THE BAND. Ryan Schimmenti (Lead Vocals, Bass), Jean Paul Matiuk (Drums, Vocals), Pat Mulvihill (Lead Guitar, Vocals), Gabe Wilhelm (Rhythm Guitar, Vocals).
WHAT’S YOUR SOUND? Gilgongo’s sound spans a great distance: From the stylized, nostalgic, vaudevillian romp, to the driving, pounding, seducing, rock-inflected groove, to the big, big smile, big euphoric jam number that serves as a soundtrack for the bouncing and spinning and joyfully perspiring Gilgongo faithful. All of this is Gilgongo’s sound. It is the very spirit of the band to hear all music as representing musical possibility, and it is at the band’s core to dare itself to take raw often disparate material, and project it out through its particular cracked lens and unleash something novel, something infectious, a sound that, in the end, can only be understood as being the work of Gilgongo.
DEATH METAL BE NOT PROUD? Prior to forming Gilgongo, frontman Ryan Schimmenti and drummer Jean Paul Matiuk spent four plus years recording and touring as part of a successful death metal band. Although the band was regularly playing to packed houses, in both large clubs and smaller outdoor venues along the Atlantic Coast and in the Midwest, the music proved to be unsatisfying to both Schimmenti and Matiuk. Eventually, the twosome quit the band and became immersed in a world of a more melody-based form of rock. For a good year or so, they played out, as an acoustic duo, and covered the songs of some of their greatest influences including The Kinks, Todd Rundgren, XTC, and Elvis Costello. At the same time, Schimmenti and Matiuk were writing their own material and working their way towards the Gilgongo sound heard today. In 2003, the band took the next big step and welcomed guitarist Pat Mulvihill into the fold. Propelled by Mulvihill’s spot-on playing, the threesome developed a bigger and more dynamic sound and picked-up the already torrid touring pace while focusing almost exclusively on playing their own material. This pattern continued until early 2005, when, while searching for the inevitable fourth Gilgongoan, the band invited lead guitarist Gabe Wilhelm (formerly of The Lesstons) to join the trio and round out the lineup. He accepted. Sonic bliss at last.
WEEN MIGHT BE GIANTS. Or a theory attempting to explain how we all might be expected to play under the collective spell of our collective heroes if such heroes are such luminaries who (though they themselves owe a certain debt to those who preceded them) possess a sound and a voice that cannot be copied and can only be yearned for by ears not unlike the eight that bookend the happy brains comprising the sound and the experience that IS this band called Gilgongo. Translation (1): inspired by our heroes, we play to honor their music and send forth sounds anew. Translation (2): Some of our influences are Ween, Queen, They Might Giants, Squeeze, Tenacious D, XTC, ETC.
GILGONGO GOES ROUND AND ROUND. In 2005, Gilgongo released its first full-length L.P. Tanning Our Eyelids: Songs from the Hotel Bar. Featuring singles “Honeybitch” and “23 Skidoo,” Tanning has been in regular rotation on college radio and alternative rock stations since its release. Currently, the band is wrapping up material for its follow-up album, which will be mixed by engineer John Siket of Dave Matthews, Phish, Sonic Youth, and Yo La Tengo fame. Tentatively titled Drowning of a Resuscitated Hanged Man, the disc will be available in the fall of 2006.
GRINGO IN A KIMONO. In February, Gilgongo teamed up with NY-based creative agency Hart+Larsson to shoot the video for “Gringo in the Parlor.” After catching the band’s act at CBGB’s, Hart+Larsson, known for its own peculiar visual style, committed to shooting at least three videos for the band. “Gringo ” features frontman Ryan Schimmenti dressed in a gold kimono lounging about in his Asian-inspired pad with Malin, a Swedish-born runway model with an obvious love of Vonnegut and pink panties. Hart+Larsson will be shooting videos for “Honeybitch” and “Happy Hour” within the next two months.
A ROADIE IS A ROADIE IS A ROADIE. GIilgongo has played throughout NYC at venues including CBGB’s, The Continental, ACME Underground, and Southpaw. The band plans to continue playing around the NYC area as well as touring in NJ, DC, Philly, and Vermont as a means to answer the call of its growing following.