RB Exclusive Interview: BIJOU
May 28, 2020
May 28, 2020
Last time we checked on Mike Gazzo of self-eponymous GAZZO, we were jamming out to “What U Waiting For,” that pulsing sugary spring anthem with new Indie band, Sugarwhiskey, that taught us even EDM can have some nice riffs from more traditional instruments, and even better, makes us feel a little less shame about listening to sounds that could be classified as “sugary” or “pop influenced.” What makes GAZZO unique in his approached to pop-tinged EDM and house? “What U Waiting For” gave us a taste of what the theory of intelligent yet catchy tunes can be, and reminded us that “catchy” doesn’t always have to equal “music junk food.” Today at RB, we pick this progressive house maven’s brain as we not only learn about his new cover of The Neighborhood’s “Sweater Weather,” but also the man behind the switches and knobs of what Billboard called #12 on their Billboard Chart Indicator, “Next Big Sound:”
What made you want to cover a more traditionally alternative rock song? We hear of many artists big and small remixing and molding the piece into something new, but what makes this “cover” different from that?
I think the main reason I wanted to cover this track in particular was because of how many times I listened to it/have listened to it. I mean I’m pretty sure 2 summers ago, I listened to this track 10 times a day at one point [laughs]; Just one of those all around incredible tracks in my opinion. With that being said, I think what sets this apart from most artists in my lane is that I recorded every single instrument in the track. Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass and some drums. Also, the “vocal-esque” lead is actually me singing; [I] put a lot of heart into this bad boy.
Your last track featured Sugarwhiskey, a very recent Indie Pop band who performed well-harmonized and beautifully on your last single, “What U Waiting For;” What goes into the process of finding, and also selecting vocalists who represent your artistic image of what you want out of a track?
Well for this particular track, this was a group of people I’ve known for a while who just recently formed this band. When I heard the early stages of the writing of “What You Waiting For” I was instantly hooked on the idea. It was such an incredibly catchy track from the start. From there, I produced around the vocal with some stems that Larz and Allie [from Sugarwhiskey] laid down and that’s how we came to the end product!
Where did some of your influences come from? The production that goes into your music has an undeniably modern European sound with some of your synth riffs in “What U Waiting For,” but your past work like “Proximity” has also reflected a heavy knowledge in darker sounds and loud drops.
Well I think I take inspiration from everything I listen to. Nowadays, I’m leaning towards more R&B Electronic Crossovers like STWO, as well as indie crossovers like Tycho. On top of that, I also find inspiration in my homies around me and in the music I will listen to forever like Coldplay and Gov’t Mule. I think without being eclectic in your listening, your style will never adapt even when you stick to one genre. It’s important to keep an open mind as an artist!
As an artist with a more recent career history, you are undeniably gaining traction in a genre that has been identified as oversaturated and becoming commercially popular at an alarming rate in the United States; what do you believe is your “fresh” approach to the current status quo of EDM?
Well I think it’s partly to do with getting in touch with my roots as a musician and songwriter. I’ve been creating, recording, and playing music since I was in 5th grade. I have thousands of demos on my computer from middle school and high school through some college. I think my approach is unique because I’m bridging the gap between the music I grew up playing (in bands and stuff), with the producer I’ve been for the last several years. I think I’ve also dropped the idea that I need to be an “EDM DJ.” The next year of “Gazzo” is going to show way more than that.
When you’re on the road, what do you jam out to on the way to your show?
Honestly? Flume, Chet Faker, Tycho … really chill dope music; It’s relaxing. I’ve also never really been “nervous” per say for a show, only excited. So I don’t really need like pump up music or anything. Probably because I’ve been playing shows since middle school!
When you bring a vocalist onto one of your tracks, how closely do you work with them to achievewhat you believe is your ideal creative image of what it should be? What are some of the prereqs or keys to success to working with GAZZO?
I think an open mind. A track of mine can sometimes go through a million different stages, keys, chord progressions, etc. I have some tracks I’ve worked on for a week and some for over a year. It takes reincarnation to sometimes achieve what you want out of a piece of art. As far as vocalists go, coming in ready to work and ready to fucking hang out! I think an important part of making something truly amazing is vibing with a person or people.
As mentioned, although your career is fresh, you’ve achieved a lot in your short time as an artist; have you found your favorite city to play at yet?
I think my favorite city to play in right now is Kansas City. Every time I’ve been there, the energy is outrageous and the promoters/club staff are some of the most hospitable I’ve dealt with. Other than that, New York City will always be my home!
Finally, on terms of future plans, do you have any upcoming full-length albums, E.P.s, or larger bodies of work in the making that fans should know about?
I’ve finished up an EP and have another eighty percent done already. This summer and into next year will mark some big changes and tracks from me. I’m super excited to get this music out!!
We at Relentless Beats want to thank GAZZO for taking the time to sit down and answer some of our pressing questions. Be sure to keep GAZZO on your radar, because going from a pretty delicious and sugary house anthem into an alternative band cover shows that his creative jumps and leaps will yield quite a few surprises for listeners in the next few months. GAZZO may be just showing up on our radars, but he has a trademark fusion sound and knowledge of performance that is here to stay.