The band’s doing something of a tightrope walk between commercial hard rock and more aggressive heavy metal. Do you try to stay conscious of your own sound, and is the band’s sound something different than what you perceived it at first?
We find that when we have material we’re happy with, it’s best to not consciously think about and discuss whether it’s close enough to a certain “West Gate sound”. If we’re all into what’s happening, then we roll with it. We wouldn’t strike an idea or a piece of music to conform to an idea of what we’re ‘supposed’ to sound like. If West Gate is making music, we’ll call it West Gate. However, we’re certainly suckers for melody, theory and intricate rhythm.
How was the recording process for Daylight? Did it meet your expectations? And how do you feel about the material now that you’ve had a little time to sit with it?
Recording Daylight was a great experience for us. We did drums, bass and guitar at Barbershop Studios on Lake Hopatcong and vocals, production and mixing at Treefort Studios (where we did Selah) in Hoboken. We chose Barbershop because of their unbelievable live room for drum tracking. We went to Treefort for vocals on Pete’s request and stuck around there to finish it all up. The overall process happened on and off between January and July 2009.
Our expectations were high but I think we topped what we were looking to do. We’re a band of different personalities but collectively we really wanted to make something we could all smile about. I think we definitely did that.
As for the material now, we all have our favorites. When I hear a track somewhere, it immediately puts me back to the recording session and the time it took to put the track together. This has a major impact on how I personally feel about the tracks…to us they all have their own story and circumstance. I feel a lot differently about Selah, though. I’m a much better player now than I was then. If I had to pick a favorite off of Daylight, I’d go with “Ordinary.”
Did you leave anything off the record?
Throughout 2008 we did a lot of ‘pre-production’ for Daylight…it was a year of trying to get ourselves geared up for the full-length. We knew what we wanted to do and, more importantly, what we didn’t want to do. There is certainly some material that wasn’t included in the process and I doubt that most of it will ever see the light of day.
Are you currently working on new material or are you just focused on getting out there and playing shows now that school has started up again?
New material is a frequent topic of discussion but we’re not looking to do another full-length until 2010. We do have plans to release an EP this winter with some remixes and acoustic material (from the Daylight sessions) but no certain plan has been made with regard to a new full length. Our current focus is to have Daylight hit as many ears as possible. We’re really proud of what we’ve put out—it’s been a great experience. We’re always throwing ideas in the melting pot and I think, once it all gets planned out, the next record is going to be a lot of fun to put together.
You seemed to have carved out a little gang of like-minded acts. Are all the bands you’ve asked to perform with you this weekend acts you’ve played with?
We haven’t played with each of the bands on Sunday’s show, but we’re proud to say that we’re friends with all of them and we’re very familiar with each other’s music. This show is different from any other that we’ve played in that it is a collection of bands that know each other personally and play similar types of music. I think fans that come out to this show will certainly see a degree of camaraderie among the different bands. Plus, I think the bands we’ve asked to play are all great players. If this show is a success, we’ll be planning similar shows soon for all different types of music.
You guys went on quite a little trek through the month of August. This was your first ‘tour’ so to speak? What’d you learn out there on the road?
We learned how to be a touring band and how to manage putting it all together. It certainly isn’t easy! We played shows big and small and had our favorite moments, but we can’t wait to do it again in Spring 2010. How do we know it was a successful tour? We were bummed out driving home from the last gig! As for best tour lesson: we learned that we didn’t kill each other when we were all stuck in a van for a month. That’s key!
West Gate is curating a headlining show at the School Of Rock in E. Rutherford this Sunday, Sept. 27 and they will be opening for Powerman 5000 at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville Nov. 1. myspace.com/westgatenj.