What I Learned at Bandcamp: Gates
Photo by Noa Griffel
New Jersey rockers Gates has self released two EPs in the last three years and plans to release its debut, full-length album through Pure Noise Records at the end of this year.
The five-piece has all of its music on Bandcamp and is currently on tour across the United States. On Monday, May 5, Gates will play at The Underground in Mesa.
The Spec interviewed Ethan Koozer in anticipation of the upcoming show, read what he had to say, below…
How long have you been making music?
We’ve been a band for three-and-a-half years now. We all played in other bands growing up but feel like Gates is the culmination of everything we’ve always wanted in a band. Meeting a group of people who share the same mindset is pretty hard to come by, and we’re really excited to have found that here.
Who/what are your influences?
We all come from very varied musical backgrounds, as well as having grown up in different parts of the country. Kevin and I grew up in the Midwest and moved to the East Coast only a few years ago. I feel like five musicians, all coming from different regions and backgrounds, brings a certain eclectic sound to the table. In that sense, a lot of our influence, in terms of songwriting, comes from within the band by bouncing ideas off of each other. It helps you see things in a way you may have not thought of before.
What is your favorite song you’ve released and why?
To date, my favorite song we have released would be “To Those Who Fell…” and “… And To Those Who Carry On.” I guess it is technically two songs but written as one. “To Those Who Fell…” was based off of a few riffs I wrote years ago. Everyone was really excited on the parts, but there wasn’t much of a song structure and little room for growth. We sat down to expand on it and came out with “… And To Those Who Carry On.” As soon as I heard the vocals for it it sealed the deal.
Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
We spent the entire month of March in Long Island at VuDu Studios with Mike Watts working on our first full-length record. After spending over two years writing, it’s really rewarding to finally see this music coming together as a finished album. We’re aiming for a fall release, and we’d love to see ourselves on the road supporting it as much as possible following that. In the meantime, we’ll be touring with Pentimento and Have Mercy in July, as well as playing Fest again this year in the fall, which is always a great time.
If you could no longer be a musician, what would you be or do for a living?
I have never really figured out what career path was right for me. Music has been eating up pretty much all of my time so it’s hard to say. Lately, I’ve found myself thinking more and more about becoming a firefighter or working for a national/state park once the band wraps up.
What musicians or bands do you look up to?
I look up to any musician that doesn’t follow a certain path or market trends. My influences are so widespread that it’s difficult to pinpoint specific bands or players. A band/songwriter that has been a staple in my life since childhood is Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails. I’ve always admired and looked up to anything and everything he has done in a career spanning well over 20 years.
Why do you make music?
I make music because I always have. It’s something that just spills out naturally and if not, it begins to form a hole in my days. There’s a certain feeling you get while playing music with your best friends that can’t be obtained anywhere else. The fact that we are able to perform and share our passions across the nation and the globe is something I will never take for granted.
Anything else you’d like readers to know that we haven’t asked you about?
Thank you so much to anyone who gives us a listen!