Gay Paris
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Gay Paris

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"The Skeleton's Problematic Granddaughter"

Gay Paris - The Skeletons Problematic Granddaughter
Reviewed by Meghan Player

Tales of black magic, wolves from the future, fox queens, french maids and skeletons. If this hasn't got you interested already, I suggest you stop reading now.

'The Skeletons Problematic Granddaughter', the debut album from Sydney ruffians, Gay Paris, is one of the best, if not the best, debut albums you are going to hear in 2011. Their style combines a mix of blues, rock, "swamp and shack" music - with elements of punk, hip hop and good ol' fashioned rock 'n' roll [the kind your parents or grandparents would have danced to back in the day.]

Album opener, 'Turns Out You're Not A Cowgirl After All' is an instantly infectious track that enters your bloodstream and refuses to give - like some new bubonic plague. The combination of gang style vocals, heavy guitars and kicking bridge section, are only a taste of what's to come.

'Deadrie Fell's Dog Park Blues' follows suit, with WH Monks vocals gnawing and growling like a wolfman from a 1920s horror movie. The hooks in this track alone, are enough to sink your teeth into [pardon the dodgy vampire cliche], but it's the originality of the bands sound and themes, that keep you listening on.

'House Fire In The Origami District', the latest single [and video] to be released, is a high octane track - pounding with adrenalin and energy. A trait that the band have made as much part of their album, as they do during a live set.

'And Lo! She Beheld The Pale Surgeon' changes musical styles again, but the underlying 'signature' the band are developing remains the same. Lyrically, this track [and indeed the album] is a triumph. "This is a city that we both made up, and I gave it up" and "Here comes the future" are a couple of brilliant lines that make the bands personality and compelling narrative that bit more tasty.

'My First Wife? She Was A Fox Queen!' will be a standout track for many listeners and fans alike. The irrestistable cheekiness of the track and its melody will stick in your head for days on end, and I defy anyone to not find themselves quietly [or loudly] singing infectious chorus, "f-f-f-f-fox queen!".

While there are boundless amounts of praise that this album deserves, the biggest applause from this review should go to the second last track on the album, 'Soliloquy From Ether Station'.

The rhythmic, enchanting, haunting delivery of the track, instantly makes this a favourite on the album - and demonstrates, yet again, not only the bands unquestionable musical abilities, but the high level of originality in their work.

Overall, if you haven't already gathered, this is a flawless debut album from Gay Paris. Mark April 15th down in your calenders, get your hands on this album and rest assured, you've found your new favourite band. - Push To Fire


"On The Record with Gay Paris"

On The Record: With Gay Paris
by Bomber on April 24th, 2011
Posted In: Gay Paris, On The Record

Sydney’s Gay Paris recently released their fantastic album ‘The Skeleton’s Problematic Granddaughter‘ and are gearing up to hit the road in support of it next month, and no doubt for many more months to come. We caught up with WH Monks from the band to tell us a bit about it via our ‘On The Record‘ questions. Click below to expand this post and take a read, and re-cap next months tour dates. If you wanna check out what we thought about the album, head [Here].

Tell us about the title..
‘The Skeleton’s Problematic Granddaughter’ was always going to be the title for this record. I think that the other guys wanted options, but as it is a ‘story’ record, it has to be named for the story. Ostensibly, the record focuses on the life of the titular granddaughter, from conception to her death (actually, she dies twice). Somewhere along the way, I was distracted by a wolf from the future though, so a lot of what the ‘most important’ character does is either overshadowed or heavily influenced by the actions of this second tier fellow. I probably should have called the record ‘The Beast of Gevaudan’, but what’s done is done.

Tell us about the artwork..
We went through a lot of different shit with regards to the artwork – in the end we ended up going with ‘classy’ black and white photography, with model Sara Lea Cheesecake helping us get sexy when we are obviously very grizzled looking fellows. Our buddy, Mikey Hamer (who also produced / directed our first two film clips for us) was head honcho of the shoot and is always a joy to work with. Something about a six and a half foot tall man with long red hair telling me what to do just feels right. There is some subtle shit going on as well – we incorporated our original idea of illustrations by using the artwork of Alice Amsel (notably her portrait of The Fox Queen) as wall hangings.

Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there…
We recorded at Defwolf, in Sydney. Good name, right? It was close to home, dirty (because we made it that way) and our insane friend, David Hammer runs the place with an iron fist inside a velvet glove.

Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them…
What the fuck to say about Hammer. He is a very strange man and says even stranger things. He was the perfect fit. Sometimes he really pissed me off, but I love the dude, so you gotta take excessive talk about ‘cock n balls’ as a bi-product of his special kind of genius. As far as why we went with this terrible human, well he knows heavy. He knows strange.

How long did it take to record?
Too long. All up, we were in and out of the studio for half a year, I think. I could be wrong. It was nearly two years ago now and we’ve done a lot of things since that could be considered to be detrimental to the brain. We re-recorded guitars after we thought we had the record in the can and a whole bunch of vocals needed to be redone when I realized that I could sound much more like a dying bear if I tried a little harder.

Tell us a little about the recording process the band used..
I’m the worst guy to ask about this. I would show up, drink heaps of black coffee and freak out while Hammer shouted encouragement at me. The less on track we were, the happier he was. When he was happy, I was confused, but also happy. I know that the rhythm section got their shit together really quickly, it was just guitars and vocals that kept morphing and driving us slowly insane.

Any guests involved?
For the most part we kept it in the band. Why settle for less than the best, right? We did get a cellist in for Soliloquy From Ether Station – which we re-wrote about six thousand times before we realized it didn’t work as a rock song – hello prog-ballad!

Anything particular stuff outside your usual live gear used in the process?
I know that everyone borrowed shit loads of gear. Man, I’m starting to feel like you got the wrong guy for this – but, as I’m not entirely certain that anyone else in the band is literate, you’ll just have to bear with me. For my part, I drank a lot of coffee instead of booze for the record, which, lets face it, was the only sensible way to approach things considering my long record of bad behaviour whilst liquored up.

Any memorable studio moments
Hammer was yelling at me “Dude, sing it like Evil Pengu!” I think he meant like an evil penguin. So I did. Likewise, there was the demand for Slim and Blacktooth to ‘sing it like trannies’.

Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
No. We aren’t the kind of band that writes shit that needs to be cut. We did, however, record a Wu-Tang/ODB ‘cover’, recently while in Adelaide. N-bombs, I should not drop them, but they were dropped.

Now that it’s ready for release, what can fans expect of the album?
Relief. Joy. Headaches and orgasms. If you play this record to a prospective sexual partner, you are guaranteed to get laid. Basic science.

How would you compare the album to previous releases?
I wouldn’t.

Any stand out track/s to you personally?
Anything that heavily involves Future Wolf does it for me. He is everything that all time travelling shape shifters should be and then some. At the moment, I’m feeling the more ‘swamp funk’ vibes, though I’m sure next week, I’ll be more up for the more crushing elements of the album.

Anything else of note you want to say about the album?
If you hate this record, you probably voted Liberal and can, to put no fine point on it, eat a bag of dicks.

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The album is currently available [Here] for $8.99 + Free Postage.
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UPCOMING TOUR DATES
MAY
12th – The Patch, Wollongong [18+] w/ Mother & Son
13th – Crown & Anchor, Adelaide [18+] w/ God God Dammit Dammit
14th – Old Bar, Melbourne [18+] w/ God God Dammit Dammit
15th – Cherry Lounge, Melbourne [18+] w/ God God Dammit Dammit and The Yard Apes
19th – Phoenix, Canberra [18+]
20th – The Great Northern, Newcastle [18+] w/ The Good Ship
21st – The Vanguard, Newtown [18+] w/ The Good Ship and Juke Baritone + The Swamp Dogs
27th – The Loft, Gold Coast [18+] w/ The Good Ship
28th – Ric’s, Brisbane [18+] w/ Transvaal Diamond Syndicate

For more information, visit www.gayparismusic.com
- Bombshellzine


"Black Cherry Xmas Party @ The Factory, Sydney (04/12/2010)"

"Gay Paris describe themselves as a blues / soul / southern rock band, but I have never seen anyone in said genres rock a stage as loud or offensive. Sure I have a soft spot seeing a band with two fellow rangas, but any musicians as lively and impressive as showmen as these two earn the crowds praise. WH Monks on vocal, bald with one impressive long red beard worked the stage like a madman while Slim Pickins Podmore on bass, with a mighty red mop on his head who’s stage antics and look can best be described as a muppet." - Faster Louder


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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INTRODUCING GAY PARIS

W.H Monks – Vocals
Slim Pickins Podmore – Bass Guitar
Six Guns – Drums
Ol’ Blacktooth Marks - Guitars

A couple years ago, Gay Paris’ frontman, WH was talking about putting the Devil in a red dress and making God dance with him. Switch to present day and it’s more than diametrically opposed divine beings that are getting the shakes when the foursome hits town.

It’s not easy, being Gay Paris; headline acts complain “they’re too loud, they’re too flamboyant, they’re too much...” – on tour with The Beards, bassist Slim Pickins and WH shamed their tourmates by representing with the most glorious red beards this side of folkloric Scotland. Where do you put a band that can go blue note for blue note with The Snowdroppers and then tear the roof off The Metro Theatre before Karnivool get a chance to? The answer is simple: you don’t put Gay Paris anywhere – they come and go as they please.

In between the swamp stompin’, funk shack shakin’ and often death defying spectacle that is Gay Paris on tour, the four gentlemen (and we use the term very loosely) have found the time to record an album of rough and ready songs that while heavier than free will are so full of rotgut spirit that they’ll have you doing the drowned man boogaloo in no time at all.

Check out what less articulate (okay, less egocentric and downright self involved) folk have been saying about the guys when they can get a word in between Slim and WH’s constant stream of self congratulatory bullshit:

“If Sabbath was injected like cortisone into Tom Waits’ rump then Gay Paris is what he would barf!”
Johnny Wishbone – The Snowdroppers

“Hello Waits-ian drawl! As tight as this kind of debauchery gets. Nice dynamics. Sung while gargling whiskey or something.” Stephanie Hughes – Triple J

“Their faux-hickery seems too action-packed and tight to sustain the illusion of three-thumbed stumbling log-cabin hijinks, but it pays dividends to pretend otherwise and turn it up.”
-- Fasterlouder.com.au

“If you don’t like it, you still can’t argue with it.”
-- Drum Media

“With Gay Paris being all that anyone has been talking about, it’s good to see them deliver... more like going to the theatre than watching a band.” Renegades Empire Magazine

With Winter about to take a hike, Sydney’s Gay Paris are ready to hit the road again and enjoy the world’s general state of disrobement in their own special ways; anyone who comes out of Ol’ Black Tooth Marks’ devilish solos without grime covering their souls must have been soulless to start with and luckily, the act’s first single, My First Wife? She Was A Fox Queen has TWO solos. Yes, it’s excessive, but it also hits you with the three Ds. Dance. Dirt. Danger. The beer flowed. The cameras rolled. See the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYs_gAqALz0

If Slim Pickins and Smokin’ D Wain can stay outta legal trouble for long enough (yeah, we have a gambler and a contrabandistor here, but we’ll let you figure out which is which), Gay Paris will be back on the wagon and out on road this year in support of their debut album, The Skeleton’s Problematic Granddaughter.