El Gato Del Rio Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
We like to think that we defy genre catagorization. People have told us that we’re an Americana band, a folk band, a gothic bluegrass band… None of that really seems to fit. We never go into writing music with any sort of genre confinements in mind. If it feels right, we do it. If a song calls for a heavier guitar riff, it gets one. If that same song calls for a bit of accordion, we give it accordion. Anything goes.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
We began this journey during the winter of 2015. It all started, as most everything do starts, with a bunch of whiskey and a long discussion. The three of us (Ripley Crow, la Musa, and el Verdugo) wanted to create something unlike anything we had seen or heard in our local music scene.
Within a few days of deciding that we needed to do this, we recorded our first song. From there, we spent the next year crafting our first album, the Music Box.
PD: Who are your musical and nonmusical influences?
Evelyn Evelyn, first and foremost. The way those ladies channeled the awful circumstances of their childhood and turned their experiences into one of the finest albums the world has ever seen is an inspiration to all of us.
Artists like Tiny Tim, Jonathan Richman, and Birdcloud fuel our musical fire.
If we were to list influences of the non musical variety, we’d have to mention such legends as President U.S. Grant, Robert Redford, and the incomparable Bruiser Brody.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
We’d like to find a river that flows freely with 100 proof whiskey. That would be the dream of dreams. To be able to build a gingerbread house on its banks would sweeten the deal, but it wouldn’t be necessary.
PD: Who writes your songs? What are they about?
We write collaboratively as a band. Our arrangement calls for all of us to literally gather in a circle and craft our stories as a singular unit. There is a lot of truth in the songs that we write, as we consider ourselves songwriters first and foremost.
We write about the things that we know about. Drunkard’s tales, promiscuous women, life on the prairie, the desire to burn it all to the ground, and the hope of building something better.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
To be honest, we do most of our promotion over the interweb. We exist in a part of the world that is very sparsely populated, so if we want anyone to hear our songs, we need to find them ourselves with help from places like Twitter and Facebook.
PD: What do you think of people downloading music online?
It’s just the reality of this art form in this era. We would love to get a hard physical copy of our music into the hands of every interested person out there. Unfortunately, that technology is outdated to most of the world’s population. We’ll do whatever we have to do to make our music accessible to folks. If our fans want to stream our music on Spotify, then we’ll make sure that its available there. And so on.
PD: What is your view on the Music industry today?
It seems that everyone is on a more equal footing than in years past. You don’t need a multimillion dollar budget to get ears on your records or to put asses in seats at shows. If your willing to put the work in, you can gather an audience. Of course, you also have to deliver the goods or they won’t be coming back for a second round.
There are thousands of quality bands out there today. And there have always been a ton of great bands. But in 1980, you would never hear about a fantastic little rock group from Belgium unless they were on a major label and being blasted on MTV. Today, everyone is able to get their shit out there and find their audience. There isn’t the money in it that there used to be, I suppose, but we don’t do it for the money.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
People who waste their lives talking about all of the shit that they’re going to do while never taking any action.
It’s always these same sad bastards that are hyper critical of the art that everyone else puts out. I’ve got no time for those people.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
I’ll tell you; Sleep Walk by Santo & Johnny just might be the most beautiful piece of music that we’ve ever been blessed with. It’s an old instrumental guitar song, but God damn is that a terrificly executed song.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music and why?
Well, we released our first album this year. Nothing really compares to getting the first shipment of albums and cracking that box open. We did what we set out to do. It was a long process, and we put a lot into it. We did every bit of that on our own. We wrote it, recorded it, mixed it, mastered it, produced it… It was all done right here in our own studio.
Our second album, which is nearly complete, is being done the same way. There’s nothing more satisfying as an artist than complete and competent independence.
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
We will be performing at the Laughing Sun Brewery in Bismarck, North Dakota on November 4th.
We will be debuting something like ten new songs, straight off of our second album, at that show. So if you show up in Bismarck, you’ll get to hear all of the new stuff that we’ve been working on well before the rest of the world does. Also, you’ll get to meet our newest member of the band. Senor Grande, the seven foot tall juggernaut, will be there playing bass and doing his world famous juggling act for your amusement. You won’t want to miss it. And I’ll be there too with the rest of the Gatos. It should be a hell of a party.
El Gato Del Rio links:
Band location – Stark County, North Dakota
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Discover more about El Gato Del Rio at CD BABY