Hailing from Perth, Gyroscope are one of Australia’s leading rock acts. They topped the Aria Charts with their critically acclaimed records “Breed Obsession” and “Cohesion” and have continuously delivered strong tracks like “Baby I’m Gettin’ Better” over their 20 years as a band. After taking a hiatus to work on individual projects the band are back with two new singles ‘Dabs” and “Crooked Thought” which is their first material in seven years. The band are also embarking on a massive Australian tour in January which will hear premiering some new material as well as playing all their old favourites. I recently chatted to drummer Rob Nassif about their long awaited return, accidentally hitting fans in the eye with drum sticks and reflect on old tour memories. Check out the chat below;
TB: It has been seven years since Gyroscope have released new music so how would you say the band have grown in this time as musicians?
RN: I’d say we’ve grown less as musicians and more as people. We spent so long pursuing the band and our growth as musicians that there wasn’t much left to grow as individuals and as people. The past few years has allowed a few of us to start families, travel the world, start business and even play in other bands. the result is we are feeling refreshed and more complete as humans. This more than anything has influenced our new music.
TB: Did you find that when it did come time to record music again that you were all still on the same page creatively?
RN: I would say that we were on the same page creatively for the first time in a very long time. The band had sort of splintered into two camps where you had Zoran pushing the heavier side and Dan exploring the lighter side. Brad and I were in the middle. Now it seems like we all just want to break stuff and play high energy tunes once again. Thats not surprising to me as that was what originally bonded us as a band.
TB: You’ve just released two new singles “Crooked Thought” and “Dabs”. These two tracks hear you offering a harder and grittier rock sound compared to your previous record. What were you inspired by during this creative process that saw you returning to your roots?
RN: “Dabs” was the first new song we wrote as a band in 6 years. We all just got into the rehearsal studio and started jamming out on that big riff you hear at the start of the song. 30 minutes later the song was written. “Crooked Thought” came out of thin air. We sometimes start jamming at the start of rehearsals and see what happens. Dan hit on a riff and we started to build the song around that. All of our new songs are being written by the 4 of us in a room. We had sort of lost that on the last few records. Its often a harder and more challenging way to write but the rewards can be so much greater.
TB: With these two songs now out in the world what can your fans expect from your upcoming fifth record lyrically and sonically? Does the rest of the sound continue the gritty roots?
RN: The songs are all generally a lot grittier and edgier. It’s about trying to find that balance of melody and aggression and there is plenty of both in the new songs.
TB: You guys will be hitting the road in January for a massive headlining tour. So what songs are you most looking forward to playing live again and is there any song in your discography that you’ve never played live before that you want to?
RN: We just started playing the song “O.K” from Breed Obsession and it feels awesome to play that live again. I think its quite an underated tune. If it was up to me I’d insist on playing “Dream Vs Scream”. I love that tune. Most of all though I cant wait to play “Crooked Thought” and “DABS”. These songs were made for the live arena!
TB: You’ve toured Australia probably more times than you can count but what one on the road memory stands out to you as the strangest or funniest experience?
RN: I’ll never forget a guy tried to grab my drumstick off me…mid songs whilst I was playing “1981”. It was in Jindabyne in 2009, I was actually looking down and it was in a tricky little drum solo section in the middle of the song and he grabbed it. Which meant I had to stop playing. I held onto it and we wrestled over the kit. Eventually I tackled him off the stage. I was incensed that someone would interupt a whole song in this manner and assumed he must have been doing it for a laugh or dare but the kid had tears in his eyes when it looked like I was about to punch him. He was actually just a mega fan and a drummer. Next time wait until the end of the song! *laughs*
TB: You guys swing your guitars around quite a bit in your live show and really get into the energy of the crowd. Have any of the guys ever hit a punter in the head by accident with a guitar or microphone?
RN: I actually hit a punter in the eye with a drumstick that I threw out at the end of a show. She had a black eye and then bribed us for backstage passes to Splendour In the Grass which we gave her because we were worried about getting sued! I no longer throw sticks into the crowd.
TB: It has been thirteen years since you released your debut album “Sound Shattering Sound”. Reflecting on it now what would you say are the strongest and weakest things about it?
RN: Great question! The youthful enthusiasm, energy and aggression is with out a doubt what makes that album great. It captured that pent up intensity that we as young men all had at the age of 20, 21 when we wrote it. We were unsure about life, chasing a dream to be musicians and we had no idea what we were doing. I’m really proud of that record.
I’d say the weakest thing would simply be that we didn’t have more time to write one or two more songs. We were touring heavily and essentially all the songs we wrote ended up on the record. My Hands Are Tied is one of the weaker Gyroscope tracks we have ever written in my opinion. We had run out of time and needed to write one more song. That was the song we wrote. Apart from that it’s a great album and was a huge stepping stone for what came next.
TB: Let’s play a little game of rapid fire questions where you answer with the first thing that comes to mind.
TB: My ultimate festival line up would be…
RN: Fugazi, U2, Gyroscope, The Faim, Credence Clearwater Revival, Jawbreaker
TB: My fellow band members would describe me as…
RN: Full on!
TB: Most mornings I…
RN: Run. I’m running the 2017 New York Marathon.
TB: The most unexpected thing on our rider is…
RN: PK chewing gum
TB: Most people think I….
RN: Hit the drums hard. They would be right!
TB: My guilty pleasure song is…
RN: Counting Stars – One Republic. I Love it.
You can catch Gyroscope live in January 2018 on their massive “The Tour Of Crooked Thoughts”. Check out the dates below;
10 January – The Triffid, Brisbane
11 January – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
12 January – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
13 January – The Gov, Adelaide
19 January – The Rosemount, Perth