Volume 94, Issue 39
Wednesday, November 8, 2000
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Band Gob tells it like it really is
Photo by Barry Gynp
ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN OUT OF THE BLUE. Punk rockers Gob climb to great heights, but will make a pop visit for London fans tonight at The Embassy.
By Ryan Dixon
Based in the mountainous West Coast and supported by a huge snow boarding following, you might think punk rockers Gob would have a certain fondness for snow. Not so, says the band's bass player Craig Wood.
"We played in Moncton, New Brunswick a long time ago and somebody went outside and got some snowballs and decided it would be funny to throw them at us," Wood explains. "These weren't snowballs though, these were ice balls and they were hitting us in the head and melting into our equipment so we were not too happy."
When they are not busy ducking ice balls and other projectiles, you can usually find the Gob quartet touring around Canada, in the recording studio or on MuchMusic promoting their latest album, The World According To Gob with a fresh new video.
The world first met Gob back in 1993. Founding members Tom Thacker and Theo Goutzinakis have been the heart of the band since day one. Wood and drummer Gabe Mantle, each joined the Gob family somewhere between the band's first self-titled EP in 1994 and the subsequent three full length albums that ensued.
Each album has been an evolution for the boys, who started off as a drum thumping, guitar grinding punk band, but have since incorporated a more melodic sound into their repertoire. Wood does not hesitate to explain the changes in tune.
"I think maturation is a pretty good word because we're all getting older. We're taking what we like and putting it into the music. Before it was fast, heavy and really aggressive and it's like 'We've done that, lets play something else and make it interesting for us, as well as the fans."
Wood adds the music writing has developed into a group process, as opposed to the band's early days when song themes were dominated by Thacker and Goutzinakis. He explains, "On this last album, we all put our creative thoughts into it and it was like, 'You know what, I like the way it sounds, but it might sound better if we did it this way' and we just tried different things to make the best song we could."
Gob has played with a plethora of bands ranging from British teen idols Bush to 1990s punk rock pioneers Green Day. With their most recent album and the preceding How Far Shallow Takes You, Gob has begun to experience commercial success.
Like any punk band that has tasted some degree of mainstream acceptance, any Gob greatness will no doubt come in the face of "sellout" cries. According to Wood, these accusations have already surfaced, but he says they are easy to deal with on a full stomach.
"We get told we sold out because our record sounds different than the last one. As far as all that goes, if selling out means I don't have to eat Kraft Dinner anymore and I can actually afford to put a roof over my head and pay some bills, then that's what I want to do," he asserts. "I don't want to have to come home and get a part time job and quit it a month later because we're going back out on the road. I'd love to make a living at this."
Wood adds all is not lost for anyone who still craves the raw punk rock sound that Gob fans have come to expect. "For people who like the fast stuff, come see us live because we play fast, energetic music," he contends.
The live experience is one that is changing for the band. With increased popularity comes shows at larger venues, as opposed to the smaller gigs the band had become accustomed to. Wood expresses his preference for the more intimate atmosphere of smaller shows, but adds no matter where Gob plays, the reaction is universal.
"It's probably better to play the small places because everyone is right there whereas in the bigger places, you're sometimes separated by a huge barricade. People always go crazy for us, but I definitely like playing the small venues," he says.
Wood and his band mates will get a chance to experience the London crowd tonight when they hit the stage at the Embassy, a place Wood enthusiastically says he is looking forward to playing. "I love the Embassy, it's awesome there."
That is, of course, provided there is no snow in the forecast.
Gob will be joined tonight at The Embassy by a number of other punk acts, including Face to Face, Save the Day and Hard to Say. Tickets at the door are $20.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000