American Fangs. We Have Lift Off.
The first time I saw American Fangs live I was floored. They embodied everything I look for in music. They had the energy, the balls, aggression, and a little bit of stank, wrapped up in these tight hollow point-like songs. Then on top of all that when you talk to them, they’re just these cool, unassuming down-to-earth dudes. What more can you ask for?
I got the chance to have a little Q&A session with American Fangs front man and singer Gabe aka Gus aka these dudes have more nicknames than you can shake a stick at, before they embarked on the Tonight We Feel Alive! Tour with Four Year Strong.
First of all, the year yall have had in 2010 has been incredible, coming off of several major tours including a two week stint with the Deftones. How would you describe your year so far in terms of what you’ve accomplished and what you still have left to accomplish?
It’s been a riot and privilege. It’s been a privilege to riot across the USA with my best buds, fresh artists and good people. We couldn’t have done it without our friends and family, and we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.
It’s June 18th and yall are headlining at Fitzgerald’s to probably the biggest crowd I had ever seen at a Fitz show. What’s going through your head? Was that a statement show for yall as far as being Houston’s prodigal sons or was it just business as usual?
We don’t really call it business…playing at home is one of the more nerve racking experiences though! We want to have a blast and put on a great show. So I’m usually puking before and after the show from all the anticipation…which is…business as usual.
Now before there was American Fangs, the core members were involved in a project that was stylistically very different. When yall decided to head in this new direction did you know it was going to bring you to where you are today or was it a decision you made despite whether it would be successful or not?
We knew what we didn’t want to do, but we didn’t really care where it went as long is it made us happy and it involved good solid tunes.
I think I remember us sitting down at a round table with thunder clapping in the background and someone saying “lets quit our jobs and play tight shit.”
You’ve lost some members along the way, most notably Shelby Hohl and Kenyon White, what’s the scoop behind their departures? Talk a little about the guys you gained in Kal and Jerry aka Jeff (yall guys have so many monikers it’s hard to keep up with them all).
The departures with those talented motherfuckers were all based on happiness from both sides. Kals been in the band from the get go and Jerry Jeff aka Erica Jerry produced our first EP and our yet to be released LP. Kyle and Jeff are dope writers and I trust them with my life and would take a bullet for them in a heartbeat. They would also make a great couple if they were gay.
Back to the music, new album, we know you’ve been working on it. Where is it at in the process, when can we expect it?
We’ve got the rest of the year to tweek the album but it won’t be released until 2011. So you can expect it in the future.
Will you give Space City Rock an exclusive sneak peak track so that we can say we broke the new American Fangs album first?
I don’t even have sneak peeks. You’ll have to beg Erica Jerry for that.
Word is that you worked with power producer Machine who has worked with everyone from Lamb of God, Gym Class Heroes to Four Year Strong (who yall are also going on tour with), but then decided to go back to aforementioned Jerry Nettles who produced your first EP. Talk a little about that experience and your decision to go back to basics.
Machine’s awesome. But in the end we wanted to make sure that what we released was 1000% fangs. If we released something that was anything less or an album that didn’t completely capture us, we wouldn’t be a band far after.
What can we expect of the new album?
Remember that scene in Roadhouse where Swayze (RIP) rips that asshole’s trachea out and his love interest is visibly disgusted but he STILL gets the butt? That’s what the opening track is like. You can put the rest together.
There is this trend that when a band records an album after an EP, they’ll only record 3 or 4 songs and tag it with the songs from their first EP and call it a new record, so I got to ask, how many new songs should we expect?
We tracked 18 songs, may be adding 2 more new ones to the list though, the track listing has yet to be finalized. You’re gonna be getting a ton of new tunes to piss your neighbors off with.
I was recently on your Myspace to see if yall had posted any new music when I saw yall had a 30+ date tour booked with Four Year Strong starting October 3rd and my mouth dropped. Yall are no strangers to the road, but how do yall feel about this upcoming gig?
We’re all in extremely high spirits about touring with these cats. Ya know, it’s just us Texas boys trying to add to the good vibes and energy that FYS and Come Back Kid bring. We do spend a good amount of time on the road and are hungrier each time we get home to get back out there. Here we go again!
Yall have been on tour after tour from the Afro Punk Tour, State Radio, Deftones, and more. How do you balance being on the road with family life and relationships?
It’s bittersweet really. Do what you love and do it great, make the fam and friends proud. Personally speaking, it’s spiritually enduring, and an amazing experience all together.
From a vocalist’s perspective, Gus/Gabe, the daily grind of singing is tough, especially with your vocal style. What’s your regiment for maintaining your voice through a month long tour? Have you ever been faced with the prospect of losing your voice while yall were on the road?
I’ve worn myself out a few times and it usually isn’t due to actual performing but more like a lack of sleep. It’s not a party thing either, I WISH we had time to party! We save the party for when we get home. I’m a hypochondriac too so I’m usually overdosing on tea and vitamin C. Warms up before shows, maybe a hotty totty (tea, honey, lemon and whiskey mix) to calm the nerves. I’m always looking for new exercises. Got any in mind?
No, I’m learning from you. Finally, the Houston leg of The Tonight We Feel Alive! Tour brings yall through Scout Bar October 26. What should we expect from that show? What do yall expect from us?
You can expect that shit you’re daydreaming about at work: A kick ass time with a happy ending…
Any parting words?
“All things meaningful are a process,” – got that in my fortune cookie; split the cookie with my band mates.
Thanks so much for the time and have fun on the road, sirs.
We love ya, bro. We love Houston. See ya when we get back.