let's Go To Town!
Lucky Lawler interviews
and photographs Go To Town, one of the top bands in New York City!
I met Go To Town at Fanelli's pub in Soho and discovered a common quest in the great
joy of imbibement. They are a great fun band to have a shot or two with.
As we drink they talk about
having just come out of the recording studio and are awaiting record company attention;
so take note, any interests should jump on this band and grab 'em before someone
else does! They've got it all! Dirty - sexy - deep - great body (I'm talking about
the music - okay, okay the band too!) - listening to the initial mix, it wasn't just
one song or another, it feels whole, a complete body of work. The music has great
feeling to it. Elle has a real hungry voice with real 'grrrrr' in it.
In the words of Eartha Kitt
Go To Town is
Elle: Vocals - Gin: Bass - David: Drums - Charles: Guitar
Elle: Things have been happening a lot lately. Lots of press. And weíve been
taking time to find a new guitar player. (Charles)
People have likened your voice to Chrissie Hinde?
Elle: Mmm, yeah, apparently. It's much better than Chrissie (kidding!) We
don't have the chick soft acoustic stuff.
Gin: More screaming.
Elle: Yeah, more screaming. I find that a huge complement, but everyone has
their own unique voice. Every band is different. It's so hard for musicians, or any
artist, (to deal) with comparisons.
Yeah, it's awful that people have to put you in a box. You sound like you!
Elle: We've even had people say our rhythm is like Led Zeppelin!
You're all from outside NY.
Elle: Everyone of us is a transplant. When we got our new guitarist we asked
him "are you from NY, because if you are..." no, not at all, we all just
happen to be southern/southwestern. Charles is originally from Texas, I'm Colorado,
Gin is from New Mexico and David is from South Carolina. He's a real southern guy.
I think it's funny because I wouldn't have guessed, meeting with any of these people,
that they're obviously not from NY, because we all have NY hearts, in a lot of ways,
even though we are complete transplants. I think that's what's so cool about NY,
it's the land of the misfit toys. You know, if you didn't quite fit in where you
came from, come here!
Yeah, everybody fits in here!
Elle: That's right! And half the time I meet New Yorkerís theyíre like, wow,
youíre from Colorado? Why did you ever leave? I'm like, well, you'd probably fit
in Colorado actually, oddly enough being a New Yorker! Yeah, man, it's very odd!
Gin: They'd freak-out in the space though!
Elle: I was bored and ignorant - and young, and thought NY sounded like fun.
David: I'm still living in that state.
Elle: Yup, 'The Bored And The Restless'.
Gin: If I wasn't such a good whiskey drinker... this wouldn't be. We met because
of the International bar on 1st ave. and I was in there every day. The bartender,
Joey, gave me a call to tell about a band that needed a bass player.
Elle: Thank god for tha; she heard me boohooing about need a bass player,
and she said, "oh, I have the perfect person for you."
David: I think where we are from translates into our music, you get that feeling
of all parts of America. I mean we're not like a 'freedom rock' or anything donít
get me wrong!
Oh, please, donít be! Thatís a frightening thought! So what brought you all to
NY? You met here?
Gin: We wanted to get the hell out of where we lived.
David: (always one to come up with a witty quip or is he being serious?) I
came here because I wanted to 'rock the world!'
Charles: I was playing drums in a band so I moved up here to play with them,
but then I split off.
And now you are the lead guitar in this band. Thatís quite a compliment to David
and Gin, the rhythm section. You must like their timing.
Charles: Yes, heís totally tight.
So we can dance to the music?
Charles: Oh, yes. Even better as we get together more and all start to mull
and express our sense of rhythm, 'cause David's really up. Really up. Way, way, way
up. I'm more in the middle ground, a bit reggae and like slower, so now like together,
if I pull back a little bit, and he pulls me forward and we meet half way, then it's
Elle: It's funky as hell! Gin's bass lines are so funky.
Charles: We have the tightest rhythm section in music. There is no other rhythm
section that is as tight as we are. And I'm not saying that in jest or because I'm
in the band, or any of that.
To play guitar with a drummer that plays something that you could do yourself,
thatís a real compliment.
Charles: He's unique. He does his own thing. It's a very special thing that
he does that I would never do, I would come close to doing that, but it would end
up slightly different. That's what makes the dynamic.
Elle: We are four different strong voices. And we find a middle ground, where
it's like I might suggest something to Charles, and David might write a lyric to
a song, or Gin might say to David, try this idea, but we all play our own instruments
with each other.
Charles: We are the audience of each other. I might play something and say
to Gin, Dave, Elle, like are you fucking feeling this? Because if you're not, are
you feeling this? And we all do that until we are all feeling it, and when we play
for you you are feeling it too.
Oh, I hope so, I can feel it now. I want to hear it! You're driving me nuts!
Elle: And that's what it's all about, because if the four of us all think
that everything in a song is bad ass, if I think, omegod, Charles' line and David's
drums and Gin's bass and my vocals is just like the best we can possibly make it
and the coolest that it can be for this song, then, who's not going to get excited
about that. Who's not going to hear that.
It's a really good balance too, 2 girls & 2 boys which is... is it common
now? Itís getting less important.
Elle: It brings it into proper perspective. There's the mainstream of rock
and especially pop and all the girls are just the 'candy'. They don't write their
own stuff, they might just sing - they might even have their voice treated with all
the different things; but it's only an underground thing having women who are really
great musicians, it's so rare up 'til, you know, I don't even know when. They've
been around, but it's not up there in the main.
Gin: I think we are finally sick of it, you've got to write your own shit!
I think we're finally crossing over, but you've got to be a bad ass band, better
than most people to somehow be able to go as far as an all guy band.
Do think thatís happened, do you think that women have to work twice as hard as
men to get there? That old adage?
Gin: You've got to work hard to prove yourself. But how many people that I
talk to ask 'do you have a male or female singer?' knowing that I'm a girl bass player
and they have a different perception of me when I say it's a girl.
David: It's never been a topic within our own band. It's not like there was
this pre-conceived idea of 'we'll have a girl singer, and a girl bass player and
two guys', no it's just way this came together.
It did used to be like that, like during the Heart era. It really was thought
out, we're going to be a 2 girl 2 boy band and that's it.
Gin: I think it's more about if the right singer, bass player, guitar, drums
came along is the right player, it doesn't matter what you look like.
Although it helps if you look good! And you obviously look good!
David: But in those bands, like Heart, the 2 girls dominated the band. In
our band it is so different.
David: Yeah, there is so much more interplay between songwriting etc. there's
not like a leader of the band. There might be someone who puts more time into something,
but it's never a figurehead. I guess we're kinda naive in thinking we'll last that
way, that is kind of an ideal that we want to keep.
Gin: Yeah, I want it to last that way.
David: We want that to be our main focus, the quality.
Gin: Non-gender. It shouldn't matter.
How long have you all been playing?
Charles: You mean music? All my life.
David: Since twelve years old.
Gin: I've been playing bass for less than 2 yrs, but music since sixth grade
on, the flute, guitar.
What are your favorite pastimes?
Charles: probably sex.
What's your favorite position?
(All the girls cheer and clap!)
David: I enjoy reading, long walks on the beach, quiet nights at home, a warm
Gin: What's that, your personal ad?
Gin, do I dare say your favorite is drinking gin?
Gin: Whiskey! Straight up, no ice!
Elle: We share that, whiskey no ice thing in common. But I like beer too.
(Not being able to afford the motorcycle, fast car, skydiving kicks they stick to
bar tab thrills. Gotta remember to buy them a drink, fans, when you see them at a
Elle: This town is a really good drinking opportunity! I mean, I could drink
or not drink. Why not drink!
You don't seem to be enjoying your drink Charles?
Charles: Hmm, well, most of the drinks I drink aren't readily available. I
like Belgium beer.
What's the worst job you've ever had?
David: A pizza delivery boy.
Oh, I remember the name of a porno film called "The Pizza Boy, and boy does
Elle: That's hard, the pizza boy fantasy, I could go there! I was a cigarette
girl at the Sound Factory, Chaos and all those really bad club. It was no money.
In the days of smoking in clubs you made no money.
Elle: Yeah, and you had to wear a costume, a tutu and a hat.
Gin: I used to train circus tigers in Albequerque.
Get the fuck outta here! And did one ever bite you? What do you think of Roy?
Gin: Poor Roy.
David: Me, Me, Me!
Okay, your turn.
David: I used to sell ads for a fake yellow pages, it was horrible. I did
it for about three weeks and left. They wouldn't pay me until after a month, so I
Charles: I just want to clarify one thing... Sex is not my favorite pastime.
Listening to music and reading and French cinema.
David: I want to be on tape. I want to talk! I want to be a rock star. I want
everything. I want it all, darling!
You know what, I've got to say one thing. You ain't that bored, and you ain't
that boring and you ain't that restless, you're all full of these really interesting...
David: (cutting in in the worst English school boy accent) Once again, I want
to be fucked, I want everything, I want chocolate bars, I want the golden goose!