Streets of Laredo have been known as the New Zealand band who relocated to Brooklyn, but they’re also more than a reductive label which simply points to a map as identity. Furthermore brothers Dan and Dave Gibson have added American members to their line-up… Streets Laredo are truly an international band with sensibilities that span time zones, genres and side-step trends as they do it. Their debut album Wild is a rare treat of indie pop that concerns itself with spreading joy more than establishing itself as the cool kid, too sincere to smile.
With their debut album just released the band are joining CRX – Nick Valensi of The Strokes new band – out on tour, and it’s appears as if things are on the upswing for the band. ARTISTdirect caught up with Dan Gibson to discuss the current mood of the band – their humble beginnings, and how to conduct interviews whilst waiting on a marriage license. Many congratulations to Dan and his betrothed, Brescia – long may you run!
Where are you right now?
The City Clerks Office in New York, I’m waiting to get my marriage license. I’m getting married in 10 days.
Please name your fellow band members and their roles… oh, and who has the best dance moves?
My brother Dave Gibson plays the drums, his wife Sarahjane multi-tasks, she sings, plays guitar & does some percussion. Cameron Deyell plays the electric & Andrew McGovern plays keys & trumpet. Just check the new video for ‘Trap for Young Players’ & you’ll see my brother Dave busting some out of this world maneuvers.
Tell us about your new project: Who did you work with? Where was it recorded? What’s it about? Is there candy?
We’re a 6 piece band, 4 of the members are from NZ and two of the members are from the great nation that is America.
Our new record is called ‘Wild’ & we recorded it in NYC at the magnificent dreamland studios & mixed it at the Magic Shop in NYC. The first album was self produced by the band. This time around, we got John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile) on board to produce, which took the record to another level.
We tend to gravitate toward a more narrative style of songwriting. It’s been a pretty wild ride moving to New York from New Zealand; being away from family & friends, the hustle here in New York and getting used to the change of pace. All of these things effect us in some way or another, so these stories and experiences naturally come out in the songs on this record.
Candy? Have you heard of ‘Minties’ from New Zealand? They will break your teeth.
How do you describe your music to new friends?
If you put John Lennon, Simon & Garfunkel and Talking Heads in a washing machine with a pair of shoes, you get Streets of Laredo.
How did you first meet, and where exactly did you become a band?
Seeing that Dave and I are brothers, I’m fairly sure we meet the day I came out of my mother’s womb. The rest of the gang came together around 20 years later through various circumstances. We become a band about 6 years ago.
We started Streets of Laredo in New Zealand. Dave and I had always talked about making music together but we were both in other bands for a long time, the opportunity came up when my twin brother Ben was getting married and he asked me to write a song for the wedding. I invited Dave & Sarah to work on a song I was writing called ‘I’m Living’. We worked it up and performed it on the day, and it felt super special. That song ended up being on our first record and I guess started what would become Streets of Laredo.
What should your hometown be known for?
Really good (cheap) avocados.
Please look around you right now and please describe the first item or person you see that’s significant to yo.
My fiance Brescia. I proposed to her about 3 weeks ago, and we decided elope in here in NYC.
What first inspired you to pursue music? If it was a musician or a specific piece of music, please tell us all about why you find it so inspirational…
Probably Michael Jackson. I remember somehow watching a replay of the GRAMMYS at home in NZ (we only had 4 channels on TV at my house), and I was completely memorized by the songs and the dancing. I was about 8 years old.
What’s the best advice anyone has given you about pursuing a life in music?
Be a sponge (my twin brother said that).
Not including your current crew, who (alive or dead) would you love to have in your van for an all day drive from gig to gig?
John Lennon is my guy. I’m huge fan of his solo efforts after The Beatles.
What song best sums up your life right now?
What is the best reaction to your music you have experienced so far?
After a show in Houston, I guy gave me $250 if he could have my t-shirt.
Take a moment to dream – Where do hope to be a year from now?
In a beachside studio that I own, with my best friends around me, making music everyday.
What’s your next step towards that dream?
We’re going on tour with CRX (Nick Valensi of The Strokes new band), in November/ December then Australia & NZ in Feb/March…details on the internet.
For more information visit Streets of Laredo on ARTISTdirect