Thursday, April 23, 2015

Q&A with GOBI's Chuco Phil

GOBI is an indie electronic trio based in Austin, Texas who create their own brand of electronic dance music by adding the dimension of rap delivered by vocalist Chuco Phil.  GOBI's debut release Gold on Black Ice (Deluxe) LP adds new depths to their signature style; the bass and beats still bring fans to the dance floor while Justin Dillon contributes analog synths and digital plug-ins for a little nod to electronic music of the past.  Drummer Matthew Kevin Dunn adds a live element to the production.
GOBI describes their music as a direct fusion of their interests and love for artists they have been influenced by.  GOBI is very inspired by the early house music often played in the clubs in Juarez, Mexico when they were growing up.  Chuco Phil explains, "We all grew up loving the Deftones and although our music is not rock and does not include heavy guitar, the keys we use and the darkness that some of our beats have in them was definitely influenced by their music."  GOBI also listened to gangsta rap, hi-hop and turntablists as they were growing up.  "Naturally we negotiated ways to create a sound and vibe that we hope touches on all of our influences and loves," says Chuco Phil.
In a city known for music, the band's energy fueled live show garnered them Austin Music Foundation's "Artist of the Month."  Last summer the mayor of Austin even declared June 6th as "GOBI Day!"  GOBI has shared the stage with some artists know to Knix Mix fans such as MSRTKRFT, Paper Diamond, and Big Gigantic.  GOBI has performed at numerous festivals including Insomniac's Nocturnal Fest, Neon Desert Music Fest, and the Pachanga Music Festival.  GOBI's re-release of their debut LP Gold on Black Ice with five previously unreleased songs became available on February 10, 2015.

Ten Questions and Answers with Chuco Phil of GOBI!
  1. Favorite band?  Deftones
  2. What is your earliest music memory?  My earliest memory of first really “feeling” music is when I was about 3yrs old.  My mom took me to a nearby Indian reservation in New Mexico.  There was a ceremony going on where they had built a fire, and there were dancers in traditional garb.  Most of the music was simply made from a group of men humming and singing a simple melody, but the drums…the drums seemed to possess my body.  Before I knew it, I was dancing around the fire with the men.  My mom told me to stop, but one of the dancers said that it was fine.  That was probably the first memory I have of truly being inspired by music beyond logic and comprehension.  It was also the first time I learned how you can meet new and interesting people through music; how communal and nurturing the whole music culture should and can be.
  3. What was the first band you saw in concert?  My dad took me to see Alan Jackson when I was five, but my first concert that I chose - rather begged - to go to was Pearl Jam.  The Ramones was the opening band.  Pure rock amazement!
  4. What hobbies and interests do you have?  We love to get out of the city and get into nature - mainly because we are obsessed with space.  When we tour through the Midwest, we often stop at our drummer’s dad’s house out in Clay Center, Kansas.  We love to drive out to the fields, have some smoke and some cold ones and just look up in awe.  When you can see the belt of the Milky Way, you can really put a lot of things in perspective.  Suddenly problems seem to dissipate and inspiration grows.  If you follow us on Twitter, we are always tweeting about new discoveries in our galaxy and the infinite galaxies beyond.
  5. Do you have a nickname?  I go by “Chuco Phil,” Justin goes by “Dillon,” and Matt goes by “Dunny.”  So, yeah, I guess we all have nicknames.
  6. Favorite food?  We love Mexican food.  Growing up on the border, you could never have Christmas without tamales.  We’ve come to the conclusion that the best gorditas come from a small spot in Canutillo, Texas named - quite appropriately - The Little Diner.
  7. Favorite book?  Right now, our favorite book is Ready Player One.  We have read it a few times and have listened to the audible version on the road multiple times.  My favorite book of all time would have to be The Fountainhead.  I’ve read it over four times but not because of the political themes or rhetoric.  I love the idea of Howard Roark and how uncompromising, unique, groundbreaking, and individualized he is with respect to his craft of architecture, which is his art.
  8. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?  This one is tough because we read a bunch of comics.  I was always fascinated by telepathy, but after a while my own thoughts drive me nuts, so this would end up most likely being a curse.  I once read a comic about Gambit and in the comic they noted that one of his highest powers was his charm.  I thought that was hilarious, but as an adult I realize how powerful that can be.  Just ask George Clooney or Bill Clinton.
  9. Best compliment ever received?  When the crowd instantly begins to dance is not only the greatest immediate feedback, but also the best compliment we can receive.  Quite simply - dancing is like being on a jet ski, and you can’t be mad when you’re on a jet ski.
  10. Biggest misconception about you?  A lot of people think since we play electronic music that all we do is DJ, go to clubs and listen to music that goes “oonce, oonce, oonce” all day and night.  But being born in Texas and being classically trained in different instruments, we love to check out jazz artists, bluegrass, rock, and classical.  We like to switch instruments when we practice and just jam out; to reach that point of spontaneity and get back to improvisation.
Follow GOBI on Twitter and Instagram using @GOBIband  
Check them out on Facebook!
Visit GOBI's website for tour dates and more information!

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