In an effort to stay connected with our artists, we got together with another fantastic group of musicians. Gunpowder Secrets are a Los Angeles based band that have performed all around the L.A. scene, including The House of Blues, The Roxy, Troubadour, and The Viper Room. Scott Feldman got to sit down and chat with them, and let’s just say… things got out of hand, and hilarity ensued. Enjoy.

An Exclusive Interview with Gunpowder Secrets (listen to the audio here)

Scott Feldman: This is Scott Feldman with Earbits Radio. I’m here with LA local band Gunpowder Secrets. Hey Guys.


Gunpowder Secrets: Hello.

 

Scott Feldman: Why don’t you guys introduce yourselves and tell me what you play really quickly.


Gunpowder Secrets (GPS) band member: I’ll go first. My name is Brandon and I play the electric guitar.

 

GPS band member: My name is Nathan. I play bass and do a little back-up singing.

 

GPS band member: My name is Mo, I play the microphone.

 

GPS band member: I’m Greg, I play guitar and do a little back-up singing.

 

Scott Feldman: And some give your drummer some love since he’s not here.


GPS band member: Oh J.D., unfortunately he can’t be with us, but he plays drums… swell.

 

Scott Feldman: Thanks you guys for coming out, I appreciate it. You guys sent me over some music to listen to. And I was pretty impressed that you guys are a completely independent band, but it sounds like totally polished, major label sound. Where have you been tracking?


Gunpowder Secret band member: Oh, we wrote that record at Randy One Studios, which is where Brandon engineers at, and it’s such a great experience for us to do that, a kind of like, family oriented environment. You know, Randy’s a really good friend of ours and a great guy. And he really, kind of, took us under his wing and made sure that we did it. It took us a long time to write and release that record.

 

Scott Feldman: Did he produce that for you or did you guys produce it and…


GPS band member: We did a lot of the production ourselves and then Randy, kind of, came in, like, the last there quarters way though and, like, helped us, like, propel to the end, you know. And kind of, like, came in and worked a lot with Mo and…

 

GPS band member: We tried a lot of new vocal things…

 

GPS band member: Yeah, like, and he introduced a lot of new things for us with, like, vocal production. A lot of things, like, we hadn’t tried before but, kind of like, helped step it up to the next level.

 

GPS band member: Absolutely, we definitely… He did bring us to, like, that… to a bigger sound.

 

Scott Feldman: And this is your first release as a band, right?


Gunpowder Secrets: Yeah.

 

Scott Feldman: And you’ve been together, like, three years?


Gunpowder Secrets: Mhm, yeah.

 

Scott Feldman: So, I feel like most bands, or a lot of locals, at their 3-year mark, have already had four shitty EPs, one decent demo. This is your first thing. Why’d you wait and are you happy you waited?

 

GPS band member: It takes a lot of shitty songs…

 

Scott Feldman: To get a good one.


GPS band member: I mean, we’ve been wood shedding for a while, I mean, it’s like… You know, when we first started the band we were, you know, a four piece for probably a year, a year and a half. And we had, like, some cool songs, we had, like, some good stuff, put a lot of good shows, and, like, we just sat back and decided that we wanted, kind of like, do something a little bit different. And that’s when we decided, you know… I was originally playing base and we decided, you know, we want to go for a bigger sound, so I moved over to guitar and then we brought Nathan in to come play base for us and, you know, sing back-ups and be pretty, you know, and stuff like that.

 

Scott Feldman: Cool. How’d you guys all meet?


GPS band member: I met Greg, like, the first month I moved here. We were both going to MI for the music business program and it was, kind of like, love at first sight, I guess.

 

Scott Feldman: So maybe that’s why you’ve had so much success as a DIY band. I mean, I feel like there’s so many bands out here who have no representation and they’re just out there doing it themselves but they get fucking nowhere. You guys obviously have a lot going for you. You’re touring, you’re playing at Sunset Music festival. What are you doing differently to get yourselves out there without anyone else pushing you?


GPS band member: I think, one thing… we’ve been burnt so many fucking times.

 

Scott Feldman: How so?


GPS band member: We’ve just… just like anybody does in this city, especially, you know, we went down a path with full trust in somebody who was gonna help us and was telling us all the right things that we needed to be doing and then just got completely burned in the end as far as them being fucking complete phony. Or that, you know, it was just a lot of smoke been blowing up our asses before we could be… we were, like, to step back, and be like, “You know what? We have to do this even if we do it ourselves.”

 

Scott Feldman: Right.


GPS band member: And going through these experiences we, kind of, figured out, like, you know, some of the things we want to do and some of the things we should be doing. And, like, you know, figure out there’s a lot more we can do on our own than having to rely on somebody all the time.

 

GPS band member: A lot more…

 

GPS band member: Cause we’d been though a couple of situations where we were, like, relying on somebody to help us do something, like, say, setup a photo shoot, and… it’s dumb because all these people just fall on through on us and now’s the time to take control and do it ourselves.

 

GPS band member: And I ended up dropping out of the MI program. It was standard. But Greg finished it, and Greg has become this, like, machine at the music business and has really got a lot of our connects together.

 

Scott Feldman: Cool.


GPS band member: That being said, we have a solid team behind us, we have Brandon, you know, everyone did a lot for us on that record, but Brandon has been an amazing audio engineer and does a lot of work with us. We have Mo, you know, who is probably one of the best hype men that we could have asked for, we have Nathan, he’s just…

 

GPS band member: Just adorable…

 

Scott Feldman: He’s easy on the eyes. The ladies love him.


GPS band member: The reason we have so many girls at our shows is because of Nathan.

 

Scott Feldman: That’s an important part.


GPS band member: The reason that we don’t get laid at any of our shows is because of Greg.

 

Scott Feldman: But someone is, right? Someone is…


GPS band member: Yeah, but we won’t kiss and tell.

 

Scott Feldman: Ok.


GPS band member: It’s expensive.

 

** FOLLOW GUNPOWDER SECRETS ON TWITTER **

 

Scott Feldman: Ok, you guys have thrown me off track… What are your, I mean, as local, as a local band gets, right? No one is necessarily from here, but you all met here, right?


GPS band member: We all live together.

 

Scott Feldman: Oh.


GPS band member: Three of us.

 

GPS band member: Like, when you guys met at MI, I was taking the record program at the same time.

 

Scott Feldman: Okay, cool.


GPS band member: And his roommates were in my class. So, these had parties, like, every weekend and just go hang out and we were becoming friends.

 

GPS band member: I’m from Kansas, man.

 

GPS band member: We all knew somebody who knew one of us and, I mean, even Nathan, I moved here from Kansas, and I have friends who knew Nathan from Kansas.

 

GPS band member: Yeah we both played in the same, like, music scene in Kansas.

 

Scott Feldman: But didn’t know each other. That’s crazy.


GPS band member: Didn’t know each other at all.

 

GPS band member: When he says scene, he means there’s two bands. There’s my band and then his band…

 

Scott Feldman: What do you guys think of the LA scene?


GPS band member: Wow, it’s beautiful.

 

GPS band member: I think the LA scene is great.

 

GPS band member: Really cut our teeth.

 

Scott Feldman: What do you think, specifically, of the music coming out of LA right now?


GPS band member: Honestly, there’s, like, there are some really great bands but, at the same time, there’s a lot of bands that sound just like AC/DC. It’s just like, you know… So it’s kind of refreshing when you see, like, this one band that you can… for instance, I’ll go to the Viper room one night, just like, out of nowhere, and see, like, an awesome band and be, like, just totally blown away. And, it’s like, when you see something like that after seeing five shitty bands the week before, it’s like…

 

Scott Feldman: Cause you will catch 10 shitty bands out here.


GPS band member: Absolutely. And here’s the fun thing about this city too, is that it’s all fucking pay to play.

 

Scott Feldman: So how do you feel about the fact that, like, any shitty band that can afford to buy the tickets at the Viper room, plays the same venue that you guys play, gets the same level of credibility, but the difference is you guys have good music, you’re packing the place, you’re going on the road, you have a record.


GPS band member: I would say, let’em… if they want to pay and play, let’em do it. We’ve been forced to break through that and have a lot of good support, a lot of good fans, and, fine if they wanna play.

 

GPS band member: Yeah, I wouldn’t knock anybody from playing… You know, I just see a bunch of bands, just, kind of, fall short. I think a lot of people just get the hype “Oh, I’m playing the Viper Room. Oh I’m playing the Roxy” and they don’t take the time to, like, actually bring people to these… You know what I mean, it’s just about them playing and paying five… it beats the purpose. But I do love the scene here and I do love the city, you know, as much as it’s worth. You know what I’m saying, and it’s very cut and dry and I think that it’s been good to build through this city.

 

Scott Feldman: You sent me, in addition to the EP you put out a few month ago, there was one track that’s on its way… What is that going towards, are you putting out a new record or…


GPS band member: Yeah, we are. We actually had that track recorded before the EP was out.

 

GPS band member: We kind of held on to it, just kind of like, you know…

 

GPS band member: I’d give ourselves more content to put out and so, yeah, that song actually comes out today on iTunes.

 

GPS band member: That song too… we wanted to stick with 6 songs on the EP and that one was not… not that it wasn’t as good as the other ones, it just had a different vibe to it.

 

Scott Feldman: It is different.


GPS band member: You know, it didn’t, something that’s worth for the EP is like, held together… it’s a story and that one kind of had like a little bit edgier side to it, I guess.

 

GPS band member: Yeah, we are putting out a new record, which we’re recording right now. One of the new songs that we actually haven’t played in LA, called “Throw Me Away”, we played it on our entire tour, we had a great response to it. It’s done, it’s being mixed right now.

 

GPS band member: Come hear it on Tuesday.

 

Scott Feldman: Give yourselves a little plug for Tuesday.


GPS band member: Yeah, I know, we’re opening up for Motley Crew on Tuesday, we’re opening up three days before.

 

Scott Feldman: Earbits is not responsible for anything that’s said on this program.


GPS band member: We’re doing Sunset Music Fest Week, so… super-excited, there’s 50+ bands, and I think we fall into the plus side.

 

Scott Feldman: What was the submission process for that?


GPS band member: You know what? They just, Nic Adler and Dayle Gloria wanted to extend it and make, like, a big week out of it, and they just invited us to do it. And I feel, like, super honored to do it because we’re, like, the goonies, we’re, like, the underdogs here, you know, like. We’re just the young ones, I guess.

 

Scott Feldman: That’s awesome, man.


GPS band member: Yeah, it was really exciting to just be in that…

 

GPS band member: We’re at Key Club, on Tuesday, we play 10 o’clock, Schecter Guitars is giving away a guitar.

 

GPS band member: It’s only five bucks and it’s 18+. I don’t know how many shows he played, but…

 

Scott Feldman: Show up at the door? Five bucks?


GPS band member: Yeah, tickets are online… Playing The Mulhollands, Run Devil Run, Scattered Hamlet and Goldsboro.

 

Scott Feldman: So, I’m a musician myself although I play with some degree of mediocrity. I’ve been in a bunch of bands and I always find it’s really hard to write with other people. Is there one main writer, and then everyone brings in their sense of arrangement or do you sit in a room and write shit together? How does it work for you guys?


GPS band member: We just don’t depend on Greg.

 

GPS band member: It’s always different, you know what I mean? Like, somebody will come up with an idea, and they’ll bring it to rehearsal and we’ll just, kind of like, jam it out, you know. Sometimeslike, I’ll be sitting at home and, like, come up with a progression and bring it in and try to work out a lyric and sometimes Mo will just have, like, some cool melody that he wants to write something to…

 

GPS band member: It’s very, very collaborative. I find that the best time or writing music with us is when get a hook at rehearsal, and then we just jam it.

 

Scott Feldman: Right.


GPS band member: And through that, just, jam session we’ll find a hook that we all want to develop.

 

Scott Feldman: How often do you guys rehearse?


GPS band member: We try to do it…

 

GPS band member: Three times a year.

 

Scott Feldman: Three times a year? That’s not bad.


GPS band member: No, we’re overdoing it. No, we try to do it as much as we can, like, three or four times a week.

 

Scott Feldman: Do you guys have jobs?


GPS: Yeah, unfortunately.

 

Scott Feldman: What do you guys all do?


GPS band member: Brandon, like we were saying, is a studio manager…

 

GPS band member: Yeah, an engineer producer, mixing producer and lolli-gagger.

 

GPS band member: So, I install home theaters…

 

GPS band member: Don’t be modest.

 

GPS band member: … for the infamous Geek Squad.

 

Scott Feldman: For real?


GPS band member: For real.

 

Scott Feldman: That’s cool.


GPS band member: He’s the coolest geek around, that’s for sure.

 

Scott Feldman: You gotta know your shit to do that, right?


GPS band member: If anyone knows shit, it’s Nathan.

 

Scott Feldman: How about the rest of you guys?


GPS band member: I bartend at the Viper Room, so…

 

Scott Feldman: Oh, cool. You looked familiar actually. Maybe that’s where I know you from.


GPS band member: How can you forget that face?

 

GPS band member: He’s famous.

 

** LIKE GUNPOWDER SECRETS ON FACEBOOK **

 

Scott Feldman: And what do you guys do with your jobs when tours are all around?


GPS band member: I’m pretty fortunate.

 

GPS band member: We roll the dice.

 

GPS band member: Yeah, I own my company and I write for ‘Music Direction’ magazine, so I can kind of do that from the road.

 

Scott Feldman: That’s nice.


GPS band member: I kind of show up two weeks later and help a soldier up.

 

Scott Feldman: And so far it’s worked out for you?


GPS band member: So far.

 

Scott Feldman: Have you guys done any extensive touring?


GPS band member: We just got back, but we were gone for, like two weeks.

 

GPS band member: We’re going out in about September, we’re gonna be doing a gaggle of shows in October, November, December, January and February. We’re gonna be out for a while. Right now it’s being booked and, kind of, with the support of radio play we’ve been lucky enough to start receiving throughout the mid west and south and everything like that, which all started here at K-rock, so we’re pretty…

 

Scott Feldman: So when did you guys first get play on K-rock out here?


GPS band member: I think that was about…

 

Scott Feldman: You guys gotta know, locals only show…


GPS band member: Yeah, three months ago, our single went out and we got No.3. And then it went off, and then came back on and we got up to No.2 recently.

 

Scott Feldman: What track was it?


GPS band member: Something that’s worked, it’s title track, off the record.

 

Scott Feldman: First one, right?


GPS band member: Yeah, and kind of cool getting that up there, and a lot of the fans have voted for us and people out there that we don’t know personally, so we owe that a lot to them. And, yeah…

 

Scott Feldman: That’s awesome.


GPS band member: Yeah, it’s pretty sweet.

 

Scott Feldman: So, do you guys have anything else you want to leave the Earbits listeners with? Anything they should know about you?


GPS band member: We’re down to partying, we can party all day, every day.

 

Scott Feldman: I saw on your Facebook page that you guys are inviting people to come to the studio and do…


GPS band member: Oh yeah.

 

Scott Feldman: What are you doing?


GPS band member: We’re having a party, a barbeque at Battle Panda Studios.

 

Scott Feldman: What studio is it?


GPS band member: It’s called Battle Panda aka Greg’s house.

 

GPS band member: And we’re actually… the song that we were discussing earlier, is done with gang vocals, so we just figured we can gang bang it up. We can eat meat and fucking drink at the same time.

 

Scott Feldman: Sounds good.


GPS band member: It’ll be Saturday…

 

GPS band member: Gang bangs meet…

 

GPS band member: So yeah, check our Facebook or Twitter, we’ll be turning every single person away without the secret password.

 

GPS band member: Which is ‘meat’.

 

Scott Feldman: I wanna thank you guys for coming out and drinking my very expensive whiskey.


GPS band member: Absolutely.

 

Scott Feldman: It was my first Earbits interview with adult beverages; I think it smoothes out the…


GPS band member: It really gets the vibe in here…

 

GPS band member: Was anybody even sober during the interview?

 

GPS band member: I’m sober. Totally, whatever, yeah.

 

Scott Feldman: Should we give this guy in the corner some love?


GPS band member: This is Danny, my main man, right here, he comes with me everywhere.

 

GPS band member: In his fine leather pants.

 

Scott Feldman: He does have fine leather pants.


GPS band member: He’s looking sharp today.

 

Scott Feldman: He’s got a nice gold watch. I figured he was a manager, but he’s not.


GPS band member: He’s my manager.

 

GPS band member: The most personal manager.

 

GPS band member: DTP manager.

 

GPS band member: Does his laundry.

 

Scott Feldman: He looks like it. This is getting out of hand, so I’m gonna say go and check these guys out at Key Club, Tuesday, at 10. Is that right?


GPS band member: Yeah.

 

Scott Feldman: And check out the EP, Facebook, Twitter, Gunpowder Secrets.


GPS band member: Check out GPS the band, the power of DTP…

 

Scott Feldman: Thanks guys.


Gunpowder Secrets: Thank you.

 

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