Tuesday, 6 November 2018

RECORDS OF THEIR YEARS:..with Gozu's Marc Gaffney

Few bands over the last 6 years have kicked my arse as much my Boston brethren Gozu, a badass American rock band with heavy riffs in tow and bang out tunes loud enough to piss off the neighbors. But Gozu is more than this. Gozu is a songwriting machine, one that is able to churn out loud, hard hitting compositions without sacrificing the meaning behind the songs or the band.  Gozu is gruff and dirty when it needs to but also sweet and soulful when the time is right.  On April 13 2018, Gozu released their new album “Equilibrium” via metal heavyweight Metal Blade Records.  With 2016′s ‘Revival‘ they took their sound in a somewhat new and more aggressive direction, and in doing so, dropped the most compulsive, exciting and downright badass release of their career – and ‘Equilibrium‘ has only raised the stakes. “We wanted these songs to hit a nerve, make people shake their ass and enjoy simply being alive,” says vocalist/guitarist Marc “Gaff” Gaffney, who founded the band with lead guitarist Doug Sherman. Much of the record’s strength stems from the unit growing since ‘Revival‘, the first full-length featuring drummer Mike Hubbard and bassist Joseph Grotto.

With the announcement that Gozu will play selected shows with Goatwhore, The Causalities, Black Tusk & Great American Ghost, as part of the Metal Alliance Tour, kicking off in Kansas City on Nov 18, I  hooked up with Marc “Gaff” Gaffney to discuss some of his favourite records.  Welcome to “Records of their Years”, 

THE SLUDGELORD: Favourite album from the year you were born? 

 “Harvest”, Neil Young (1972).

In 1972 this beautiful piece of art came out and like myself, I am sure it moulded many minds, lyricist, guitar players and humans to what can be done with heartfelt music. “Out on the weekend” is one of my favorite songs. It hits me deep and makes me think about many different issues, especially the way the world is today. Neil is a treasure and pretty much anything he does I am a fan of.

THE SLUDGELORD: First record you bought with your own money?

Back in Black”, AC/DC. (1980)

The older hoodlums in my neighbourhood were huge AC/DC fans. When playing basketball, football, whatever, they would always be playing music. I had my own money, my mom took me to the local record store in Watertown, NY and I was grinning ear to ear when I bought it. I remember coming home, throwing it on my record player and feeling like this was fascinating. It was 1980, I was 8 years old and hooked. “Let me put my love into you babe” has a different meaning when you are in second grade.

THE SLUDGELORD: Favourite non metal / rock album?

Voodoo”, D’Angelo. (2000)

This album is brilliant from start to finish. It combines Sly, Prince, James, George and Stevie in a bombastic groove fantasy. Also, Pino Palladino on bass and Questlove on drums, forget about it. Charlie Hunter destroying bass and guitar duties on a tune. If you are a fan of soul music and do not have this album, take 2 steps back and go fuck yourself. Then get it, listen to it, and thank me later. “Devils Pie”, puts such a nice dip in your hip. If this album doesn’t make you feel good and I mean good, then go directly to the hospital, turn and cough.

THE SLUDGELORD: Album that most disappointed you?

I have been disappointed by albums, but being older, I hear different things that now make sense. I am a bit of an impatient fuck so I either like or hate things quickly. Take a few of the Queens of the Stone Age albums, I was far from in love with them, however, after hearing a few tunes live, I went back to listen to the albums and they moved me in a way that did not initially happen. I also feel I need to be in the correct head-space when listening to music that I am hitting for the maiden voyage. I am sure there are a few albums that have dealt me an awful auditory experience but they are probs kept right next to the Linda Ronstadt file in my mind.

THE SLUDGELORD: Favourite album of all time or if you prefer album (s) you’d run back into a burning building to rescue

Stevie Wonder, “Innervisions”   (1973)

Allman Brothers, “Live at the Fillmore East

Beach Boys, “Pet Sounds” 

These three works are musical diamonds in my world. They for me, depict what is beautiful about music and why it is a necessity in everyday life. From the opening synth line in, “Too High” to the guitar hierarchy on “Don’t keep me wondering” and the delicious harmonies on every song on “Pet Sounds, sparks an immense physical and emotional flame that has always burned. I could wax poetically about these albums but I think the best thing for people to do is to listen to them. If you dig it, wonderful, if not, go back to the stuff you love and that brings you joy, heartache, and triumph all in one sonic blast.

THE SLUDGELORD: Favourite album (s) of 2018?

Sleep, “The Sciences (2018)

Holy fuck is this a beast of an album. The guitar tones alone make me want to arm bar someone. This triumvirate have put together a musical piece so tasty that it needs to be blared on stadium PA’s and out of car stereos while doing 95 in a 15 mph zone. The bass tone is so right on and deviant that it literally drove my car the other day. The low end, held the steering wheel and ushered me home, as if I was in a golden chariot, a la Ben Hur. Drums, oh mamma. The pocket laid out is so infectious and thus, this is why I so dig this album. Thus, you are immediately drawn to the one, your head bobs while others weave. Put the mix together and it is a perfect meal of fulfilling musicality. It tastes so good, it sounds like more.

THE SLUDGELORD:..And finally The last album you bought? 

Arctic Monkeys, “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino(2018)

I enjoy every song on this album as it is a very mature, concept based piece that embodies many influences in a proper way. It is well layered instrumentally and vocally possesses an infectious clarity and harmonious jaunt. It reminds me of an album that was tracked with candles on, bottles of merlot strung about the room and 3 footers strategically placed for the immediate purification of the air and dendrites. “Four out of Five” is my favorite track. The chorus is so…

Gozu’s new record “Equilibrium” is out now and available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook