by Jake Navarro
The Gents' lead vocalist, Matty Blissard, did whatever a young dude without a job does: work. He made a promise to himself when he came onto the Austin scene. He vowed to write one new song a week until he found a day job. Matty found himself not being able to go on to write a Week 5 having found work within the month.
Without a doubt, Week 1 is my personal favorite. The single-worthy first week's track is fast, makes you feel good and want to dance along to lyrics about a rocky relationship that is on the verge of ending. The production of the song is beautifully mastered, but allows you to love and appreciate the live version that much more.
When I got to Mohawk, The Gents, Matty, Kevin, Tyler and Jon,grabbed their beer and led me back to a room upstairs to chat. As we made our way through the venue, we introduced ourselves and what we were doing on this journey. Like true gents, the fellas made me feel welcomed and immediately let me in on some inside jokes.
"I really like learning where bands get their name from. How did "The Gents" come to be?"
Kevin: "Originally, it was suppose to be "High Church and The Gents." I had this hat that I found in the back of my car that said High Church and the ideas started to snowball. We thought it would be ironic to be called that and to have three distinct lead singers. We agreed the name didn't sound too good and we needed something to start booking shows, so we just went with "The Gents" and just stuck with it!
Tyler: "The good thing is that the other "The Gents" are all in Europe or an a cappella group!"
"Having three song-writers in the band, what does your writing process look like?"
Matty: "We all have pretty distinct styles. Each of us will write a song and the rest of the band is there to back up that person's song, and add to it. Songs evolve as you play them together."
Kevin: "With the material that we've been plating for the past year-and-a-half, I feel it's been a bit more of a collaboration. A lot of the songs started with an idea and we all just went with it until we would get the arrangement."
"What are some of your musical inspirations and favorite artists?"
Tyler: "I really like David Bowie and Paul Westerburg. 70s Punk Rock and 60s Garage Rock. We're all over the place on influences. Matty listens to a lot of Bluegrass, Weezer, Shaky Graves and more Bluegrass. Kevin listens to Elton John and 90s metal bands."
Kevin: "I am a project of my father's mix tapes. [laughs]"
Jon: "I grew up playing drums to AC/DC. Classic rock."
"What is the typical day look like for The Gents?"
Matty: "It really just depends what we're working on at the moment and shows that are lined up."
Kevin: "We want to have a new EP out this fall. We're working towards that this summer. Recording the songs we've been playing and writing new ones."
"Where do you see yourselves in five years?"
Jon: "I feel like I have to start making real decisions!"
Tyler: "Angry and very jaded. Being unreasonable mean to everyone. [laughs]"
Kevin: "Do some touring. Expanding our fan base beyond Austin."
Matty: "We're working towards that and promoting new music. I'm excited to tour. I love touring. It's fun and terrible at the same time."
"Since you are putting new stuff out, what does the timeline look for more shows or a tour?"
Matty: "We're shooting for shows in fall/winter."
What makes The Gents different that others on the Austin music scene?
Tyler: "We're four white dudes in a band...[laughs]. The vocal harmonies that we have sets us apart."
Kevin: "Attention to songwriting detail."
Jon: "Innovative drumming!"
The guys continue on to fill me in on that inside joke about how Jon's drumming came to be innovative, and let me know that the show I attended was Tyler's last show with The Gents as he's working on his own music in city. The group as a collective has vibes that are a perfect fit for Austin and anyone wanting to check out a fun live show.
The Gents are ones to keep an eye out for. Their laid-back attitude and vision for what they want for their music is concise and admirable. If you're ever in Austin when The Gents are playing, it's definitely worth stopping by, grabbing a beer and chatting with these guys after a fun show. You can find The Gents on their website, Sound Cloud and their twitter: @TheGentsATX.