We interviewed TJ from GWEN STACY!

Today, [UTG] James spoke briefly with TJ from Gwen Stacy. Below you can find the interview that transpired and don’t forget to buy their new album: The Life I Know, in stores now!

J: Hey TJ, how are you today?

TJ: I’m doing pretty good.

J: So give us a little history on Gwen Stacy, what’s the story of how you guys got to where you are today?

TJ: We got together in December of 04 to start playing music casually. Things took off quickly. We got a lot of fan attention all over Indiana and figured we should take it full time. We did a lot of DIY tours and then got hooked up with Middle Coast Management which lead to better tours and then eventually we came to be with Ferret.

J: You guys are quite open about your faith and beliefs both musically and in your daily lives, have you found any trouble with that while being on a non-christian label and touring with bands of the same caliber?

TJ: We prefer it that way. We never really get any crap from other non Christian acts. We aren’t too forceful about our faiths and everyone’s generally pretty friendly. We’re all bands out on the road, living our dreams, and that’s usually how we view people and they view us. Ferret was actually our #1 choice, so that’s awesome how that worked out.

J: So, The Life I Know, didn’t come out too long ago, especially in terms of a touring hardcore band, but I heard you are already writing for the next installment of Gwen Stacy. Is that true?

TJ: We finished recording in October and we started writing in January. We’re 7 months in on the next album. We took a month and a half off, but then just started again. The album should be out sometime next year. We’re working to set up times to record and everything,but hopefully it won’t be too long after the next big tour. I don’t wanna go too long on the road with just this recording considering the caliber of the material we’ve got for the next record.

J: Is there anything different you’re doing this time around having been through the album cycle once before?

TJ: We’ve been kind of settled in to how we function when it comes to writing and recording. The last album was kind of like a stereotypical first album for a band. It was a bit haphazard with trying to figure out what works and such. We’re more methodical about how we write and record now. Trial and error has taught a lot. We have the process on lock.

J: I remember seeing you guys many times before being signed and it’s always been quite obvious you had a real passion for what you’re doing. Is there any advice you’d give to unsigned bands wanting to make it in the industry today?

TJ: My advice would be to be passionate and play as much as possible. There will always be a better drummer/guitarist/band out there. Set your sights high and do anything and everything to get those things done. You want put out a national record? do whatever you have to until you reach it. Be passionate though because a lot of bands have shell shock when they get into professional music business. Even when we first got into full time band work there was shell shock. You have to find what makes you happy and your love in what you do and work on it as much as possible. If you can’t find it, stay part time because seriously, it will just be a rough road for you.
Oh, and don’t steal stuff.

J: Going back to touring, when are you guys heading out next and who will you be with?

TJ: July 31st we kick off a headlining run. There are a bunch of random dates with various bands on there. We also have Purple Door fest, but we’re jumping on with Shai Halud as well.

Then in October, UNEARTH. That’s going to be huge. Whitechapel, The Acacia Strain, Protest The hero will be on that as well.

J: If you could design a tour, as ridiculous as you want, who would be on it?

TJ: The obvious four for me: Beloved, Thrice, Dillinger, Poison the Well. We’ve been out with PTW before, but we’d love to do it again. There are so many bands we’ve met and want to work with again. We’re trying to work out something with Once Nothing. Thrice is the goal. I said you had to set goals and that’s it for us. Any band that doesn’t appreciate Thrice should readjust their game plan. I may get some junk from that statement, but I don’t care.

J: Well, I know you’re quite busy, but I wanted to ask one last question. We’re quite focused on bringing bands to the forefront that people may not have been exposed to enough. What bands would you like to see get more attention in the industry?

TJ: the Closure from Springfield, Missouri. Everyone asks me this and this is what I say. They are absolutely phenomenal. One ep out currently and I listen to it all the time. At Cornerstone they brought 300 kids on a local stage. They may be the best thing since sliced bread.

J: Well TJ, I think we’re running low on time, any last thought, comments [be as ridiculous as you want]?

TJ: In my lack of cleverness, go get the record, come to shows, meet us. We like to hang out. AND go check out The Dark Knight. Comes out Friday the 18th. We’re going from our show straight from our show that night to the movies. So check out my band and that movie, but seriously, see that movie.

J: On behalf of Under The Gun Review I just want to thank you and the guys at Warm Fuzzy for taking the time to work with us and I can’t wait to see what you guys do next.

TJ: No problem dude. We’ll be through there in October I think.

J: Well if that’s the case, we’ll see you then. Thanks!

TJ: See you dude, thank you.

*Written By: James Shotwell*

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One Response to “We interviewed TJ from GWEN STACY!”

  1. Dales says:

    Great post! Lovely!