Q&A with Alternative Rockers GUSTER Talk: New Album, Evermotion, Appearing on TV Show “Family Guy” and More!
Posted On 23 Feb 2015
Tag: 2014 Climate Action Plan Update, All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Boston, Boston Pops Symphony, Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Damien Jurado, EDJ, environment, environmental causes, Evermotion, Feist, Foxygen, Greenovate, Greenovate Boston, GUSTER, Harlem River, Harry Nilsson, Jeff Garlin, Kevin Morby, Mardi Gras, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Mayor Menino, Metal Health, Nettwerk, Nettwerk Music Group, Never Coming Down, New Orleans, Ocho Mule, Ocho Mule Records, Quiet Riot, Radio City Music Hall, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Richard Swift, Stereolab, Supremes, The Family Guy, The Poison Tree, The Shins, The Supremes, The Zombies, Tufts, Tufts University
Ocho Mule Records, Guster’s own label, and Nettwerk Music Group announced a partnership to release Guster’s forthcoming album worldwide. Produced by Richard Swift (The Shins, Damien Jurado, Foxygen, Stereolab), the album delivers a new sound while maintaining their signature timeless character.
Guster has sold over one million albums and headlined prestigious venues like Radio City Music Hall and Red Rocks Amphitheatre. In addition to their traditional shows, Guster has always given fans unique live experiences, including shows with the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the Colorado Symphony, and their much acclaimed acoustic tour featuring comedian Jeff Garlin.
Drummer, Brian Rosenworcel took some time out to answer a few questions for All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa. Read more in their Q&A below!
Hi Brian! Where does this interview find you today? What’s on the agenda today besides our interview?
Hi Nicole! We are in New Orleans with a convenient day off during Mardi Gras. There will be parades watched and beverages consumed.
You guys released your latest studio album, Evermotion, on January 13, 2015 with Ocho Mule/ Nettwerk Records. I understand your debut concert for the new album, took place with the release of the Greenovate Boston 2014 Climate Action Plan Update with Mayor Martin J. Walsh, as a statement of the band’s support for environmental causes. How was that experience?
The Mayor has a pretty aggressive plan to help Boston be a leader as far as reducing emissions in the next decade. So were happy to do our part to help spread the word. And ever since former Mayor Menino (RIP) introduced us as Gooooster at a free show in Boston in 2003, we’ve liked the idea of playing events where politicians introduce us. Anything can happen.
For those not as familiar with Guster, how did you get your start in music? Who or what was the catalyst for you to want to start a band?
We literally were college freshmen at Tufts University jamming on acoustic instruments in our dorm rooms. One thing led to another. That was 23 years ago.
You released your seventh studio album under the production of The Shins keyboardist, Richard Swift. How was that working with Richard?
It was pretty eye-opening for us. We chose Richard Swift because we really loved several albums he’d recently produced, like Foxygen and Damien Jurado. We knew it’d be a home studio and we’d be giving ourselves over to his process and his sounds, but we have such a respect for him and the music he’s made we thought it’d work. He
helped us tremendously with the big picture so we didn’t get caught up in our usual minutia.
What did you learn between albums that you wanted to infuse into Evermotion?
We’re pretty active listeners to music both old and new, and we’re constantly refining our tastes. So when you get together as infrequently to write songs as we do, you end up with a lot to say and a lot to prove. Maturing and evolving our sound has been a very gratifying part of our career. It’s nice to feel unpredictable this far in.
What is your most favorite song to perform live and why?
Right now I’m digging “Never Coming Down” off of our new album because I get a 10 second trombone solo in the middle of it and I haven’t played trombone since middle school. It’s kind of a sloppy island jam and it’s nice to just loosen up for a few minutes of the set and get a lite Harry Nilsson groove going.
Who are your musical influences?
They are constantly changing, but we like bands with great melodies, whether that’s The Zombies or Feist or the Supremes.
What was the first album you bought for yourself?
I am pretty sure it was Metal Health by Quiet Riot on cassette. Not sure you can find much to glean any insights about Guster from based on that purchase.
I understand Guster has a liberal taping policy and has a very dedicated and active taping community. Do you guys still maintain that policy or does it vary from venue to venue?
We’re happy for people to tape and spread our shows. I wish our songs varied a little more from night to night for those who choose to do that, but we’re not like improvisational musicians. We’re songwriters who play with good energy live.
Who is in your current playlist? Any artists, musicians or genres we might be surprised to find in there?
We’re really loving albums from amazing singer songwriters that deserve more press:
Kevin Morby “Harlem River”
The Poison Tree “The Poison Tree”
What’s on tap next for you guys? What are you most excited about in 2015?
It’s fun to be back on the road, to feel the love from the fans and have a few surprises come up (last night we were surprised to be on The Family Guy) — but mostly our first European tour, happening in March, is exciting to us. It’ll be interesting to see how many people have been waiting for us to get overseas. Can’t wait.
To learn more about GUSTER , including upcoming tour dates, visit their website HERE .