Hobo core: The Goddamn Gallows Turn Bluegrass Up to 11
What’s in a name? A lot. For example: The Goddamn Gallows, who will be playing at The G Street Bar and Grill in Grants Pass on October 9. That not-so-humble moniker evokes a wild, occasionally, brutal pioneer-era end for outlaws, and it does it emphatically. Just like the band’s wild, occasionally, brutal pioneer-era outlaw sound, a mix of bluegrass revivalism and crust-punk ethos.
“In the beginning we listened to old rockabilly, country, bluegrass & psychobilly,” bassist Courtney Kostrich, a.k.a. Fishgutzzz, said in a press release. “I suppose the goal was to blend those sounds with the punk rock we all grew up listening too like Black Flag, Bad Brains, Circle Jerks, Fear, Filth, [and] Dystopia.”
Mission goddamn accomplished. The Goddamn Gallows blow through bluegrass like a tornado, often with a crunch in their tone and a snarl in their vox, like on the band’s not-remotely-subtle, single, “You Motherfuckers Need Jesus.” There are banjos, washboards, fiddles, and blazing guitar. It’s been described as gutterbilly or hobocore. But whatever it is, it’s a sound perfectly suited for Southern Oregon’s Jefferson state of mind, with a mountain sound and a rebel ‘tude.
“We’ve always tried to do something different and as we’ve progressed and added more musicians we’ve slowly changed our sound but always tried hard to have a sound that was ours, not a rehash of some other band or a certain genre,” Kostrich says.
The band spent a lot of its career on the road, touring as much as nine months out of the year.
“We basically gave up staying in a house or apartment and stayed in squats, camps, vans and storage units so we could afford to go on tours and not worry about having to pay rent when we got back,” said Kostrich. “You can’t evict the homeless! That also helped stay on the road because there was nothing left to go back to.”
But that schedule can take a toll.
“After we got on the road there was an entire new smorgasboard of problems; vans breaking down or completely dying, making enough gas & food money, getting along with the same friends for months at a time, finding places to sleep, fatigue, trials,” said Kostrich. “There’s a lot to put up with, especially in the beginning but it’s totally worth it. I think.”
The Goddamn Gallows announced it would only play a single tour of 34 dates for 2015—which would be full annual schedule for many bands—making its appearance in Southern Oregon this time around a bit more goddamned special. So don’t miss out.
The Goddamn Gallows, with Harley Burbon and the John Dough Boys
8 pm, Fri., October 9
G Street Bar and Grill, 125 SE. G St., Grants Pass