Reviler: There was a long delay since your last album—was Gospel Gossip on “hiatus”? Did other projects take precedent over Gospel Gossip?
Gospel Gossip: We weren’t necessarily on hiatus, and other projects didn’t keep us from releasing new music. Although there was a period where the band felt like it was on thin ice early in 2010, we kept active by playing out every month or two and recorded sporadically since the last release (Drift EP). We just weren’t satisfied with what we were tracking and were somewhat uninspired to move forward. In hindsight, I would say that being in other bands helped us gain insight into what GG meant to us, and everything we learned from those experiences really helped us push it with songwriting, recording and getting the new record done.
Reviler: What is the “sound” you were looking to capture on Gospel Gossip? Was there a specific motivation that caused this album to be written and pulled together? Gospel Gossip: One of the biggest issues we’ve had with GG in the studio was capturing what we do live. Drift was close, but we wanted to get closer. Our hope with this record was to get a sound that wasn’t petrified from being in the studio. We’ve also come to realize that good songs don’t necessarily come from a “good”/particular sound, but rather, the songwriting. So with this record, we really focused on songwriting and went into the studio with the mindset of how to best capture that. There were times when a song was fully mixed and we ended up not liking the parts or tempo of what was going on and went back in to re track it from scratch. We weren’t willing to settle on a take because so much went into the songwriting.
Reviler: Are there challenges breaking new ground when you have been a band for as many years as Gospel Gossip? What advice would you give new bands on achieving the kind of longevity your band has achieved?
Gospel Gossip: There definitely were challenges, but we’ve been through just about everything together. And I think because of that we’ve been able to last as long as we have and it helped us grow. Things like practicing, writing new songs, even managing technical things that keep us functioning have gotten easier after coming this far. So yeah, my advice would be that a band as a whole should go through all the ups and downs together.
Reviler: You have kept the same three members of your band over your entire career. Has there been any temptation to expand, especially during times the long stretches without new music? Or are you shooting to be the ZZ Top of the Minneapolis music scene, keeping the same three members for decades?
Gospel Gossip: Especially with the new record, we’re very tempted to add a 2nd guitarist because there are a lot of pivotal guitar parts I overdubbed. Otherwise, we haven’t really had the desire to expand. Being a 3-piece is what we’re used to and it allows us to be open-ended & dynamic when we play live. We also feel that it might compromise how we write songs if there was a 4th member.
Reviler: There seems to be a scene forming around Neil at Old Blackberry Way studios, including a few projects associated with Gospel Gossip band members. Does it feel like there are unifying points for various local bands around the label/studio?
Gospel Gossip: Yeah, every band has ties with each other at OBW, which seems to set the label apart. And it might seem limiting to have bands that are closely related, but it’s actually quite ideal: we get to release material on our own terms, try new approaches and collaborate on how we do releases. It’s really the ideal situation for us…. exactly how we want to be releasing music.
Reviler: Is there going to be touring outside of Minnesota in support of Gospel Gossip? If no, is this a record meant to break into the larger music consciousness, or are you happy making a great record for fans in Minnesota?
Gospel Gossip: We do not have plans to tour on the release yet, aside from a few midwestern shows here and there. We would like to because we have a lot of fans outside of Minnesota, especially on the East & NW Coasts. Unfortunately other obligations and difficulty booking a band in our position keep us from doing anything much more extensive. Luckily, we’re able to get the LP to fans outside of the state with Bandcamp sales. And hopefully we’ll be able to generate enough resources from that to be able to tour.
Gospel Gossip will be celebrating the release of their new, self-titled LP (Reviler review HERE) tonight (Thursday, March 21st) at the 7th Street Entry along with Ex-Nuns, Flavor Crystals and Hollow Boys.