GATES

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For my first show of 2015, I ventured out to my favorite spot in the city to sit down with Gates! They've been a buzz band around Boston for the past two years or so and I'm glad we were able to sit down the night of their first true Boston headlining gig at Great Scott! With their debut album out, we talked the process at length of the efforts and writing put into that project. We also talked about their previous Boston show experiences as well as tour essentials. The band recently played New England favorites Four Year Strong's annual holiday show and their performance there definitely got bodies out to their early 2015 headlining tour with Philly favorites Young Statues. You can find the boys back on tour in the US this April/May where I'll be in sure attendance too!

Then obviously I know you just played with Four Year Strong at their holiday show in Worcester and a bunch of great Boston bands. But this is just the beginning of this tour with Young Statues. I think you're only a few dates in. Maybe how has it been going so far?
It's been awesome! Really, really awesome. We did Brooklyn, Amityville was last night and the night before that was Philly. Yeah each show was amazing so far. Really, really cool. I wasn't expecting it. It was nice and cold out. I wasn't sure if anyone was going to want to leave the comfort of their homes but no, it's been really, really cool and it's been cool playing with The City on Film which is Bob from Young Statues. We did a few shows with Young Statues in the past but we haven't done any touring with them. So yeah it's been awesome.

Alright and maybe the three things you've realized you must have with you while on the road?
That I must have with me?
Yes!
Definitely my water bottle. I have a Nalgene that's like bright green so I can see it everywhere and I don't forget it. That's my number one. Two would be my iPod just because when you're in the van and you don't want to listen to whatever everyone else is listening to, it's always great to have. I've recently gotten into podcasts lately. So I've been downloading a lot of those and putting them on my iPod and listening to them. So that's a must have and I'm going to go with my hat and scarf on this tour because it's freezing. Had I not brought those, it would have been the most miserable tour of all times. Hopefully I don't forget those ever again and my water bottle which I probably will forget somewhere but those are my must haves.

Then I believe it was your first full length that came out this year. How did you go about the writing process for that one, considering it was the first full length ever. Is it something you all worked on, were they all songs that you wrote in one session or were some older, from years ago? How did you put it together?
It was a long process. It was kind of interesting because we actually went back farther for this record then we did for the last EP. Started working on ideas that we had from the past. So maybe I wrote a song like seven years ago and I kind of dug up the demo and was like let's work on this. Things like that but we also used a lot of fresh ideas too. So it was like a nice mix and we basically just got together three times a week. After work where we'd like work to five, I would drive into New Jersey in rush hour traffic. We'd go in the basement. Play for three more hours. We'd upload everything into a Dropbox. Listen to it for a day. Come back. Just rinse/repeat. The whole time until the record was done. So it took in all like a year and a half to write it then we recorded it too. The whole process was like two years from front to back. So it was a long process but I think it just worked best for us. I liked it a lot better then writing our last EP which was kind of more like a condensed time frame. We did it all in three months and I felt like I didn't get enough time to think about everything. This was more of like 'Alright well, we'll come back to that in two months.' So we'd write like half a song and come back to it in two months from then. Yeah I felt really good about it this time around as opposed to last time.

And then considering you said the last album process took around two years, are you even thinking about releasing any new songs/a small EP. Maybe not a full record.
Yeah it's interesting you ask. We have one song that didn't make the record that we're going to try do a 7" or a split with this year. It's like a six and a half minute song. We were like okay this record is like an hour long let's not put that on there. It's actually one of my favorite songs. It was just like it doesn't fit anywhere. We have a couple more that we wrote for the record but we didn't record. That one also because it was so long we were like well let's not record that one. So we didn't record that one and we recorded the other ones. Cut that one but I think we might actually end up recording that one and put it on a split or something. We've never done a split with anyone. Since we toured heavily, this year we met so many bands that I think would be cool to work with. So yeah we definitely have plans to do that.

So maybe what was the first CD or first cassette you ever bought as a kid then the first concert you ever went to?
Sometimes I get asked this but I don't remember what the first record was. I feel like I can never remember but I do know that the first CD I ever had was Green Day's "Dookie" and Soundgarden's "Superunknown". My mom bought me both of those for my birthday. I remember those being the first CD's I ever owned.

Do you remember the first concert?
First concert I ever went to was Aerosmith with my parents. That was it. It was awesome. It was cool. I barely remember it but I just remember going to Aerosmith. I think my second concert was actually Creed and Our Lady Peace opened the show. I remember that too.

Then maybe to end it off, what is coming up? I know you just started this run but we just started this new year and a lot of touring to come but what is going to be going on for Gates?
We have a tour coming up in April/May. I don't think we can announce who it's with yet but we're touring with a band in April/May. Like a full US tour then I'm sure we'll be touring after that too. We plan on touring all the way through this year. We're going to keep writing in between and everything but I think we're going to focus on touring for the remainder of 2015. We just really want to like play this record for people. We worked two years on it so it's like, let's play it! It's nice to have like a new batch of songs as opposed to the EP's where it's only certain songs. Like alright, we wrote thirteen songs that we can actually go and play now. It's cool. So we'll be playing those and like I said, we have plans of doing a few splits in between there. Just to get some stuff out since we got the songs and we're really happy with them and want to put them out. It will be cool then we have a few other kind of crazy ideas we're working on. We always have like ten crazy ideas going at once. Who knows when they'll get done but hopefully we'll finish them.

Then on that last holiday show, State Champs was also on that show but you also played with a lot of long lasting Boston acts. What are you most looking forward to with like tonight's show considering how that show went for you?
Yeah I mean Boston is one of our favorite cities to play honestly. They always go super well for us. We played this place Roggies I think it was. I don't think it's a venue anymore. We played there like two tour cycles ago and it was just so cool. It was like a floor show and there were just people screaming like every word in my face. That doesn't really happen for us. It was a very, very cool like experience. Then we played a sold out show at Middle East with Pianos Become The Teeth. We played with Pentimento and Have Mercy at Middle East this year. We played the Worcester show with Four Year Strong so like every show we play here is just awesome. I feel like there could be no beer tonight and it would still be awesome because we just like Boston. We like playing here.

It's like we could be okay with out beer.
Yeah you know I got like coffee here, some beer here. We got some friends here so it will be a good night.
It will be a good time!
Yeah, I'm excited. We just love playing here. We just said this in another interview a couple days ago that it's one of our top three cities to play. Just excited to always get to be here.

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