I recently spoke to Adam Cichocki from rising New Jersey band, Gatherer, about their recent EP Postcards, their upcoming full length and signing to Glass Nail Records.
Hey Kelly, thanks for contacting us!
No problem! For the record, who is Gatherer, and how did you guys get together?
Gatherer is a close group of friends including myself (Adam Cichocki - Drums), Christian Berrigan - Vocals, Austin Lipinski - Guitar, Matt Popowski - Bass, and Randy LeBoeuf - Guitar who have a common passion and goal for writing honest and self-reflective music. We started mainly as a jam band/side project from now defunct (and still existent) bands to write some music and play shows before our guitarist Austin was going to go away to the Navy. However, he ended up not going, at which point we began taking the band much more seriously and began planning for a future.
How would you describe Gatherer's music for the unacquainted?
I dislike describing ourselves in terms of genre constraints because it often causes one to form an assumption of what we sound like in their heads prior to listening to us. But I feel our music would be best described as melodic hardcore with post-rock elements. Some of our influences that may come to mind when listening to our stuff would be Pianos Become The Teeth, La Dispute, and Thursday.
I prefer to have someone listen to us for the first time with a completely open mind and take our music for what it is.
How has 2012 been for Gatherer?
2012 has been really great! We have spent the majority of our time playing as many shows as possible. We met our good friend Kenneth Smith from Glass Nail Records and signed with his label, who is putting out our EP Postcards on 7" vinyl. He helped us get a small tour together in New Jersey and Virginia where we met (our now label-mates) Cloud Gavin (great guys). Everything has been going extremely well for us, and people have been very receptive to our music. Just a few months ago, we got a new guitarist (Randy LeBoeuf) who has been a great new addition to the band. We are in the finishing stages of recording our 10-track full length album (which I am producing), which will have 8 brand new songs and 2 from Postcards. The future is looking very bright and we are beyond excited to share our new material with the world.
I'll certainly be looking forward to the album. Any more details you'd care to share about it? Any idea of what direction your sound will be taking? Or when you shall unleash it on the world?
Well the new record definitely has it's similarities and differences to Postcards. For one, it's longer than 7 minutes hahaha. It's much more dynamic. The heavier parts are more agressive, the lighter parts are more delicate; overall offering much more to the listener than the consistent dynamic of Postcards. Christian has really stepped up his work as far as vocals are concerned. There are actually quite a few aggressive singing parts on the record, something that was not really seen on the EP. We are exploring all of the musical paths that we have ever wanted to as musicians, and it is definitely a good turnout. Our main goal when writing was just to sit down in a room and let the ideas and vibes flow. No single person is ever in charge of writing a song, it is always a collaborative effort, and I feel that is what helps us write unique songs. We hope to have the record wrapped up/mixed and mastered by winter of this year. We also hope to have a music video for one of our new songs off the record prior to its full release.
Certainly sounds like one to wait for. How was the process for Postcards? It's quite an excellent debut, where you happy with the finished product? Or was there anything you wished you had done differently?
Postcards actually started off as a demo to be honest. We wanted an accurate multi-tracked recording for ourselves, just to hear everyone's parts more accurately. I did a minimal drum mic set up, and did very few takes. Once I started listening back though, the rawness and energy began to grow on me. The minute I finished tracking the 4 songs on drums, I called the rest of the guys up and we decided to have this recording be our first EP. We spent days upon days in my studio recording guitars and bass and during this time Christian was finishing up his lyrics for the songs. Lyrically, Christian descibes the album as a series of letters to people and himself, taken from events and experience he has had over the years.
We were very happy with the record, other than me wishing I had taken my drum-mic setup a bit more seriously prior to deciding to release this as an EP to the public haha. I feel the drums could have sounded better. But I feel, overall, that it was a good first release and good representation of where we were (musicially and personally) at the time of writing it.
What was the reaction to Postcards from fans? How did the EP go down live?
The reaction to Postcards has been extremely great, people seem to be very receptive to it. I feel that our fan base grew very quickly mainly by word of mouth, and I have heard very little negativity with regard to our music. Our vinyl pre-order sold out and we have had hundreds of downloads of the record on Bandcamp (both free and donations from awesome people). People really seem to want to help us to continue to be a band and make music, so we do what we can to give back as much as we can and keep writing new material for people to listen to and enjoy. Our first string of shows performing Postcards live was absolutely incredible, we shared the stage with truly awesome bands and met so many great people. It was just funny playing a 10 minute long set until we wrote some new songs!
Do you have any touring plans for the rest of the year?
Though our schedules are tight (a few of us are still finishing up college), we have quite a few shows booked. We hope to branch out and play outside of New Jersey a lot in the coming months. The only tour we have have booked as of now is the "Stay Glassy" tour that our label is throwing featuring us and our buddies Lakota De Kai and Cloud Gavin. We will mainly be hitting the east coast, the dates and the locations are currently being worked out. The dates are October 31st - November 5th.
Good stuff. You signed with Glass Nail Records recently, a record label that is shaping up to have one of the best young rosters in this genre at the moment, what do you think of your labelmates, and how is it working with the label?
We are very glad to have partnered up with Glass Nail. All the bands on our roster are truly great. We had the pleasure of playing with Cloud Gavin and spending time hanging out with them when we were down in Virginia doing our string of EP release shows. Lakota De Kai is truly great, and we really look forward to playing with them and hanging out with them on our upcoming tour, they seem like a bunch of rowdy gentlemen haha. I (Adam) have had the pleasure of producing and mixing Arrows In Her's record Leaving (the label's newest addition), and we play with them very often, it is always a great time. Our label owner Kenneth has been helpful and supportive, always trying to push all the bands to the next level.
What/who influences Gatherer? Who do you guys personally listen to?
Anyone who does what they love and puts passion and devotion into creating something honest and meaningful fuels us as a band. We really have a deep appreciation for all the bands that we grew up listening to and that we listen to today. We all have differing tastes in music but there are tons of staple bands that we all love. To name a few: Touche Amore, As Cities Burn, Defeater, Thursday, As Tall As Lions, La Dispute, Pianos Become The Teeth, and probably one of the most unexpected, Blink 182. I have personally had All Get Out's album "The Season" on repeat like you wouldn't believe for the past few weeks. Such an incredible band.
All great bands! We're coming to the end of the interview, so I was wondering if you have any final words you'd like to share?
I'd like to thank you for taking the time out to talk to us and for writing a review of our EP a few weeks back, it means a lot! Also, for anyone reading this who hasn't heard our music, if you get a minute check us out atwww.gatherernj.bandcamp.com! Add us on facebook, follow us on twitter and come to a show and hang out. We love to meet new people!