Gob fans will be ecstatic to know that after four years of interrupted production, the Langley B.C-based punk rock band has finally crafted a new record, `Apt.13’ on Dine Alone Records’, New Damage label and will be following this up with an extensive Canadian tour in October.
Calling in from New York City, lead vocalist and guitarist Tom Thacker acknowledged that recent, serious health problems endured by Sum 41 front man Deryck Whibley had put that band on sabbatical which freed up time to return to his own band to complete the recording process and prepare for Gob’s first major tour in four years.
Thacker who was hired to replace Sum 41 guitarist Dave Baksh to tour in support of their ‘Screaming Bloody Murder’ 2011 release, continually found himself committed to the band as their tour kept getting extended, occasionally racing back to Vancouver to work on the constantly evolving record.
“First Sum 41 hired me as a hired gun and then the position became more permanent,” explained Thacker of his dual role. “But there was never a question that I would not return to Gob, this is my baby.”
Reuniting with guitarist/vocalist Theo Goutzinakis, drummer Craig Mantle and new bassist Steve Fairweather, Gob have fashioned a surprisingly commercial release that is more Green Day than The Ramones (an early band influence). Cuts like “Radio Hell” and the title track, evoke a strong narrative lyric while other songs like “Walk Alone”, “New York” and “Same As It Ever Was” possess some inventive instrumental arrangements to offset the band’s driving punk rhythm. They even added an acoustic number, “Call for Transition” to close out their 10-track release.
“Over the course of our career, so far we’ve gone from Punk, to Hard-core to melodic punk to heavy metal and back,” allowed Thacker in reflecting on the band’s previous six album releases. “I image a real punk fan as someone who only owns five records that all sound the same. Yet in reality, there are so many different types of punk. I mean The Ramones sound so much different than The Cramps or Black Flag or DOA. You can’t pigeon hole just one sound” explained Thacker. “If you go back to our first Gob album in 1994, we have progressed so much since that time and our fans recognize this. We have always tried to do something different and challenge them; they would be insulted if we didn’t challenge them.”[youtube width=”600″ height=”338″ video_id=”MSn4eYu9iJ0″]
Since launching in Langley B.C in 1993, Thacker and Goutzinakis have endured a number of changes with their rhythm section, starting out with Pat Paszana on drums and Kelly Macauley on bass and progressing through one new drummer (Mantle) and no less than five bass players before settling on Gob’s current lineup. They’ve also ran the gamut of record labels starting with local indies Landspeed on their self-titled 1994 debut, Mint Records for their second, Too Late No Friends in 1995, top Vancouver indie label Nettwerk for their 1999 ‘How Far Shallow Takes You’ and their gold-selling `World According To Gob in 2001. U.S label Arista took a chance with Gob on their 2003 Foot In Mouth Disease and 2007 Muertos Vivos was released on Montreal-based Aquarius Records, but it had been a point of contention with the band that they were never happy with their record company environment.[quote]“There’s always been a `jock mentality’ about our music”[/quote]
“We took a long time with this record (Apt.13) because we had become disillusioned with record companies, “explained Thacker. “It was always, `here is a hit record, why can’t you make one just like this’. We needed to find a label that could relate to the band and what we were all about and we found that label in Dine Alone which released our record on their New Damage division.”
Thacker concedes that it didn’t help Gob when he went off on a bus man’s holiday to tour with Sum 41 but he achieved so much with them, touring in places like Eastern Europe, Russia and China. “For a guy in a punk band, I could never have imagined playing in those places and playing to such big crowds. Playing with Sum 41 was very therapeutic for me and it allowed me to put a new energy back into the sessions with Gob.”
Having already played a number of festival dates this summer, Thacker says he is eager to promote Gob’s new record with a comprehensive Canadian tour in October. “We are still a punk band, you can expect a fairly extreme show,” allowed Thacker. “We’ll be playing a lot of fast songs and we still have our mosh pit!
Noting that Gob’s music is more of a spirit than a sound, Thacker acknowledged that the band’s catalogue is still being used as soundtracks for sports video games and sports related music. Their cover of the Rolling Stones’ Paint It Black was used by the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers as their intro track for the 2007-2008 season.
“There’s always been a `jock mentality’ about our music,” noted Thacker. “It works great for aggressive sports like football and hockey but I don’t think you’ll find Gob songs being used in a golf tournament.”