Lili-Anh LeMinh from the website confrontmagazine.com had the chance to chat with Gabe (and Alex) at the Ballon Festival in Canada. Check out all the Questions Gabe answered (and his beautiful drawing).
CONFRONT: Last time you were in Montreal was a while ago, what took you so long?
GABE: No one invited us! It’s really important to be invited to things. When I was younger, I used to like to crash things all the time and it was fun but you get to a certain age and you’re just too old to be crashing anything. You want to be invited. Now, I really have a lot of gratitude when I’m invited to things.
CONFRONT: But when you guys plan out your tours and everything, you can always add a date here!
ALEX: We haven’t really been on a proper tour in a long time though.
GABE: We were in talks to do a couple of tours but with this record, we were just so busy. We had a lot of requests to do a lot of stuff like this; festival where we fly out and come back. To be honest, touring just really took a lot out of us and this has really given us a different opportunity. We’re really lucky to be able to do a lot of shows like this and visit a lot of cities but not all in a row. When you’re just on the road for 6 months straight, you kind of lose your whole life. So I think we’re trying to find the balance for that. We’re experimenting now; we’re not sure if we have the formula to figure it out but we all feel much happier, which is good.
CONFRONT: Would you guys have gone up in one of these if you had the chance?
GABE: I bungee-jumped at one of these festivals recently. It was my first time doing anything like that and it was crazy!
CONFRONT: Wow! It must’ve been! Now, let’s talk about what you guys have been up to since the release of your latest album last summer.
GABE: It’s been kind of a crazy year, like I said. We’ve been doing a lot of crazy shows.
ALEX: We got to tour with Justin Bieber!
GABE: Yeah and we opened for Jennifer Lopez. A lot of stuff that is really big and that we never thought we would do when we started the band. It’s great! For me, the point of doing all this stuff is to grow and learn, have experiences and we’ve really had a lot of great experiences, luckily.
CONFRONT: What’s cool is with your music, you can fit into so many different lineups. I mean, you’ve toured with all the Fueled By Ramen bands who are more pop and rock and tonight, you’re opening for B.O.B. and T-Pain.
ALEX: Yeah, pretty crazy right?
GABE: It’s a blessing! I think there’s not a lot of bands that can play with so many different styles of music and for us, it’s always been a goal of our band. We wanted to not be pigeon-holed into anyone’s style to be able to play any kind of music and to explore our different artistic musical styles. It’s really important for us. So it’s just a testament to that.
CONFRONT: Do you have any idea about where your sound is headed?
ALEX: We’re still kind of just experimenting with new ideas. It can go in any direction.
GABE: For me, I really want to have music that is inspiring, uplifting and have this melancholic triumphic thing but still be something that unites people and brings people together. Obviously our music gets played in clubs and that’s a big thing. That’s one of the things that we started with; we wanted to have music that can get played in clubs. But I also wanted to have some substance. And that’s really a fine line to walk because you don’t want it to be all just about popping bottles at the club. You want it to be inspiring. It’s like a contradiction in some way because you’re talking about being inspiring and then you’re talking about being in a club. So in some ways, it’s a contradiction but in some ways, it’s like a beautiful union of two different sides. People have different sides; part of them want to be touched and inspired but another part just wants to forget and have a good time. And I just want to have both happen at the same time. It’s a very fine line to balance but I think we’re trying to achieve that. We don’t want music that’s going to bring people down by touching them but we want to touch them and uplift them. Something that I’m looking forward to is…I want the music that we grew up on like rock with really great guitar riffs, I want to look at a way to interpret that electronically. So that’s what I’m thinking about. If you listen to an early U2 record and you think about covering the song but only using electronics, what would that sound like? That’s what I want to experiment with.
CONFRONT: That’s really interesting though! And you guys have collaborated with a lot of people throughout the years, who are you thinking of working with in the future?
GABE: I’ve always wanted to work with Ferrell. Some of the stuff he’s produced for Justin Timberlake, some of the stuff he’s done for Snoop Dog, they’re some of my favorite production stuff. I would love to have the chance to work with him.
ALEX: Yeah he’s awesome. But I haven’t thought about who to collaborate with. It could be a bunch of people.
CONFRONT: Awesome! Now, could you please explain your drawing to me?
GABE: It’s a big elephant! And I’m G.A.B.E., giant abnormal baby elephant. It’s the only thing I know how to draw. That’s what you get.