Atlanta’s The Gartrells features members Jared Swilley (bass/vocals), Rod Hamdallah (guitar/vocals), John Kang (drums/vocals) and Jonah Swilley (lead guitar/vocals), each with an extensively impressive resume. Jared’s continued work with veteran band The Black Lips (lookout for their upcoming 9th record 2017!), Rod’s making noise with rockabilly/punk band Legendary Shack Shackers, John’s staying true to a DIY ethos with his company, I Defy Guitars, and Jonah keeps busy with his Atlanta-based recording studio InCrowd. He’s also making noise with local ensemble Black Linen. Just to think of their itinerary makes my teeth hurt!
You may ask yourself, “how in the hell do they find the time?” Well, I don’t have an answer for that, but with this formation comes a much-needed resuscitation to Atlanta’s underground garage scene and that’s enough for me!
Just this past September The Gartrells, have finally released, their much-anticipated debut EP, The Gartrells, which definitely carries enough shake appeal to leave you drenched in sweat by end of the night.
The foursome kicked off that release with a little “taste tour,” opening for their illustrious friends, King Khan & BBQ Show. This whirlwind tour is sure to be an awesome one, with all the sweaty, mucky, grimy goodness that we have come to know and love.
I was fortunate enough to catch up with The Gartrells before their kick-off performance at the Earl, to chat about their new record and as always, anything else that came to mind.
JB: Which studio do you record at when you’re here in Atlanta?
Jonah: We recorded at InCrowd Studio (Jonah’s studio), it’s all in-house.
Rod: Very lo-fi.
JB: Cool. What’s the connection between you and Mr. Khan?
Jared: I met King Khan in Munich in 2005, I think?
Jared: Münster, yeah Münster. Khan hitched hiked to our show there, peed on all of my merch, then cut my hand open and drank my blood. We’ve become best friends ever since. It’s a true story.
(Mr. Khan) I didn’t cut your hand open, you cut your hand open.
Jared: You smashed glass everywhere, then smashed a birthday cake on me and I slipped.
Rod: That’s how people meet.
JB: (laughing) Ok, guys doing guy stuff?!
JB: What states are you hitting during your tour? Will you also be going out of the country?
Jared: From Atlanta as far north as Montreal, stopping in-between, then west to Minneapolis, from there down to Atlanta and a bunch of cities in-between. This is our first tour. We kind of started (tour) tonight.
JB: Why do it here? What’s your connection to the Earl?
Jared: We live here in Atlanta and King Khan & BBQ Show are picking us up while on tour. We’re now jumping on as their opener for the next two weeks.
John: We’ve all played the Earl many times, all of us individually. Highly recommended.
Jared: A family place.
JB: Where can we find your info?
Jonah: We’re on Facebook.
Rod: There’s a Bandcamp URL, www.thegartrells.bandcamp.com to buy music and MP3s.
Jonah: If you google The Gartrells, we’d come up. We’re everywhere but Wal-Mart.
JB: (laughing) Okay, thank you Gartrells, thank you, Mr. Khan, I really appreciate it! Rock-on and enjoy the show!
*If you like the noise these guys make hitch hike to a city near you and catch them alongside, another gnarly band, Paint Fumes, as they share the stage with King Khan & BBQ Show! If you do make it out, definitely stop by merch to pickup a Gartrells’ t-shirt. Shout-out to Rod, for creating a sick design!*
*Upcoming Tour Dates 2016*
11/25/16: Montreal @Bar le Rite PDB
11/26/16: Toronto @Lee’s Palace
11/29/16: Columbus, OH @Ace of Cups
11/30/16: Bloomington, IN @The Bishop
12/01/16: University City, MO @Blueberry Hill Duck Room
12/03/16: Chicago, IL @The Empty Bottle
12/05/16: St. Paul, MN @Turf Club
Definitely checkout The Gartrells’ website at https://www.facebook.com/thegartrells/ for future dates on shows and other interesting tidbits.