Folk Fest: Gomez growing gallantly
Gaining exposure in the vast North American music scene is never easy. If your group started out overseas the difficult task can be compounded even further
English indie rock quintet Gomez has been fighting this uphill battle for roughly 12 years, however, drummer Olly Peacock says the group has seen significant strides made in recent times.
“We’re finding that compared to when we came through (North America) two or three years ago that our audiences have double or tripled,” Peacock said during a phone interview, just before the band took the stage to help kickoff 10,000 Lakes Festival in Detroit.
The group’s sixth album, released last March, climbed higher than any before it on the U.S. charts, peaking at No. 60 in album sales. None of Gomez’s discs have ever cracked the Canadian charts.
Peacock concedes that Gomez’s exposure could always be better, however, he points to his countrymen from a little band known as Radiohead as an example of a group that had to fight for years before attaining international stardom.
“Obviously it would be fantastic for us to get into some bigger venues and get onto the radio but we understand the difficulty of travelling in the States, well North America as a whole really, becauase it is ginormous,” Peacock said. “We have been working really hard and putting more effort into our shows and I think that is coming across to the audience. A lot of our hardcore fans are really liking what we are doing right now.”
Gomez has also made headway into another form of North American entertainment: television. The group has had songs featured on a number of programs including rating-dominators “Grey’s Anatomy” and “House.”
“We definitely reach people with television that we never would with radio or our normal shows or any other means,” Peacock said.
Folk Fest Spotlight
Shows: Friday night mainstage, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
For the band’s website click here
For others who might be interested in the group, narrowing down the sound or genre of Gomez can be tricky.
To be honest, it’s an ever-constant changing thing from album to album,” Peacock said of the group’s style. “I feel like we evolve into certain things at different points in our career. Certainly at the end of the day we’re a rock ‘n’ roll band, but one that likes to bring in all different sorts of music.”
Three of the five members — Ian Ball, Ben Ottewell and Tom Gray — take turns sharing the lead vocalist role, another factor that plays into the group’s varied style, according to Peacock.
“You have the flexibility on each song where somebody comes in and it adds a different touch in terms of the harmonies and the layering,” he said. “I think we find so many new sounds and push ourselves to keep creative and original. I think that’s always on the agenda, to kind of do something different.
“Some people dig the stranger, experimental side of our sound, while others like those poppy elements that we introduce at times.”
As for their show Friday night on the mainstage at Calgary Folk Fest, Peacock assured that he will be in an environment he quite enjoys.
“So many new festivals have been cropping up each year. In England there’s a lot more quiet festivals that tend to be more family-oriented and they’re great. They have a more civilized nature,” he says. “Some of them are a little more attractive and focused on the music. At others there is so much going on, you have three stages playing at once.
“I like the more laid back affair.”