GUM – ” Out In The World “

Posted: October 4, 2020 in MUSIC
Tags: , ,

Jay Watson multi-instrumentalist and longtime staple of Australia’s psych-rock scene, isn’t planning on recording a deathmetal song. But if he happened to come up with a killer riff in that vein, he already has a plan for it: “If I was vibing on it because I’d be listening to heaps of Swedish death-metal, then I’d definitely put it on album,” he says. “I’d probably just try to make a few more songs like that—a deathmetal EP or something.”

The songwriter—who plays in Pond, has been a live member of Tame Impala since the project’s inception and is the rare musician to occasionally join Kevin Parker in the studio—is reflecting on the wild eclecticism of Out in the World, his fifth solo LP under the GUM name. The largely home-recorded LP drifts from twinkling space-folk of “Weightless in LA” to the psychedelic R&B of “The Thrill of Doing It Right” to the electro-Afrobeat pulse of “Low to Low” (which he describes as a “broken robot samba”).

Watson doesn’t have a clue how to categorize his music, though he thinks critics tend to look in the wrong place for their reference points. “With GUM and Pond and Tame Impala, the influence of hip-hop is not that talked about,” he says, noting he and his friends got “really obsessed” with rap music around 2014. “It was a major influence— as big an influence as Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin and stuff were early on. But people don’t pick up on it as much.”

Ultimately, though, Watson isn’t concerned about being pigeonholed. “I’d say there are bigger critics of my music than me, but I’m up there,” he says. “So if I finish a song and it doesn’t make me cringe, it makes it on.”

Despite the array of styles on the record—and his admiration for “musical chameleons” like Beck—Watson isn’t chasing the thrill of shapeshifting. “I’ve never thought of it as trying to make something eclectic,” he says. “It’s more that I just make up songs and hope they go together. I can’t fathom that people can make one type of music for 20 years. There are so many artists I admire, like The Ramones, who just master one thing. But I would get so jealous of other people getting to do other stuff.”

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