Yes, this period of isolation is sure making us stir-crazy, but at least now we have more time to speak to some of our favorite bands. We got the chance to speak to Florida's finest punk rock band, Gouge Away, about their latest EP & navigating the rest of the year without really knowing what's to come.
Photo by Angela Owens
The obvious out of the way first; how are you coping with the quarantining life right now?
Tyler: It’s a strange time for us all. I work in healthcare so I’m immensely thankful that I can say I still have a job. I’m getting a lot of overtime but when I’m home I play video games, draw, and try to work on writing new songs. My partner is a full time student who’s classes are completely online now so it’s nice to have her home more. Fortunately I’m so busy that I’m not feeling the effects of the quarantine all that much.
Christina: It’s a rollercoaster for me. I’m grateful for the time I’m allowed to dedicate to things I don’t usually have the time for. I’ve been trying to include my mental health in my daily schedule, instead of allowing myself to be so busy that it gets ignored. I’ve been taking breaks to read, draw, do yoga, exercise, practice meditation, and sleep. And I’ve been taking breaks from being on my phone. I think there are a lot of catastrophes going on all at once in addition to COVID-19, and it’s really easy to cross that very thin line between being informed and being pulled into hysteria so I’m trying to make a conscious effort to shut off the technology once I feel like I’m crossing that line. We were informed that our tour was being postponed just a few days before we were set to leave, which has consequently thrown off the rest of our plans this entire year, so I’m trying to remind myself that it’s okay to take things in baby steps and it’s okay that things aren’t figured out yet.
Dylan: Movies, cooking, writing, exercise, sleep. Trying to channel how surreal everything is into whatever creative outlet. If I have too much free time I’m useless so trying to stick to some kind of schedule is key to not going crazy.
Unfortunately, the Circa Survive tour was postponed as most shows were, but once things die down those are going to be some insane shows. How does it feel to be a part of their 10 year anniversary for Blue Sky Noise?
Tommy: Yeah we’re really excited for the tour, I’ve never seen Circa before either so it will be really cool to experience it this way.
Tyler: It feels so great to be a part of the tour. We’ve been wanting to tour with Circa so we’re stoked it’s happening. We’ve heard a lot of good things about them as people and a couple of them have already reached out to say hi to us. I’m super excited but also nervous to play these big shows so stuff like that helps to make us feel welcome which is really cool.
I’ve noticed a lot of bands saying that they miss touring, especially right now. Are you guys feeling the same way?
Tyler: We went from touring every month of 2019 to having four (now potentially nine) months home and the time home has been awesome. I absolutely miss touring though. I’m always ready to get back out after being home for a while.
Christina: I definitely miss it. We had our own shows booked in place of the off days on the Circa Survive tour that I was really looking forward to because it’s the chance to play with and see friends in a more intimate setting. We tried to play Reno last year but couldn’t make it due to a blizzard and now there’s a pandemic threatening our upcoming show. The world really doesn’t want us to make it there but we’re trying! It’s nice to still feel the love through the internet but it can’t replace the in-person connection you get from touring.
A few weeks ago you guys released an EP consisting of a cover of the Pixies’ “Wave of Mutilation.” It’s known that the band name Gouge Away originates from a Pixies song, too. Would you consider them to be a big influence on the band?
[25% of their profits from this EP will be donated to the International Rescue Committee. Available to purchase HERE]
Tommy: We all love the Pixies, but I would say their influence on us as a band is more about the overall mentality of not being afraid to be weird and different with our songwriting.
If you could choose your own tour package, dead or alive, any genre, who’d you bring?
Tommy: The Beatles (60s era), Miles Davis, Nirvana, Fugazi, Kendrick Lamar, Radiohead, Ceremony, Culture Abuse, Soul Glo, each playing 30 minute sets in 250 cap rooms.
Dylan: John Carpenter, Wesley Willis, Richard Pryor; with us as a backing band for each set.
What’s been your favorite song to perform live?
Tyler: Lately it’s been “Consider” because it’s really fun to play a new song. Besides that I always love playing “Dissociation.” I’m excited to play more new songs on this next tour for sure.
Christina: I have to agree with those two, but also “Hey Mercy.”
Tommy: "Subtle Thrill" has been really fun to play, on the past couple tours we extended the end and did this noise jam where I do a bunch of drum fills and it’s super awesome. I also love playing "Sweat" but we haven’t been playing it recently.
Dylan: "Stray," "Consider" & "Subtle Thrill." We’ve added some improv sections to the end of those songs that are always my favorite parts of the set. Really satisfying when we’re all on the same wavelength and it comes out well. Sometimes we suck at it but I feel it keeps us honest.
I know it’s difficult to say during this unpredictable time, but what should we expect from Gouge Away in the next year?
Tyler: We have a couple tours planned for 2020 depending on how long it takes for things to get close enough to normal. Same thing goes for recording our next LP. It’s been really difficult to make concrete plans so everything is up in the air but we’re trying our hardest to get new music out there.
Keep an eye out the next few weeks to see when the new Circa Survive tour dates are announced so you don't miss this tour with Gouge Away. In the meantime, practice your new hobbies, social distancing & spinning their latest EP.
GOUGE AWAY SOCIALS
Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Official Website
Written by: Deirdre Kelly