Houston Calling

10 Questions for Gerling

July 12th, 2004 · No Comments

It seems like a lot of bands have been coming to America from Australia recently to gain a wider audience. There’s been The Vines and Jet, End of Fashion and Ground Components, Silverchair–like I said, there’s a lot of bands from Australia trying to make a name for themselves in the USA. But one that’s been around longer than most of those bands, you’ve probably never heard of. They’re called Gerling.

Gerling have been together since the early nineties and have been steadily making a name for themselves in their native Sydney and around Australia (and Japan as well). Gerling is currently touring to support their newest album, Bad Blood !!!. They’ve played U.S dates with The Suicide Girls, The Pleased and The Shore, and are now touring with Canada’s The Red Light Sting.

The show stops in Houston this Thursday night (July 15th). It is sure to be a rocker, so be sure to come out to Mary Jane’s Fat Cat. Doors are at 8, cover is $8. Houston’s By The End of Tonight will get the show started around 9 p.m.

Gerling’s Darren Cross was kind enough to answer a few questions for Houston Calling. Hope you enjoy.

Ten Questions for Gerling

HC: How did Gerling get started?

Darren: Gerling was formed in the outer western suburbs of Sydney, Australia, at the peak of grunge in 1992, by three teens who dabbled in metal and rock in their formative years but were warped by an independent radio show whose signal barely bled out to the Gerling homeland.

The weekly transmission exposed them to the classic first outings from twisted west coast guitar geeks, Truman’s Water. Combined with a steady diet of early pre-slanted Pavement, Sonic Youth, and Huggy Bear, the trio set up their equipment in a warehouse in an industrial estate and created a chaotic and joyous noise that was certainly unheard of in metropolitan Sydney up until then.

Darren Cross, Paul ‘presser’ Towner, and wunderkind Burke Reid set about remapping the geography of Australian music by going where ever the hell they wanted.

Never having relied on, well, reliable equipment or technology, Gerling invested in battered analogue keyboards; moog copies and farfisas came and went as did 4-track technology. Way before digital sampling and looping came into the common vocabulary, Gerling were three teens with a pause and record button, a cassette 4-track, and splicing knives.

HC: What do consider to be your musical influences?

Darren: Tom Waits, Sonic Youth, The Carpenters…mostly anything that we like…we love music…every style.

HC: You guys have been making albums as Gerling since the mid-nineties, which in my opinion is a long time to stay in the music business these days. To what do you attribute Gerling’s longevity? Do you have any particular advice for bands just starting out?

Darren: For bands starting out, make you sure you understand everything that is happening–from merchandise to record company stuff. Make sure everyone has the same goals and don’t spill beer on your record contract.

HC: Your latest album, Bad Blood !!!, was just released in the U.S. (Tuesday, July 13th). How do you think the album compares to your previous records, such as Headzcleaner? How you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it before?

Darren: Bad Blood !!! is darker than Headzcleaner. Also, we don’t have any guest vocalists on Bad Blood !!!, where on Headzcleaner we have Kylie Minogue, Kool Keith, and Solex.

We hate describing our music–we leave that up to you.

HC: You toured with The Pleased earlier in the year and now are on tour with The Red Light Sting. How have the shows been received so far on the tour? Any interesting stories yet?

Darren: The shows have been going incrediably well. Most people seem to get right into us and shake their asses by the end of our set. Since we’ve been here we’ve met Lionel Richie, shot a Magnum, saw a forty-year-old Mexican breakdance to “Black Magic Woman,” went to Charles Bukowski’s grave, ate the biggest pizza slice, collectively downed 45 beer bongs, became pirates, heard Gary Coleman tell where to get free cash, hi-fived Robin Williams, listened to Appetite for Destruction six times, scared 12 maids, lost our minds, and slept in the desert next to Rattlesnake Jake.

HC: What’s your take on the state of the music industry? Are you for or against the MP3 “revolution”? How are you using the internet as a tool to market yourself?

Darren: Well, we just downloaded 9,023 songs from our hotel’s free high speed internet service. We don’t use the internet as a marketing tool really–we have a website and that’s it. We are pretty indie when it come to that kind stuff. The internet is awesome–we are addicted to information.

HC: If you could have any band cover one of your songs, what song would it be and what band?

Darren: Elton John, Tom Waits, Olivia Newton-John, 2 Live Crew, and The Pogues singing with Slayer as the back-up band playing our song, “Blood on the Microphone.”

HC: What is the one description that you hate to hear about your music?

Darren: [no comment]

HC: What’s next for Gerling? More touring?

Darren: Go back to Australia and do some all ages shows. Probably go to Japan. Write a new album.

HC: What is in your CD player right now?

Darren: 9,023 downloaded songs. Really, Guns’N’Roses, Michael Jackson, Olivia Newton-John

Thanks again to Darren for taking the time to respond. And to Ever for making it happen.

Be sure to check out Gerling’s new album, Bad Blood !!!. And those in Houston can catch Gerling this Thursday night (the 15th) at Mary Jane’s Fat Cat on Washington Ave. with The Red Light Sting and Houston’s own By The End Of Tonight (these guys seriously rock so come early and show your support).

This Wednesday night around 10 p.m., Mansion is playing at The Proletariat as part of Commune Music. Come out and show your support for local music.

Now Playing in My iPod: Gun CrazyDropping Like Flies

Tags: Music