After their set on the Saturday at Sound City I spoke to Josh Gorman (drums) and Femi Fadero (guitar) of relatively new Liverpool band Gulf. With their incredibly likeable music growing ever more popular, it was real pleasure to speak to two guys who clearly weren’t getting ahead of themselves but at the same time had a very real plan for the future.
T: Congratulations on supporting Outfit at their album launch on the 18th of June at the Kazimer – how did that come about?
J: We just got asked by Revo (Steve Miller) of EVOL and I think he had heard us before so he asked us to play which was kind of nice of him. I’m kind of hoping we get in with EVOL for a while and that was the first opportunity so hopefully it will be a great start, we’re big fans of theirs – their first album is great.
T: Being in the Kazimer should make it extra special considering it’s closing.
J: Yeah we’ve never played there before.
F: We’re looking forward to doing something there before it closes.
J: Actually, we opened the GIT Awards there and we played one song, it was cool but it was only one song.
F: Nice little taste.
T: So you lads aren’t locals I’m guessing from your accents?
J: I’m from near St. Helens, technically Merseyside but about as far out as you can get. Close enough to practice in Liverpool, so it’s not that far for me. Mark (lead vocals) is from Wallasey which is just across the water, Femi lives in Crosby, Tom (guitar) is from Huyton and Jake (bass) is from St. Helens
T: So you are all kind of from around Liverpool. Dotted around at least.
J: Yeah we’re not all actually from the centre, Matt lives in the centre now but none of the rest of us really do.
T: So one of the bands I’ve seen you compared with was The Stone Roses.
J: Yeah we’ve got a lot of that, also a bit of 80s and late 80s comparisons.
F: I think every band going at the moment has been at some point compared against like The Stone Roses, Tame Impala, Chic.
J: We’ve been compared to the Stone Roses and the late 80s/early 90s lazy baggy rock sound and I quite like that sound but we’ve also been compared to the likes of Electronic and I think it’s more for the sound of Mark’s voice.
F: Yeah he does sound a bit like Bernard Sumner (New Order, Electronic)
J: I would say he we’re more influenced by classic funk like Chic and Earth Wind and Fire along with more modern funk like Daft Punk’s latest album (Random Access Memories).
F: Yeah, yeah a bit of Chromeo.
J: But, also, we try to juxtapose that funk with more modern psych like Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Tame Impala. We like to strike a kind of juxtaposition of those two worlds and combine them.
T: You are a new-ish band in Liverpool – how good is it to be in Liverpool at the moment?
J: I think it’s good but we try to stay outside of the kind of cliquey world that exists in Liverpool at the moment. I mean, because of the likes of LIPA (Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts) and the way that hype works with local bands like Circa Waves or Wombats you’re either one of two. You’re either part of the LIPA crowd like All We Are or you’re a hype band and we try to stay out of that and do our own thing. We were kind of in the hype world at first in that we didn’t want to be compared with bands like All We Are but we want to create our own space, almost our own scene outside of the centre.
T: Well I think being associated with Outfit is a good move in the sense that they’ve done something quite similar.
J: Yeah I think Outfit have done the same thing and that’s where we want to be – maybe more popular than Outfit to be honest, more commercial. But yeah we want to retain the same sense of artistic integrity that they have. Not to knock All We Are or like Dan Croll but we just don’t want to be part of the LIPA scene, we just want to separate ourselves from that and be on our own island almost.
T: I remember speaking to Josh Berry about something similar and he was talking about it’s not necessarily genuine in that they associate themselves with Liverpool, but they’re not actually from Liverpool. Are you conscious of being part of the city and not just using Liverpool as a “tag” so to speak?
J: We want to indulge in the culture of the city as much as possible. We don’t really headline any shows yet but if we could put on an event in Liverpool that we were headlining and make it a culturally relevant show then that’s something we’d definitely be interested in doing.
F: Yeah we’d love to start a new scene that’s not based around like education like LIPA or major label hype, just a scene that’s based around good music and people come not because they know people involved in it but because it sounds good. We’d love it to have a different sound as well, not the same old Coral based classic psychedelic sound – we’ve almost fallen foul of that in all honesty.
T: Would you agree with the argument that up until now Liverpool has never really truly had a music scene?
J: Yeah I’d agree with that. There are loads of scenes going on in Liverpool at the moment –you’ve got the mainstream scene based around the Kazimer with the LIPA bands and then you’ve got the Wirral scene based around Hoylake with bands like By the Sea and they get help from Bill Ryder Jones of The Coral. I’d be more inclined to include us with the Wirral scene.
T: You mentioned the first album and I know it’s early days yet but is there any idea as to when you might release something?
J: Well, because we got so much hype early on it’s taken us a little time to solidify our team of booking agent etc. We’ve also made sure we’ve got a really strong relationship with the likes of the NME and The Guardian who put us on the best of 2015 playlist they made which was brilliant. So now we’ve got all that in place we can start the second phase of things. We’ve had a six song set that we’ve churned out for about six months but now we’ve got like nine new songs so we’ve got a fifteen song set almost in place which means we can really push on now. An album’s a bit of a way off – we’d rather get a deal and then think about an album.
T: Possibly an E.P.
J: Yeah, possibly an EP, that’s something we’ve considered – it’s good for radio. But yeah, like I said, we just wanna get all the tracks together and then say here’s all our songs.
T: Well, cheers for chatting lads, enjoy your day.