Saturday, April 27, 2013

All Forces ready for action!

Hey everyone!  Hope you're enjoying the weekend. I think Spring has finally sprung in New York City, and I'm totally ready to go on a long walk as soon as I get this post up. All Forces (formerly Gold Streets) is playing the Hearts Bleed Radio showcase on 5/8/13 at Cake Shop, along with LUFF, Big Quiet, and Corita. The band consists of Norman Vino (guitar/vox), T Almy (drums/vox), Gizella Otterson (bass), and Johnnie Wang (guitar/vox). I sat down with Norm via Facebook chat.  Here's the transcript:

Hearts Bleed Radio: I think Gold Streets was one of the first really good small bands I saw when I moved to NYC in like, 2007. You guys were a three-piece for years. When did the band start?

Norm: About 8 years ago... I hadnt been in a band since college and was desperately looking for some kind of creative outlet... And started replying to a bunch of different Craigslist ads. Everything from singer songwriter stuff to metal, to whatever... Really just to see how I measured up... Met some really crazy people and found myself physically scared a couple of times...

HBR: Haha, yeah... There are some weirdos on the olde CL. But eventually you ended up meeting T and Gizella?

Norm: Yep. Just listed a bunch of stuff I was into.... Everything from The Pixies to Apex Twin and met a couple of great musicians. Then Gizella answered and it turned out that she worked around the corner from me in Manhattan... We wound up jamming for a couple of months once a week and new right away that we were creatively compatible. We're both self taught musicians and right of the bat were coming up with some really fun stuff.

HBR: So fast forward to the near present, you added Johnnie Wang on guitar... What led to his addition?

Norm: We've been friends for years upstate... Fell out of touch for a while, then linked up for a few shows in New Paltz. He wound up moving to Brooklyn and we decided to have him jam with us, then guest with us for a few live shows. And then one thing led to another. We started writing together. He has an amazing ear and is a fantastic guitar player. Way more technically fluent then Gizella and I.

All Forces prepare for the photo shoot...

HBR: So you guys decided to rename the band, "All Forces", and you're working on a bunch of new material. Recording it too, right?

Norm: Yep. Just finished tracking last night with Kevin McMahon at Marcata.

HBR: Nice! How many tracks?

Norm: Eleven.

HBR: When do you think we'll get to hear it?

Norm: We get first mixes this week and depending how that goes, really soon I hope.

HBR: And you'll be playing a bunch of those tracks on 5/8 I assume?

Norm: As many as we can for sure.

HBR: It's funny. LUFF is in the same boat kinda, they are debuting a bunch of new material at that show too. Exciting times. What's different about the new stuff? What direction are you guys going in?

Norm: Definitely exciting... We're genuinely psyched about the new material... More anthemic in a way, bigger sound with Johnnie. In some ways more spacious at the same time.

 ...The photo shoot

HBR: What guitar are you using these days, mostly?

Norm: A big hollow body I put together myself. It's what I recorded most of the record with. But I did also do some tracking with a 70's Rick that was pretty amazing...

HBR: Was it like, a kit guitar or something?

Norm: No. Here's a little secret. Guild put out some amazing guitars in the late 90s, DeArmond. They had some really great archtops. So I found a body that had been stripped of electronics and hardware and used that as the base.

HBR: Oh, I remember those!

Norm: Had a couple of extra pickups from an old beater guitar that wound up being Tim Shaw pickups from Gibson. Popped those in added a Bigsby, spray painted it, not in that order... I love that guitar. Wound up selling my old Gretsch because of that guitar.

HBR: Do you guys pretty much jam out your songs? Or is someone the main songwriter? (They kinda feel collaborative.)

Norm: Really collaborative. We bring ideas in individually and also come up with stuff on the spot.

HBR: I feel like you guys are great at transitioning between kinda open, droning passages, and super tight grooves. Most bands don't end up writing that kind of material unless the bassist and drummer are super involved with the writing process. That, in addition to having three singers who can sing lead, gives you guys like, a lot of different place you can go. Do you do any second guessing, especially after a recording session?

Norm: For this record, not really. I really enjoyed writing these songs together with those guys.

 The band unwinds after a hard day of being photographed.

HBR: What's the name of your favorite track? Are you going to play it at the show?

Norm: That's really hard. Preparing for recording we told ourselves "we're going to record." let's write as many songs a we can, ideally 15 or so. We didn't write quite that many. But we knew when to tuck away ideas and focus on the others...

HBR: OK, c'mon... Throw out the name of one (or a couple)!

Norm: Jets, Attah-boy, Buildings, Sword Swallowers.

HBR: Nice. I like Buildings. Well, we're super excited to have you guys on the bill. Cake Shop is my favorite small club in Manhattan. What's your favorite place to play?

Norm: Tough to say. Bowery electric had really good sound one show. Fort Useless for sure.

HBR: What's the last band you saw that really blew your mind?

Norm: Haven't really gone our for much live music. Really enjoyed a Rush and Eagles documentary. Was never a fan of either but really learned to respect the shit out of them.

HBR: RUSH AND EAGLES!?!?! Wow, that is unexpected! Wait, it wasn't one documentary that was about BOTH Rush and The Eagles, was it?

Norm: No separate, but I really enjoyed them. I fucking cannot stand Hotel California, but within the context of the documentary, it really intrigued me. The musicianship...

HBR: I'll check them out and give you my thoughts on the 8th. Thanks for your time, and I'll see you at the show!

Thanks for reading!  More info on the 5/8/13 showcase HERE.

"Like" All Forces on Facebook HERE.

And of course, "Like" Hearts Bleed Radio on Facebook HERE.

See you at the show!

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