The life of a troubadour and the DIY approach will always have a place in the music realm. Touring is par for the course when you’re a fulltime band and oftentimes musicians will also handle the booking, promotion, press dealings and recording sessions themselves.
The Goddamn Gallows are no strangers to the lifestyle. They also have a high octane multi-dimensional rock & roll sound that can take over a room and get people going a bit crazy, the sort of show we are expecting at Café Nine in New Haven on July 31 — a Sunday matinee at 4 p.m. that is part of the band’s tour with New York City punks Rebelmatic.
CT Examiner had a chance to talk with guitarist and vocalist Mikey Classic ahead of the show, and ask him about how the band crafted their style of music, about sleeping in strange places, the relationship between technology and music, and about an album they’ve been working on.
RD: When The Goddamn Gallows were first starting out in Portland, Oregon, how did you go
about crafting this take on rock & roll that incorporates rockabilly, punk rock, bluegrass
MC: We actually kind of formed it originally in Lansing, Michigan where we all met, but then everybody eventually moved out to Portland while I went down to Charleston, South Carolina. It’s a bit crazy, we’re all into different types of music like punk rock, psychobilly, country, a little bit of everything. Then we started combining it without knowing where it was going to go.
RD: I can totally see that, it’s a cool sound. You guys have lived in abandoned buildings,
squatter camps, storage units and shoebox apartments, so what would you say is the strangest
place you ever slept in?
MC: Oh man, that’s a tough one. We’ve slept in a lot of strange places.
RD: Well, give me a handful then.
MC: There was a bridge in L.A. that we lived under for a long time, that was pretty interesting. There were a lot of ants eating us up. There was this squat house where you didn’t want to open the bathroom door because so many people had used it over a five year period and it was the raunchiest thing I’d ever seen. I don’t know what else, probably jail (laughs).
RD: What do you think has changed the most with the band when it comes to touring and how you operate since you guys started hitting the road in 2007?
MC: We’re getting old now so we need to be comfortable most of the time for our backs and whatnot. It’s been weird with technology and everything changing so much, we used to book ourselves while being out on the road just through email and Myspace. Now we have a manager who books all of our shows, which makes it easier for us. Not much has really changed except for that, I don’t know of anything else that has changed with us to be honest with you.
RD: As an independent band, do you feel technology’s relationship with music is a bit of a double-edged sword where it can be a big help but it can also hold you back a bit?
MC: I would say it definitely does sometimes. I mean, people are blowing up just from the internet while not doing any real work in any way, shape or form. There’s people like us who’ve been doing it for nearly 20 years and a lot of that has kind of pushed us back because we don’t know anything about social media and all that shit. We don’t know how to use it to help us out so we’re just starting to learn more about it which has been helpful. It’s definitely a different world nowadays, I’d say.
RD: I couldn’t agree more. Speaking of social media, you guys have been posting about working on your 7th album, so how has the recording and songwriting process been going so far?
MC: We actually just finished it up a few weeks ago. It went really well, we worked together the best we’ve ever worked together for this record. We brought back our older style than what we’ve been doing nowadays, we’ve changed a lot over the years. We took it back to make it more hardcore and super faster, super heavy and shit like that.
RD: Does the album have a name yet?
MC: I’m not sure what’s going on with that yet. I can’t say exactly but we’re working on all that right now.
RD: I’m guessing that it’ll probably be out next year sometime?
MC: It actually should be out a lot sooner than that. Probably near the end of the year or even sooner, I’m not positive.