Described as “Today Is the Day meets ZZ Top”, Something Is Waiting have crawled out of the ever prolific Chicago metal scene with a unique and immediately arresting sound that will stick to the minds of those who listen. Born out of the ashes of grungy noise rock outfit Jar’d Loose, Something Is Waiting purvey a sound that weaves together the corrosive angularity of AmRep noise rock with 70s/80s classic hard rock and metal swagger. At the center of it all is vocalist Eddie Gobbo, whose acidic snarl and snarky lyrics give the music even more character than it already had. Svbterranean recently caught up Gobbo to talk about the band and its new album, classic records and Halloween plans.
Could you please introduce yourself and your role in Something is Waiting?
I’m AC, and I drive White Broncos for OJ. You know who I am, god dammit!
How did Something is Waiting come into being?
I was a band called Jar’d Loose before SIW. After two records and countless shows, the other members of the band expressed that they had no desire to work with me anymore. Prior to this, I remember wanting to go in to more of a garage/80’s rock vibe on what potentially would have been a third Jar’d record. This is what Something is Waiting ultimately became. I got what I considered to be three of my favorite musicians in the Chicago – Idin Alexander (drums), Eddie Limperis (bass), and Pete Grossman who has engineered every project I’ve done in the last decade. They understood what I wanted to go for and liked the idea, and we started bouncing ideas back and forth, and before you know it, we had a band.
How do feel writing and performing in Something is Waiting pushed you as a musician compared to your work in Jar’d Loose and The Muzzler?
This is the hardest band I’ve been in ever. It’s really hard playing guitar and singing, after spending the better part of the last decade running around and screaming without having any instrument responsibilities. That said, it’s much easier on the front end of things when a riff pops in to my head while writing. I can just go to my guitar and everyone can coursing through your head at that moment. I remember when we were writing a lot of Jar’d Loose stuff, I’d get a riff in my head and run to an acoustic guitar in the corner and start playing it. A couple of the songs on the last record were written that way. I really enjoyed writing that way.
Do you also feel that being a part of the Chicago music scene (playing, booking, promoting, etc) has influenced you as well?
Yes. For heavy music, I think we have the best “scene” in the United States. The main reason is the big city saturation mixed with a lack of ego. This is what really makes this place special. That’s a rare combo. Super rare, actually. If done well, your band will get accepted here. Not to throw a place like Brooklyn under the bus, or Portland, or what have you, but I ‘ve known several amazing bands from “hip” cities over the years that get no love in said cities because they don’t look or play a certain way.
What can you tell me about the new record, The Something is Waiting Band? Writing, recording, etc?
Ok. So the record: As you can tell, it has a Jar’d Loose vibe (which I mentioned before), because a lot of ideas I had on this record came from the ideas I was piecing together for what would have been a 3rd Jar’d Loose record. When I finally came to terms with that record not existing against my will, I basically lost my shit mentally. When the dust settled, I found myself motivated and creative, which is a perfect storm combo for a songwritter. I started writing the record with Idin in a jam space with me on guitar. I don’t remember anything I did last spring except jam. I hadn’t really played guitar in forever, so I had to teach myself how to to play guitar in a live setting. Eddie getting in the mix on bass really helped me out. I hid behind him a lot until I was comfortable. We began recording the record, none of the songs were fully written. They were skeletons. Grossman and I really took time with the production process, analyzing the riffs and vocals and building them in to songs. Then one day we were like, “Oh, we have songs now.” Listen to “Mark”, which may be one of the better songs on the record. I remember listening to that song with Eddie when it was finally completed, and he was like, “What song is this?” I think my response was “Exactly.”
ZZ Top, Motley Crue and other classic rock/metal acts have been cited as influences on the album. What made you gravitate towards these kinds of sounds for this particular project?
Absolutely. Those are two bands I tried to crowbar in to a lot of Jar’d Loose stuff, but never could. It always seemed like we went for more Jesus Lizard or White Zombie when ever we were at a fork in the road, which was cool. But with those bands I did it mainly because I love them, and it baffles me that bands these days, especially when it comes to Crue, look at them as guilty pleasure bands that are passe, and impossible to work in to 2016 songwriting. It almost became a mantra to consciously make sure that vibe came across on this record, and we’ve succeeded. You’ll notice it from the first track on.
What classic hard rock/metal record(s) do you feel stands above all of the rest?
I will preface this by saying that I love music and I love the experience of listening to entire records. So I am extremely qualified to answer a question like this. If you’re looking for the best Classic Rock crossover record ever, the answer is Aerosmith “Rocks.” When I listen to that record, I not only hear arguably the peak of Aerosmith, but I hear the first Rage. I hear La Sexocisto. I mean, the opening riff in “Lick and a Promise” is a White Zombie riff. It’s Black Sunshine. The list goes on for 90’s bands influenced obviously influenced by that record, because they we’re all in their early teens when it came out and It obviously carried over to what they ended up doing musically.
What are some of the lyrical themes explored on the record?
The main lyrical theme I wanted to explore on this record was, believe it or not, music. I wanted to talk about music. It’s funny, cuz I just mentioned “Lick and a Promise.” That’s a song where the lyrics are about music. Willy Nelson has a lot of songs about music. It’s weird that more people in bands don’t have more songs about music and being in bands, because for the most part, that’s pretty much all they talk about in real life. I ran with that. I always roll my eyes when bands talk about the sea, or whatever Baroness-style lyrics.
Do you feel like your approach to lyrics, as with your approach to music, has changed over the years?
Mainly, I’m not afraid/ashamed to write/say anything now. The hook in the first song is me screaming “White People Festival Songs.” Obviously, its meant in a tongue and cheek matter. But these days, we live in a literal society, so there is a risk in saying things like that on a record. Art is compromised with a literal outlook. The more literally you take things, the more your artistic outlook is compromised.
You’ve written sports columns for both Metal Sucks (“Mark for War”, wrestling) and Decibel (“Encrotchment”, football) in the past. Are there plans to continue these columns?
The wrestling, no. I did however do a live lecture in my home town recently as part of this thing called the Logan Square Art Fest. It was recorded and will air soon. The football column, yes. Will premier via Decibel the week before the football season begins.
Best wrestler and best football player of all time? Go!
Bret Hart and Peyton Manning.
What is next for Something is Waiting? Do you have any other projects, musical or otherwise, coming down the pipeline?
The other dudes in the project do, but as far as this next little snippet of life, we’ll be pushing this one the most out of any of them. We’ve already begun piecing together the next record, and we should be entering the studio in the Winter.
One last question: Can we expect a Something is Waiting White Zombie cover show?
No. However, we WILL be doing a set called DAD’S IS WAITING this Halloween, which is basically a set list consisting of Dad-style cover songs played on Fender Squires and practice amps.
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