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Music Q&A: Gun

Glaswegian rockers Gun are playing the Waterloo Music Bar on 4th December in support of their new album The Calton Songs. The new album takes its name from the area of Glasgow where the band grew up, and where they still write their music. These new versions of great songs are cut through with un-ironic nostalgia but this is a band with an eye on the horizon for what’s to come. 

This summer they released their cover of Word Up, a retooled version of the evergreen Cameo hit from 1986, and a track Gun first covered as far back as 1994. The band had already been around for nearly a decade then and they have gone on to amass 20 albums and singles.   They remain in the top 50 modern hard rock artists in the world according to industry data specialists, Chartmetric and have toured with The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi and Iron Maiden. 

In 2022 the band is made up of Giuliano ‘Jools’ Gizzi [guitar], Paul McManus [drums], Andy Carr [bass], Tommy Gentry [guitar] and Dante Gizzi [lead vocals], who Blackpool Social Club caught up with ahead of their visit. 

What inspires your music and songwriting?
We got into music at very early age. I guess it stemmed from our parents. We used to listen to their favourite music all the time. My mum was a big Frank Sinatra fan and my dad would be up through the night listening to Fats Domino. It was just the norm. I guess that sort of stuff inspired us to want to become musicians.

How did the pandemic impact your music and how does it feel to be back on the road?
It took a while to adapt and the feeling of being creative in terms of writing new material was a bit tough. That’s when we decided to focus on reworking and reinventing the most popular songs from our back catalogue. It gave us a sense of purpose and definitely felt like a more relaxed and fun thing to do.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
Jools and I are currently touring our acoustic shows giving fans a little flavour of how ‘The Calton Songs’ album sounds sonically as well as an insight into the writing and recording process.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
Too many to mention but one that springs to mind is the time we won our MTV award. I was being sick after the show in a toilet backstage after drinking so much that day, that began with my fear of flying. There was a constant banging on the toilet door and someone asking me if I was ok. I pulled myself together cleaned up and opened the door and was confronted by John Deacon from Queen .

If you weren’t a musician what would you be doing with your life?
I love to cook and I love food so I’d say something along the lines of the catering industry. Maybe a chef.

What’s on your rider?
The usual stuff but we’re quite partial to a bit of rum. We love Old J which is the original Sailor Jerry. It goes nicely with Ginger Beer. It’s a must if you haven’t tried it.

What song do you wish you’d written?
‘Long and Winding Road’ by The Beatles.

What’s your worst lyric?
A track called ’20 Storeys’ that we wrote. It’s a about someone falling off a building and the lyric at the end of the song goes, “look what you’ve done to yourself”. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking.

Are you looking forward to playing Blackpool and what can we expect from your live show?
Yeah very much looking forward to it. I can’t remember when we last played there. I am not such a huge of the rides but I do enjoy playing the Puggies (slot machines). I think when anyone comes to our show they’re never disappointed. It’s all about the energy the love for playing music which at the moment is 10X heightened due to the fact that we’ve had to endure 2 years away from playing a tour. It’ll be some buzz!

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