Volume 93, Issue 26
Wednesday, March 18, 1999
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Go, go Gadjit guys
©Photo by Ron Erdrich
FISHER-PRICE INTRODUCES "MY FIRST INSTRUMENTS." Kansas City youngsters The Gadjits stop into Call the Office on Monday for a ska-infused set of pop lunacy.
By Sara Martel
In their late teens, most people worry about homework, fake ID or just enjoying the last few precious years of minimal responsibility. With their minds on North American touring dates, record labels and finding success in a harsh industry, it's fair to say the young members of The Gadjits don't constitute the norm.
The Kansas City four piece ska-pop band members range from 17 to 22 years old. Because of their young age and relation (three of the members are brothers), they have been referred to as "the Hansons of ska." Drummist and youngest brother Adam Phillips scoffs at the comparison.
"We don't like that very much," he states dryly. "Obviously, the person who said that didn't listen to our record, they just read the bio and saw that there were three of us who are brothers and young, from the midwest, but we're not anything like them at all. We actually like to say The Hansons are The Gadjits of sugar-pop."
Taking a cue from myriad styles, sugar-pop is only one element found in The Gadjits eclectic sound. "Lots of other people try to put a label on [our music]," Phillips says. "We really consider ourselves a rock 'n' roll band. We have lots of ska influence, reggae, pop, country, all different kinds of music, you know, but I'd say just a rock band. Even people like the Rolling Stones have influences, but with their own rock sound, too."
Managing to maintain their original sound, the band has won many a fan, as well as attention from other major ska bands. The Gadjits were first noticed when they opened for Rancid during the latter's And Out Come The Wolves tour. Rancid's Tim Armstrong approached them about releasing a record on his then unformed Epitaph Records' subsidiary, Hellcat Records. The result was their third album, At Ease, which was deemed the group's most soulful and developed effort at the time.
From At Ease, The Gadjits have followed up with this year's release of Wish We Never Met. "I would say that Wish We Never Met has a little bit more of a garage-y feel," Phillips suggests. "I mean I love At Ease, but it doesn't sound like we sound live and we're trying to get a bit more of that more like when we're performing in Wish We Never Met."
For now the band has plans to keep touring on their latest album a trip which started in Oregon and will take the young musicians throughout the midwest and across Canada.
With this kind of schedule, obviously distractions such as school have fell by the wayside. Phillips suggests, however, that despite the fact he and the rest of the band dropped out of school, their parents still remain supportive of their decision to pursue music full-time.
"Yeah my mom's a teacher," he laughs. "But she was still supportive. Opportunities to make records and tour the country and do what we want to do - they don't always happen. A lot of people go their whole lives without ever doing something like that. We figure we can wait for school, it will always be there if we want to go back to it."
Copyright © The Gazette 1999