On their third, self-titled studio album, Montreal quartet Gulfer deliver thirteen intricate and incredibly fun, emo tracks. In many ways, Gulfer bridges the gap between party emo rockers like Glocca Morra and Algernon Cadwallader, and modern acts like Oso Oso and Prince Daddy And The Hyena, combining the twinkly finger-tapped guitars with infectious, rocking choruses.
To celebrate the new album, David Mitchell sat down to talk about loving Tokyo, National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation, and veganism in the latest Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A.
What are four words you would use to describe your music?
Frenetic, genuine, intricate, earnest.
It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?
Hopefully it’ll be remembered as a fresh and unique take on the math-rock/emo genre.
What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?
Tokyo. Everything about playing there was so special and remarkable. The venues were so professional, they all supplied amazing backline and there would often be two sound-techs on site who were always very professional and helpful. The crowds were extremely punctual, friendly, and energetic, and every support band we played with completely blew us away. It was always a major dream to play shows in Japan, and the fact that the venues, attendees, and other bands were so outstanding was such a cool cherry on top.
Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
That is a hard question to answer as someone who is not a primary songwriter in the band, but the band that we can all probably agree on most is Algernon Cadwallader.
Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
Not sure if I can name a definitive #1 but the latest one that would make the definitive short-list is La Indita in Tuscon, AZ.
What album do you know every word to?
I’m not a big lyrics person and I listen to a lot of instrumental music so this is a tough one. I tested about 4 or 5 of my most frequently listened to albums and failed with all of them. I obviously know the songs really well but I never bother to actually look up lyrics. I think the closest answer I can give is Special Explosion – To Infinity. Andy and Liz are pretty good at enunciating.
What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?
Sigur Ros, Quai Jacques Cartier, Montreal, Sept 20, 2008. It was my first time seeing my favourite band ever and it was just a very special and emotional experience. I remember showing up to the venue (alone) at like, noon and making friends with all the other crazy superfans in line. I think the only other time I’ve ever had an experience like that (showing up super early, seeing a definitive “favourite band”) was Coheed and Cambria with Blood Brothers, mewithoutYou and Dredg in Montreal at Metropolis, Nov 10, 2005. So a tie between those two!
What is the best outfit for performing and why?
Any long-sleeve shirt and shorts. Just got a new Svalbard longsleeve in the mail so that’ll be the first one I wear next time we play.
Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?
What’s the last thing you Googled?
How to boil corn.
What album makes for the perfect gift?
Miles Davis – Ascenseur pour L’échafaud OST. Something for everyone on that record.
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?
A venue that I think was also a storage locker in Virginia Beach, VA. The place was called That’s How I Beat Shaq. Lots of really large bugs crawling around there.
What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?
I got my first tattoo while I was on tour with the band Giraffes? Giraffes! in 2010. We played a tattoo shop in Kitchener, Ontario. The tattoo is a tiny V for veganism.
What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?
Bush, Live, Real McCoy, Snap, Chevelle, Sonique, Mack Morrison.
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
My mom brought me food when I was sick the other day, that was pretty nice of her!!
What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?
Learn Ableton and practice it a lot!
What’s the last show you went to?
Stillhungry, Stevenson, Flopppy and Favourite Daughter, Casa del Popolo, Montreal, March 13 2020.
What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation.
What would you cook if Obama were coming to your house for dinner?
Impossible burger, some pickles from Moishes, maybe a nice homemade vegan poutine with the St. Hubert powder gravy.
Gulfer is out now on Topshelf Records/Royal Mountain Records. Listen here.