Gibbz #NYC

GIBBZ is a renaissance man. After a childhood spent acting in C­list horror movies and ballroom dancing, he received a "degree" from Berklee College of Music. After 5 years on the road and in studios with international touring acts, he realized beingan engineer is a thankless, miserable existence. Luckily, his path had led him to working for a crew that went onto form the Lowtemp record label, including Gramatik and Exmag. They convinced him that it's OK to drink copious amounts of alcohol and make everyone within a 30 ft radius uncomfortable. Out of this drunken, obnoxious, offensive mess of a man, GIBBZ was born. GIBBZ can now be found singing and dancing to his own brand of electro pop, recently touring with the likes of Cherub, Ghost Beach and The Floozies.

When did you realize music was your path?

I don’t think I’ve ever been drawn to the music industry. That’s like being drawn to the dentist. It’s garbage and you hate it, but in order to keep your teeth in order, you gotta go. I’ve always been drawn to music. It’s a release for me. The industry part is what really makes it a job. Sometimes I wonder why people get into the industry for the industry. Why would you do all of the other stuff and not the art? Maybe that’s their art, though. Manipulation, posturing, and trickery. Doesn’t seem fun to me.

What’s your advice for aspiring musicians?

Know your worth. I came up in a different way. I worked on the road and faked my way through a lot of shit. There was a ton of “yes, of course, I know how to do that,” followed by heavy googling. I was a bullshit artist in a way. I did a ton of work for very little money because I wanted to get the jobs and I felt bad charging a lot for things that I felt I wasn’t an expert at. Years into doing these things, they became second nature. There was little to know to search and I was trained and good at what I did, but I still charged next to nothing. I was making no money while the rich fucks I was working for got richer. I wish I had put my foot down and started charging more. I wish I had been more assertive.

Who are you inspired by?

I don’t know if there’s a “who” that inspires me, but there’s definitely a “what,” and that’s being broke. I’m deathly scared of not being able to afford to live. I’m still knee-deep in student loan debt and threatening calls from banks telling me they’ll take everything I own is the highest point of anxiety for me. I work as hard as I can so I’ll be able to exist. I’m sure this prospect is frightening for a lot of people, and I guess inspiration is supposed to be positive, but that’s what pushes me the most. I’m really not all that far from being homeless and it scares the shit out of me, so I’m going to work my ass off to not be that.

Who are you listening to right now?

I’m currently really into Gus Dapperton, Honne, and Sam Evian. They all have something really original happening and that genuine feel brings me in and keeps me listening.

We’re curious about you daily routine! What does it look like?

There are two lives that are my current existence. Road life and home life. My life at home is pretty simple. I wake up, make tea and breakfast followed by a morning of searching for little side gigs for extra money on the internet. Then I make some more tea and try to write some music. Not always for myself, but sometimes trying to replicate other songs just to keep my production chops up. Then I usually make dinner and go to sleep. It’s a simple existence. Road life is not as scheduled. It’s a lot of driving. Sometimes I’ll drive 10 hours to a show and then perform. Occasionally I’ll sleep in my rental car. I can’t always eat, and if I do it’s not what I should be eating. My back usually hurts from carrying gear and sitting in a car all day, so I drink more than I should. I’m chasing the feeling of being on stage, so the rest of the shit that comes with it is fine by me as long as I can perform. I try to not be on the road for more than a month straight at a time, but that never happens.

Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?

None of my music is about me. I'm not very interesting. I have a great sense of empathy and I'm good at putting myself in someone else's shoes. That allows me to write from another perspective and attempt to think like the protagonist within the songs I'm writing. The feelings that I'm putting into my music are real and they're mine, but I don't let out any radical emotions that exist inside of me without becoming someone else and writing from behind that mask.

Any song you especially love to cover?

I did Queen/Bowie's "Under Pressure" with French Horn Rebellion at a show once and that was probably the most fun I've had covering a song. My only job was to sing, and that's a rare occasion. I didn't know what to do with my hands, but it still felt wonderful singing with a band.

Check Out gibbz’s upcoming shows!