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Resin Gypsy – Resin Gypsy
When you think of the 70’s era of music you automatically think of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Aerosmith, Cream and Led Zepplin. It was a time where music was exploratory in all aspects of the sense. Rock music didn’t have a thousand sub-genres it was trying to fit in. Music was innocent and relentless, which became a template for many bands of today. Resin Gypsy, made up of guitarist/vocalist Dre DiMura and drummer Kaleen Reading, have recreated the sound of innocence with a lack of inhibition that many bands of today have lost in the sea of manufactured music that we have today. Their self-titled full length debut is an aggressive free flowing mix of heavy earthy guitar tones, solid yet relaxed rhythms and vocals that will bring you back to where real music was created by real musicians.
From the trippy feel of the instrumental “The Void” to the bluesy Zepplin-like “Sleepwalkers,” this Philadelphia, Pennsylvania duo is set to change the course of music by getting back to the basics of musicianship with their eight song debut. This is the kind of album you turn up really loud, turn out the lights, stare at the stars and let the music take you for a ride. I had the immense privilege of asking Dre and Kaleen a few questions about this journey they are on as they set out to make a very big noise in their hometown.
I’ve seen a lot to where your band is compared to the likes of Cream, Led Zepplin, and Black Sabbath which in itself I’m sure is a great honor. How would you describe your band and the unique sound you guys create?
Dre: It’s my pleasure. I think you put it well, the 60′s and early 70′s sound is apparent, and its great because people can relate to that. That time, and the bands of that era, to me, are the greatest innovators. It’s fascinating to see, at some point, people began demanding this heavy music. There was a desire to be moved, it was electrifying. Some of the earliest examples of loud…Zeppelin, the Blue Cheer, Deep Purple’s In Rock record…these are the things that shook me up early on and I think will always be part of my musical DNA. However, I was raised on jazz and classical music, which I also love very much. Chopin, John Coltrane, Django Reinhardt and Charlie Parker, so that’s another world of thought that I carry with me and is part of what we do as a band. The melody, the beauty of older music is unrivaled. The great sadness that you hear in deceivingly blithe WWII era swing jazz… this is something that inspires me every time I pick up an instrument.
Being just a duo, what can people expect from you guys during a live performance?
Dre: Something new. When you’re playing this kind of music, it’s very free, and since it’s just us two we have a tremendous control over what we are crafting at each show. They’re all different… the music develops each time we play. It’s rejuvenating. Lady Day said “I can’t stand to sing the same song the same way two nights in succession, let alone two years or ten years. If you can, then it ain’t music, it’s close-order drill or exercise or yodeling or something, not music.”
Who or what is your non-musical influence in your life that inspires you to make the music you do?
Dre: To me, everything serves as a catalyst to creation. I take pleasure in great beauty. I absorb as much as I can with my senses, certain images or ideas bring out certain sounds for me. You have all these thoughts, pictures and ideas floating around in your head night and day…it kind of drives you mad, you’ve got to let them free. Sound is a perfect medium and the experience of music more so…the spectacle, the smells, the sounds. It’s exciting. Picasso said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a life-time to paint like a child” To me, this is the most important thing. Uninhibited expression, when you are young, you do not know bounds. For me, this is how I like to think when I create music.
Kaleen: Being alive is what inspires me to create music. Creating a song with another musician makes me believe that we are all connected on deeper levels than words can express. These songs will outlive us and forever be proof of this connection.
Dre: We recorded the album over about a years time in my home studio. Some of the numbers were recorded before we were as we are now, with a name and a live show. We released a demo in January, 2012, which I used for promotion at the winter NAMM show in Anaheim. When I returned we decided to track an entire record and coin it Resin Gypsy. So we wrote three new numbers I believe, re-tracked an older one and finished the instrumental, which was just a skeleton from an older session at the time. Along with the EP songs, which required some dubbing and re-mixing, we had our record. Mostly, we crafted the tunes together. I’d come to Kaleen with an idea or a piece to a song, and we would build it from there.
The song “The Void” is one of my favorites on the album, not many bands these days attempt instrumentals. Tell us about that song and what it means to you.
Dre: Thank you! This one was tough…we had done it once in our very early days but left it unfinished, because it really didn’t turn out the way we wanted. When we got together for the January session to finish the EP we tried it again. It was better, but was still left unfinished, and due to my coming down with a dreadful case of bronchitis and pleurisy around the New Year, wasn’t included on the EP. It wasn’t an instrumental to begin with, I spent some time playing around with vocal parts, but it wasn’t working out. Three or four days before we were to submit the masters I decided to write a melody, record the guitar fills and do it as an instrumental. I was VERY unsure about it, but most people seem to really enjoy it, so I’m glad we took the chance. Its a mysterious number, there is some speech that makes the mind work a bit. If it doesn’t make sense listen closer!
Tell us a little bit about how you and Kaleen Reading came to know each other and eventually becoming Resin Gypsy.
Dre: Kaleen and I met in the autumn of 2008 I believe. I had just began studying at the Princeton School of Rock Music, where Kaleen was also taking lessons. We did a tour together to promote the program the following year and had very sporadic interaction afterwards. We had talked about jamming for the longest time but nothing ever came of it, until the spring of 2011, when we recorded our first number together. It was an early version of “Sleepwalker.”
Do you guys, or have you, got plans on touring with the new album out?
Dre: There aren’t any plans for a tour at the moment. We are still building our fan-base here at home and want to concentrate on that before we branch out and travel.
There are some big things that would need to happen for us to do a tour, but who knows what the future holds?
Finally, what do you want fans to take away from listening to your new album or from a live performance?
Dre: I want them to be shaken up. Music should stimulate thought. There is so much mindless music floating around today. It’s our responsibility to work endlessly to use music as a powerful weapon against apathy. You either play music to play music, or you play music because you’ve got something to say. This album is really a product of the world around us, the world that we grew up in. The wars, the vain pop culture, all the garbage that has been thrown at us since we’ve been little. God willing, the noise we create will be powerful enough to make people stop for a second and think and question what is around them. We live in this age of complacency, of dope. There is no action, there is no fight. Too many people are aware of the corruption, the scandals, the lies, and get lost in a world of apathy and glorified classlessness. To be aware of these things, and to do nothing, is a crime. It is your job to stand up. So as a musician, if you can sing about something important, something that matters, you are part of the solution. Einstein put it best, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” We have the internet, the air waves, and the ability to captivate and make a lasting impression. That’s a terrible power to waste.
Kaleen: Recording an album and performing live is totally for other people’s enjoyment. We have fun playing and recording, but ultimately it is our way of doing service. If someone comes to our show and has a good time with us, I couldn’t ask for more.
Rating: 4/5 Stars!
Album Name: Resin Gypsy
Date Released: May, 2012
Genres: Rock/blues/acid rock/hard rock
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Band Members: Dre DiMura-guitar+vocals, Kaleen Reading- Drums
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