LYFSTYL’s Kevin Vanstone recently spoke with Gabe Fulvimar of Gap Dream as he and the Burgerama Caravan Of Stars Tour continue their torrid pace performing across Canada and the United States. The Caravan (featuring Cosmonauts, Gap Dream, Pangea, and SAM COFFEY & THE IRON LUNGS) touches down in Toronto this Tuesday, October 1st at Lee’s Palace. Tickets are only $15.50, don’t miss it.
KV: I love the story of how you met the guys from Burger Records. One night seemed to have changed your life forever.
Gap Dream: Yeah the 2013 Burgerama Caravan Of Stars Tour is a continuation of what was being done in 2010. We took a bunch of Burger bands across the country to get the word out, and this time it’s more or less the same thing with a little more PR this time. So I get to be a part of it now.
KV: The first Burger show you ever saw involved the Cosmonauts and now you’re touring with them. Do you have to pinch yourself a bit?
Gap Dream: Yeah it’s a great feeling.
KV: What’s it like meeting the new up and comers on Burger?
Gap Dream: It’s great to see a lot of young people interested. There are so many different types of people. People that are into Burger now that you wouldn’t think would be hip to it back when I was getting into it. It’s cool to see that it’s catching on. We’re offering a wide variety and everyone seems to like it.
KV: The Burger people have been very good to you. You’ve mentioned they didn’t even blink when you needed new equipment. What does that do for your confidence as a musician?
Gap Dream: It gives me a lot of confidence to know that they’ve got my back. They let me live with them and they knew I wanted to move to California and wanted to be around them so they extended an invitation and they really just want me to flourish creatively.
KV: What’s your relationship like with the other Burger bands?
Gap Dream: I love all of them. I mean we’re all friends, we all get along, we all hang out and get drunk together. At Burger we’re all partying and we’re all family.
KV: It sounds like Burger is one part friendly competition, one part mutual admiration society.
Gap Dream: There’s a rivalry for sure. We all want to blow each other out of the water, but we won’t get mad if each other are doing well.
KV: How do you feel being one of the older members of the Burger family relative to new bands coming up?
Gap Dream: It’s interesting, even today we were talking about one of the bands and their sound, and you can tell when a band is young. It’s great, when I was younger I didn’t really have anybody older that was encouraging me. I don’t think they look up to me because I’m older, I think we all just dig what each other are doing, and we all trust each other. If people dig what you’re doing and show you respect it’s nice to encourage them as well to do what they’re doing.
KV: I love the family aspect of Burger.
Gap Dream: It’s the best! We went down to SXSW together, we got through it and it was a fucking nightmare, but we’ve all got each other’s back. When you’re in a band and you’re on tour with other bands it’s a bunch of “cool guys” but everyone kind of drops their ego and shows the love for each other, and it’s a very beautiful thing. A lot of times it’s hard for people like us to do. It’s humbling, it’s enlightening, it’s great. There’s nothing better.
KV: It’s very cool to see the cycle continue. You’ve mentioned King Tuff inspired you to make music, and I’ve heard a lot of similarities in your work.
Gap Dream: For sure, Conspiracy Of Owls and King Tuff were the two bands that inspired me to do Gap Dream. I didn’t want to take too much from their sound obviously because I wanted to do something original that I could muster at the time, so I tried to adopt their attitude and their freedom in what they wrote and how they wrote it. Not being afraid to do something you might think you had a knee-jerk reaction to. They inspired me not to be afraid of that and to just go with what I wanted to do.
KV: So what is it like teaming up with Bobby from Conspiracy Of Owls or King Tuff on the Adult Swim compilation?
Gap Dream: It’s crazy! The first show we played ever as Gap Dream we were rolling an entirely Cleveland lineup. We went down to Austin and our first show was for SXSW, so that was kind of a ballsy move. We didn’t have a practice show, we just went down and did it. It was nerve wracking, we were at a Burger event and there were a ton of Burger bands there that we were really getting into, and they were all supportive. We were playing our first show and I looked down through the aisles of the record shop and I could see Bobby Harlow sitting there, and I was like “Oh shit, what’s he doing here?” I didn’t even know he was there, and he was a hero to me. I knew King Tuff was there because we had started tweeting each other right before we went down there, so it was really exciting to see him. I knew Bobby was kind of a grouch, but I was blown away when I saw him standing there throughout our whole set. Kyle (King Tuff) and I became close friends over the last two years and one day he was like “Hey, let’s record something together,” and without really thinking about it we recorded it under the pretense of a friendship, I had forgotten all about King Tuff. He came over and we recorded something together, and It was kind of mind-blowing, it was like catching Clark Kent going into a phone booth and coming out as Superman.
KV: That was quite the change of pace after the first record, recording pieces on your own and emailing it back and forth with Bobby.
Gap Dream: With the first record I didn’t really have anything in mind. I didn’t think I would be doing this. I have experience recording bands and recording myself, I’ve been doing it for a very long time, but the way I was doing it was very haphazard and not really technically the best. I knew what I was working with though, I know how to shine shit. This latest record was a little different, I went about it the same way but I had the comfort to sit in a space I was familiar with, without feeling like I was in someone else’s studio or on someone else’s time. I could send the tracks to Bobby and we could get the mixing and production needed to make it sound a little bit better.
KV: I was shocked when I read you recorded the vocals on your Macbook.
Gap Dream: I have a better microphone and a better interface now, but even Chill Spot has the same vocal styles as the first record, using the Macbook Pro microphone. We recorded the demo before they bought me the gear and we tried to go back and do a few songs with the new microphone but with Chill Spot it just didn’t sit right, so we kept it the way it was.
KV: Hey, sometimes you have to go with what works.
Gap Dream: Yeah and it was good because we had to release it as a single, so it’s a nice bridge. Obviously the new Gap Dream record (Shine Your Light) enters weirder territory than the first one did, so it’s a nice little guide to get you where you need to go.
KV: ‘Chill Spot’ is certainly one of the less serious songs, especially relative to tracks on the first album like ‘My Other Man’.
Gap Dream: Yeah, there’s a message there but that’s for you to figure out.
KV: Is ‘Chill Spot’ a bit of a California tribute?
Gap Dream: It’s an anywhere tribute. It’s about finding somewhere you’re comfortable, and finding your love, and finding what you need to be and who you actually are.
KV: So are you feeling comfortable in California now after living in Ohio for so long?
Gap Dream: I’m comfortable I’m moved somewhere where I can flourish, and be myself and be accepted for who I am without having to hide anything about myself. I can just let it all hang out, I can be honest. It’s not because it’s Ohio, it’s because I moved from Ohio to Burger. Burger could be anywhere and I would feel the same way.
KV: The opening lyrics to ‘Fantastic Sam’ seem to be describing new beginnings, was that something you had in mind when making the new record?
Gap Dream: It’s a continuation, a sequel of the first record. The first record is about recognizing things and acknowledging problems. The second record says “Now that I’ve recognized these problems, what am I going to do to fix them? What do I need to fix those problems and how do I get it?” I want to give each record a flow and a message, and when it’s all resolved I’m going to stop and go do something else. It’s part of a series of feelings.
Just like Gap Dream’s pair of albums, this is only the first half of a two-part series with Gabe Fulvimar. Check back later today at LYFSTYL for more as we ask Gabe about his latest record Shine Your Light, his favourite albums of the summer, and what it felt like to get props from Giorgio Moroder himself.