Review Fix chats with The Goddamn Gallows’ Mikey Classic, who discusses the band’s goals, origin, creative process and new album, The Trail.
Review Fix: How did the band get together?
Mikey Classic: In the year 2000, I met Fishgutzzz at a house party in east Lansing Michigan. He helped fight off three gang bangers that jumped me out of nowhere. They threw him through a door and to this day he still has a scar on his forehead from the night we became friends. Years later, after we started the band, we found out that our drummer, baby genius, ripped those gang bangers off for some weed at that same party, and that’s why they got pissed and proceeded to find someone to jump. Me! (Mikey Classic). If he wouldn’t have ripped them off then I and Fishgutzzz would have never become friends and start the band.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Classic: We like to get very stoned and see what happens, we like to bend genres of all kinds and hate the word “scene.” Usually one of us will write a song and we’ll all collaborate together either on the road or in the practice spot. Jayke will always know whether he wants to play mandolin or banjo or guitar. We love using unconventional instruments for rock n roll.
Review Fix: What inspires you guys?
Classic: A lot of our songs derive from back when we were homeless and struggling. Putting everything we had into the band to get on the road because at least a shitty van is a place to stay. When we started out, we would busk on the street all the time and in turn a lot of songs were written from those experiences. Nowadays things are a bit easier. Still struggling to make ends meet but no more homelessness. We like to think back on those tough times for inspiration all the time.
Review Fix: What makes the album special?
Classic: The Trial was a build up of different musical styles we’ve been working on for the last 14 years. We’ve been working on this particular album for around 3 years. We wanted to take our new songs out on the road with us to make sure they had all the kinks worked out of them. We also wanted to see the reaction of our friends and fans to a different, heavier version of The Goddamn Gallows.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
Classic: Our friend James Hunnicutt likes to call us whateverthefuckabilly, but I like to say that we’re a satanic blend of punk, metal, and bluegrass.
Review Fix: What’s the standout track on the new album? How was it written?
Classic: Many people have told me that “down with the ship” is their new favorite. Fishgutzzz wrote it as a kind of sea shanty pirate song, but it definitely parallels life as we know it today.
Review Fix: How are your live shows different from your studio work?
Classic: We are told by our friends that we’re a live band. We put in as much energy as we can each night, and try to give the crowd the best possible night. Come see for yourself at a gig.