The Complete and Exclusive 50thirdand3rd Interview with Gabe Fulvimar of ‘Gap Dream’

gabe

About a month ago, Scott gave me the opportunity to do a phone interview with Gabe Fulvimar, otherwise known as the brain of Burger Records’ dream fuzz band, Gap Dream. What resulted was an hour long series of questions, answers, and philosophical tangents, ranging from discussions of GD’s latest album, “Shine Your Light”, to the interconnectedness of all living things. (NS=Me and GF=Gabe)

NS:You guys are doing Psych Fest in May, right?

GF:Yes

NS: How did that come about?

GF: A booking agent I use to have, this guy—Davis, he set that up

NS: Any bands you’re excited to play with?

GF: Umm yeah, a lot of people; I really want to see Primal Scream. I think that’s the one that got my attention the most, and then a bunch of other bands I know, and friends and stuff. I’m just excited to be there because this is the first time I’ve ever been there. I’m just excited to go.

NS: You went on tour last year for Shine Your Light and you’re doing another tour in Europe soon, right?

GF: Yeah we’re trying to get everything together now, we’re going to Europe from April 3 to the 26th and we’ve got some stuff for SXSW, Burger Mania, …we’re trying to get something together for maybe after we do Psychfest so for May or sometime after

NS: Have you ever been to Europe?

GF: No not yet. I haven’t been over there yet. This’ll been my first time ever in my entire life, so I’m pretty excited.

NS: Most memorable tour memory?

GF: That’s a difficult question to answer I mean I like everything, I can’t think of anything funny of the top of my head right now (laughs). You just kinda go on it and then you come back and you just try to forget everything you did real quick. Because, you know how it is, it’s a lot of partying and it’s not really partying; it’s maintaining a mood because we need to play every night. You may not be in the best mood but you have to trick your essence into thinking, “Oh yea I want to be entertaining right now” and that leads to a lot you don’t wanna remember.

NS: “Shine Your Light” really changed up the instrumentation compared to your first album. There’s more synth going on, and the guitar sounds take a back seat. How does the sound transfer live?

GF: Well when I first started recording all this stuff a couple years ago. When I did the first record, I didn’t want to play this stuff live. It wasn’t anything I was trying to pursue on a band. If you’re recording stuff by yourself it’s very easy to get carried away, like with arrangements and all that kind of shit, and it doesn’t matter as much as you think about when you’re recording; but I try to stay clear of that with the anticipation that, “Oh maybe I’ll do Gap Dream live”. So Gap Dream wasn’t a band yet, it was kind of a recording project. When it came time to do that live, I was kind of staying close to the classic approach of a band, like me playing a guitar and no keyboards or anything and just have it be a rock band. And with this record obviously I went a little overboard on everything and I changed the sound up. And when we went on the Burgerrama tour there was the intention of taking a live drummer with us, but that just fell through and we ended up using a drum machine. And I switched from playing guitars to synthesizers, and so now it’s just a three piece with one guitar player, a bass player, and me playing synth and singing; and a drum machine, which not too weird to do in my opinion because I see people do it all the time, but I think people are expecting you know something different, I don’t know, for some reason. We just ended up using the drum machine and it mixes in really well, cuz it was kind of out of necessity, and we were practicing with it and playing with it and stuff and it sounded so natural. It sounded like the record so I kind of made the decision for us.

NS: You used the drum machine on your record too, right?

GF: Yeah on the first record, it’s all drum machine as well, but I try to make it sound more like a natural drum kit.

NS: Listening to it, I wouldn’t even guess it’s a drum machine!

GF: On the first record I tried to remove any quantization on it in order to make it sound less mechanical. But when I listen to it I can hear it. It sounds very mechanical to me. I don’t know how it sounds to someone else. That was kind of because I didn’t want it to be very apparent that it was as drum machine cuz they were, like, demos. They were things I wanted to record eventually with a band, but I just never got a chance to.

NS: Shine Your Light comes off as a really positive record, especially in the lyrical content. Much of it feels very warm, very heartfelt. There was one line, in particular, “When you open your eyes do I seem real/ When you open your eyes am I someone”. I thought that was really great because when you look at someone, scientifically you know that this person is just a compilation of all these atoms, etc. but there’s still something in there, like a seed of life…

GF: There’s consciousness, there’s entity, there’s the motions of everything you feel, everything you think about during the day. That person also think about the same shit. We’re all kind of like supporting characters in each other’s cast, and people kind of forget that, even on a stranger level. Where I’m from, maybe it was just how I raised or whatever, but where I’m from people are more closed off than out in California. I don’t know what’s got to do with that. I suppose it’s because there are more people out here, you know? Where I’m from people are just use to their space, use to their privacy. People aren’t as social. When I moved out here, I had to become sort of re-socialized…like I had to learn a different way of interacting with people. Where I’m from you can get away with just kind of being abrupt or quick and to the point cuz, that’s just how it is. Here it’s like, people want a conversation out of you. I got more use to talking. And that’s what that lyric means. It’s something I think about a lot, you know, how you are perceived by others or how you perceive others. And that song is kind of like more or less about walking out to Starbucks, while I’m walking to get coffee or walking to the places I hang out every day, and the chorus is the thoughts. You know, as you’re walking around with headphones in you tend to have those heavy thoughts, regardless. And that’s what I was trying to communicate there.

NS: I think it definitely comes across that way. I like the way you did that, the verses are you walking and the chorus is the thoughts in your head

GF: There’s usually a narrative, the thing is I’m not a trained songwriter. I’m trained in the stuff I listen to, but I don’t know the right way to, you know…Like, to me, lyrics are difficult. I’m glad that you like them. That’s good because you’re obviously a literary person, I mean you write and you care about words. So to me, I think words are the most important part of the song. There’s all kinds of stuff I love to get myself hung up on like how much distortion am I going to put on this snare head? You know what I mean? (Laughs) I’ll sit there and work 9 hours on getting just the most minor detail correct, and then I’m sitting there with this insanely, mad-man arranged song. And it’s just beautiful, it’s exactly what I want to hear, and then it’s like, “Well what the fuck are you going to do now?!” (Laughs). And that’s exactly what it is, it’s agony. Because the thing is, I know lyrics aren’t as important as the importance I put on them. I listen to a lot of music with really stupid lyrics and I still love it either way. But that’s just because, like you said, the lyrics are from the heart and that’s what I try to do. I try to write from the heart and I try to write about something that I find familiar that I’m hoping other people will find familiar too. And that’s all you can do. You know, throw a penny in the wishing well.

NS: It definitely feels very heartfelt and honest, and that’s the most important thing! I read this book, “Please Kill Me”, that was an oral history of punk rock; and one of the things that kept coming up was that it wasn’t important what the lyrics were so much as the conviction behind whatever the words were.

GF: Totally! That’s why you can listen to the Stooges, and Iggy’s not the best lyricist, but you wanna fucking sing right along with him! And the Ramones are the same way. Like when Joey Ramone sings that gin and tonic is his favorite drink on “Somebody Put Something in my Drink”, I wanna sing along to it cuz it’s a great line. It’s a retarded line, it’s ridiculous! It’s almost like “we’ve got this whole song, Joey, but there’s this one gap and I don’t like that catch so can you think of something else to say?” And he just says, “Gin and tonic is my favorite drink”. And that’s probably not what happened, but that’s how I like to imagine it.

NS: And that’s what makes it so great! It’s strange, or weird, or ridiculous, but it’s honest. It doesn’t matter if it’s “gin and tonic” or something profound that Bob Dylan would say, it’s all the same because it comes from an attitude of “here it is”.

GF: A lot of times when I’m writing lyrics I try to make sure that they’re open-ended enough that they can apply. Like when you hear a song by somebody, and you’re halfway through it and you’re 90% convinced they wrote the song about you. You know when you hear a song you love so much you could just live in it forever. And there’s this one line and it’s something un-relateable or maybe too heavy or too much and you’re just like “ok never mind”. For me, I try to make sure that everything is on a common ground. Like no elevated emotional level. It’s there so people can touch it and feel it along with me.

NS: On the song,”Shine Your Light”, as I read those lyrics, it almost seems as if you’re assuring the listener, “hey, it’s ok”. And listening to that helps bring me to a place of feeling ok with my own insecurities. I don’t know where I was going with that…I guess I just wanted to say thank you!

GF: (Laughs) No problem! I’d like to make more! That song is funny. There’s some humor in that song for sure. I worked at a bar for 6 years. I know what it looks like when somebody is about to go to the dark side. You can just tell. Me and my friend had this joke. We both bartended, and he saw somebody that took a swig of beer, and like their face kind of gets dark and they’re not listening to anything that anyone is saying around them anymore. They’re just delving in this misery, you know, this self-loathing. And we would say “He’s chaaannggging!!” (laughs)
And it’s that scary, seeing somebody turn like that. It’s like, “Now what are they going to do?” And that’s what I’m saying, “When your vision blurs and you lose your sight, shine your light” You know, don’t let it get you; don’t fucking let it get you!

NS: That’s beautiful!

GF: It’s like when someone takes too much acid, and someone says, “Don’t look over there!” (laughs) I mean if you wanna look over there go ahead, but don’t fucking do it!! (Laughs).

NS: Going back to “Shine your Light”. You’ve got several similar song titles, “Shine your light,” “Shine your love,” “Snow your mind,” was there an overall message you were trying to have come across with the album as a whole?

GF: Yeah, in my head I had this big vision that “this is a concept record!” (Laughs) You know what I mean? Cuz when you start working on something you tend to get way too excited about it! I had a big vision that, platonically and visually, bits and parts are from the first record; and that’s what I was trying to communicate the most. When I made this last record, I wanted to communicate that I wasn’t going to make the same record twice. If I’m going to be given the opportunities to make records I want to make each one as different from the other, but still with the same soul, the same entity. So they have a chronology almost. The first record deals with heartbreak on a deep level, on multiple levels that I don’t really want to get into, but I was able to have empathy and feel those things and translate them into music. So with the second one, I didn’t want it to be as sad. I wanted it to be melancholic, but I didn’t want it to be as depressing. The first one’s depressing. I can’t really listen to it now. I listened to it the other night just to go down memory lane. And I love that record, I’m happy I made it, and it did a lot for me. I’m grateful I was able to release it, but when I started doing “Shine your Light”, I wanted the message to be a little less like, “Oh God it’s totally bleak”. I wanted it to be more like, “You know what, it is really fucking bleak, but there’s a lot you can do to change that; and most of it comes from you. It doesn’t come from anybody else but you. And it’s as simple as waking up in the morning and thinking ‘I’m going to have a good day today’”. And I think that changes everything. You know, outlook, perception. I wanted to address that musically. And that seems to be the running theme of it. It’s both light and dark, but trying to concentrate more on the light.

NS: That definitely comes across. I’m really into Zen Buddhism, and it deals with a lot of what you just said. Yeah the world is full of light and dark, but ultimately you consciously choose everything you experience. You are consciously choosing every moment you live. So if you find yourself in a depressed state of mind, you’re choosing to be there. It all starts with you. You are in control of your existence. You kind of create the entire universe with your thoughts.

GF: One would hope so. (Laughs)

NS: How did your relationship with Burger evolve?

GF: Starts back in 2010. Lee from Burger was touring with the first Caravan of Stars tour, and they were playing in Cleveland. So me and my friend went and saw them and met Lee and saw a lot of the Burger bands that I later fell in love with, The Cosmonauts, Conspiracy of Owls, Resonars, and that was the introduction. So I just started ordering tapes from them. About a year later, I had some songs and I ended up keeping in touch with them cuz it was through a mail order, and I think I gave them the wrong address or something and I had been communicating through emails and I thought, “Well this can’t hurt” so I sent them a song and then they ended up liking it, and it was kind of while I was recording it so I would send them songs as I was still recording it. And they put a tape out, and that kind of started everything and then it kind of went crazy. Now I’m living here (laughs). I live in the back, Lee lives in the front, and Sean lives in the back. I live in the BACK back. Sean lives in the back of the shop.

NS: You’re living in the storage unit?

GF: Yeah, and it’s ok, it’s free. And like I said, I’m happy doing what I’m doing. So for me living in a storage room—like it sucks to try and get showers. I got one today so that’s pretty good. I’m here and doing what I’m here to do. I try to keep it that way. There are lot of things that will distract me being out in California. Los Angeles is a major distraction. So I try not to get too caught up going out there too much. There’s a lot of friends, and a lot of partying; and that’s just not gonna get me writing any songs.

NS: Totally!

GF: Fullerton’s really nice cuz there’s really not much to do other than work. So I try stay here and get as much done as I can. It’s hard for me to write a lot cuz it’s been awhile. But I’ve been working on some new stuff now. Like I said, I’m here doing what I’m supposed to be doing. And that’s the best part about it cuz I know I already have what I want, so there’ not much people can offer me to persuade me, and that feels good. To know that every decision I make I try to keep in mind if it’s what I want to happen, or what needs to happen, that it’s not something too soon or it’s not, like, being lured or being tricked.

NS: I saw the Vans “Living off the Wall” clip of Lee and Sean talking about Burger and about how they live there. I thought it was really humble and just totally awesome. It comes off very familial. It really reveals how much love they have for what they do, and I think that is equally reflected in the bands they put out, that humbleness. No bullshit, just good, honest music for music’s sake.

GF: There’s something nice about seeing people doing well, especially in music. But they’re not like driving Mercedes and shit (laughs). Burger is salt of the earth. You know, grassroots. We’re not making as much money as we probably could be, but we’re not freaking out about it. We get what we need. I mean, shit, I had to borrow $30 bucks from the register just to get my phone turned back on. You know what I mean? It’s just the fact that, we don’t want much other than what we already have. If we get to a point where we don’t have to worry about money, that’d be great, but is that even a real thing?

NS: It really isn’t. Money’s always a thing…can you ever really get “enough”? It’s all relative to what you need.

GF: Yeah! It sucks I live in a storage unit, but I’ve got two awesome synthesizers, I can go in and record my stuff whenever I want. I wake up and go to sleep whenever I want, I’m working on music, I’ve got a bunch of friends and we’re all doing music. I get to hang out and talk to the Cosmonauts about making tunes and inspiring each other. This is a real thing!

NS: Yeah! And that’s the way I look at it. It’s like real life, and it’s relevant to the human spirit. That video was really inspiring.

GF: The music business sucks! And you know, it’s not the 60’s, it’s not the 70’s anymore. If there is a Beatles now, they’re going to be broke! They’re not going fucking rich, flying on jets or on the cover of Rolling Stone. Anything that happens now it’s probably going to be uncelebrated, it’s probably going to be unknown, and it’s probably going to be the best thing you’ve ever heard in your entire life! That’s the thing; no one has their ear to the ground anymore. Everyone’s looking on their phone. There’s a lot going on in the world and a lot of people are missing it.

NS: Absolutely. In a way it’s really cool to see what the Internet has done to help that, creating the ability for artists to make their music accessible and people being able to access it so easily.

GF: Yeah it’s great! Things like Bandcamp obviously are perfect! The more I use it, the more I love it. The more I see what’s on there too. A lot of bands where you can’t even get their records anymore, unless you wanna spend $50 bucks on a used record. Hard to find albums that are really great—they’re on bandcamp! The artists have bandcamp pages. That’s my favorite thing—seeing that. Cuz 90 percent of the time I’m looking for some blog that has it up and I can yank it for free—but, “Oh I can give them 6 dollars, I’d rather do that!” (Laughs) You know?

NS: Yeah! It puts everything in the hands of the artists. There’s no label telling you to charge more money for this or whatever. Art should never be this thing that is just so coldly capitalized on. It’s humanity! I think things are good where they are now.

GF: Yeah, it’s like there’s so many bands that are out there, and it’s like, “how many of them are doing something pure?” And I don’t mean that as a loaded question, you know? I don’t even know what the hell I’m doing. You know what I mean? As far as I can tell, I make songs that, for some reason, someone wants to put them out, and, for some reason, someone wants to listen to them and that’s all I can think about. I make them because I want to hear them. Even if I didn’t have a record label to put stuff out on, I’d still be making them.

As promised, here is Part II of my interview with Gabe from Gap Dream. In this portion we talk a bit about his song-writing process, his thoughts about tour as well as being in the studio, and touch on a few other heady, pseudo-philsophical discussions. Enjoy! I’d like to take a second to say a warm-hearted thank you to Gabe for taking the time to do the interview. It was a really fun time! He’s so quick to a laugh, and just a really genuine, down-to-earth dude. Be sure to check out his latest record with Gap Dream, “Shine Your Light”. And if you haven’t already you should also check out his first album as well. To all you cool cats and groovy lionesses out there who weren’t able to check out his set over at SXSW this week, if you happen to be in the Santa Ana area over in sweet, sunny Califonayeaa this time next weekend (22nd-23rd), I’d highly recommend you check out his set at Burgerama, in addition to all the other sick bands that are playing! Last thing, I’d like to also say a genuine thank-you to Scott for setting the interview up! And you know what? Thank YOU for loving music. Yeah, I’m talking to you, you beautiful human, you! Now, without further adieu, here’s part II…
PART II

NS: When you do your work or write your songs, are you the type of person who kind of does a little bit every day, or do you only work when inspiration strikes?

GF: It’s different every day, and every song is different. Sometimes I’ll be laying in bed at 4 AM and go, “Oh my God!” And I’ll run out of bed and turn everything on and I’ll have something going. And sometimes those things turn into things that I can’t finish—I’ll hit a wall and then I’ll scrap it. It just depends. Each song is different. I can’t control it. When I’m going to work on it, or how much I’m going to put in when I do, but I try not to waste stuff because I do have a lot of unfinished ideas, which is a huge bummer-or like things that I won’t do anything with because they didn’t live to a certain expectation. But really, it just depends. I can go three months without doing anything and then all of a sudden one day I’ll have 5 songs. If I try to structure it and say, “OK, I’m going to do this, and this, etc.” I’m too scatterbrain to do that anyway. So I can’t even give myself a schedule like that. For me, it’s like, I wish I could be making stuff all the time. Like Ricky from The Memory, he is a machine. He just comes up with stuff. He’ll write like 40 songs in a week, and I can’t do that, that’s just not how I operate. I always wish I could be like that just because it’d be cool to see how much shit I could come up with, but at the same time, it’s exhausting. A lot of the sounds I use lead to ear fatigue quickly. Like when I did “Sister Ray”. That’s 18 minutes long. Now if you think about that—how many times could you hear an 18-minute long song over and over again? I’d have to do a patch of it, like one part of it, and then I’d have to immediately turn it off, go outside, smoke a cigarette, walk up to get coffee, come back, get stoned and then I could do another one. You know what I mean? Just because it was so much! And that song took forever to work on because it was so lengthy and so repetitive. I can barely listen to it now. I think I’ll need a year before I can hear that one with fresh ears.

NS: Yeah

GF: And that’s a bummer because in order for me to complete it, I really need to not hear it so many times. And some songs are different. Some songs will sit for two weeks. Shine your Love sat for two weeks without vocals. I almost scrapped that song because I couldn’t come up with anything. But that’s the thing. If I have a song, I try to set a reasonable deadline with that song, depending on how complete it is. Like, if it has vocals, and I’m iffy on the vocals, or I want to re-record them, then I’ll just be like, “Stop working on it, wait till tomorrow or listen to it next week and see what you think.” That’s because I work by myself. When I was working with Bobby, it was great because I’d send him stuff, and he’d make cuts. He never really added, but he made cuts, and the cuts that he made were good because the cuts sometimes would be like, completely distracting ideas that could have been things that would be a song on their own. I don’t know…having another set of ears was really helpful. Working alone is difficult

NS: Yeah, I can imagine! On the plus side, I imagine working alone does give you the opportunity to craft your own vision

GF: Yeah it’s good for that because you get what you want out of it—exactly what you want. But sometimes what you want isn’t letting you be done. So that’s always difficult. It’s good to have someone that will make cuts. Like if you’re working with somebody and they tell you that they’ll do that. It’s hard to tell yourself “no”. Working with him kind of taught me how to cut stuff so I’ve become better in that regard. It’s all a learning experience

NS: Do you prefer to be in the studio crafting songs, or on stage playing those songs and getting the response from the crowd?

GF: Umm, I’d rather be recording! (Laughs) I like playing when I’m playing, but I don’t like thinking about how I have to play. I don’t like dealing with myself after I play…you know? Cuz it’s just such an emotional level. Like it’s an insane emotional level. You know, playing live. Comparatively, recording is controlled emotions–like this part is going to sound sad so I can channel that. Live, you’re trying to articulate feelings and emotions through sound, but there’s also way too much anxiety—like your anxiety is way high. That’s why some bands will play faster live—it’s nerve wracking having people watch you. But I love both. I like what both can offer. Playing live is really fun, but it’s one of those things where, like, you’re not recording so, you know, you’re not able to stop the song and redo the vocal track (laughs). So a lot of the time when people will be like “check out this video of you playing!” I’m like “oh, great” (laughs). It’s fun to play live though, it’s fun to do something ridiculous while you’re playing and then Cory, who plays guitar, will laugh, or recognize a joke from earlier, and incorporate it into the set somehow. Also, I kind of like the challenge of playing live. Cuz sometimes you’re setting your shit up and you’re just like, “Oh God…oh God!” and then it’s just like, “No!” right when the song starts in and all of a sudden you feel like Marty McFly coming back to life during “Earth Angel” (Laughs). But everything else that comes with it, like all the party stuff and social stuff…like, “I’m in the baaaanndd” that kind of crap. That stuff gets on my nerves after awhile.

NS: What do you mean?

GF: My dream would be, if there was a gig, like before the gig we would spend three hours hanging out somewhere really relaxing and getting completely stoned and watching a good movie or something to make you laugh, and then going and playing and then immediately leaving, and not having to drink, or not having to be there. Cuz the thing is, it’s like going to Prom every night, you know? (Laughs). You walk in there and no one’s drunk yet, so it’s all tense. And then people start getting their beer and then it’s a little bit all right, and then it gets a little crazy.

NS: I think I know what you mean, especially doing it every day. I could see how that could be really tiring.

GF: EVERY DAY! (Laughs) it’s like, “Oh my God!” (Laughs) I don’t know, it’s good. I have a fun time. I try to have as much fun as I can. I try not to dwell on the stuff that’s a drag, but tour is rough. People don’t realize how hard on your body it is, and how hard on your mind. They think you’re going on vacation or something, but it’s not—it’s work. You’re in the rain and snow, you know what I mean?

NS: It’s not the rock star tour fantasy that everyone tends to think of it as.

GF: You’re on two hours of sleep every day, you’re completely fried, and hung over and exhausted; and your body hurts. You smoke so many cigarettes you feel like your lungs are going to fall out (laughs). It’s like everything hurts, your back hurts, you’ve been sleeping on the floor, you’ve been sleeping curled up in a van…you fell asleep with some dude talking your ear off at 7 in the morning, he was doing blow all night, and you’re just trying to catch some fucking zzz’s. You know what I mean? It just sucks. It’s not what you wanna be doing. And then there’s people you know here in this town, so you want to leave a good impression so you have to try to like muster everything you have to be somewhat pleasant. It’s difficult cuz there’s a lot of expectations. You want it to be a good time, you want to be a good vibe, you want to be approachable if people are coming up and saying “hi” or “hey we liked your set”, you just want to be as out-of-touch with the emotional monster you want to be. (Laughs) Cuz all I want to do is just fucking destroy shit. Like I just wanna go Elvis the fucking backstage room as bad as I can, you know what I mean? But I’m not going to do that because the club was really nice to us, you know? Everything was great and there’s nothing to complain about, but you’re just so wound up.

NS: What are you listening to these days? Are there any artists that you’re currently inspired by?

GF: Hmm, I haven’t been picked up a lot of records lately. A lot of records come through here. I always have difficulty answering this question. So umm…I don’t know that’s all I’ve got for that one, I’m sorry.

NS: You’re fine! Well I know you liked Sonic Youth a lot growing up, do they still have an influence on you?

GF: Umm, not quite…I mean maybe inadvertently. That guitar tone is just etched in my mind forever.

NS: Their guitar tones are incredible!

GF: And you can tell when someone else is trying to do it, it’s like “ok Lee Renaldo, alright” (laughs). They’re a great band. I use to spend hours listening to them, thinking about them. I never wanted to meet any of them because—I’m sure they’re nice—but I didn’t want there to be the slightest bit of, “Oh they’re dicks so I’m just gonna go home and burn everything” (laughs). I yelled at Thurston Moore. He was playing this show last year, and there was a bar right outside next to the stage outside and I was just going “YEAHHHH THURSTON MOORE!!!!!” So that was my little thing for him. I don’t know, they’re cool. They’re a good band…they were a good band. And all the side projects, like Thurston Moore’s solo records are really good, Lee Ranaldo’s solo records are good.

NS: You’re really into King Tuff too, right?

GF: Yeah I love King Tuff. I just heard some new King Tuff the other day in the studio and it was really good; he’s great! We hang out now. I get to hang out with him now (laughs). He was one of the first friends I made through Burger. The first South By Southwest that we went down there, they introduced me to everybody, and we got along really well. We both like to drink coffee, and we’re both silly. He loves to laugh, I like to laugh too. I love hanging out with him, he just got a new house and he’s been getting settled in; and I’ve been waiting for him to tell me he’s got a guest bed waiting for me (laughs). I just saw him last Friday! We went to the Book Fair. Him and his girlfriend, Amy, were there and we were all hanging out. It’s always nice to see him.

NS: Would you say he’s the person you’re the closest with out there?

GF: I’m kind of equally close with everybody, more so with Lee and Sean because I see them frequently; and Bobby as well. But I love running into people. That’s the coolest thing about being out here. It’s like…it’s just funny, you know? It’s crazy! You start hanging out with people— and I don’t wanna name any names—that you really look up to, and it’s so funny cuz it’s just like, “Whoa!” (Laughs) and they just wanna be buddies. It’s the coolest thing! I’ll be secretly sitting there, getting really stoked (laughs). It’s just cool to think about my life compared to how it was a few years ago to how it is now—it’s an entirely different trip in a really crazy way. I can’t complain.

NS: Living the dream!

GF: It’s cool! Burger and all this stuff going on out in California. It’s a trip. It’s weird, I remember when I first moved here a year ago, I was like over here going to sleep and I was thinking about where I was and what I was doing, and I couldn’t believe it.

NS: It’s amazing how fast things can change.

GF: Oh I know! It’s scary, cuz it’s like, “Well what the fuck is coming next?!” I don’t know, I feel like Tarzan (laughs). You know what I mean? You know like, “We found this mutant weirdo in the jungle somewhere, let’s try to rehabilitate him!” (laughs)
Everyone thinks I’m crazy; they have to think I’m crazy! I feel like a wild animal, like, you know when you have a cat that just can’t settle the fuck down? That’s how I am.

NS: (Laughs) I feel like you probably fit in pretty well out there. Everyone’s engaging that lifestyle for the love of it, so I feel like you’re right where you need to be.

GF: Oh it’s crazy. Like New Years Eve. I was hanging out Alex Knost—and I know there’s this level ‘Alex Knost the pro surfer’, like he may as well be Hulk Hogan (laughs)—but I don’t know that, you know? I know him as my boy, Alex! Like, me and him like to hang out and get loose together, you know. He’s a riot, I love him! And I’m sitting there hanging out and it’s New Years Eve, and like, you know, everyone’s taking pictures and putting them up on Instagram and all that kind of crap, and my buddy, nick, texts me and he’s all, “OMG YOU’RE HANGING OUT WITH ALEX KNOST!” And I’m just like, “oh yeah, Alex” (laughs). And it’s cool that I’m hanging out with my friend, Alex, and there’s a connection made for my friend, Nick, to contact me, and it’s New Years Eve and I’m happy to hear from everybody. It’s cool how it works like that. Like how you’re attracted to people and they attract other people, and you realize how small the world is, and how many people you know and how many mutual friends everyone has—it’s wild.

NS: In a sense it shows you how we’re all connected

GF: Totally! People don’t want to admit it, but we are

NS: Physics proves that everything is a series of relations on the quantum level, and I feel like that transfers over to reality and people. Like we’re all recycled stardust from the beginning of the universe. Like at one point, a million years ago, we were all literally connected.

GF: And there’s memories, and De Jah Vu, and all that. Or like you meet somebody and you feel like you’ve known them forever—you did!

NS: Yes, exactly! You totally did!

GF: And we’re not supposed to talk about that stuff, but…(laughs) you know.

NS: Sometimes I think it’s the greatest thing to talk about because it shows that we’re not as isolated as we try to make ourselves out to be.

GF: We’re not as important as we think we are. And that’s the thing, that’s anxiety. And people are conditioned in this time to have high anxiety, and I don’t know for what reason, but I think it keeps everyone distracted from what they should be focusing on.

NS: We spoke earlier about how the internet has helped to change music, so having that said, what do you see for the future of music as well as the future of Gap Dream?

GF: Oh man, those are both questions I can’t answer. I don’t know. Well, for the first question, I would hope that the next generation of people won’t have as much difficulty making a living at this, and I hope to see all of the greed and all of the things that hold music from what it could become…I would love to see all those things eradicated in the next 20 years. I would love to see it just restart and become something that people actually do because they HAVE to do it. I’d like to see things get kind of cleaned out. Like right now, there’s a lot of clutter, and there’s a lot of encouragement for the clutter to start. I would like that disappear. I’d like to see it become more streamlined. I’d like to see people actually buying physical forms of records instead of listening to this shit on Spotify. I’d like to see people buying stereo systems and listening to music on stereo systems instead of listening to it on their laptop. People spend thousands of dollars making their shit sound good, and people turn around and listen to it on their laptop speakers, you know what I mean? I’d love to see people try to take that serious because that’s part of the experience. That’s why it’s been cheapened. You know, music has been cheapened. It’s been boiled down to a file on a computer on a hard drive somewhere. That’s not music, that’s your homework! That’s your stupid text file for your video game that you’re trying to cheat, you know? I’d love to see people take it more seriously. There are people out there who are willing to take it seriously, they just don’t know where to look, they don’t know what to find to take seriously. I hope to see people realizing that they’re missing a lot, and relying on other people to tell them what’s good. I’d love to see them try to make that decision for themselves. I’d like to see more people looking, trying to find better music from the past or from the present. And then for the future of Gap Dream…I don’t know, that’s up to you guys (laughs)

NS: Well I, for one, hope to see you continue to work on your craft and keeping putting records out there!

GF: I think that’s probably what’s going to happen one way or the other.

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Nik

Orlando-based guitar yielder and music slut. I play in the band, A Room Full of Strangers, work at a record store, and write for this blog from time to time.

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