Times Herald Album Release Interview 6/11/14
June 11, 2014
Written by Nicole Hayden. Photos by Jeff Smith.
From rock roots to bluegrass jams, Port Huron’s The Gasoline Gypsies are ready to release their debut album.
The band will be hosting an album release party at Lynch’s Irish Tavern, 210 Huron Blvd., on Saturday, June 14.
Alex Shier will open at 9 p.m. and The Gasoline Gypsies will follow with a three-hour show.
“We will play a couple covers, some old songs, but we will be ending the night by playing the whole album in order from start to finish,” said Caleb Malooley, vocalist who plays guitar and harmonica.
The current band formed a year ago and began recording immediately.
“This album is predominately a rock album,” said Steve Briere, bass/vocals. “It’s a mix of old sounds and new sounds. It’s the beginning of our sound as a group.”
From its original formation in 2009 to its current sound, the band has shifted from a three-man band to a four-member ensemble with new members.
“We were more southern, acoustic rock at first,” Malooley said. “As our new members joined they brought their own styles and we eventually became more rock ’n roll, with just a slight country edge.”
Their new album is a mix of sounds, but a pop roots rock sound is most prevalent throughout. The band has fun breaking into a few bluegrass jam sessions — The Charlie Daniels Band comes to mind—amidst familiar, yet talented, chords and riffs.
The third track on the album, “Under the Weather,” is the most radio friendly while track four, “Unwind,” is most likely to get the audience excited.
Their gypsy sound is rooted in the past, as all four members said they don’t focus on listening to any new music, but are mostly influenced by older sounds like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“My earliest memory of music was watching my uncles play Elvis in the living room. When I was 7 I started picking it up
and from there I kept playing,” said Joe Makowski, the band’s drummer.
Both Malooley, and Rob Schweihofer, who sings and plays guitar and banjo in the band, cite their biggest influences going to bluegrass music festivals since they were young.
“I didn’t start playing until my teens, but my dad made sure I always listened to good music,” Briere said. “He is an old hippie from the ’60s who loved Santana, The Beatles, and The Doors.”
Their sound follows their old-school music philosophy as is mimics melodies from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s rather than today’s radio hits.
Their writing style is one of layering, Briere said. They all start playing, adding to each other, until someone stops to jot down some lyrics.
“We already have songs for our next album,” Briere said. “We plan to start recording as soon as this album is released.”
“Our next album will have a more defined sound and have a little more rock,” Malooley said. “We finally know what our style is.”
The band has been solely focused on producing its debut album, but plans to focus on playing more shows this summer.
“We all wish we could quit our jobs and do this full time,” Malooley said.
The band has sent 50 copies of their CD down to Nashville in hopes to open up doors with recording labels, Malooley said.
“If we keep going the way we are going, if we keep making music, I think we’re going to do alright,” Briere said.
“I just want to be famous,” Makowski chimed in.
No matter where they end up, it’s clear the band doesn’t want to do anything but play music—their live performances are enticing, especially when the harmonica is layered in.