By Harriet Kaplan
Southern-infused rock collective and New York-based Gideon’s Army, is influenced by The Black Crowes, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and more including blues rock/Southern rock bands like The Black Keys and Gary Clark, Jr. Their second full-length album, “King of The League,” will be released on May 27 with a new single “Desperate Hearts,” currently out. Robert Bray of Gideon’s Army recently spoke to BoC about the group’s name saying it:”sounds like a badass rock band and would look great in lights,” with the band’s latest album fans can expect: “musical variety, soulful, vital and energetic songwriting paired with songful and killer musicianship” and the process of songwriting and creating arrangements arises Bray says “from a musical idea appearing out of thin air, then another and other, until your psyche senses completion.” Touring regionally, then nationally, and finally internationally, is on the band’s horizon.
How did the band come up with name Gideon’s Army?
Robert Bray: I’ve liked the name Gideon for a long time.It sounds cool and strong. I like words that have eon in them. Like Odeon, neon, Kings of Leon. My grandfather’s name was Leon. And I’ve always had a thing for the Odeon Restaurant’s signage in Tribeca. I thought Gideon’s Army sounds like a badass rock band and would look great in lights.
How did the band come together?
R: We were all one degree of separation away from each other. I knew a guitar player who knew a bassist, who knew a drummer etc…
Are you all influenced by Southern rock? Who’s your favorite bands and artists and have they been influential in developing your sound and style and why?
R: Oh yeah. I’d have to say I’m heavily influenced by many of the sounds of the south. And that includes blues, country, rockabilly, soul/gospel the classic rock ‘n roll that was coming from there. I’m a huge fan of southern rock bands like The Black Crowes, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Kings of Leon, the Allman Brothers, and more blues rock/southern rock bands like the Black Keys, Gary Clark Jr. and Tedeschi Trucks. Those are just a few.
Is King of The League your first length album? Have you released just singles or EPs? What’s different with King of The League? What can your fans expect from this album?
R: King of the League is our second full-length album, but our first studio album and the first one recorded with this line-up. You can expect musical variety, soulful, vital and energetic songwriting paired with songful and killer musicianship.
What is the process of songwriting and creating arrangements?
R: So far I have written all of the songs alone on my guitars. I then then bring them to the band and we work on arrangements. Usually the music will first originate on my guitar. I’ll be practicing, playing, noodling, learning covers, whatever, and an original musical idea will appear out of thin air. It will lead to another musical idea and then another and then another until your psyche senses completion. The music will put you into an universe, sometimes one you’ve lived and sometimes an imaginary one. You’ll have the urge to give language to it, voice to it. Melody will appear, images will appear, a story. Lyrics come.
What is next for Gideon’s Army and will the band tour?
R: King of the League comes out on May 27th. Our album release show is at the Cutting Room in NYC on June 1st. We will then tour. First regionally, then nationally, and then internationally. Can’t wait to get out there and play for our fans!