Hailing from LBI, Gin War is an up-and-coming indie rock band that has a big year ahead of them. They’re touring with Man Overboard in the spring and Modern Lives at the beginning of the summer. They also plan on recording and releasing new music at some point as well. Most importantly, they’ll be performing as part of The Aquarian’s Start At The End showcase on March 30 along with Hiding Out, Owl Kill, and Halogens.
Gin War’s sound consists of an abundance of catchy pop-rock riffs that are pretty much guaranteed to get stuck in your head. The instrumental chemistry between the different members is apparent, especially on their latest EP, Piece Of Moon, which came out in November of last year. Lead single “Silent Movie” is an exemplary piece of indie rock, both saccharine sweet and deeply introspective.
Gin War’s lineup includes Kyle Carrier on guitar, Mike Planco on bass, Jeremy Woods on drums, and frontman Brandon Rosenberg on vocals and guitar. We recently spoke with Rosenberg about the history of Gin War, their stylistic and lyrical choices, and their future going forward.
So how did you guys come up with the name Gin War?
“Gin War” is the name of a song by the band Cassino from Alabama/Tennessee. Definitely check that out.
Your logo features Morse code underneath the band’s name. What’s the significance?
It’s something that we happened upon and [it] just stuck. There’s Morse code and other outdated forms of communication throughout both EPs. You can hear a sentence in Morse code at the end of “Disconnected,” too.
What would you say was the biggest change/difference between your first and second EPs?
Both EPs are equal parts to a bigger story, so lyrically they are very similar. We used some different instruments and tried a bunch of new things for Piece Of Moon, which I think will evolve and carry into our next release.
How has the reception been for Piece Of Moon?
Our friends and family enjoy it just as much as the first release (or more). People I’ve never met have reached out to me with kind words about it, and as far as I know we haven’t gotten any hate mail yet…
On your Bandcamp page, you describe your music as both dark and beachy. How do you maintain a balance between the two?
“Dark” and “beachy” aren’t necessarily adjectives that we write for, [the songs] just came out that way a bit. [We] figured if someone was looking for something beachy [as well as] something dark, they’d be into Gin War.
The lyrics for “Silent Movie” seem to speak to the effects of technology on interpersonal relationships. What’s your own relationship with technology like?
My personal relationship with technology is that I’m addicted to my phone and I feel real shitty about it.
“Still Mine” seems to be an outlier on Piece Of Moon, being the shortest track on Piece Of Moon by several minutes as well as being the only acoustic track. What’s the story behind its inclusion?
To me, “Still Mine” sits in an important place on the EP, lyrically rounding out the story. Like a punch in the gut and spitting out flowers.
In many of your music videos, including “Wink” and “Silent Movie,” your faces are not prominently featured and are obscured by the lighting. Was this a conscious choice and, if so, what’s the rationale behind it?
Never thought of it like that, but I guess because it’s about the music and not us. Also, none of us have faces (shhhh).
How did you guys get involved with Start At The End?
I got a Facebook message from an old friend saying he had a friend that wanted us to play a show, and if it was okay for him to give her my contact. She hit me up, we hit it off, now we’re here.
The show will be at The Bitter End. Have you played there before? What have been some of your favorite venues you’ve played at?
Never played TBE (is it cool if I call it “TBE”?). Some faves: Brass Rail, Throne Watches, Ralph’s Diner, Boneyard, any abandoned warehouse in Holyoke.
You’ll be sharing the stage with Halogens, Owl Kill, and Hiding Out. Have you listened to or played with any of them?
Yeah, Hiding Out are good friends of ours. We’ve played and traveled together in former bands. Their bass player recorded both Gin War EPs and their guitarist owns five leather jackets, all the exact same shade of black.
You guys will be opening for Man Overboard on their farewell tour this spring. How does it feel to receive the chance to tour with a band of their stature?
It’s gonna be a trip. Thrilled to be playing bigger venues and to larger crowds. Really cool of Man [Overboard] to take us along on Farewell For Now.
What are your plans for the rest of the year, after finishing up the tour with Man Overboard?
We’ll be going out on another run with Modern Lives in the beginning of summer. Also [we’ll be] recording some new music. Keep your ears peeled. Like bananas.
Gin War will be playing at The Bitter End on March 30 as part of The Aquarian’s Start At The End showcase. Their latest EP, Piece Of Moon, is available for free download on their Bandcamp Page: ginwar.bandcamp.com.