Talk Thursday to Me – Zeb Gould

Today we talk with Zeb Gould, the man behind Bowery Boy Blue and Stereofan as well as his own solo career about his new solo digital 7″, the new BBB album and life in general.

Zeb Gould: Hi.

Postcard Editor: Hello. So we’ll get to the new digital 7″ in a second, but just generally – how’s everything in Zeb land?

Zeb: Things are good. Still living in Jersey CIty and playing lots of music with various folks. Looking forward to some records coming out in the coming months.

PE: Excellent – I think we all need more music from you. So let’s talk about this digital 7″ – how did you come to start working with Ampeater Music?

Zeb: Ben Heller, operator of The Ampeater Review, booked me for a show way back in 2005 or 2006 at the Postcrypt Coffeehouse while he was a student at Columbia, and we’ve kept in touch intermittently since then. About six months ago he let me know about Ampeater and asked me to submit some music.

PE: Is the 7″ the first of more to come on Ampeater? Some of your other releases this year going to be there as well, or have you found other homes for those projects?

Zeb: As it stands now we don’t have plans to release more music through them, but that might change. As for the other projects (ie. Bowery Boy Blue’s next record), we’re still sending it around and looking for a home. Sam Crawford, myself and our friend Timothy Quigley recorded a record at Farm Fresh last summer and we’re looking for a home for that one as well. Although I think we might put that out on my own imprint Space Photo Records.

PE: Do you have a name for that collective – with Crawford and Quigley?

Zeb: We haven’t settled on anything, but I know ‘The Butchers’ has been kicked around. I’m excited for that one to see the light of day, it has a Three On the Tree kinda feel to it – We even got Patrick Mero to make an appearance!

PE: Oh hell yeah – that’s great! Can’t wait to hear it.

PE: So the digital 7″ captures a few of your different sides pretty well I think. With the A Side showcasing your work as a singer songwriter and the B Side showing of your guitar prowess. Was that deliberate, or were these just two tracks that you didn’t have a home for?

Zeb: I think it was a little of both. I’ve had that song ‘A Day at the Firelakes’ sitting around for a long time and I’d tried to shoehorn it into other collections before with little success, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to put it out. The instrumental I wrote specifically for the 7″ so I definitely went in thinking I’d like to have something contrasting. Also, I think the concept at Ampeater is for the musicians to put together two complimentary yet contrasting songs so that’s what I was shooting for.

PE: So I know that regular BBB contributor Christian Rutledge recently moved back to New York, does this mean we’ll start to see some more live dates from the band – maybe in conjunction with the new release?

Zeb: I certainly hope so! We’ve been scheming the last few weeks. Our main priority right now is putting the final touches on the next record, Dying Waves, which we should have mixed and mastered within the coming weeks. Once that’s all settled, we’ll definitely do some touring in support.

PE: Let’s talk about the new album for a second, obviously you’re still finishing it up, but what can we expect from this one? Taken any new directions with this batch of songs?

Zeb: This one is much more of a collaboration with the entire group. I came in with the song structures and lyrics, but we arranged them as a group with each person carving out their own parts. Outside or a few quite songs, we get a little more raucous with this batch. We tracked a lot of songs live to tape as a straight up 4 piece rock band, which was pretty damn fun. That being said, I do think there’s still a little thread tying this one to the first record, albiet, it’s a pretty loose one.

PE: And do you think that thread is something lyrical or just the core of the music?

Zeb: I think the strongest connection is lyrical, however, there are a few moments on the record that recall Stalk That Myth musically.

PE: Well let’s get into that, what are some of the lyrical themes that you like to work with the most, and what are the connections between the two albums on that level?

Zeb: Well, a motif on the first record was the idea of the Great Dead Town, which pops up in a few places. It’s hard for me to pin down exactly what or where I’m referring to, but I do live across the river from the great metropolis, so I think that has a lot to do with it. That theme pops up again on the new record from time to time.

The dominate theme on the new record is of a River. It kind of winds it’s way through the whole album.

PE: Sounds like you’re slowly making your way back home – first the dead town, now the river that divides you from it – could the next album be a loving tribute to Jersey City?

Zeb: Ah, Jersey. I think you’re on to something. I can hear it now: a Springsteenesque romp through the Garden State. It’s gonna be great!

I should probably start heading out. Believe it or not, I have to go give a ukulele lesson.

PE: The best end to an interview ever.  Thanks for your time Zeb, you are as of to this date the only person to actually send us a video postcard and we love you for it.

PE: It was my pleasure! Thanks for asking me. Megan says “Hi!” by the way. Have a great day and I’ll talk to you soon.

PE: Tell Megan I said the back, and that we miss both of you here in the ‘ton.

Zeb: Miss you guys too!

Zeb Gould is a gentleman and a musician and plays solo, in the groups Bowery Boy Blue and Stereofan, and as a freelance guitar slinger in many more groups.  His new digital 7″ is available from Ampeater Music here.  You’d be a damn fool not to buy it right now. You can keep track of Bowery Boy Blue here, Stereofan here and Zeb’s solo work here.  And yes we know that’s a lot of work on your part (#firstworldproblems) but we promise it’s worth it.

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