Where are you from and what got you into music?
I grew up in Northern New Jersey and now I live in Brooklyn. I’m not really sure what got me into music. Probably just being a human and having ears and feelings.
Who inspired you to pick up a guitar?
My older brother got an electric guitar one year for Christmas, or maybe his birthday, I’m not really sure. All I remember is he had one and I wanted one. Paul (the other guitar player in the band) started taking lessons around that time, as well, and started showing me some chords. All the music I listened to at the time was guitar-based music too. So, it was just like, “that looks fun, that’s what I’m gonna do.”
I heard you are a skateboarder, what got you into it?
Again, my older brother started skateboarding first, and all his friends would come over and skateboard in our driveway, and it looked like a lot of fun. I got the skate bug pretty quick once I tried it, and pretty soon all my friends skateboarded (including Paul and Brian, also both in the band) and every day after school would we would be skating or playing music or both. I think what I really liked about both skateboarding and playing music is that they are active and creative activities that aren’t competitive. I don’t really like competition. I like to have fun and work together with people.
Did you want to be a Pro Skateboarder or a musician?
There was a brief time that I wanted to be a pro skateboarder when I was really young, but it didn’t last too long. I didn’t have it in me to approach it that way. Playing music gradually took over most of my time as I got older. I worked hard at making it in a way I never really thought about skateboarding, which was all just purely about having fun.
We all have thousands of dreams in our lives, what dream are you working hard towards?
The dream of making a living by playing music with your best friends. My other dream is owning a house one day with a sweet mini ramp in the back yard. But, I’m working on one dream at a time.
How did you come up with the name of the band “Gillian”?
Gillian is a close friend of mine. We named the band after her. We are all good friends. Paul, Brian and I go back to when we were little kids, so we figured we would name the band after another good friend, sort of as a sign of our friendship. We booked our first show before we had a name, and we had to give the promoter something for the poster they were making, so we went to a bar and didn’t leave till we agreed on something. Gillian is the first one we agreed on. It took us a few hours to get there. But she’s super cool and totally deserves it.
What makes your music stand out different from the other music out there?
It’s catchy, it’s fun and you can dance to it and sing along, but it’s not total fluff either. We try to make sure every little piece of each song serves some sort of purpose to the whole thing, is connected in a way that is thought provoking but also accessible. People often tell us we sound like a lot of other bands they know, but at the same time like no one else in particular, which I think is a good thing. Our songs are unique, but in a comforting way rather than a challenging way so you can still enjoy it on the surface.
You guys just dropped a new single. Tell us about it and how did you come up with the name of the song “Eau To Be”?
“Eau to Be” is a celebration of defeat. It’s about being knocked down and rejected time and time again, which you deal with a lot when you play in a band, and even more so when you just live in New York City. The chorus of the song is just one line, a question, “how did we get into this life?” and it is a question I think we often ask ourselves as a band. Like, how come we choose to drive crazy hours to play in some basement or bar and then sleep on the floor and wake up and do it again the next day? How come we put all of our time and money into this? Why can’t we just move to the suburbs and get a normal job and watch tv all the fucking time like everyone else? So yeah, it’s like, how did we get here? This is crazy, but now we’re at a point where we can’t really go back.
As far as the name goes, every verse starts with the words “oh to be” and Kym wanted to spell it weird, cause she likes spelling things weirdly, just look at her name.
Where do you think the music industry is going, more mainstream or going to where it use to be underground
Well, there will likely always be a mainstream and always be an underground. One can’t really exist without the other right? It’s just what kind of music is mainstream and what kind of music is underground at a particular moment in time. I think most good bands and artists start underground and work their way out.
Anything you want to say to the upcoming musicians out there?
Don’t Quit. – TZ