‘What a strange concept nowadays that the people who don’t want to spend the majority of their brief existence doing something they loathe are the weird ones.’
After seeing Gang perform at their album launch for 925 ‘Till I Die I knew I had to ask more questions. Held at the smallest theatre in the UK, The Tom Thumb in Margate, Gang ignited the energy of many people in that small room. With their doomy riffs that rattle your insides, mystical harmonies mixed into those unexpected breakdowns- people came alive. It was truly captivating. I remember the line ‘I DON’T WANT TO FEEL BETTER’ being shouted by many people over and over. In that moment, I felt togetherness with strangers. Simple, authentic, raw lines can be really powerful in that they reach so many.
A massive thank you to Eric Tormey for answering my questions.
What drove you to do music/write this album?
I think we all just enjoy being creative, and music is a really nice way of being creative in a group. I always liked drawing more when I was a child, but as I got older making songs became more appealing. It’s nice to have a sense of purpose, and music has brought me the most wonderful, liberating feelings I have ever experienced in life. It would be lovely to do the same for someone else.
What music were you raised on?
I think we were all raised on very diverse music. Anything from reggae to country music. My mum plays violin, so my brother Jimi and I even heard classical music growing up. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle theme song, the music from Crash Bandicoot, celtic folk music, Eminem. Joe’s bloody loved Rush his whole life. I love video game music, especially old stuff that is very primitive and repetitive. A lot of Neil Young. Loads of Nu Metal. Abba.
What would you do if you couldn’t do music?
Something creative. I think I would probably write poems or draw because I enjoy doing that anyway. I think we’re all less specifically focused on music and more focused on being creative in general. As a band we care just as much about the visuals (artwork, video, photos), and work with some really amazing people to make that come alive. Joe’s currently in the very early stages of writing a film and/or video game about Gang which is pretty funny.
What’s the story behind the line ‘I don’t want to feel better’?
I feel it’s very common in our society to chase a better feeling, instead of coming to terms with the reality of a situation and accepting it. It also comes from a perspective of depression, where you don’t really feel anything. The line “I don’t want to feel better, I want to better feel” is a plea to no longer feel despondent. The ability to feel is the most powerful thing any human can do. The moment one stops feeling, to me, is akin to death. In some ways I wish there was a class in school about dealing with feelings and emotions, I feel we’d live in a nicer world if that were the case.
Why did you paint yourselves green?
It’s fun init!! In all seriousness, there’s quite a few reasons: nature, the green man myth, taking the piss out of the music industry, the egyptian god ‘Osiris’. Money’s kind of green too isn’t it? So are the people who are envious of other peoples’ wealth, financial or spiritual. Green also signifies inexperience. It’s meant to be quite ambiguous.
Can you talk me through the name of the album? Where did the idea come from?
It was a joke we had when recording. Jimi shouts “925 ‘Til I Die” as a mockery of the world we’re living in. The pressure for young people to enter into a career is great, as their elders say “think of your future”. Think of your future, and all the unhappy memories you’ll have as you bathe in regret, having spent your whole life waiting for tomorrow. What a strange concept nowadays that the people who don’t want to spend the majority of their brief existence doing something they loathe are the weird ones. The title is meant to poke fun at that way of life, because to us it seems very foreign. I personally have no desire at this current time to make a career out of music, or anything else for that matter.
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The pressure for young people to enter into a career is great, as their elders say “think of your future”. Think of your future, and all the unhappy memories you’ll have as you bathe in regret, having spent your whole life waiting for tomorrow.
I couldn’t agree with Eric more about this pressure, the pressure to be productive and work for the future. It’s a future that we can’t even predict. What if we don’t know what we want? What if we don’t want to have anything, we just want to be? This kind of feeling can brew an awful feeling of inadequacy and alienation.
We live in a world where our worth is determined by external rewards – a job title, a certain amount of money in the bank, buying our first house (which is near on impossible in contemporary Britain), having a degree and in general becoming someone of significance. But as Eric mentioned, we spend our whole lives waiting for tomorrow. For that title, that payrise, that recognition. But we are never satisfied, because we are always be reaching for more.
I think it’s ok to exist within the ebb and flow of life, taking each day as it comes, trusting the bigger picture will fall into place. I propose that we are already enough. Our very existence on this planet is fucking marvellous. Remember that you are worth something. Your character, what energy you put out into the world, your kindness, your patience and your love is enough. All of those things combined is enough, not how much money or status you have.