By Ryan Meehan
Revisiting the electrifying sounds of bullshit-free 70s rock, Gypsyhawk is a breath of fresh air compared to the endless onslaught of breakdown obsessed bands cluttering up heavy music. With Revelry & Resilience, their second full-length and Metal Blade debut, this vibe bleeds from the speakers from start to finish, determinedly putting a smile on your face and compelling you to throw your hair around, no matter how much or how little you might have. With the members having cut their teeth in bands such as thrash behemoths Skeletonwitch, progressive stoners Suns Beneath, and the mighty White Wizzard among others, they individually earned their metal stripes long ago. Eric Harris is the bassist and vocalist of Gypsyhawk, and he’s our guest today in 5 Questions.
RM: I read an interesting quote of yours about your feelings right around the time Gypsyhawk got started, where you said “I was getting so sick of extreme metal and it seemed like that was the only thing that anyone wanted to do”. What led you to that point and do you think that because sometimes the way that genre can be presented it turns off a lot of people that would potentially be into heavier music?
EH: Because EVERYBODY in the fucking world is in a metal band. Richard Simmons was wearing corpse paint and near every corporation has latched onto it. I think that most people that are afraid to live their lives find some sort of comedic release with that shit. And that cartoon “Metalocalypse” has helped the masses to commercially embrace a once hated musical movement. But whatever. I don’t hate metal, I’m just bored of the trends. You know? None of this is important, however, if you feel it in your bones and it moves you, then go for it.
RM: Your Instagram handle is @lad_fancington. Any story behind what led you to choose that name?
EH: I must credit my good friend, Dan Lerner, who also did the cover art to our first album, Revelry and Resilience. I think he had a Myspace page called Lad Fancington or some shit. Either way, that guy is brilliant and I needed to keep that tradition alive.
RM: How have the first few dates of the tour with Valient Thorr and Ramming Speed gone so far? What do the three bands have in common with each other that metal fans may find to be unexpected?
EH: Dude, this tour is the shit! Everyone is WAY easy to get along with, no paranoid fucking weirdos. Just JO bros and buds. I think we all just wanna have fun. Like girls in that Cyndi Lauper song. And we all may love Cyndi Lauper. I need to check into that.
RM: You guys just released the video for “Silver Queen” … What’s your take on the whole video making process? Do you think that with the popularity of video streaming online this is something that is becoming as important as it once was when they were actually showing music videos on television?
EH: Well, videos are way more fun than just listening to a song. As for the experience of making one, fucking shoot me. It wasn’t THAT bad, just fucking hectic. Our buddy Farron, who directed the video, did an EXCELLENT job at coaching and encouraging everyone to do what needed to be done and it was great. And everyone involved was a pleasure to be around, the wardrobe unit absolutely killed it, and Farron and Brian did a wonderful job with the visuals. Is that good, did I answer that one right?
RM: When it comes to songwriting, what’s your whole approach to getting from an idea to a full track? Is one person in the band the primary songwriter, or do a majority of your ideas come to fruition when all four of you are in the same place and just jamming?
EH: I write the majority of our songs, when I have a song structured from front to back I’ll take it over to my “jeweler”, Erik Kluiber, and he’ll add his professional tasteful touch. We’ll usually throw shit back and forth and build a body to the structure over all and then bring it to the other guys to teach them their parts. After that, Ian will usually come up with some rad drum parts that he’s collected from here and there and then we just hope to god we didn’t blow it.
RM: What’s up next for Gypsyhawk in the remainder of 2013? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
EH: Well, we got some stuff that I’m sure that I’m “contractually obliged” not to say just yet (booorring!), but it’ll all come out in time. I do know that we intend to wreck some pirate ships in the near future. 😉 We will be busy touring and writing until the heralding of the new year though. So fucking come fucking see us on the road, man!
Artist profile at Metal Blade Records: http://www.metalblade.com/us/artists/gypsyhawk/
Gypsyhawk on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GypsyhawkUSA
Gypsyhawk on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Gypsyhawkusa
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