The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world










Back I town to catch up with old friends and an acoustic show of two we catch up with Gab and Matt from Perth-made but now Melbourne based Gasoline Inc in the rather lush settings of Joondalup’s ‘Botanic Golf’...


“Testicles, testicles 1,2,3...”


“Right that’s the sound checked I think...”



Mark: “It’s great to catch up with you guys again, especially in this rather nice large palm filled West Australian Mini Golf and Gardens. How long has it been since that goodbye show down in Fremantle?”



Matt: “That was back in January this year, so it’s getting on for a year now, so we’ve been in Melbourne almost that long.”



Gab: “Yeah, It’s been a bit of a transition year for us really, we lost Andro before we moved over, who was obviously a big part of or sound”



Mark: “I remember you announcing that on the night, I think a few people were surprised”



Gab: “Yeah I think a few people were shocked by that. “



Mark: “I take it that you’re still in touch though?”



Gab: “Oh yeah, we’re still best of mates, we caught up with him this morning. I had to have my hair cut at some point.”



Mark:”He’s not making a guest appearance tonight?”



Matt: “No, not tonight, but we might be looking at maybe a surprise”



Mark: “So after a year away what’s the most striking difference between the Melbourne and Perth scenes? I’ve been over a  few times myself this year, seen a few local rock bands, Heaven The Axe, guys like that, there seems to be an audience.”



Matt: “Is very mixed scene, there’s pros and cons. And because there’s such a musical ‘vibe’ there and there’s something happening every night but there’s also a lot of competition between all the different genres, but there’s an awful lot of people who go out to see music over there.”



Mark:”You’ve been lying kind of low recently?”



Gab:” It did take us a while to settle in, it wasn’t an easy transition trying to find houses and casual work to bring in some money, so it probably took us half the year before we found our feet. We did the odd gig here and there but it wasn’t really promoted as our show. We also had to rework a lot of our songs now that Andro was gone and work out how we were going to cover those solos! So Matt had to step up a bit and I’m picking up the acoustic.”



Mark:”Some guitar from you finally.”



Gab: “Yeah, originally it was going to be three songs but I said, no, no I’m cutting that back to one! There’s no way I’m walking around with an acoustic in front of me!”



Matt:”He came up to me and said, mate, these guitar strings are lasting me ages. So I said ate you only play one song a set!”





Gab:”I think our style has changed too and I guess it is due to not having that lead guitar. So now the guitars are more of a blend, more of a solid sound than just a distinct rhythm and distinct lead sound. So the style has evolved...”



Mark: “So how would you describe that now?”



Gab:”He’s got a line he likes to say, so I’ll pass you over to Sof”



Matt:”It’s kind of a U2 vibe but with balls. We had our original Rock sound and then with losing a guitar it kind of brings it back and when you go to the solo it drops a bit so there’s more of a basic sound. One thing I’ve found though is that I’ve come to love the delay, which I never really used a lot before. So there’s my U2 reference. That and a big ballsy guitar”



Gab:”I noticed when we first moved over there that a lot of the songs I was writing were really mellow. It wasn’t that high energy rock it was all done on acoustic, you know, just picking it up and...”



Matt: ”A lot of minor chords.”



Gab: “Yeah a lot of minor chords and really sad songs. And his (pointing a Matt) are coming out all happy! And then Jason who plays bass and also produces us has also come into the picture as well as a song-writer. So he’s coming into the mix as well and we’re ending up with this melting pot of happy, sad and Jason coming from an Indie background has this whole other angle. So its kind of exciting and I see us as still developing our new sound. ”



Gab: “When we started people used to really pigeon-hole us, either as eighties rock, or cock rock or whatever and that’s fair enough, we were a young band, but now it’s developing we don’t get that anymore.”



Mark: “I think you’d already started to make that step by the farewell show, there’s no way there that night you could have been accused of being just an eighties-style rock band. Especially with the new songs you played.”



Gab:”Yeah I guess that was the start. We were always willing to try new things. I guess that when we started there was that rigid structure you know: intro, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, verse, do that twice and throw a solo in, finish on a double-chorus and away you go!  But I think we are more thoughtful now, more interested in building the song and creating a mood.”



Mark:”So have you written any epics? Are we going to see a seven minute plus song?”



Matt:”Well we have actually it’s on the EP, but we are planning to go to America and do an album around August next year, that’s our long term plan.”



Gab:”But back to the song it’s a 7 or 8 minute song, very Zeppelinny, Jason had a really big input that one, pretty much wrote it and we chipped in. It might end up a three part monster!”



Mark:”And you’re playing some of the new songs on the trip back here to W.A.?”



Gab:”Yep, the main reason we’re here is tomorrow night where we thought that we’d take the opportunity to play a few new songs and let everyone know about the EP out in January and that we’ll be back to do a launch here as well as in Melbourne.”



Gab:”So we’ll play a few acoustically tomorrow and see how we go! He’ll be alright, but I kind of just write them and then just worry about the singing!”



Matt: “On the plane over I had the laptop open and I was writing out the lyrics and the chords for him! Gab was asleep and I got to the new song ‘Wanted One’ and the only words I knew were to the chorus ‘cause I sing that bit so I had to wake him up!”





Mark: “It sound like you’ve got a pretty big 2012 planned then? You know with the end of the world and all that this year.”



Matt:”Yeah we’ve got a lot to pack in.”



Gab:”I’m 27 now so in rock terms I should be dead and have people saying ‘yeah he was good’ about me, but I think there’ll be a while til that happens with all the work we’ve got to do.”



Matt:”Yeah with 2012 being a transition period in 2012 we’re going to hit the ground running. We’ve got a plan and our goals in place so it’s just a matter of getting out there and doing it,”



Mark: “So what’s the plan with getting over to the US are you looking to play over there too or just record?”



 Gab:”well plan ‘a’ is just to get over there, spend some time and do an album”.


Gab:”The main area were looking at is Nashville our manager has been over there and there’s such a lot going on, so were looking for a producer we want to work with and just in the process of testing the waters, we want someone who is going to come in and be like another member of the band. We’ve done everything on our own so far, even with the new EP, we’ve done it ourselves and whilst it’s not like we don’t know what we’re doing we want to take it to another level, we want someone to come in and hear something in there that maybe we haven’t and work on the arrangements and the sound.”



Matt:”It’s funny when you live and breathe a song from day one on the couch with the acoustic to recording it and you’ve heard it this one way the whole time, sometimes fresh ears just hear things differently. Like maybe you should put a ‘f’ in there!”



Gab:”We’ve done a lot of research so the next thing after the EP is to work out how we’re going to get over there. We already have an idea but it’s just the detail. Another thing with the EP is for the Melbourne based audience, and it’s actually getting out and gigging off the back of the release and build up that Eastern States fan-base.  So that when we come back with the album we’ll have an audience to hopefully buy it.”



Mark: “So you’re not tempted by the major label route?”



Matt:”We don’t know you ear mixed stories”  



Gab:”I think independent is the way to go. We’re building a good network of independent publicists and pluggers behind us and the difference is with people like that they do it because they believe in you and don’t have a million other clients, whereas the labels may have all the money to throw at you but not necessarily the belief. But its hard as the exposure is there with the majors”



Mark:”So tell us the names of a few of the songs on the EP, what are you playing tonight?”



Matt:”The one were starting off with is going to be ‘The Wanted One’ which is the lead track on the EP. It’ll be out just before Australia Day – it’s a song about Ned Kelly. Just before we left we played it about twice, but it wasn’t what it is now.”


Gab:”Obviously being in Melbourne, Ned Kelly is a big topic, while we were over there they found his remains, there’s a rich history. So I had this song and ended up going to Glenrowan where the final battle was. I passed through there and was inspired to finish the song. I thought that was pretty cool, so why not release a really cool rock song about a great Aussie icon just before Australia Day when patriotism is at its highest! 



Mark:”Nice thinking.”



Gab:”Yeah it’s funny because the song was planned about eighteen months ago but it wasn’t until actually visiting the site that it all came together.”



Matt:”We originally wanted to write a song about Ned Kelly years ago and it started off as the music to the song ‘The Dirty Three’ that was the Ned Kelly song and then as the story goes Andro, Gab and I  got hammered one night, had a cool evening and then switched the words around to tell the story of that evening. But we always kept that in the back of the mind that we needed  to do that song and we had a few lines for it here and there, a piece of music and it all fell into place as Gab said.”



Gab:”So the wanted one is really an up-tempo riff based rock song. An Audioslave type riff with a good powerful chorus.” 



Gab:”Then there’s ‘All That Remains” which is one of the mellower ones I wrote on the acoustic that I told you about.”



Matt:”There’s ‘Blessed’ and ‘Shocked’ – shocked is an interesting beast.”



Mark:”Can’t wait for a listen, so don’t spoil the surprise!”



Mark: “So tomorrow at the ‘Deen’ Gasoline Inc acoustic for...  is that the first time?”



Gab:”First time we’ve ever done our songs acoustic. Should be great though, we’re looking forward to it. It’s funny coming back though for such a short space of time, it’s almost like being on tour; we’ve not caught up with everyone we’d have liked to have.”



Mark: “Well thanks for taking the time to chat with us and good luck with the single. Hope to see you both soon”



Matt: “I came back a few months ago at night and you look down at the city and the city looks so small.”



Gasoline Inc is a band that looks like is going places. We wish them all the best.



You can pick up the new EP on I-tunes now.





By Mark Diggins