First of all, thanks for your time, Trip. We really appreciate it.
“Thank you for the support you’re showing all of us in Gears.”
Before we speak about the EP in detail, the title, ‘Pride Comes Before The Fall’, intrigued me from the off, in particular the use of ‘the’ rather than the normal ‘a fall’. It points to a more personal story. Did it have anything to do with the horrific crash you guys had or something else?
“The title”Pride Comes Before The Fall” came about due to all the obstacles we have come across since we formed Gears. We experienced the crash of our tour bus crash just as we were beginning our very first tour as Gears, causing us to lose our gear as well as the bus and missing out on three performance dates, several tour bus breakdowns, financing our own tours and coming back home thousands upon thousands of dollars in debts, couch surfing at strangers’ houses, being away from our family and friends, and the change of our line up, just to name a few. For this band being two years old, we’ve gone through a lot of shit, hence “Pride Comes Before The Fall”
Sticking with the crash for a moment, it must have had a massive impact on you as a band. At the time you got straight back on the horse and continued the tour. Did it hit you all later, and did the band members all deal with it differently?
“I guess we all dealt with it in our own way. As for me, when I got back home, I was in a lot of pain. My back was all fucked up, and I still had a black eye. I kept wondering how the fuck we survived that crash, it was brutal. However, it felt like a great accomplishment. That crash and the tour that follow tested both Jimmy’s and my character, and we passed with flying colors. Not that I welcome any more struggle, but I know we can endure whatever comes to us. I know for a fact that Jimmy and I are in it for the long haul, and that my friend is all I need to keep me going.”
Back to the EP now. I have to say it was one of my favourites of last year and I was delighted to stumble upon it. How has the EP gone down with fans and the industry alike?
“Thank you man, we appreciate that. The EP is going well. Fans are loving it, and the response from people in our industry have been positive, with little to no negative criticism. When you have a beast of a producer such as Corey Lowery (Saint Asonia, Dark New Day, Eye Empire, Stereomud, Stuck Mojo) and one of the greatest guitarist, top 5 in my book, Troy Mclawhorn (Evanescence ,Seether, Dark New Day, and doubleDrive) on your record, how can you fuck that up! [Laughs]In all honesty, and all jokes aside, this EP compared to our first EP “Set In Motion” was a game changer for us. Corey Lowery made us in step up our game in a seamless cool way, and we fucking had a great time while doing it.”
͞’Face Down’ was used as a single, and you took a very inventive way to push the lyric video, and convey the story behind the song. I am seeing more and more bands reflect on society and the (anti) social networks. Many times over the years I have said, “That’s it, enough of this shit!” and contemplated closing all accounts… and to be fair the only thing that stopped me was that a huge part of this job is based around social media, so it makes it very difficult to withdraw completely. Do you feel it is very much a double-edged sword?
“Like everything else in life, social media has positives and negatives to it. I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. I feel that the problem lies within the people that abuse it, and that’s what our first single “Face Down” from our EP “Pride Comes Before The Fall” is all about. I feel society depends too much on negative information. We are more focused on who’s doing what, so they we can subconsciously compare our lives to others’, and get an instant gratification, instead of living our own. As we say in America, “keeping up with the Joneses”. Everywhere you look, people are buried into their phones, looking at what?! Searching for what?! We are slowly, but surely, losing the art of human interaction.”
Too true. Now, the band is not short on changing line ups (no mention of Spïnal Tap), but do you feel you are a settled team now? What are the differences with the new line up?
“Oh yeah man, by far! Chris Dorame and Ethan Vega are very chilled, and come with the same mindset and goal that Jimmy Wooten and I have, which for Jimmy and I, that’s important.”
When you got Gears together you kind of bucked the trend of playing every pub, club, and venue in your own hometown, and decided to go straight on the road. Why this approach?
“We all come from other seasoned bands that have done the “playing in your hometown, creating the following” type thing and we were bored of that. We decided to take the “If it’s going to work it’s going to work. If not, we will find out” approach. We just didn’t want to waste time, being that all the members in Gears are from different parts of the U.S. It kind of of forced us to start that way, and I’m happy we did!”
Talking of touring, I am stuck in a very cold Scotland, and I keep seeing all the gigs you do… are there any thoughts to getting your asses over to the UK/Europe?
“We can’t wait to tour Europe! We are currently working on that, most likely in the Fall [Autumn] of 2017.”
2016 has been a complete bitch, with the loss of some absolute legends. Although Prince was never really linked to the rock/metal world, I have been surprised by the amount of tributes. I know he was also a huge influence on you. Why do you think he has been so accepted by our kind? Is it purely the talent of the man?
“I’ve been listening to Prince from a very young age. Prince to me is the ultimate musician, and I have high regards for his talent and his work ethic. It’s funny how hardly anyone would ever speak of him as an influence until now, and like you, I was very surprised on how many people he has touched with his music, and as a humanitarian. I believe the reason a lot of musicians can relate with him is because he has mastered a little of bit everything we are known to do in the music world. I will miss him dearly.”
On a happier note, a personal congratulation goes out to you with the birth of Atlas. You definitely come over as very family orientated. Is this your sanctuary, and how do you cope with leaving/coming home to the family?
“Thanks, brother. Debbie and I are extremely happy with our new addition, Atlas Sixx. Leaving your family and friends is always difficult and challenging to say the least, however I feel giving up on your passion is far worse. Whenever I come back home from the road, I try to spend as much physical time with my family and loved ones as possible. That, for me, is my balance. I am blessed to have a very understanding partner and famz by my side who support and believe in me, and for me, that’s key!”
So what is all this exciting news you keep going on about (as he digs and delves for some sliver of information)?
Oh man, super stoked!!!… I can’t say just yet though. You would have to stay in contact via our social media. [Gears website is HERE ]
Dammit! Okay, we’ll have to wait, I guess. Now, it has all been EPs as far as Gears are concerned… when do we get a full length?
“We would love to do a full album. Perhaps late this year.”
OK, we do like to finish on a slightly different note here at DGM, so with a little play on the band name, what’s one thing, outside of the music industry, that grinds your gears?
“Working a 9 to 5 mundane job!!!!”
Haha! Fair one. Well, thank you again for your time, and I really do hope to see you on these shores some day soon.
“Hey man, great interview. You did your homework. Looking forward in meeting you [on the road] in the near future. Thank you!”
Interview Ritchie Birnie]]>