My recent interview with OLA MADRID resulted in a series of interesting correspondences with various New Jersey bands. GATHERER is one them. Their drummer Adam Cichocki reached out to me and asked for a little feature on his band. As soon as I heard their newest piece, I couldn’t get the idea of conducting an interview with them out of my head. I sincerely believe you will be encouraged by the passion, emotion, and truth soaking from their “Postcards” EP (streaming below).
Hi! How are you guys doing?
We’re great man! Thanks so much for having us!
Are you a screamo band? [smiles] I’m curious, because it’s one of the most popular words in all reviews and articles about you, but obviously you decided not to tag yourselves with that name. What’s your view on this label?
Genre labeling is stupid [laughs]. I feel like everyone gets misrepresented and pigeonholed all the time and it’s just unnecessary. Some people were calling FROM FIRST TO LAST, HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS and SILVERSTEIN “screamo” bands, while others use the term “screamo” to talk about bands like SAETIA, ORCHID and PG.99. It’s all subjective. We all love tons of bands that would in our opinions fall under the category of “post hardcore”, so it’s likely that our music represents us in that fashion the most. What we consider “post hardcore” would be bands like AT THE DRIVE-IN and THURSDAY.
Oh yeah, there at least 3 different styles named as “post hardcore” [laughs].
Your 2012 EP “Postcards” got so many great reviews. What’s the general response been like to this release? How are you feelings about that record at the moment?
We’re ecstatic that people took kindly to our debut EP. For people to care about us and our music with only 7 minutes worth of it out is amazing. Since the record actually started as a demo just for our listening, we definitely wish we would have put more time and effort when recording it. We decided to release it after it was all recorded in a hurry. But for what it is, we are happy and feel it’s a good first release and quick idea of where we were at the time as a band.
Who did you work with while recording “Postcards”? What did they bring to the table?
I (Adam) actually recorded and mixed “Postcards”. Being a record producer who has worked with similar types of bands in the past, I feel I had a good understanding of how our record needed to sound and feel.
Are there things about it you’d change if you could?
We would have taken more time out during the recording process to ensure that it sounds really good on the front end if we knew we were going to release it.
What was the meanest thing that someone has said to you about it? [smiles]
You know, the usual “you guys are ripping off [insert any band that plays music even remotely similar to ours]” that every band has definitely heard at some point in their career. There are people who are going to criticize you no matter what kind of music you play. Gotta take some things you hear with a grain of salt. We love constructive criticism, but the vast majority of negative comments you hear are not constructive.
Do your lyrics have any main theme attached to it? Is there a concept to it?
I guess you can say there is a general theme. Each song was written to a specific person about a conversation that our singer Christian had with them while he was away from home on tour in 2011.
Is there a deeper story behind the artwork for the EP?
There isn’t much of a story behind the artwork, but since the photos of all the different places were taken by our buddy Nathan Lance while he was traveling the UK (and since he did the artwork), it fit the fact that the lyrics of the record were written during and about Christian’s travels.
It’s kinda embarrassing to admit, but I’ve never hear of Glass Nail Records. Could you please tell us more about the label and zoom in your collaboration with them?
Glass Nail is an indie label based out of Chesapeake, Virginia. I (Adam) contacted the label owner Kenneth and sent him our music, and he took interest in us. We signed with them in May of 2012 and released Postcards on 7″ vinyl. Our buddies ARROWS IN HER came aboard a few months back and the label has some other great bands that are definitely worth checking out.
Any names you’d like to throw in the hat?
Ok, so what are you cooking up for 2013, guys? Are there plans for a new release?
We have a finished full length record that we are planning to release in the spring/early summer. I (Adam) recorded it at my studio, Mike Watts (AS CITIES BURN, AS TALL AS LIONS, THE CHARIOT) mixed it, and Steve Haigler (BRAND NEW, THE PIXIES) mastered it. It’s has 9 brand new tracks and a new version of a song off of Postcards.
How did those guys help with the whole process? What were their reactions to it?
They had a lot of input creatively in the mixing process, and they complimented us on the record and mentioned they felt it had similarities (musically) to some bands we really enjoy, which made us super happy.
Tell me about your local music scene in Bayonne, New Jersey.
Bayonne has had a small but constantly active music scene. We actually all know each other from playing in bands both together and separately over the years. Matt, Christian, and I (Adam) used to play in a band called GOODNIGHT BRAVADO, and GG was in a band called THE NUMBER 23. Currently, our buddies that are killing it in Bayonne are LASTLETTERS and THROUGH THORN AND BRIER.
How do you feel the post hardcore scene is at the moment? What bands are you into these days?
Any European bands you love? [smiles]
Did you have a chance to check out any new records this year?
We’re constantly listening to new stuff that comes out, we’re very excited to hear that Defeater is working on a new record.
What is your ultimate goal or mission statement as a musical group?
To just play music that represents us as musicians and people, and for people to hopefully be able to relate to it.
What is your first association with Europe?
Matt and I (Adam) are cousins and are actually 100% Polish. Our whole families are from there and we both speak the language pretty fluently.
I właśnie za to Was kocham, Panowie! [laughs] Pogadaliśmy sobie trochę mailowo, a więc proponuję nie męczyć już czytelników rozmową o Polsce. [laughs]
What about your touring plans? Shoot us some details about your upcoming dates.
We have some shows booked as well as a 3 day tour with our friends Arrows In Her. We also hope to do a lengthy US tour in support of our upcoming full length as well as potentially a tour overseas when we can.
Tour with Lakota De Kai // Arrows In Her // Empire:
March 15th: The Vatican’t – Pittsburgh, PA
March 16th: The Outpost – Barberton, OH
March 17th: Tosche Station – Springfield, VA
March 22nd: Lot 13 – Bayonne, NJ
What else should we know about you after this short introduction? You can really add anything you like.
Check our tunes and grab a vinyl of our EP at this location.
Follow us on twitter @gatherernj.
And come hang out at a show!
Thanks so much for your time! Make sure to drop me a line from time to time and let me know how you are doing [smiles]. Regards from Warsaw!