Published on May 14th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Distinguished Glasgow rockers GUN return on 9th July with their brand new, studio album Break the Silence, their first since 1997’s 0141 632 6326 and fifth altogether, so Rocksucker caught up with the band’s guitarist Jools Gizzi for a quick chat about the record, working on it with esteemed producer Dave Eringa and their forthcoming European tour with The Cult…
What can you tell us about the new album?
It was supposed to be coming out in June but it’s coming out in July now because there’s a lot of promo to do, and we’ve still got to make a video, so the record company suggested putting it back a little bit. It’s a great record. GUN has been away for such a long time and in the last few years we got this prestigious award from the Nordoff Robbins charity – in the past it’s been won by Alex Harvey, Wet Wet Wet and Texas, so it’s a big award.
We got the Best Rock Band award and got to play last at the event, and we had such an amazing response that we thought, “Let’s get back in the studio.” We thought it would be appropriate to call the album Break the Silence because we’ve been away for so long! We’re really, really happy with it – it sounds amazing, people who’ve heard it have given it thumbs up, so it’s quite exciting right now.
I’ve seen mention of a single called “Butcher Man”. When will that be coming out?
Probably towards the end of June so that it comes out just before the album. It’ll actually be a double A-side: “Butcher Man” and “Break the Silence”. “Butcher Man” is a rockier song than “Break the Silence” and if you’re going to get played on radio then you can only do so much ‘rock’ – you’ve got to cross over a wee bit, let an audience hear the hook and melody of the song, whereas “Butcher Man” is pure, full-on rock, which I love.
What was Dave Eringa like to work with?
When we had all the songs as demos, we sent them out to a lot of producers and the first one to get back to us was Dave Eringa. Right away he got it, knew exactly what we wanted to do and how to make the songs sound really good in the studio. He was amazing and a big part of making the record sound so good because he got a performance out of everyone in the band. Any ideas that I had or Dante had or any of the guys in the band had, he knew exactly what we were trying to get across and he worked at it.
I’ve never known a guy who works so hard – we were in the studio for fourteen hours every day, from maybe midday until between 2 and 4 in the morning, but Dave would be there from 10am setting everything up. He’s produced Manic Street Preachers, Idlewild, Ocean Colour Scene and Stereophonics, and he’s a top bloke as well. He was really enthusiastic about the record right from the beginning.
Will you be playing any festivals over the summer?
Yeah, we’ve got about six or seven booked – there’s Download on 10th June I think it is, there’s one in Spain, one in Portugal, Germany, Austria, and there’s a big festival in the north of Scotland called Rockness which we’ll be doing as well. Plus we’re going to be touring Europe with The Cult [click here for dates], so with the record coming out as well we’ve got a lot to look forward to, and as I said we can’t wait. You’ve got to pinch yourself sometimes. It’s just great to be where we are and we’re really, really looking forward to it, especially going out with The Cult because they’re probably one of my top three favourite bands.
We played a festival with them a good few years ago and Ian Astbury knew we were Celtic fans so he came into our dressing room strutting about with his Rangers top on to wind us all up! He’s an amazing guy and so is their guitar player Billy Duffy. They’ve made some great records too, so I can’t wait to be playing all those European shows with them. (Click here to read Jools talking to Football Burp about his love of Celtic FC)
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming bands that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
There’s a band called Twin Atlantic who rehearse right across from our rehearsal room and they’ve been out playing loads of gigs, been over to America and stuff like that, and you can just see the hunger in these guys. They’ve got a great fan base that they seem to be building in the right way and Radio 1 are right behind them. They’re kids but they’re really, really good at what they’re doing.
I went to see a band the other night called Skindred and they blew me away, really powerful kind of rock-pop-funk songs. I thought they were amazing. They’re young guys as well but they’ve been building it and doing really well.
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
One of them would have to be Angus Young from AC/DC because he’s my all-time hero as a guitar player. I’d also take Bon Scott, the singer of AC/DC. Then probably Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison from The Doors and Elvis!
Jools Gizzi, thank you.
GUN’s new album Break The Silence will be released on July 9th 2012. For more information and a free download of new song “Last Train From Central”, please visit www.gunofficial.co.uk