Posted On 13 Oct 2016
The Brooklyn by way of New Zealand quintet, Streets of Laredo (named after the old cowboy ballad) is releasing their sophomore album, Wild, on October 21 via Dine Alone Records, produced by John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) –
“99.9%” is the first single – a timely song about the state of socio/economic world – while their just-released song “Silly Bones“ has more of a sunny-seaside-drive-with-wind-in-your-hair disposition.
Close-knit band and family members Daniel, Dave, and Sarahjane’s story is one of rebirth, just like the song they’re named after…Disillusioned from his multi-platinum/award-winning band Elemeno P (New Zealand’s highest selling native artist before Lorde), older brother/drummer Dave called it quits on the music business. But he was drawn out of early retirement when he saw younger brother Dan suffering from the same disillusionment but from a struggling artist position.
The phoenix rose and moved to New York and named itself Streets of Laredo. The band’s debut record was critically acclaimed and saw them tour with Shakey Graves, Kaiser Chiefs, & Albert Hammond, Jr, etc..
“Their music is so unabashedly heart-on-the-sleeve warm and genuine it will burnish even the most tarnished and cynical of souls.” – VICE/Noisey
Learn more about Streets of Laredo in the following All Access interview:
Now that we are entering the fall of 2016, what are some words you would use to describe this year? What have been some of the highlights for the band?
DAVE GIBSON: All I can think of to describe this year is how crazy the politics have been. How completely insane that mad man is (I can’t bring myself to say his name). Being that we’re New Zealand citizens, we can’t vote, so we just have to sit here and watch. That’s probably been the prevailing words I would use to describe this year. Insane. Highlights for the band is finishing our new record. Low lights are not being able to vote.
Growing up, did you all always want to be musicians? Can you recall your earliest musical memories?
DAVE GIBSON: At first I just wanted to be a rugby player, like most good New Zealand kids, but our parents had different ideas, and really encouraged (pushed) both Dan and me into music from an early age. I really didn’t like it at first, but by the time I hit high school something changed in me, and I really started to identity with being a musician. High School was actually where I meet Cameron who joined Streets a couple of years ago. We actually had our first ever band together, and would jam a lot together at our house with my little brother Dan (who would have been about 7 at the time) jumping in on various instruments with us when he could.
How did Streets of Laredo first come together? How did you come up with your band name?
DAVE GIBSON: Being brothers, Dan and I had always talked music together and run ideas past each other, but we were both in these other bands for a long time, so the opportunity to write together formerly didn’t really come up. Then our other brother Ben was getting married, and Dan invited Sarah and I to work on a song with him called “I’m Living” for the wedding.
We worked on it for a couple of weeks, and performed i,t and it felt pretty special. That song ended up being on our first record, and I guess started what would become Streets of Laredo. Sarahjane came up with the name, taken from the old folk song “Streets of Laredo”. We liked what the song was about, nicknamed “The Cowboys Lament”. It’s about an old, dying cowboy giving advice to a young, up and coming cowboy. I’ll let you guess who’s who in that analogy.
I’m curious to know what it was like moving the band from New Zealand to New York?
DAVE GIBSON: Not easy. but ultimately worth it. We love NY, we miss New Zealand, and hopefully in the near future we get to go back home a bit more often.
Next month, you will be releasing your sophomore album, “Wild” via Dine Alone Records. Can you talk about putting this record together? What was the inspiration for these songs?
DAVE GIBSON: We spent a lot of time on the actual writing for this album. There are four song writers in the band, and I think all of us were ready to create something fresh and most importantly new. We didn’t want to make the same record twice. We wanted to be brave, and explore what we could actually do.
We had to cull a lot of potential songs before we met with our producer, John Agnello, and started recording the album. The songs were inspired by many things. I think we felt free to say whatever was moving us or thought needed to be said. We talk a lot about our humanity on this record, our personal complexities, and the misguidedness of us all. We talk a lot about how trying to live well, and that’s the common theme that stands out to me.
Specifically, how did your collection’s first track “99.9%” come together?
DAVE GIBSON: This song started in one of those classic, back of a napkin type of ways. I was at a bar in the East Village, and I had just meet Robert Mapplethorpe ex-boyfriend. There was this poet, who’s a regular, and he was yelling on his phone, something about his building and how they’re all gonna die anyway. I had just finished my day job, and wasn’t feeling great, but this scene all started to feel pretty damn New York, and I scribbled down some word that would become 99.9%
How do you think “Wild” is different then your first collection? How have you as a band grown? What about the band dynamics, have they changed at all since you first formed?
DAVE GIBSON: Yeah Wild is quite a bit different from the first record, and that’s been influenced in no small part through the addition of Cameron on electric guitar. Cameron quite by chance moved to NYC a few years ago, and within a week he was playing with Streets of Laredo. Cam bought a real fruitiness and fresh approach this record, the timing of which definitely coincided with the rest of the band wanting to explore new sonic landscapes.
Do have plans to tour to promote the forthcoming record? Where can fans see you perform next?
DAVE GIBSON: New York fans can see us on October 21st at the Brooklyn Bazaar, and we plan to tour the States and Europe Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb, the details of which are still under wraps.
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music? Who would you still love to work with in the future?
DAVE GIBSON: Right now, the band I’m most inspired by and most excited to hear their new album is Bon Iver. The two songs he’s released in anticipation of the new record are just exceptional, completely unique, and like nothing else out there at the moment. So, I guess that means we’d really like to work with Justin Vernon in the future, and hopefully the near future.
When you aren’t performing, working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? How do you unwind from it all?
DAVE GIBSON: I like to build tables. Dan likes surfing, mainly down at Rockaway. Sarahjane has a penchant for dancing, and Cam likes to Sail. Andy and Sean like to come up with funny characters with unusual voices, and entertain us with them for months at a time.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
DAVE GIBSON: I don’t think we really have an over riding message per se. We just aim to be honest, and authentic in what we do. It’s our hope that in doing so it will connect with people, and they can take from it what they take.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
DAVE GIBSON: Not really, just thank you for taking the time to read these words I am currently typing, and enjoy the music.