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Article: The GC5 Interview.
Writer: Brinepacer
Date Posted: 07/02/00

Once again, the wonders of e-mail bring us this interview Doug, singer/bassist of the GC5. These guys fucking rock! Excellent rousing Oi-punk.

1. What inspired the name The GC5?
A guy we knew that died. It was Dave and Pete's idea when they started the band.

2. When did you form? How did you reach this line up?
The band was originally Dave, Pete, and I, and we formed just from knowing each other all our short lives and deciding we wanted to play in bands. This is Dave's and Pete's first band ever. We're on our second lead guitarist right now, our first one having quit to go to graduate school. Paul Weaver is his name, and we met him through his old band, who we used to play with a lot.

3. What would cause the band to break up?
As soon as it's no fun, or we just don't feel like the chemistry between the 4 of us is there, it'll be time to look at that. Right now, I think we're going pretty strong in those departments, though.

4. Describe your music for someone who's never heard... music?
That's tricky. No frame of reference, huh? Ok, here goes - Loud, aggressive music with lots of lead guitar, lyrics that are sometimes angry, sometimes introspective. It's goal is to make you move, and later on, to think.

5. What inspired you to play the music you do?
Any number of things, but I suppose spending my formative years musically listening to the Clash, SLF, Rancid, Swingin Utters, Bad Religion and the Replacements would be big reasons. they all gave us insight into life, and showed us that this is an outlet for dealing with what we're going through.

6. What have you released so far?
3 7"s on Transparent Records, a CD on Outsider Records. We have a split 7" with the Hudson Falcons and a CD EP on Leprock (formerly Walzwerk) coming out soon.

7. How did you hook up with your record label? How do you get on with them?
We sent em a tape, and they liked it. It was pretty simple really. We get along well with them, just keeping each other up on what's going on, and shooting the shit. When we're in Los Angeles, they treat us really nice and cook for us. It works out alright, I suppose.

8. How does the songwriting process work in the band? Is it one person or a democracy? Do you fight much over how a song turns out?
It never gets to fighting. People have more input than in a dictatorship, but it's way too dynamic to call it democracy. It's not like we each have an equal say in everything. Everyone states their opinion, and is pretty good about backing down if noone agrees, and most of the songs end up having parts that we all work out together. I think we sound the way we do because I write the songs I write, and we all play our instruments and hear things the way we do. That sounds obvious, but that's how everyone has input.

9. What inspires your lyrics? Do you consider the lyrics to be as or more imprortant as the music?
I think my lyrics are pretty much rooted in reality, whether that is what goes on outside or what goes on inside of me. I think they're very important, although I think all parts of songwriting are pretty important, so it's tough to judge them relative to each other.

10. What was the best show/tour you've played? Who's your favourite touring partners? If you could get on any tour, what would it be?
The last tour we did with the Hudson Falcons was amazing. Our van broke down 3 weeks into it, so we all rode crammed into their van for the last 5 weeks. It kicked ass. I have a hard time imagining better people or a better band to tour with.

11. What do you fight over the most? What was the worst band fight?
We don't fight too much. We're all really good friends, the band aside. The only real conflict just comes when we're in each other's faces too much, and little things blow up. Nothing too interesting.

12. How do you define selling out?
It's not really a clear line that people cross. I'd just say that once you decide to let people make your band a marketable image rather than a creative thing that means something to people, you're in danger. It's mostly about how you interact with your audience. When there is real communication, and people take something away from it, you're doing things right, no matter how much money you make. When you become something for teenyboppers to latch on to, and your music is more commodity than art, you've sold out no matter how little money you make. That's my 2 cents on that question.

13. Do you see the record as promotion for the tour or the tour as promotion for the record?
Both. It's hard to imagine one happening without the other. If we didn't have a record out, it would suck to tour, because people couldn't hear the songs after the night they see us. If we put a record out and didn't tour, they might not hear them at all. I'd say that you tour to promote your recordings, because with good bands, songs are too important to only see live, but the live experience is too important not to have.

14. What is the nicest and meanest thing said about your band?
We take all of that with a grain of salt. Some reviewer called us a generic Oi! band. Other people have said seeing us live has changed their lives. None of that is stuff that you wanna think about too much, because there's enough voices in your head already without worrying about those. You just laugh it off in the first case, and smile for a second and move on in the second.

15. Do you think the emergence of punk in the mainstream (a la Blink 182) has effected punk at a grassroots level?
yeah. I think once it trickles down to where we are, it's a good thing, because more people are open to what you're doing. Obviously, punk rock is just as much a commodity and a fashion as Britney Spears is at the mainstream level. We just set out to encourage people to be themselves, care about things around them, and criticize the culture that's put us all where we are. None of that entails buying any products, and I think people should be suspicous of anything that encourages them to rebel through consuming.

16. Do you see MP3 as a help or a hindrance? How important do you see the web as a tool for band promotion?
I think it's a big help for us. The MP3s that people have put out have been big requests at shows, and led lots of people to get a hold of us. The web is a great tool for people to communicate, and a risky thing that can potentially isolate people. It's what you do with it. For the most part, we've had lots of positive experiences promoting the band over the computer.

17. What does the future hold for The GC5?
Keep writing honest songs. Keep recording them. Keep bringing them to people that wanna hear them. If you have your nose to the grindstone doing those 3 things, it's surprising to see how far you've come whenever you look up.