Our latest exclusive interview is with none other than Evansville, Indiana's finest Gentlemen and Scholars. The band has just released their latest album "Revelry" and we have been jamming to it all week. We connected with the guys to discuss the album, find out how it compares to their earlier projects, and we ask whether they will be performing in our hometown of Raleigh in support of it.
After reading our Q&A with Gentlemen and Scholars, be sure to follow them on their social media streams, and more importantly, stream/download "Revelry" and tell all your closest friends who love hard hitting, authentic rock music to do the same.
You guys have been together as a band since 2006. How did you all meet and decide to form Gentlemen and Scholars?
Jeremiah and Patrick actually started playing music together at around age 11 or 12. At the time, the band consisted of the two of us, plus G&S's original drummer and Patrick's younger brother. Shane joined G&S around 2010, about a year after our sophomore album, The Fault. Marco has been with G&S for about a year and a half now. We held drummer auditions after we parted ways with our original drummer. It only took a single jam session with Marco for us to realize that he was the guy that we needed.
Congratulations on the new release "Revelry"; tell us about the creative process for the album. How long did it take to write and record and how did you decide which songs made the cut or were not included?
Thank you! We're really proud of Revelry and are thrilled that it's finally out! I'd say that we took a pretty non-traditional approach to Revelry, or at least in comparison to how we usually write an album. Most of our previous albums were comprised of songs that we would collect over the course of a year or so. We were always performing live so frequently that we'd occasionally just toss in a little jam here or there. Over time, those jams would evolve into a song. That song would get thrown into our set list, and the cycle would start all over again. There's not necessarily anything wrong with this process, but we also felt like we may not have allowed ourselves to really spend enough time making sure that those songs were the best that they could be. They'd just sort of evolve into a song, and there we were. Very rarely did we consider rearranging anything, tweaking vocal melodies, etc.
With Revelry, we tried to make sure that each song got the time and focus that it deserved. We promised ourselves that we wouldn't try to perform regularly while writing and recording, and we stuck to that. We began writing in 2015, shortly after we completed our recording studio. Prior to that, we had taken close to 8 months off, at which time we didn't play music together AT ALL. During those 8 months we spent every rehearsal session, weekends, and all additional free time on building a full fledged recording studio. It was a huge undertaking, but it was well worth it. We've been self producing our albums since 2011's Bad Apples, but we never really had the resources and equipment to produce the results that we wanted. That changed with Revelry. We had close to 30 or 35 different demos and riffs that we had been working on, but many of those were started with our old drummer and either didn't translate well or just didn't feel like the direction that we were headed in. We kept a couple of them, but most of the songs on Revelry were ideas that we'd spend a few nights hashing out before diving into tracking drums and scratch tracks. We essentially had the freedom and flexibility to write and record at nearly the same time, which has never been the case before. It's as close as we could get to reproducing what we've seen so many of our favorite bands do in the past: rent studio time and lock themselves up in there to write and record an album over the span of a few weeks/months.
What makes the "Revelry" album different from your prior releases?
From a musical aspect, Revelry is a bit more refined or more finely tuned than our previous albums. I think that each track has clear and audible contributions from each member, which gives the album just enough flex and diversity to be original and still sound like Gentlemen and Scholars.
Describe a typical Gentlemen and Scholars live show for us.
Gentlemen and Scholars is a live band, there's no doubt about that. I don't think anyone has ever walked away from one of our shows out of boredom. We bring a ton of energy and are just generally fun to watch. When we're on stage, the audience can tell that we love what we do. Even if someone doesn't dig our music, it's extremely hard not to appreciate someone truly enjoying their craft. Jeremiah and Share are so full of energy, Marco's drums basically become and extension of his body, and I spend most of my time bouncing back and forth from guitar to keyboards. People find that entertaining.
Will we be able to catch a live Gentlemen and Scholars show in North Carolina, specifically the Raleigh-Durham area anytime soon?
Of course! We're currently booking our fall tour now. I'm not sure if we're going to be getting that far south east from us this time around, but if we don't, then plan to see us this spring!