Gaspar Sanz's new single, You Can Be Somebody To Love is out now! We chat to frontman Jimmy Bell and drummer Sam Devenport about the release and more!
Gaspar Sanz had massive plans for 2020. Gearing up to release their third EP Glass Rainbow, the Sydney-via-Perth four-piece were planning to hit the road to perform the new collection of songs for their legion of Aussie fans. Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to those plans, the band released Glass Rainbow and began working on new music from opposite ends of the country.
The first taste of those new tracks came last week with the release of You Can Be Somebody To Love. The upbeat track presents a fun and high-spirited soundscape, landing a more lively pop sound whilst reflecting on the desire to hold onto the positivity of pre-pandemic times.
With the bands melodic section in Perth and their rhythm section in Sydney, You Can Be Somebody To Love is the result of countless zoom calls, file sharing and virtual studio sessions, with the four-piece working across three different timezones as their producer, Irish music producer and mixer Jacknife Lee, was working on the track from LA.
Comprised of frontman Jimmy Bell, drummer Sam Devenport (the former drummer of Tame Impala), guitarist Jesse Lawrence, and bassist Dom Coulton, the band officially formed in 2016 before dropping a bevy of singles, now having three EP's under their belt. Known for their high-energy performances, bringing a magnetic and frenzied set to each show, the four-piece cite influences ranging from The Strokes to Jungle Giants, to David Byrne, the four-piece fuse together their own brand of alt-rock, threading through moments of pop and psych-rock within their soundscapes.
You Can Be Somebody To Love is out now! Read our interview with Jimmy Bell and Sam Devenport
Tell us a bit about how you began your musical journey...
Jimmy and I both studied musical theatre together over at WAAPA in Perth. The two of us then came together in Sydney and began writing music in between acting gigs. What started out as a hobby soon began to get more and more serious as we went along.
We decided to go all in on music in 2017 after we recorded our first EP as Gaspar Sanz. We had spent the previous few years in various musical iterations (prog-rock at some points, folk at others), but 2017 was when it all came together under the moniker Gaspar Sanz once Jesse and Dom (and previous guitarist Tim) all fully came on board.
Congratulations on the release of your new single, You Can Be Somebody To Love! The song reflects the desire to hold onto the positivity of pre-pandemic times. What prompted you to explore and document these themes?
Well as musicians I think we naturally take and use what we experience and see in our surroundings as inspiration. I think we noticed people weren’t doing so well so we wanted to write something to reflect how we felt at the time. Stress and fear makes people do funny things, it’s nice to be reminded that your are a good person.
The song was written from opposite ends of the country, with half the band in Perth and half in Sydney due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What challenges did you face when bringing the track to life and how did you navigate creating during the pandemic?
It’s been pretty challenging to be honest. After Jimmy and I had lived and written together for the better part of 7 years, suddenly finding the rhythm section in Sydney and the melodic section in Perth was a very challenging task. Thankfully technology has come a long way and file sharing (particularly google drive) has been a life saver.
Many zoom calls and file sharing apps were used in the making of this song. And whilst it’s certainly not the ideal way of working, it showed us it was absolutely possible. Collaborating with our producer, Jacknife, in LA was also a challenge as we were across 3 different time zones.
Thankfully, we all managed to pull it together and having someone as brilliant and experienced as Jacknife on the project helped us immeasurably.
Sonically, the upbeat track presents a fun and high-spirited soundscape, landing a more lively pop sound. How did you arrive at and craft the sounds present on the release?
Well we had help from a great producer, Jacknife Lee. He really helped us form the song throughout our many zoom sessions. At first we had a rough demo of the song and it sounded quite different, still had that pop sound, but Jack saw something in the song and we all ran with it.
If You Can Be Somebody To Love was a piece of visual art, which artwork would it be?
It would be an Andy Warhol painting of a pair of parachute pants.
What messages do you hope listeners take away from the song?
We really wanted it to feel fun and happy when people heard it. Creating a space to reflect on how you have a choice to look around you and see the beauty in the little things. It’s important to reflect how you feel in order to create a better environment around you and the people you love.
You guys have dropped some pretty great visuals in the past. How important are the visuals to you when it comes to conveying the story and meaning present on the track and how involved are you in the creative process?
All artistic direction is done on a shoestring budget. When we’ve experimented with collaborating in the past the outcomes have varied from disastrous through to just plain awful.
With most things in life you get what you pay for, so it's been best for us to take things into our own hands to ensure a result that we’re confident portrays the intention of the song.
Will we be seeing a music video for You Can Be Somebody To Love? And can you give us any hints on what to expect?
There is a video clip on the way. We wanted to highlight the beauty in the mundane. You can expect stylised awkwardness. You know, like swimming fully clothed - you can try and be graceful, but there's a stilted awkwardness to it.
You’re currently working on new music, after not being able to tour your EP Glass Rainbows which dropped mid last year. What can audiences expect from any future releases
I think the next batch of music will be a bit different to what we’ve done before. The physical distance between band members has given us all time to work a bit on our own. So when we all come back together I think we’ll have a litany of varied and fresh ideas to explore with each other.
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording songs?
Due to the band being spread out across the country theres been alot of demoing back and forth, Dom (Bass) & Sam (Drums) get together regularly in Sydney and flesh things out live. Whereas Jimmy (Vox) and Jesse (Guitar) are usually generating and sharing ideas remotely.
The current pandemic has obviously put a halt to touring and performing live, what are your touring plans post pandemic? If any, what can audiences expect from your return to the stage?
We are hopeful that a tour of both east and west coast’s will be on the cards later in 2021. It's so hard to tell just yet as WA has been one of the trickier states as far as border closures are concerned. So far things are looking good!
Album that has had the most impact on you?
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
Daft Punk- Random Access Memories
Multi Love- Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Jeff Buckley- Grace
Frank Ocean- Channel Orange
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Brash - Sexy - Umami
Snap - Crackle - Pop
A musical release you’re most looking forward to in 2021?
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Star Wars - A New Hope
Howl’s Moving Castle
John Wick 4
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
Miley Cyrus- No Debate!
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Queens of the Stone Age - Rated R
Rage Against the Machine- Battle of Las Angeles
At the Drive In - Relationship of Command
Fleetwood Mac- Rumours
Best concert you have been to?
Rage Against the Machine!
The Mars Volta, Big Day Out, 2006
Last concert you went to?
Two Door Cinema Club
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
Guilty music pleasure?
Carly Rae Jepsen, Call Me Maybe is an absolute banger
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
Foals. One of the best bands in the world right now
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.
Probably Beyonce and Jay Z? Maybe Lady Gaga. Someone like that
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?
Take the blue pill
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
Being dragged to Bluesfest as a 10 year old by my Mum, if only she knew.
Listening to Bon Jovi when I was 5.
Back when I played my first ever show.