Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Feature: GUN (21/04/15)

MTV's very first EMA winners, Glaswegian five piece Gun are back with their latest album release, 'Frantic'. Having played alongside The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Simple Minds, Bryan Adams and Deff Leppard; and with critically acclaimed albums, singles and awards, he band decided to call it a day in 1996. They reformed in 2012, with the commended 'Break The Silence' album and went down a storm at Download Festival. Three years later, Dante, Jools, Paul and Johnny are still going strong and creating and sharing their brilliant music. I caught up with Dante Gizzi for a Q&A recently, here's his answers, to my questions. 

General Questions:

1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?
I began listening to music through my parents. I would listen to their old LPs. They were so into old Neapolitan Folk music, my Mum was also a huge Frank Sinatra fan and my Dad loved old blues stuff, especially Fats Domino. Blueberry Hill and Young At Heart would be blasting throughout the house on the weekends. It was just something that you could feel that you could feel that brought the whole family together even when there were tough times it gave us a sense of hope and lifted our spirits. I love that music can do that. 

2. What is the most inspiring gig/concert/festival you've been to? 
I remember watching a live concert on the old grey whistle test of Prince on the Purple Rain Tour in Syracuse. I quickly thumbed around on the VCR to record it. I just knew it was going to be something special. I watched the show every night religiously for months as I was utterly blown away by the performance. The songs, the charisma, the playing, was just just mesmerising. I kind of knew that this was just something I had to get into. 

3. Who have you been listening to lately? 
There's a lot of stuff I've been listening to but at the moment I'm mostly listening to Alabama Shakes Kygo Phoenix TV on the Radio. 

3 Questions for GUN:

1. How did your name 'GUN' come about?
I remember we were having a discussion with our management at the time and I can remember that we were all in agreement that it had to be something that was simple that could be easily pronounced in any language but at the same time sounded tough. We went through a whole lot of name and I'm not quite sure who came up with it, but once it was said we thought 'yeah that's it'. 

2. Which song do you enjoy performing live the most and why?
That's a hard one. I think playing any of the new material from 'Frantic' seems amazing and I reckon that is just natural as it's fresh, which makes it exciting to perform. My favourite song to play live is my least favourite song to play live. I know that doesn't make much sense but 'Inside Out' is a song we've played many times and in rehearsals it can seem rather dull but it's an entirely different beast when we play it in front of an audience. It just seems to come to life and it's energy definitely gets the fans going. 

3. What song from your album 'Frantic' did you enjoy creating the most and why?
I think the title track 'Frantic' was my favourite to create. I remember Jools coming into the studio with this string idea almost arpeggiator like and when he started putting the chords round it, I could feel this song had something amazing to it. I had a rough idea of the melody so I told him to go away and come back later as I wanted to just immerse myself in this creation. The song was finished late that afternoon and you know when you've got a great feeling about something when the hairs on your arm stand up. 

Random Q:

If you could change anything in the band's history, would you change anything and if so, what would it be?
I think when we won our MTV award in Berlin for best cover version, I wish I could remember it better. I was so drunk. We flew in on the day of the ceremony I can't stand flying so had far too much to drink to try and settle my nerves and when we arrived I got so wasted what with the champagne reception and they kept handing out these spirit miniature bottles throughout the proceedings. I lost our award for a bit. I shouted at John Deacon (Queen) as he was trying to help me when I was locked in the toilets throwing up, oh and being arrested with Ian Astbury for urinating at the Bradenburg Gate. Yeah guess you could say there's a lot of things I would change that night. 

'Frantic' Album Review:

It's really refreshing to hear an album from a 'rock' band with different sub-genres of rock, influencing their sound. Their latest album 'Frantic' has hints of classic rock, country, rock 'n' roll etc. throughout intertwined between each track. Opening song 'Let It Shine' and 'Hold Your Head Up' both remind me of T.Rex but still offer differing components. 'Let It Shine' has a 70's rock feel, with great guitar and vocals perfect to sing along to; whereas, 'Hold Your Head Up' is a steadier track with a solid beat and guitar, great for clapping along to and can imagine it being great live. 
The first single from the album 'Labour of Life' holds a catchy drum beat and guitar riffs with impressive guitar sections scattered throughout the middle. 'Big City' is another solid song from the album with their usual guitar, drum and strong vocal set up. 'Beautiful Smile' and 'Seraphina' are classic rock songs. 'One Wrong Turn' starts slower and allows you to focus on the honesty of the lyrics from the band and still builds into a strong chorus. There seems to be a country influence on the tracks 'Our Time' and 'Never Knew What I Had' and it really works with GUN's sound. Both are steady tracks, again allowing the listener to focus on the lyrics as well as pick up on the intricacy of the guitars and steadily worked out drums. 
A contrast to the last couple of mentioned songs, is their second single and title track from the album 'Frantic', which is bloody brilliant! The name suits the song so well, cleverly structured layers and speed give the impression of franticness backing a calmer approach to the lyrics and vocals. I've had this album on repeat and if you're into rock, of any kind, this album's for you! 

Live Dates (2015):
22nd May - Bearded Theory Festival
29th May - The Islington, London
30th May - Camden Rocks Festival
29th Sep - Temple, Birmingham
30th Sep - Waterfront Studio, Norwich
3rd Oct - Corporation, Sheffield
4th Oct - Academy 2, Leicester
5th Oct - Arts Club, Liverpool
7th Oct - Academy 2, Dublin
8th Oct - Limelight, Belfast
13th Oct - Duchess, York
14th Oct - The Fleece, Bristol
15th Oct - The Junction, Plymouth
16th Oct - Talking Heads, Southampton

(Tickets go on sale 9am, Friday 1st May, via their website)

GUN's Links:

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