Seattle's Grave Babies are readying the release of their Gothdammit EP April 17 on Hardly Art, but for one week you can stream the 15 minute wonder here. After their gig at San Francisco's Hemlock we caught up with guitarist and frontman Danny Wahlfeldt, drummer Keith Whiteman, bassist Mitch Saulsberry, keyboardist Tyler Robinson with the company of their entourage.
Danny and I kicked it pre-show at the the merch booth talking tapes and checking out the support from the SF new school of Permanent Collection and Chasm on the bill with the Babies. After an energetic show I met up with the band beneath a “Thriller” Michael Jackson zombie mural where we talked about '80s indie singles collectings and finding the monetary means to do so, weird producer side projects, Seattle loves and the Gothdammit EP.
Experience Gothdammit here now with no money down for a limited time pre-release stream.
What do you guys think with everything going ‘in the cloud’ about physical music?
Tyler: Oh, no worries.
Mitch: Vinyl always has to be around for sure. The vinyl and digital download is perfect. That is how we like to release our stuff.
Danny: I think you still always have to have that physical copy and I think that the LP and the MP3 that comes with it free is really the best way to do it because the I think by giving people the MP3 as well that comes with it free, they’re going to get that legally or illegally anyway. People who are really going to want to own it… um, nobody is going to buy it on CD. I don’t know, CD buying? I don’t do it anymore, I used to buy a ton of stuff. I still buy LPs.
Mitch: Yeah, records, vinyl…
Tyler: People are always going to collect records, I don’t think it’s going to die away.
We’re talking Pandora, with their audio tagging do you find it reductionist to break it down for purposes of digital marketing on basis of sound for genre and demographics?
Tyler: I don’t think I’m savvy enough to answer this.
Keith: I honestly think you have to train Pandora, if you’re making a radio station up it’s gonna put stuff on that has nothing to do with the idea or artist you started with. So if you can tailor it I think that it’s bound to analyze the music and get a taste for something else but I don’t think you will always agree with technology otherwise, you have to have a soul to be able to react to the soul of music, that is something that has to be more detailed.
What are you guys excited about for 2012?
Tyler: I don’t know, the Walkmen?
Danny: Whoa shit. I haven’t even thought about that actually.
Danny: Tell us who has something coming out and we’ll tell you who we’re excited about!
Keith: Definitely finishing up our first album, so I mean it will be a new year for us. 2012 will bring us our tour, our first record, so it should be an exciting year.
Danny: This is just a short deal,t a short trip to austin for SXSW and that’s it. We’re here for this show and it’s been great. Hopefully we'll get a buzz from this show going, because other than that we go those two songs and that’s all anybody knows at all. Hopefully after tonight it will be fun, and it’s a sold out show, it’s been great, so we’re stoked and we hope that will be a good launch for what is to come next.
So with a title like Gothdammit, is it a big piss take on the goth-y, dark-quasi-occult wave that is so big?
Danny: Oh yeah, this whole thing is a big piss take on all these alleged movements like your chill wavers, seapunk, all those symbols, crosses, dark wave and everyone who is making these things out to be new. All these things have been going on for a long time and it’s funny when people give it some new label and brand. We’re just having fun with that with our music and with Gothdammit.
The conversation discussed further tour logistics, contemporaries before the band gave shout outs with cheers of appreciation for their label Hardly Art and the fans.