With infectious indie-pop anthems, or as the bands kid brother says in the intro that Gaffa Tape Sandy have “banging tunes” coupled with a dog on the front cover of their EP our Editor James Wadsworth has been literally sending GTS’s EP in the Underscore Part 3’s group chats over and over. To be fair initially we just wanted him to shut up but after reluctantly giving them a listen the team agreed that they really are quite something. To put it simply Gaffa Tape Sandy are all the fun you want from indie anthems whilst having serious undertones to make them memorable. It’s with little surprise they’re finally making waves where they should be and 2019 has been a big year for them signing to Alcopop Records, touring with Skegss and being put on many insiders ‘watch list’. Watch out 2020, Gaffa Tape Sandy are here to spread their fun like the great teacher you had in school; the one you respected because he was light-hearted but also the one that spoke with the honesty to make you listen.
So… yeah, we allowed James to have a chat with lead singer and guitarist Kim Jarvis.
Hi, how are you? In the last month you’ve just toured with Skegss and released your EP Family Mammal, how is the band feeling right now?
Hi, we’re feeling great, thanks for asking. We’ve had great feedback on the EP, so we feel pretty accomplished. Touring with Skegss around the release of it felt like the icing on a big music cake.
“Touring with Skegss around the release of it felt like the icing on a big music cake.” Kim
Ok, straight into it; can you give us a story from the Skegss tour?
A memorable gig on the tour for us was in Southampton. We had this pretty gnarly green room, so to make ourselves feel better about the illnesses we might get from it us and Skegss just got really drunk. Their drummer was passing us a bottle of Fireball to drink while we were on stage and we all got silly drunk in celebration of filthy green rooms.
So, the EP: you can’t have an EP with a cute doggo on the front and not tell us about the dog. We want a full bio please?
We can absolutely tell you about the doggo on the front. Unfortunately, none of us have ever met the delightful canine on the cover of our vinyl, and assumably he/she has passed away, seeing as the image comes from a really old postcard that I (Kim) found in Snoopers Paradise, the best flea-market in Brighton. It’s sad that we’ll never get to pet or feed our new fluff mascot, but his/her memory will live on.
Sweet, thanks for that, ya know the whole of the indie scene needed to know. Can you tell us how the album cover came about? With the internet being obsessed with dogs it seems like a genius marketing campaign!
We’re all dog fans. Fans of dogs. Dog friends. Dog people. We hadn’t really considered the internet’s infatuation with dogs. Dogs.
Last dog question; people often say dogs are like their owners and vice versa; can you tell us what dog breed each band member would be if they were a dog (including yourself) and why?
Robin would be a German Shepherd, because he’s big and loyal.
Catherine would be a Jack Russell, because she’s small and loyal, and I’d be a whippet, because I’m anxious but I look good in a winter coat.
We would take a guess that as a band you grew up on a diet of pop-punk and indie; how correct is that? What band has been a big influence on Gaffa Tape Sandy that would take us by surprise?
“Whatever we make will always be like a big weird collage I guess.” Kim
We all have pretty different tastes, but there are lots of bands and artists that our tastes align on. It’s a bit of a cliche, but it’s true to say that it’s like a mixing pot of so many different types of music that we all listen to. Robin has love for Smashing Pumpkins, Idles and Interpol, Catherine for PUP and Gerard Way, and I listen to a lot of hip-hop. So whatever we make will always be like a big weird collage I guess.
The lead single from the EP is Headlights with the lyrics “I think you’re a little bit sadder than you let on” can you tell us about the lyric and how it relates to the ‘Headlights’ metaphor?
“Lyrically, I try to keep songs kinda ambiguous, and open to interpretation, as I think it makes them accessible.” Kim
We really like people to come back at us with their own interpretations of our song. Lyrically, I try to keep songs kinda ambiguous, and open to interpretation, as I think it makes them accessible. That lyric specifically just relates to a lot of the people I know who are good at putting on a brave face.
Ok, you’ve done a great support tour recently, your EP is out; when will we see you out on a headline tour? What details can you give us?
“We need a van [to do our own tour]… But we’re working on it, so watch this space.”
Well what we know for certain, is that we need a van. We did our last tour in a car. And we’re all kinda sick of travelling with huge amounts of luggage stacked on top of us. But we’re working on it, so watch this space.
A small child called Issac introduces your album calling your songs “banging tunes”; aside from yourself, what other banging tunes/bands are you keeping an eye on?
The list at the moment is huge… but to list a few bands that we bloody love… Beach Riot, Cutting Ties, Lady Bird, Tropical Fuck Storm, Dilly Dally, Slowthai, Big Thief, Tundra, Squid and Superglu.
Lastly, what is your favourite gaffa tape brand? We want to know; ya know to help secure you a gaffa tape sponsorship. How would you feel at this prospect?
This is tricky, as there are a few different schools of thought. In terms of residue left behind after tear-up, Magtape really takes the lead, leaving behind little to no glue. But in terms of durability and strength upon application, Gorilla tape is just top notch. We’re just happy to be involved in the industry.
Questions: James Wadsworth