We have reached our 500th post since re-locating to WordPress! As we are already in the stage of looking at the highlights of our past we decided to do a two in one special by looking at the band that took out numbers 6 and 26 in the Top albums of the naughties AND was the first band to be featured.
We first interviewed Gelbison just after they released their debut single (as part of the short lived CUe FM Magazine) and then again just after they released their debut album, 1704, which featured on the first issue of TRM. So to continue with the two in one theme, below are both interviews!
First here is article number one, which appeared in the CUe FM magazine back in November 2002.
“Spontaneity is probably the one thing you can say that characterizes Gelbison”, says David Galafassi, drummer of this new and exciting four piece from Bondi, NSW. “A lot of the time we’ll just have an idea and all of us will come up with our ideas and we’ll just record them rather than sit down and work them out. We all put down dozens of ideas and stuff like that, then parts get cold and parts get written and bits get used and then the song develops. It’s just an evolution for us.”
Gelbison are a new group on the local music scene. “Edo and I met initially about two years ago and at the time I was playing with another band and we were playing in the Glenworth valley festival, up near Gosford in the countryside. We kinda met and hung out for a few days at the festival and just had a jam a few weeks later, it was horrible but for some reason we kept doing it. So Edo and I played together for a few months before we decided to do anything active and then we looked for a bass player. Nadav (the keyboard player) and Edo (guitarist) are brothers; Nadav came later in the piece.”
Gelbison released their astounding debut self-titled CD last year, however if it wasn’t for Gomez’s Ian Ball this masterpiece might never have seen daylight. “We weren’t planing to record the EP at all”, remembers David. “We played a gig and the guys from Gomez came along to the gig cause we met them a few months earlier and invited them along to the show and Ian, the guitarist, for some reason saw something in what we were doing at that first gig, which was woeful, but he said we gotta record it… and that’s what we did a few days later. We shacked up in Edo and Nadav’s Dad’s place and took over and recorded some tracks. One track from the EP, Running from the groundwas already written, we demoed one or two other tracks, we recorded Running from the ground and then everything else was kind of in early stages of development so we developed them really quickly. Mostly through just experimenting, putting different tracks down and ending up with what you heard on the EP.”
Those who have heard Gelbison’s debut EP may get a bit of a surprise when they hear the new single as it has a much heavier feel than the previous tracks on offer. “It’s an interesting track, Metal Detector… when you get your hands on the record, which probably wont be for a few months, you’ll realize that every track is very different. Metal Detector is probably the most refined, if you will, the most produced.”
The new single also features Ben Lee playing additional bass on the track Heart Attack five. “He and Edo are old friends; they went to school together” said David. “He was just around one night and we were just messing around jamming and we put down that track and since that first recording a lot of the stuff was just recorded one night late as a demo and we never expected to use it but a lot of it was really kind of cool so we put some new stuff onto some old stuff.”
The single closes with a 15 minute epic in Fate (Part 1). “We’ve got loads of tracks like that that we’ve done. Basically the way we did that, when we were in England between finishing our tour with Gomez and finishing the record we stayed in this house in Brighten, which is south of London and each night we did these extended jams recording the whole thing and just improvising and allowing it to mould itself allowing the instruments to react to one other. So we’ve got several of those ambient tracks which are all kind of really interesting in their own ways. It may be Fate part two or it may be something different. The track’s actually initially about 80 minutes long and it’s entirely improvised. All four of us going onto one track each on a digital recorder and doing whatever we wanted, whether it was a microphone doing percussive sounds or guitar sounds or keyboards going through effects.”
Next is article number two, which was the headline article of the first issue of TRM back in May 2003.
Finally the eagerly awaited debut album from these four talented Bondi boys is out! The wait has defiantly been worth it has they have produced one outstanding record!
One of the interesting aspects of Gelbison’s new album is that most of it was made up as they went along. “We didn’t have the album written a lot of it came out of experimenting, just working with ideas and recording them directly. The songs weren’t demoed or anything” said David Galafassi, drummer of the band. Pete Farley, the band’s guitarist, then added “We didn’t have a lot of material when we started recording the album. We just started it and the ideas came out in the sessions.”
They took another big step in being spontaneous when they made their upcoming single Good God in which, when they were recording it, part of the song had to be made up there and then! “The track that ended up on the record, it kind of sounds like two pieces” said David. “A front and a back, We had actually recorded the whole song, initially, with quite a gospelly outro. Like lots of voices and we managed to some how lose that data file at Realworld when we were mixing the track and so we had to improvise and come up with a new ending there and then! So the track that you hear on the album is a spare of the moment, it works really well!” If that wasn’t enough they also got Ben Lee to do guest vocals over the phone “we lost his vocal tracks” recalled David. “Conveniently he called at the right time and we got him to sing his vocal track down the phone.”
Already Gelbison have been receiving critical acclaim from all over the country. “It’s nice when people listen to your music and critically evaluate it and give you a positive review based on It.” said David. “We’ve been really fortunate. We’ve had more good press then bad and it does feel really good to have people respond positively to what you’re doing.” Fortunately the band don’t believe this earl acclaim will put them under pressure in the future. “I don’t think we feel under any pressure to live up to anything except our own expectations.” Said David. “We’re just making music that we make and we evaluate it more critically between the four of us then anyone outside the band could so if we live up to our own expectations then we’ll be happy with that and that’s the end of the story.”