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Gates: Their Passion for Music and Bloom & Breathe Discussion

Dan: Guitar

Ethan: Guitar

Kevin: Guitar/Vocals

Mike: Bass

PM: Tell me about this tour. What inspired it?
D: Basically we did 5 days out with Pianos Become Teeth. We did like New Jersey, Boston, Chicago, Buffalo, and there was one more; New York! That was the good one. That was the release show. So we had 10 days in between and now we’re doing the full U.S. and we’re doing a bunch of headlining shows to get us out to the West coast to meet up with Foxing. They’re super cool. We’ve hung out with them before and it should be a lot of fun. So we are on day two right now and we’re heading out to Nebraska tomorrow which will be a good time.

E: It was also crucial for us as well in the scheme of ‘Bloom & Breathe,’ our new record. We knew that we needed to do a full U.S. tour and we needed to give this record the proper push we thought it deserved. So in that respect, it was very important for this tour and for us to make it happen for this record.

PM: You guys just recently released ‘Bloom & Breathe’ and the reception so far has been absolutely amazing. It’s one of my favorite albums of the year. How’s it been with the reception being so overwhelmingly positive?
D: I think the reception so far has been amazing. Mike, our bass player, and myself did the artwork and that premiered before the actual music and that got an amazing response in itself which we were really excited about. The whole thing was really process driven and it was the last thing we did. We recorded everything and really digested the record and then went and did the artwork. But, I think overall the whole process with recording, artwork, and the whole rollout was just something we were really happy with. We’re ready to be playing these new songs and going on tour with it. We’re really excited.

PM: What were the main influences that you guys had writing this album? What inspired it to take the direction that it did?
K: Inspiration? First of all I think we were all inspired by each other. We wanted to do something greater than we’ve achieved previous to this. We really wanted to do something where we played off each others strengths and really learn how each of us played. We wanted to know what each person’s writing style was and play on that as opposed to playing over it. I feel like sometimes in the past it’s been like, ‘well everyone’s kinda doing something at once.’ We really focused on the song and each person’s abilities and styles. For that I think we did a really good job and I feel really great about what we did there with moving forward.

Lyrically? Life, to me, inspired this record. It’s more personal than my past lyrics. It’s less overarching and I just had certain things going on in my life at the time that I just had to get off my chest. As far as lyrics are concerned my influence was just life in general. Living it and feeling like you’re living it to the fullest, that every day you’re doing what you should be doing. There’s a fear of dying and not being completely satisfied with what you’ve done with your life the second before you die. It was one of those things that hit me hard and I honed in on that.

PM: Just to get to know you guys a little bit better, what have been your favorite albums of 2014?
M: Tycho’s album ‘Awake’ is one I thought was really great. The new Pianos Become Teeth record I’ve been listening to a lot and I’m really into that one.

D: That’s honestly the two records I’ve been listening to too. Haha. E: I think an album that stood out to me immediately and that has stuck with me that I wasn’t really anticipating was the new Ryan Adam’s self-titled record. That album is incredible. It was not on my radar at all. The second I heard it I was 100% sold. K: The band Alt J put out their second record this year and I’m really into it. It kinda blew my mind. I listen to it every day. Tycho is another one I listen to non-stop. Also our friends put out some really great records like Prawn, Frameworks, and Aviator. All those bands put out amazing records this year. It’s been an awesome year for music. That’s for sure. E: A bunch of music that sounds nothing like our own. Haha.

PM: Going along with the last question, what are some of your favorite bands that you don’t think people would expect you to listen to?
D: In the van sometimes we will put on ‘Hybrid Theory’ by Linkin Park. It’s just an immaculate record. Obviously we don’t sound anything like that, but it just brings us back and it’s a cool nostalgic factor. We rock out. When we’re driving real late we’ll pop that on and we’re just having a blast. Also some goofy playlists where we will put on some throwbacks.

E: As far as ones we can all agree on, we will all get down with Third Eye Blind. Rage Against The Machine is another one. There are very few bands that all 5 of us can agree on and Rage is definitely one of those. But, there are definitely a lot of fun 90’s alt-rock acts that will pop out in the van.

PM: If you guys could assemble a dream tour with bands, dead or alive, who would you pick?
E: Probably Explosions In The Sky. That would be an easy pick. That would be the perfect tour. Just Gates and Explosions In The Sky. Haha.

K: As far as us playing a tour, I would love to play a tour with Explosions In The Sky for sure. That would probably be my number one band I’d like to play with. As far as assembling a tour that I’d want to see, I’d probably pick At The Drive-In when they were still playing and active. I’d like to see them back in the day when they were killing it. They were one of my favorite bands growing up and I just never went to see them. That would be a band for sure that I’d want to see. D: I saw Thursday do the ‘Full Collapse’ ten year tour and that was really cool. I wish our band could have been a part of that somehow. They were really influential and they are from the same area where we are from. Yeah, anything from that era that that influenced us really.

PM: On this tour, what places are you looking forward to going to the most?
E: I think I can speak for a few of us when I say we are excited about getting to British Columbia for Vancouver. We’ve played Canada like 3 or 4 times but just over in our area in Toronto and Montreal. To play Vancouver is just going to be crazy. The whole pacific area/Northwest, we have a lot of friends out there in Seattle and stuff. Pure Noise Records, who put out our last two records, are from San Francisco and it’s always cool to play there. And Lincoln, Nebraska because that’s my hometown!

PM: Last question; was there ever a time in your life where you thought that music wasn’t your passion? Or that music wasn’t something you wanted to do for the rest of your life?
D: I think sometimes I struggle with that now. You see all of your friends who are working-class, saving up, and working on their 401K and we’re still doing our music thing. While it’s still awesome, sometimes you get a little discouraged. I’m super pumped on the new record and that revived the whole passion for music for me. Sometimes you feel like you shouldn’t be doing it, but other times you feel like it’s exactly what you should be doing and it’s a tradeoff. Being in your late 20’s and doing this, it’s a crucial time.

K: I’d say that only time I doubted being a musician was two years ago. I mean, ‘Low’ (track from Bloom & Breathe) is straight up about that. I worked a really terrible day job and you’re just doing it because you know you’ll get time off to go on tour, but 80% of the time you’re just working this crappy job. You’re making minimum wage and paying ridiculous amounts of money for rent and you ask yourself why you’re doing this. You know? Sometimes it’s very very difficult to do that. That being said, when you finally do get to go on tour, and we’ve been doing it more and more frequently, and we do get to go into the studio to record an album, those are things that I thought that I would never do with music. As we have done these the past couple years it has definitely restored my faith in it. I also got a new job that’s way nicer. So, that probably helps a significant amount. Haha. I’ve been playing guitar since the 4th grade and I for sure would never stop playing. If we weren’t touring I’d still absolutely be making and recording music. M: There have been times in my life where playing music wasn’t as much of a priority as it is now, but I feel like now, especially the people I play with, it feels right. It’s almost like I can’t get away from it. It’s not even a conscious thing, I just gravitate toward it. I find myself working on things for the band and working on ideas for songs or designs and I’m just always doing it. It’ something that I feel like I have to do. K: I totally agree with that. It’s like no matter what I do, I always go back to that. If I have 5 minutes I’ll go try and write a song. No matter what I’ll always do that.

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