The Gloomies test out new, wavy surf/psych/pop material on Soda Bar every Monday
Guys. It’s January. That time of year when you make resolutions that suck and you won’t stick to. So why not just say f— it from the get go and have a good time instead. Every. Single. Monday. At least for the month of January — because that’s when the Gloomies hold residency at Soda Bar.
Maybe you remember the North County band from our recent Spotlight segment, when the guys talked to us about surfing and how the Gloomies buzz started. Or maybe you remember them from that buzz — when far-and-away music blogs started giving the self-described “surfpunk heroine jazz” band some love. It might not have happened (or at least not so soon) had frontman and Encinitas-native Andy Craig (formerly of Sacco and Guards, among others) known how to use SoundCloud.
“I put out demos basically, just for buddies back in New York, just trying to show them,” Craig tells me over the phone. “And I didn’t really understand how SoundCloud worked, and so I didn’t realize anyone would hear them.”
But someone did — someone who has connections, and he hit up Craig to say (A) I want to manage you, and (B) the Gloomies are going to be featured on NME. “I thought it was a joke and said, ‘Yeah, if that ever happens, let me know.’ And he’s like, ‘I’m letting you know.’ And I didn’t think that much of it — I’ve done this long enough to know that things said don’t really mean anything,” says Craig. But both did happened — the Gloomies landed a manager and generated some hype (NME highlighted the band’s track “LSD” as New Music of the Day) in one fell swoop.
“I was very confused,” Craig laughs. “But it’s sweet.” This was when they had maybe 20 Facebook followers. “It was, like, not even a band,” he adds. “I mean it was a band…” But they had just two songs worked out, and hadn’t really even played any gigs. Although technically when Delta Spirit came through the Irenic last May for the Delta Spirit & Friends tour, the Gloomies had their first official show — kind of. It was just Craig, who knows all the DS guys from his New York days, playing a little acoustic number. Since then the band has grown to include fellow Sacco alum Chris Trombley and brothers Blake and Grant Martz of Idyll Wild.
The Gloomies self-shot a surf-happy music video and did some quick work with Soda Bar buyer and Thrill Me Records co-pilot Cory Stier to massage those demos into a 7-inch and will soon (January or February) release an EP with the label as well. But the question remains: Do they have enough material to fill a month of Mondays at Soda Bar?
Craig laughs. “Our live set, we should have enough,” he says. “I’m that kind of band… I never want to out stay my welcome. I want people to be paying attention,” which means each night will be a little different, fleshed out with some instrumental covers. And eventually, the Gloomies will take to the road.
“Yeah, that’s the point? I guess? For us?” says Craig. “We want to be on tour. We want to play shows. Not enough bands work that aspect. It’s way more important than people think. That’s how bands are going to make money even. But I like being on the road,” he adds with a laugh. There’s something in that lifestyle, in the discomfort, that Craig is drawn to. “Since February or early March , I was living in, like, the brothers’ shed. It was like a studio, but cement floors and carpet on top. I lived on a pad in there,” he says, laughing. “I lived there for like six months. It’s good to be uncomfortable. If you’re too comfortable, you won’t write anything good, or life will be boring.”
And that’s something Craig works to avoid, no matter where he is: stagnation. “That was a big issue with me moving back to San Diego,” he says. “It’s a city of comfort. I like to stay somewhat adventurous no matter what comes into life. I think it’s good, especially for music.”
Just how those terms are worked out for the Gloomies tunes, only Mondays will tell.