstage area to store your stuff in is always great. A slot on the Warped Tour or at Cornerstone Festival would be amazing. Opening for someone like Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, MXPX…any band that’s basically listed on our “influences” section on our Myspace. That would be a an absolute dream come true. I think Nic’s ideal gig would consist of every band on the night having a moustache – even the female members, if there were any. Enough said.
What do you call your music?
Well, if Nic had his way our music would be called “Steve”…but he doesn’t. When it was just me, solo, I adopted the moniker of “acousticore” because it sounded quite cool and I hoped it would differentiate me from most other solo acoustic artists who are usually either folk, jazz or blues performers. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Now, with the band in tow – I’d say its really catchy good time rock ‘n roll with a pop-punk influence. we have a lot of fun onstage, and it shows in the live performances.
Why do you make music?
It’s just such a part of us, I don’t think any of us could stop. I tried to a few years ago, but I just kept on writing songs. I think that God has given us each a love and passion for music, and writing it and performing it releases so many emotions – it’s an outlet for good and bad stuff that has happened to us. I suppose a more interesting answer would have been “we’re totally in it for the money”. If you’re reading this interview and have got kind of bored, then pretend we said that instead. Way more entertaining.