Made up of Daniele Yandel of Priests, and Mary Regalado of Downtown Boys, plus a cast of friends, Gauche bring a funked groove to scratchy, minimal post-punk on their debut Get Away With…. Originally released on cassette via Sister Polygon Records, it is now getting a vinyl issue through French label Danger Records.
Taking elements of Young Marble Giants, ESG (who they have played with) and Grass Widow, the DC band inject an explosive energy into songs about fraught relationships, a dependency on technology and social media and unfair working conditions.
Take a listen below and read a short interview with Mary.
Noisey: Your music has a fun dance element to it. Who in the band is the best dancer?
Mary Regalado: Jason, hands down. We are all pretty good dancers I guess but Jason is definitely the best.
What scene has the best dancers?
I'm not sure! It's not a competition and really depends on the vibe of the show. We have a lot of friends in Philadelphia but for some reason people don't move or dance at our shows! It is really bizarre, like they are scared to move.
The band seems to have members from all over the US. But your base is DC right?
Yeah, we formed in DC and most of our songs were written there but I'm living in Providence, RI now and I'm from Southern California originally. Our lineup is very fluid in the sense that it is always changing and we are always switching around on instruments but the Gauche core is Daniele on drums, Jason on guitar and I'm on bass. We have toured as a 7 piece before but right now we are on tour as a four-piece with a new member, Jhon who lives in NYC.
Your use of rototoms, bongos and chimes is cool. Percussion is often inclusionary as nearly any people can bang on a bongo. Is participation an important thing for the band?
We love auxiliary percussion! Sadly our chimes disappeared but we have used roto toms, cow bell, shakers, chimes, hand claps and tambourines. Sometimes we will ask friends to join us as backup dancers/singers or to play the cowbell/chimes/tambourine during a song or set.
What was it like playing with ESG? I take it they were an influence on the band?
Playing with ESG was a dream come true! They're definitely an influence and it was really great getting to see them because I never thought I would get a chance to. I feel like they're a band that really taught me the beauty of rhythm. A month before we played with ESG we played with the Pylon Reenactment Society from Athens which was also a trip because Pylon/Vanessa Briscoe Hay's work means a lot to me as well.
I read in an interview that you used to trade records and you mentioned Vivian Girls. How important and how big an influence do you think they have had in some current bands?
I'm not sure. They're probably influential to a lot of current bands! But from that era, I feel more influenced by Mika Miko, Crazy Band, New Bloods, and Finally Punk. Bands that were a little weirder and had a more chaotic sound.
"High Rise" relates to online culture. What is the longest you have gone without phone/internet reception and access?
A few years ago I went months without a phone or internet access and was fine and happy but my mom was so anxious that she ended up mailing me a phone. The song is partly about that type of anxiety and coping strategies. It's important to take breaks but they aren't always possible in late capitalism. Coping is possible.
'Get Away With …" is available now onDanger Records.
Lead image: Erin Smith