How did the band get together?
Our current lineup really has just cemented within the past year, year and a half or so. Our drummer Justin used to play in a band called Surefire, who we’ve been friends with for a long time, and Erik, who’s our rhythm guitar player now, we met him through mutual friends and he just kind of fell into the band, which is really cool. Things have been happening organically over the last year and a half, which has felt good, sort of how it’s supposed to be.
What’s the significance of the band’s name?
That actually came out of a little bit of a misunderstanding. I had been saying that I was thinking of “Ghost Station” as the name, but then I thought it was a little too dark-sounding, and someone misheard me and thought I was saying “GoStation.” Everybody liked that, so we kind of stuck with it. And as it turns out, the transit authority around Toronto is called the Go Transit and their train stops are called Go Stations. We didn’t know that before we named the band, but of course it will probably make things interesting when we finally make it out there.
How would you describe your sound?
Someone, it might have been Matt, said they thought we sounded like “post Brit pop,” and we just sort of liked that label, even though we don’t really know what it means. Really all of our biggest influences are those bands from the mid- to late ‘90s UK rock scene, like Oasis and The Verve and Embrace, and then further back like U2…but we also listen to a lot of contemporary stuff. And being in New York, The Strokes have had a huge impact on us.
I understand you’ve just finished up your first full-length album. Tell me about it. What’s it called? When is the release date? When will tracks be available online?
It took us over a year to finish it, so it’s a long time coming…It’s going to be called “Passion Before Function”…We‘ve signed a deal with a label in Japan called Fabtone Records…I believe it’s coming out in July in Japan and we’d really like for it to be out here around the same time to sync everything up…The first two songs we have up (on MySpace) are both on the record…We’re getting everything completely remastered, so I’m sure they’ll sound a little bit different, but “All Together Now” and “Not Enough,” which are both up on MySpace, are respectively probably going to be the first and second singles. “C’mon” we re-recorded for the album as well, so there’s a totally new version of that.
What’s the songwriting process like for the band? Is everyone involved?
Yeah, everyone’s involved, but it’s not like a collaborative jam session kind of thing… Historically, Matt or I write songs at home on an acoustic guitar, and then we’ll bring them in and…we’ll just sort of deconstruct stuff from there, let people come up with their own parts…so it becomes very collaborative and people will comment on what other people are doing and make suggestions…It’s definitely not a situation where someone’s saying “here’s the song” and “here’s how it’s gonna go,” because I guess we all feel like if you want to do music that way, you might as well just play solo.
The band recently played the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival (in Austin, Texas.) On his blog, Matt described the first day of music there as “the closest I’ve ever felt to being reborn.” Did you share that sentiment?
I think it’s just really nice to be in an environment where music becomes such an important thing. It’s sort of like stepping out of reality for a week or so. The same thing really happens during CMJ (Music Marathon, in New York City), where you’re just surrounded by bands, you’re going from one place to another, and everything is music-oriented, and you kind of wish, wow, wouldn’t it be great if it was like this all the time?
What’s your favorite aspect of performing live?
When we record in the studio…we’re like an everything-in-the-kitchen-sink kind of band; it’s like, let’s add piano and organ and strings, and this and that, and we’ll just throw in all these tracks and it makes everything sound really huge. We’re big fans of that, but then when we’re playing live, it’s just the five of us, and we’ve got two guitars and me doing vocals, and it’s a much more raw experience. So I guess I like people getting to see the songs in more of a stripped-down form, which they inevitably are going to be in. It’s also just good to connect with people individually – you can only do that so much online or through a record.
Where can fans buy your music right now?
The EP (the 2005 release “Quiet Zone”) is available in tons of places. You can buy it directly from us through our website (http://www.thegostation.com). On the audio page, there’s a PayPal link. You can get it on Amazon, awarestore.com, cdbaby, and iTunes. I believe it’s also up on the other major download services like Rhapsody and URGE.
I always like to include at least one “unprofessional” question in my interviews – is that okay with you?
If you had to take on the Gallagher brothers from Oasis in a fight, which band member would you bring with you?
Definitely Nick…because Nick could fight the rest of us by himself…I don’t think anyone in our band would ever want to have to fight Nick. But at the same time, I have to say if I had to fight the Gallagher brothers, something would have gone seriously wrong with my life. I would be very upset that was happening at all.
Any parting words or messages for your fans?
Well…we’ve spent so much time on this record, it’s almost hard to believe that it’s finished at this point…we’ve just been listening to these mixes ourselves, and have sort of been blown away by what we’ve created. And we really just feel like all it’s going to take for the album to do well and for it to really get out there is for people to hear it. I guess our message would just be for anyone who hears our stuff and appreciates it and likes it… that they spread the word and tell as many other people as they can…There are so many bands out there competing for airwaves and bandwidth…that would be pretty much it, spread the word.
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