Thursday, July 7, 2016

Interview: AL Yeti Bones of Gypsy Chief Goliath Talks Music, Beer, and Fatherhood

AL Yeti Bones (center)
Sometimes you get these emails and all of a sudden your interest is piqued.

Let me tell you, as a Grade F Flunkie in the music business, I'm privy to all sorts of emails that we receive here at the 33,576,222nd most popular website in the world.

Some of them are expected, X band has a new record, Y band has a new video, Z band is going on tour.

Then you get Gypsy Chief Goliath is going on tour and releasing a beer called Black Samra(IPA). At this point, my natural curiosity took over, as this particular beer is not readily available here in St. Louis, but as a former beer blogger... I had to get the scoop.

Glacially Musical: Let's get to know you guys a little bit. Where do you look for inspiration?

AL Yeti Bones: Definitely 70's classic rock first and foremost. Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, AC/DC, Mountain and all of those bands that bordered heavy metal, combined with bands like Soundgarden, Danzig, Clutch, Down, High On Fire, Sleep, and Kyuss were all bands that played a huge part to our inspiration, but it's not just that….

We all come from different cities, and different musical stylings. We all love a wide array of genres too. From blues to death metal. I personally love old school death metal and whatever comes out of Sweden is always mighty too. So we have a lot to pull from when it comes to get us 6 or 7 guys in the same room at once, to write or jam. 

We're never short on material. I'm a big martial arts fanatic, as well as pro wrestling, so to be inspired can come from many places. 

GM: Aside from the standard sub-genre conventions and the like, can you describe to me what your music is?

AL Yeti Bones: Our music is heavy. It's got power, and soul. There's something extremely charming about the way we incorporate 3 guitar players, and always making sure we have somewhere to be musically in each song, and not stick to the riff for too long. 

I love doom metal a lot. I come from it. We also have a harmonica player too, so that keeps things interesting. We try not to over use it, but we've definitely developed a bit of a remembrance from it. We are also currently incorporating a keyboardist into the mix too, that is because of the 70's classic rock and progressive influence we have. 

Things are going into a direction for us, that is going to focus a little more on musicality, harmony and melody, but most of all, tone and structure.

I used to play and sing in a band called Serpents of Secrecy as well as The Mighty Nimbus that features members of King Giant, Foghound, Pentagram, Sixty Watt Shaman, Place of Skulls, and Alabama Thunder Pussy. 

So doom has been something I picked up to add to our melting pot. I also played in a band called Georgian Skull that was very much a mix between Entombed and Pantera, so a little bit of this trickled down into Gypsy Chief Goliath as well. Anything we do from the past, I feel has had an effect on us musically today. 

We can not forget the roots of where we were and what we were trying to do back then either.

GM: What are we supposed to feel when we hear it?

AL Yeti Bones: I think (and I hope) people feel the honesty. We're not trying to reinvent the wheel, but we certainly aren't trying to be like everyone else. 

When you see us play live, I'd hope you get a sense of "these guys are great" and from that I believe the charming factor I spoke of earlier comes out in the playing. 

People hear a Southern quality (and they're not wrong) like Allman Brothers, or Skynyrd, but they can hear that we are doing our own thing as well. Very much so. It's interesting because most people that can't stand heavy metal, we are like their gateway to it. 

For some reason, they understand what we are doing, because of the natural love of blues and jazz people have.

GM: Now, let's talk beer. I hear tale that you're releasing a beer called Black Samura(IPA).

AL Yeti Bones: We sure are!!!! Proud of the reception it's received thus far, and extremely hopeful for the future of it and where it will go.

GM: Give me all the dirt here. What's the IBU? What kind of hops? What makes this particular beer a follower of bushido?

AL Yeti Bones: Alright here's the scoop, 60 IBU's, good ole' trusty "C" Hops…..Columbus for bittering, Cascade and Chinook for the late additions and dry hop. 

It's 6.5% ABV. As for being a follower of Bushido, I used to be a Jiu Jitsu practitioner, and was a HUGE fan of PRIDE MMA and love martial arts. It just made sense.

GM: How much 'testing' did you have do on the batches?

AL Yeti Bones: The brewer who is amazing at what he does, from what I know did the initial batch in one take. 

He's a pro. The testing on the other hand, I must admit I needed to guzzle several bottles first, before I knew it was good for consumption by others. Mainly from my own selfishness though.

GM: How did you settle on a black IPA?

AL Yeti Bones: So the brewer is actually quite an artist when it comes to beers. 

He is a fan of our band, and a good friend of mine,  when we got talking he told me his plans. He said, "you guys are heavy, and got that Black Sabbath thing going on…

So I'm really thinking to do a batch of Black IPA's for you guys!" I told him, "that is even better because we have a song that did fairly well called Black Samurai." 

And me being the wordsmith I am lol, I said, "it could be a Black Samurai(PA). haha get it?" So it worked. 

GM: Let's say you've just gotten off stage and you're ready to unwind, what beer do you have in your hand? What about relaxing and playing video games?

AL Yeti Bones: If I've just gotten off stage and I'm ready to unwind, it's probably going to be something light. Close to water. 

Like Vodka or something…. lol 

 No kidding, that's for on stage. Just off the stage, I'll drink something easy…Old Style Pilsner or Molson Stock Ale… 

Before the show earlier in the day time, it's usually Boneshaker IPA, or Naughty Neighbour or something like that. There is two amazing breweries out of Windsor Ontario called The Walkerville Brewery and Craft Heads Brewing Company that are doing really amazing things. 

I'll always drink and support their product. Now as for playing video games??? I play NBA2K series, WWE 2K series, and if it's going to be an adventure game, Allan Wake most likely. 

GM: When will be seeing your smiling faces here in St. Louis, MO? (The Beer Capital of the USA.)

AL Yeti Bones: Hopefully soon. We're working on tour dates now, for the fall. My wife and I are expecting our 2nd child very soon, and that will have to come first for a little bit, cause family to me, if that foundation sucks and I'm not the best father and husband I can be, then everything else in my life will suffer from the domino effect of me being an asshole. 

So I have to keep aware of who I am and why I'm here. And it's for my wife and kids first. Mind you there was a time I put music before everything else, but it nearly destroyed me. I'm a Financial Advisor by day, musician by night, but I'll always be husband and father day or night. 

I go by three names…. AL Yeti Bones (in music), Alex (in Financial Planning) and Dad, (with my family).

GM: Do you have any plans for bringing Black Samura(IPA) down here?

AL Yeti Bones: Right now we are proud to announce that Craft Head Brewing Company is doing an amazing job with it, and we'll be putting it at a few different bars, the partnership is very relaxed, we're Canadians so it don't have to be too stressful. 

We will have an official launch party at Craft Heads for it in the coming months, and because the demand has been nuts with our fans about it, we are going to try and can it as well obviously. 

Then the work in distribution starts. But I have a background in marketing, sales and distribution, so with Craft Heads Brewing Company making it, and our band's ability to sell it, I'm certain you will see it your way as soon as the stars align.

And things are looking really good right now.

Thanks for putting up with my inanity.

AL Yeti Bones: No problem!!! I love talking beer, I love talking music, and I love getting to have these conversations with people who care about what we are doing. It means the world to us, and I truly appreciate it all. 


Gypsy Chief Goaliath's latest album can be purchased and previewed here.

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