Perth band Great Gable are a testament to the fact that hard work does pay off. Sitting quietly under the radar, the band has wasted no time perfecting their unique indie-rock sound and performing to audiences across the country. Last year was one of great success (and increased notoriety) with the band’s release of their Lazy Bones Tapes EP followed by numerous soldout shows across Australia and New Zealand.
Now heralded as one of WA’s best upcoming acts, Great Gable is on the cusp of big things including releasing their long-awaited debut album, Tracing Faces. The 10-track LP is an immersively lush and dreamy exploration into love, heartbreak and mental health. All four members – Alex Whiteman (vocals and guitar), Matt Preen (lead guitar), Callum Guy (drums) and Christopher Bye (bass) – took the time to answer our questions and share their best advice for those wanting to pursue a career in music.
What inspired you to pursue music as a career?
MATT: I just utterly love music, I always have. One day I decided to learn guitar so I could jam (probably Jack Johnson) with Alex. It wasn’t until we created the band that I actually wanted to pursue it, but I realised I wanted to do something I actually loved doing. I didn’t really care much about being successful, I just wanted to do something I was passionate about.
Besides making music, what have you done to get to where you are?
CAL: Preeny [Matt Preen] did a marketing degree so he’s been good with economics and marketing early on when we had no idea how to do business things. Right from the early days of Gable we gigged and toured a lot which helped build our fans.
Be sure to check out more advice from Aussie artists in Dream Small, Act Big: How To Make It In The Music Industry
How do you approach developing timelines for your career?
ALEX: Our manager helps us with developing timelines as we usually take things day by day and don’t tend to plan much. Although every Wednesday night we rehearse. No exceptions!
What is the most significant challenge you have conquered in your career?
CHRIS: Sticking to my guns and following my passion during times where I was questioning if it might’ve been more convenient taking a more predictable career path.
What will musicians discover from touring and how should they prepare for it?
CAL: Yeah touring is sick hey, you definitely get to know your bandmates really well. You basically live with them 24/7 for however long your tour is. Also, be prepared to carry everything you take. Being able to work with different backlines and stages is important. Some of the backline drums I’ve played on have been pretty awful, but you just gotta be grateful and play on, even if it sounds real bad. One hour of sleep is better than none. Also if you’re lucky enough to get money for food, don’t spend all of it on truffle lasagne for brekkie. Didn’t even like the truffle part either haha. Lastly don’t have high expectations for it and have fun, just go and do it!
How should people educate themselves on current industry issues?
CHRIS: Follow/subscribe to all the music journals and blogs such as Industry Observer, Music Industry Inside Out etc. Seek conversation with fellow local muso’s and others that work in the industry and it’s likely you’ll find that you’re faced with similar struggles and issues. This is your most relatable support network. Our manager is a part of The Association of Artist Managers in Australia, which is where many industry-related issues are discussed. Kelsie then updates us regularly on issues and changes within the industry which is really helpful too.
How have you integrated modern technology into your content process?
MATT: I never really thought about recording music until I bought a laptop back in 2014 and found it had Garage Band. I used to make these joke songs because I had no idea how to record proper music in there. Over the years I moved into Logic Pro and just started figuring out myself how everything worked, and then practised recording on our stuff, side projects, more joke songs. Eventually, we got to the point
where we started writing a lot of our music through Logic because it became a lot easier to piece together songs for us. Now before we go to record in the studio, we work hard on pre-production for the demos so they are the best they can be. It’s worth taking the time to learn.
Looking for advice on how to record your own music? Check out our article on DIY vs Studio.
Great Gable’s debut album Tracing Faces is out this Friday August 7