Throwing caution to the wind on superstitions, Canadian pop-punk outfit Gob is back to satiate fans with their new album Apt. 13.
“As things were being delayed and delayed I started to kind of question if I was superstitious,” said lead singer and guitarist Tom Thacker, who will be performing with Gob at the Boonstock Music and Arts Festival in Penticton on the August long weekend. “You start to question maybe we should change the title of this thing.”
The ominous album title stems from Thacker’s New York residence in Apt. 13 and the other original bandmate, Theo Goutzinakis, who also lived in an Apt. 13 in Vancouver. Despite not being concerned about superstitions, nothing could have went more sideways while trying to record their new album, than what already did.
“We had tons of distractions and pretty much anything you can imagine in life like love, loss, everything. With all the chaos it was hard to stay focused at that time to make the record and we were self-producing,” he said. “It’s hard to crack the whip on yourself and you know what that whip feels like.”
While Thacker doesn’t believe in the whole superstition thing, hence the title of the album which is being released Aug. 26, he does say he is cursed.
“The record did feel cursed the whole time. I also think I was cursed to make music though and you can’t get away from it. I don’t really plan on making music but I just go out for a walk, for example, and I get an idea. I get distracted by it in my head and I have to do something with it,” said Thacker. “But, it is also a curse I appreciate because it has given me a rich life of travelling the world and seeing things a lot of people don’t get to. Of course then there is just the excitement that comes along with being in a band.”
Thacker has had a lot of time to fill his head with new music. Their last release was 2007’s Muertos Vivos. They started work on Apt. 13 in 2010, but forks in the road took them to different places. Thacker also joined Sum 41 as guitarist for a time, seeing an opportunity to make more music.
Ripe with Gob’s now-signature energetic, guitar-driven take on punk rock, Apt. 13 finds the band picking up right where they left off. The new offering leans less towards the straight-up pop influence of earlier albums and puts a focus on a fuller, more layered rock sound that includes sonic elements of decades past. The album is also a departure of the darker 2007 release.
We made a semi-conscious decision to write more upbeat songs than the last record,” Thacker notes. “We’re all pretty stoked on life in general, and this one is more in tune with that attitude.”
The result is a product that begs for repeat spins while keeping it catchy and anthemic as anything they released before. As a teaser they have released the single Cold, a track about being anxious while being on the road, away from loved ones and wanting to work on the album.
“When you are out on the road all the time you go through a lot of emotional changes and the lyrics talk about falling in love and talks about being lonely,” said Thacker.
Tracks like Can’t Get Over You and Radio Hell are big and upbeat with full guitars anchored by throwback punk rhythms.
Celebrating 20 years of being together, Gob has amassed Juno nominations, made popular music videos for singles like I Hear You Calling and Give Up The Grudge and have a legion of loyal fans. The new album takes them right back to those early days. From writing, self-producing and touring small clubs to festival stages.
“When we started we didn’t even see ourselves fitting in with the mainstream music industry. We just decided to make records, put them out and play for whoever will come see us. This record is actually coming back to the point of doing everything ourselves again,” said Thacker. “Knowing how much the music industry has changed and how much you can do online and promoting yourself for peanuts, that is where we are. Back 360 and it is awesome.”
Gob is performing at Boonstock on Aug. 2 on the Okanagan Stage along with Rise Against, Wolfmother, USS and Forester. Tickets are available, including single-day festival passes, at www.Boonstock.ca.