Creating a unique sound in today’s music industry can be a difficult task, but Florida Punk outfit Gouge Away have been making waves and pushing boundaries since bursting onto the scene in 2012. The band unites influences like Fugazi, Radiohead, and Paint It Black to create a dynamic sound unlike any other.
Following up their second LP Burnt Sugar, released in late 2018, Gouge Away most recently put out 7″ “Consider” with an excellent cover of Pixies “Wave of Mutilation.” Taking some time out, Bassist Tyler Forsythe recently sat down to talk about their new music, the state of the industry, and staying creative during quarantine.
Cryptic Rock –Would you mind starting by telling us a bit about your journey with Gouge Away?
Tyler Forsythe – My journey with Gouge Away started in 2017 after they had been a band for about four years. We started writing our last record Burnt Sugar as soon as I joined and we’ve been super busy ever since.
We’ve had some lineup changes, traveled to new places, made amazing friends, and learned a lot over the last few years. We’re currently writing for our next LP and I’m so stoked on what we have so far. Very thankful I get to create with such talented people who all play an important role in what our sound is.
Cryptic Rock – It is very exciting to hear that we will have even more new music soon. Sadly, you recently had a nationwide US tour with Circa Survive and Polyphia postponed. How has the pandemic affected you as a band and what things are you doing to stay sane?
Tyler Forsythe – As I’m sure it’s done the same for most other bands, the pandemic has completely halted our plans. We just had another tour officially cancelled today. Recording this next record is a big priority for us and after pushing that back a couple times we’re at the point where we have to just wait and see when we can go ahead and book studio time. It’s all frustrating and stressful but we’ve been trying to write at home and are trying to stay productive. Personally I’ve been working a lot, cooking, spending time with my partner and dogs. Thankfully staying busy and sane.
Cryptic Rock – Definitely a difficult time for everyone, but in particular, how do you think the music industry, especially independent music, will be affected in the long-term by COVID-19?
Tyler Forsythe – Sadly I have a feeling we’ll all suffer the effects for a while. I wouldn’t be surprised if shows were smaller in general and if independent artists had to operate on even smaller budgets than they’ve had in the past. On a positive note, it seems like this whole thing has been unifying in a way. Like everyone is kind of coming together to find ways to support independent music in general and that gives me hope.
Cryptic Rock –That level of support and community is what music is all about, after all. Most recently, you released a 7” featuring a new track “Considered” along with a cover of Pixies “Wave of Mutilation,” which is an extremely fun take on the classic song. What the recording process like for these tracks?
Tyler Forsythe – The recording process for the 7” was super quick and easy thanks to Jack Shirley (Atomic Garden recording studio). We knew we liked his approach and process after doing “Burnt Sugar” with him. We were on tour, so we only had one day in the studio to knock out those two songs along with two other demo songs and he made it happen. We tracked it all live to tape at his amazing new studio that we can’t wait to go back to.
Cryptic Rock – Hopefully you all can get back in the studio soon! Speaking of new music, each Gouge Away release is an extreme sonic progression from the last. While , Dies is gut-punching Hardcore, Burnt Sugar takes that and blends it with an ton of other influences including ’90s Rock and Grunge. What are some of your major influences right now and how do you see your material evolving going forward?
Tyler Forsythe – Collectively we tend to draw from bands like Sonic Youth, Chavez, Fugazi, Paint It Black, Radiohead, none of which are too surprising probably. Individually we have different influences which is beneficial to our sound and writing process. These range from pop, electronic, noise rock, jazz, punk, metal and everything in between. Personally I’ve been pulling from the rhythm sections of Motown, The Beatles, and Black Sabbath. Moving forward I can see us pushing to become even more dynamic, experimenting with different instruments and tunings, and releasing reworked versions of songs.
Cryptic Rock – That is extremely exciting! Speaking of, what’s next for Gouge Away?
Tyler Forsythe – Our main focus right now is getting this next record done. We can’t wait to get new music out and to play these songs live, especially after being stuck in limbo indefinitely.
Cryptic Rock –Hopefully that will be soon. Lastly, if you are a fan of Horror/Sci-Fi, what are some of your favorite films of those genres?
Tyler Forsythe – My favorites are Event Horizon (1997), The Thing (1982), Alien (1979), Prometheus (2012), Blade Runner 2049 (2017).