INTERVIEW: New York’s Gawn

-Hi Zach, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’m great, fortunate to be alive. have a job and working again.

-Can you talk to us more about your latest single “No Light”?

No light was an important song for the band. It was written and recorded in about an hour. I had a completely different melody and lyrics originally and at the last minute I came up with what we have today.

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

Yeah a friend came home to visit New York after a few years from being away. Once returning I realized I was hanging around a very toxic person. Someone I looked up to for years. After the experience I decided to never be associated with people like that ever again. While I was doing a re write to the melody. The words just came flowing out of me. It all happened pretty quick. I remember being in the room but I  don’t remember writing down the words. Seems as though I blacked out and woke up with a page of the lyrics in front of me.

-How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

Filming the video was a great. Our friends Jenna and Julian helped make it happen. We couldnt fit the bass drum through the hole that we climbed through to the roof. So we got some rope and pulled it up the side of the building. The whole neighborhood was watching. Giving us the side eye. It all happened in a couple hours. We just plugged in some Christmas lights and went for it. Very memorable night.

-The single comes off your new album The Essence Ov Everything, what’s the story behind the title?

It really just means there’s something for everyone on this record. And I’m always surprised from when people I know, tell me their favorite song. And sometimes I respond with “really? that one?” I would thought you like “this one” -the genres seems to always be changing. Or colliding and I love that. Beck was a huge influence growing up. Hearing loser on the radio in ‘94 I was 6 years old hanging out in the back seat of my moms cavalier and the whole family singing along. (How could you not) -hearing him rap and realizing then, this guy is doing whatever he wants. And as time went on I would just study records like Odelay, sea changes, mondern guilt. He all over the place, I couldn’t get enough of it. It was everything I wanted to do.

-How was the recording and writing process?

For a while, we would just write songs and then set everything up to record and by the time we were done mic’ing everything and testing levels we sometimes didn’t have the same swing or tempo or someone forgot the lick they were playing. So me and John mic’ed the whole room up one day and said we were never breaking it down ever again. From what I experienced or me and the songs I write. That they are usually the best when they’re first written. (Most of the time) it’s the purest form of the song. So we always wanted to be able to roll immediately if we thought we had something good.

-What role does NYC play in your music?

Everything. I’m bouncing around every part of this city every week. I live in Astoria I work in greenpoint. My brother in law has a painting studio in Flatbush. Hes originally from bay ridge so we’ll hang out there a lot. My girlfriend works in manhattan so I’ll pick her up from work so she’s not riding the subway. And we’ll drive around just for fun. I just went to Bronx to buy an amp and see a friend who has a studio out there. And we practice in Bushwick everyday. There’s something happening everywhere here. Its what motivates a lot of us to get out there and try and leave some sort mark behind.

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

Whatever is happening in the world or happening in front of me it usually what inspires the songs or the lyrics. Nine Simone said it best “an artist duty, as far as I’m concerned is to reflect the times”  and she’s absolutely right. I don’t think your writing music for the right reasons if you aren’t observing what’s happening around you and documenting it.

-What else is happening next in Gawn’s world?

We’ll be releasing another record and more videos next year. We wrote 30 songs over quarantine and we’ve been picking at em and recording them gradually. It’s getting more and more fun. Getting experimental with tape manipulation, pushing ourselves with different progressions and chord voicings we’re already really happy with what the future is looking like.

Watch here

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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