By Madeline Alden
The Buzz presents
Photo Credit: Emily Spine
They are a jazzy rock band with a twist. Here’s a Q and A with Stephen from Great Caesar and the GoGetters
Photo from Caitlin Armitage Photo
What towns are the members from?
- All the members are from Madison, CT, except for (me) Stephen who is from Oyster Bay, NY.
- Right now, we’re all in college. John-Michael (vox/piano/guitar) and myself (alto sax) go to Yale; Mike (guitar) goes to Quinnipiac; Adam (bass) goes to NYU; Sean (drums) goes to UCONN; Andy (tenor sax) goes to UMass Amherst; and Tom (trumpet) goes to Williams.
When did the band form?
- The band formed a long time ago (I believe in 2001) as a jazz trio, featuring only John-Michael (who played sax at the time), Adam, and Sean. Over the years the rest of the members joined and the band evolved more into what it is today. Fun fact: some of our current songs are actually rock versions of the jazz trio’s originals.
What genres/bands does GCGG sound like?
- This is a tricky question. All of us have very diverse influences on our personal musical styles, and so the music that we make together is not easy to classify. Of the four songs on our upcoming EP, one is in a jazzy style (almost like “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles) but quotes classical composers like Mendelssohn and Chopin; another song has an atonal sax solo; one is in a latin style that switches to a disco for the chorus; and there’s a hard rock song that’s mixed with a little funkiness. Of the new songs we’re writing right now, one’s very latin influenced but the melody is a quote of “Nature Boy” by Duke Ellington; one of them is very reminiscent of new music like Wolf Parade; another one is heavily influenced by John Mayer, but also at the same time Sly and the Family Stone.
- I think if I were pressed to give a short list of our musical influences, I would list the following artists (in no particular order):
- Monty Are I, RX Bandits, Wolf Parade, John Mayer, Muse, Mad Caddies, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Brand New, and Charlie Parker.
- Here is a quote from Mike (guitar): “As far as bands we sound like, Steve from the Space said we remind him of Buena Vista Social Club. I think we try to stress that we don’t really sound like anything out there, that’s a pretty clichéd response but we’ve started writing songs that sound like Mad Caddies, Brand New, or John Mayer songs and by the time we’re done they don’t resemble those bands much at all. Everyone has their own influences, and they all seem to come out at once.”
- Another important point I want to make is that, yes, we are a rock band with horns, but we definitely don’t categorize ourselves under the ‘ska’ or ‘funk’ label. So it’s tricky to tell people about us without them automatically thinking we play ska.
Does GCGG have any claims to fame, who is the best artist you’ve shared the stage with?
- Yeah – we’re played with these guys: Minus the Bear, Kevin Devine, Mad Caddies, Nightmare of You, and Patent Pending. Plus other bands of course, but I would say those are the most famous ones we’ve shared the stage with. I guess a well-known CT band would be Tip the Van, who we love playing with.
- Another claim to fame, I guess, is that we went on a self-booked and self-promoted tour last summer for two weeks. It was a really awesome experience and we gained a ton of fans.
Anything new such as CDs, Merchandise or tours/shows?
- As I mentioned before, we have a 4-song EP coming out soon which we’re hoping to sell and also to send out to record labels & venues. We have some sweet T-Shirts and stickers as well that you might see around CT. It’s usually a bit difficult to play shows during the year as we’re sort of separated from each other due to school. However, we usually play shows around weekends, breaks, and the summer. We’ve been taking a break from shows to write new music, but I know that we will be appearing in a bunch of Battle-of-the-Bands later this year.
- We are also going to be filming a music video for “Everyone is a VIP to Someone” during the next few months. This could really hit it big (we’re hoping at the level of MTV, etc) so be on the lookout for it.
Anything else interesting you feel like sharing?
- We’d like to give a shout out to Doc Rocktopus and the Nunks, Hungry Hungry Hypocrites, and Kevin D. Also, our next appearance in CT will most likely be at Toad’s Place in New Haven, and if not that, the Madison Arts Barn in Madison. We love making friends with and supporting local bands, so if somebody has a sweet show they want us to play at, we’d love to.
- Finally, we’re looking to start building a street team in a bunch of different cities around the East Coast, so tell a friend about us 🙂
Photo from Betty M Haggerty
Great Caesar and the Go Getters were also mentioned on MTVU
An additional interview is at The New Haven Advocate
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