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MUSIC: An Interview with Providence’s Gymshorts

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Gymshorts (Photo: Andy Davis)

A band that has been engulfing the Providence music scene like a jug of gasoline next to an oil tank over the past months has been energetic punk rock act Gymshorts. They recently put out their debut album No Backsies!, they'll be going on tour next month and they have a show at The Salon tonight in Providence with Pixels, Zip-Tie Handcuffs and Carnival. I managed to have a chat with the band about all this stuff and more to see what this badass quartet is all about:

Rob Duguay: Gymshorts have a show going on at The Salon with Pixels, Zip-Tie Handcuffs from Boston and Carnival on the 27th. It seems only a few months ago you guys were still trying to make a name for yourselves in the Providence music scene and now Gymshorts is one of the leading acts in this burgeoning wave of punk & garage rock invading venues all over the city. So first off, how did Gymshorts come to be?

Sarah Greenwell: Me and Devin met randomly at a party and he and our other friend asked if I would play bass for their other band Male Perverts. We were hanging out one day and I joked that we should make another side project called Gymshorts and it sorta just stuck. We went into Mike's work at Antonio's pretty wasted one night and told him he basically had to play drums for us and Trevor was our roommate so it was pretty easy to convince him to play bass. We haven't been a band for too long we just played our first show in July and then started really playing in September.

R.D: Along with being spectacular live, Gymshorts recently put out their debut album No Backsies!!!. What was it like for the band working on their first album and who did you guys work with to make it happen?

Trevor Darrah: We don't really like recording too much, it's kind of annoying to listen to the same songs on repeat but it was fun for sure!! It was definitely a good excuse to eat a lot of pizza and drink a bunch of beers. We basically recorded all the music live, did vocals afterwards and then mixed it all together. Jared Mann from Blanketfort Recordings recorded us and he's our roommate too so that was pretty convenient. We have a lot of roommates. We're definitely excited for people to hear it though

R.D.: I always find myself asking this question to musicians who play any form of punk rock and I usually always get a different response. What’s your opinion of the state of punk as a lifestyle and an art form in the 21st Century? Do you think punk is dead or do you think it’s an everlasting ideal that’ll never go away?

Mike Ferschke: Punk is alive and well! I feel proud knowing I'm a part of this great community full of creative folks that have a lot of things to say and an insane amount of drive. I'm constantly seeing friends start new projects that blow my fucking mind and it's those bands that keep my faith in punk alive and keeps me trying to further myself as a musician and a human being. So thanks, punk!

Devin Domonic: Yeah, we wouldn't be here if punk was dead.

R.D.: Other than playing around Providence, Gymshorts have played shows in the Boston and New York City area as well. If you had to pick your favorite places to play in those two cities which venues would it be?

T.D.: We haven't played too much in Boston but we like Zuzu's. We really want to start playing Boston a lot more though in the next few months.

S.G.: Shea Stadium in Brooklyn for sure. That place was my favorite spot to go and see a show anyway so it was definitely tite to be able to play there a few times.

R.D: It’s still early in 2014 and Gymshorts are already off to a hell of a start. What can we expect from Gymshorts for the rest of the year and beyond?

D.D.: Were about to go on tour for like 18 days with this band Vulture Shit from New York. They're pretty awesome. We're going down to Austin and back for SXSW and we have a bunch of shows lined up when we get back. After that we'll probably record our next album and then hopefully tour again by the end of the summer

M.F.: We really want to play foo fest so hopefully that'll happen too.

D.D.: This summer will be fun though - gonna write some new stuff and see what happens!

If you're looking for that new band to excite and electrify you, then I suggest you check out Gymshorts. Bare the elements and head to The Salon at 57 Eddy Street in Providence tonight for what should be an awesome show, it starts at 10pm and I'm sure a $5 cover won't burn a hole in your wallet. While your there get your hands on No Backsies! and blast it through your car stereo for the ride home, it's one of those albums that should make 2014 another special year for local music in The Creative Capital.


Related Slideshow: MUSIC: Who is SweenS?

Here is the story of how Ryan Sweeney went from a Providence kid to a Nationally recognized hip-hop star. 

Special thanks to www.sweens365.com.

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A Storyteller

While the teachers might recall his aggressiveness and unwillingness to settle, the kids recall his rhyming insults and rhythmic storytelling.

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From the court to the mic

Despite his gift for freestyling, Ryan dedicated his adolescent years strictly to basketball. After excelling at a New England Prep School Ryan decided to go to Florida Atlantic University to continue his career.

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After sacrificing his basketball career at FAU in order to pursue his rap dreams, Ryan came home to Providence and refocused his entire life. Since, Ryan has been going back and forth between New York and Providence trying to get his name on the scene.

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A Record Deal

After a show with Pusha T, SweenS signed a deal with Federal Hill Records, an up and coming Label that SweenS hopes to help expand. SweenS has worked with artists like, Fat Joe, Pusha T, Dan the Man, among others.

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Rhode Island Born, Rhode Island Bred

Combined with his honesty and unforgiving portrayal of his privileged suburban Providence upbringing, SweenS is destined to put his home city on the map.


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