INTERVIEW: Scott Gorsuch

Hi Scott, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Not bad, the covid-19 thing has made life a lot stranger, but I suddenly have more time to practice!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “1975″?

Sure, I intentionally tried to capture a mid-70s vibe, and invited some friends to play sax, trumpet, and Fender Rhodes; I even put some wind chime in there, to complete the whole yacht rock thing.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I tried my hand at writing a novel years ago and failed miserably! I borrowed the time travel bit in “1975” from that. It was tragic and sad in the ‘book’ but I wanted to make it more of a comic farce in the song.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes! From the get-go, “1975” seemed like a little movie to me – a video no-brainer! We are in talks right now with a videographer, but like every other aspect of life in a lockdown, it’s gonna be tricky. But yes – hell yes!

The single comes off your new album Park Boulevard Park – what’s the story behind the title?

It’s a real park in my neighborhood. I love the symmetry of the name – it’s actually a park on Park Boulevard – that’s it’s real name! We go sledding there in the Winter, and there’s a little creek and benches and stuff. It’s tiny, but has a nice calm woodsy feel.

How was the recording and writing process?

I’m pretty single-minded about the writing. There are a lot of bands where they get together in the studio, and all put their heads together to work on songs. I’ve always admired that approach, but I usually hear all the instruments in my head when I write, so I usually make pretty fully formed demos and give them to my guys (Matt Mees, drums – Phil Maneri, bass). They’re excellent players and always add a lot to the end result.

As far as recording goes, we tracked live drums and bass in the studio, and I engineered it as we played. I could control the recording software remotely from my phone, hitting record, stop, play, and stuff from that – super cool! We knew going in we’d only keep the drums and bass, then I’d add all my bat-shit crazy overdubs at home, which, oh yeah, I fucking did!

What role does Columbus play in your music?

Oh my God, the mountains, the white sand beaches – it’s perfect! No seriously, Columbus has an incredible arts scene: visual, film making, theater, and music – think Portland, only cheaper to live here. We’ve got the population and resources of a big city, but everybody in the music community knows everybody else. We still haven’t lost all of our “Midwest nice”.

How has Frank Zappa and Steele Dan influenced your writing?

Well, I obviously looked to Steely Dan for a lot of the feel in “1975”, there’s some “Cuervo Gold and fine Colombian” in that song for sure! I do love Frank Zappa, and got to see him live a few times. He knew exactly what he wanted and gave zero fucks!

Even though there are times on this new record where it’s easy to see my influences, I’m trying to stay true to my own vision. Steely Dan had their own chord set practically – like, their own harmonic mission statement. Same for artists like Todd Rundgren, Zappa, and even Burt Bacharach, who I adore! They all are such visionary writers, and that’s what I admire the most! In my own crappy, low-rent way, that’s what I’m shooting for, too: that focused, singular point of view. Vision is everything.

What would you say has been the most challenging aspect of taking a much experimental approach with your music?

Staying mentally flexible. It’s like the discipline of no discipline. I’m trying more now, to stay open to those fleeting, weird little ideas I might’ve self-edited out before. I think a lot of people tend to get more fixed and rutted in their thinking as they get older, so I’m trying very hard to stay open to weirdness. Good or bad, at least weirdness isn’t usually boring.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Nature, people watching, just observing how friends interact, especially couples – that’s a goldmine! I also listen to a lot of classical music, way more than rock n roll stuff; it’s harder for me to figure out what’s going on, and I like that mystery!

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes, when this zombie apocalypse is over, I’d like to play all over the place!

What else is happening next in Scott Gorsuch’s world?

Well, since we’re all sort of locked down for the time being, my album release show (like everybody’s shows) was canceled – bad timing, there! Ha! So I’ve remixed my whole album, pulling out all the lead vocals and guitar, then I’ll sing and play along with that in a live Facebook stream from my living room – I wanna make it as fun and interesting as I can!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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